It's Time To "Switch On Summer" at the Buckingham Fountain

the Buckingham fountain

The Clarence Buckingham Memorial fountain is a stunning sculptural fountain in Grant Park. Typically the fountain features a beautiful water display in the warmer Chicago months. However, due to the pandemic the nearly 94-year-old fountain has not been active since 2019.

Buckingham fountain

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This year the fountain will be active again starting May 22nd! Feel free to tune into the virtual celebration that will be hosted by ComEd this year. With all the excitement of the Buckingham Fountain it leads us to reflect on the rich history of Route 66 in Chicago and the Buckingham Fountain.

U.S. Route 66, a 300-mile stretch of American Roadway symbolizes the American Dream! The nostalgia of diners, museums, tourist stops and neon lights are there for you to visit as you make the drive from Chicago to Santa Monica, CA. You can still get your Kicks on Route 66 and it all starts from the Buckingham Fountain at the Route 66 sign in downtown Chicago!

starting sign of Route 66

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If you set out to see the iconic Route 66 sign that marks the start of The First Hundred Miles of the Mother Road make sure to pit stop at some of the best locations around the corridor! Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket is a historic roadhouse on the famous Route 66 specializing in fried chicken and American comfort food. The Chicken Basket is the perfect stopping place if you are traveling to or coming from Chicago.

outside of dell rhea's chicken basket   

Want more Route 66 adventures? Stop in for some history and a unique experience at the Old Joliet Prison. The Old Joliet Prison was built in the 1850's, housing infamous criminals like Leopold, Loeb and Gacy. Make sure to schedule a tour before making this pit stop on your trek along the Mother Road.

old joliet prison

Another iconic stop along the first 100 miles of Route 66 is the famed Gemini Giant “Muffler Man” Statue in Wilmington, IL! This 30-foot tall statue stands right next to a charming restaurant known as The Launching Pad, where you can get authentic American food. The giant is one of many giant Muffler Man advertising props found throughout the Unites States in the 1960s. Weighing in at an incredible 438 pounds, the Gemini Giant is the perfect place to stop along Route 66 to take your picturesque selfie.

the gemini Giant and the launching pad

Have an appreciation for art? Head over to downtown Pontiac and check out the giant murals dedicated to Route 66! The town is filled with memorabilia and tributes to the Mother Road and is a great spot to stop for pictures and a snack.

Pontiac Route 66 mural

These are just a few stops along The First Hundred Miles of Route 66 that you can visit. To find more restaurants, shops, and roadside stops visit,

Scene Through The Corridor