Make Joliet a Must-Do on Route 66

The City of Joliet is a must visit along your trip down the Mother Road. Gaming, shopping, dining, a beautiful theater and an amazing ... prison. Yes, I said prison ...

If you’re coming into Joliet from the City of Chicago, depending on the time of year, a stop at the Rich and Creamy ice cream stand could be right up your alley. Shouldn’t be hard to spot it ... look for the bright pink ice cream cone sign surrounded by statues of Jake and Elwood Blues dancing.

If you’re a fan of the Blues Brothers, you might know that “Joliet” Jake is released from prison ... right here in Joliet. Old Prison Park is a must-do stop, where you can get a photo of the iconic prison in the park just outside the gates. Starting in late August, bus tours will lead from the Joliet Area Historical Museum inside the walls of the prison. See where Jake walks out of Prison to meet his brother across the street. And see where they drive off to (which actually is a dead-end street).

The aforementioned Joliet Area Historical Museum is a great museum, one that even Paul McCartney visited on his trip down Route 66. Inside, you will see Jake and Elwood again at the Route 66 Welcome Center - a great place to learn more about the iconic road. Go up the stairs, and you will learn about the Illinois & Michigan Canal (a 96-mile long limestone canal connecting Lake Michigan to the Illinois River - allowing boat traffic from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico) and NASA engineer John Houbolt (who was a vital contributor to the space program and Apollo missions).

One of the 10 most beautiful theaters is right here in Joliet. The Rialto Square Theatre opened in 1926, the same year as “the birth” of Route 66. This magnificent palace has seen the likes of Bob Hope, Carol Burnett, Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, Jerry Seinfeld and Kasey Musgraves - and continues to bring in great entertainment. You might even catch a movie or a tour - giving you a chance to see the amazing architecture that you won’t see again in any new theatre.

Joliet is also home to NASCAR’s Chicagoland Speedway. The top races battle it out at high speeds on the tri-oval. Across the street, the Route 66 Raceway hosts top drag racing action - including the NHRA Route 66 Nationals.

Racing isn’t the only excitement in the area. If you revel in the sounds and sights of casino gaming, Harrah’s Joliet is right downtown. Hollywood Casino Joliet is just a few minutes away from Route 66 as well. Both offer the fun of blackjack, roulette and more. Both locations also have first-class restaurants, meaning you can get great steaks at Final Cut Steakhouse (Hollywood) of The Reserve Steakhouse (Harrah’s) while trying to win great stakes.

There is also great baseball at Joliet Route 66 Stadium, home of the Joliet Slammers. The Slammers offer great family entertainment at a great price, and you never know if the players in front of you might make their way up to the big leagues.

Joliet is also home to two new craft breweries as well. MyGrain Brewery offers a fantastic lineup of craft beers and entrees, which is located inside Joliet’s historic Union Station. Elder Brewing Company is a short distance away from Joliet Route 66 Stadium. Bring your own food, and get fantastic brews at their historic location as well.

The Forge is the newest stage in downtown Joliet, where you can catch some great alternative and rock music.

There is a lot going on in the City of Joliet ... and make sure you spend a night at one of the great hotels - including at one of the many fine facilities of the Will County Lodging Association.  You won't want to miss a minute of the action.  See you in J-Town!


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