St Louis, MO
October 13, 2016St Louis is the largest Route 66 town between Chicago and Los Angeles. The 630 foot tall Gateway Arch dominates the skyline. It is the tallest man made monument in the United States. Rides to the top are available, but it looks pretty confining.
St Louis used to be accessible by crossing the Mississippi River on the 1929 Chain of Rocks Bridge, which has a 22 degree turn in the middle. The angle was cause when they started building the bridge from opposite shores of the Mississippi River and they didn't meet exactly in the middle. The bridge has been closed to vehicles for decades, but it is open to hikers.It was used in Escape from New York.
Many St Louis Route 66 attractions have vanished in the last few decades. The 1941 Coral Court, which started as a fine motel but later became a house of ill repute, was torn down in 1995. One of the rooms was preserved and is on display in the Museum of Transportation in St Louis.
The 1946 Crystal Court, across the street from the Coral Court, was torn down in 1988. The 1937 White Castle on Chippewa was lost in 1983. The 1945 66 Auto Court was demolished in the 1980's, and the 1948 66 Park-In Theater flickered its last flick in 1996.
But some old places have survived. Most notable is Ted Drewes Frozen Custard at 6726 Chippewa. Ted and his family started selling frozen custard out of a truck in 1929. By 1935, the business was so popular Ted built a permanent stand. In 1941, he opened a second stand on Route 66, which is the current Route 66 location. They serve dozens of flavors of Concretes, which are frozen custards so thick that they will not spill out of the cup when turned upside down. Forget your diets and enjoy.
Don't forget the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. Free beer and Clydesdales!
The 277 Mile Club is a biker themed restaurant and bar that claims to be at the 277 mile marker along Route 66. It features live entertainment. It is not an Old School kind of place, but lots of bikers stop in. If you need a place to stay after imbibing, the Holiday Inn Route 66 is next door and accessible through internal hallways.
The St Louis Walk of Fame has bronze stars honoring important folks from St Louis. The Blueberry Hill Cafe' along the Walk of Fame has good burgers and lots of memorabilia on display.