Get Your Kicks on Our Stretch of the Mother Road
Ready for a twisting, winding, 33-mile trip through time? No other highway in the history of the United States is as celebrated as Route 66, evoking a sense of nostalgia, reverence, and wanderlust. A throwback to a simpler time, the Mother Road spanned across the Midwest and to the Pacific Ocean, running from Chicago to Los Angeles with countless stops along the way — including in Pulaski County.
Today, Historic Route 66 serves a window into a simpler time of both camp and Americana. As the centennial celebration approaches, revitalization, preservation, and exciting events will continue to grow and protect the Main Street of America. Here in Pulaski County, travelers will experience a glimpse into a younger America nestled among the Ozarks.
HALFWAY POINT OF MISSOURI
Described by author Jack D. Rittenhouse as “one of the most beautiful sections of the Ozarks,” the Pulaski County portion of Route 66 marks the halfway point between St. Louis and Joplin. With lush, breathtaking views of rivers cutting through limestone and dolomite rock leaving dramatic bluffs and fertile valleys, Pulaski County is an ideal location to stop and stay on your cross-country trek.
Once rumored to be the deepest road cut in America, the historic Hooker Cut has been described by Rittenhouse as “an engineering triumph and truly a joy to the traveler.” After you pass through the breathtaking dolomite and limestone rock faces surrounding the historic road, stop by the historic Hooker Church and Graveyard and catch a glimpse of life in much simpler times.
SCENIC WONDER OF MISSOURI
Devils Elbow, hugged by the Big Piney River, captivates visitors with its unique blend of romantic tie-rafter legends, colorful characters, and its striking landscape. The 200-foot bluffs have been described as one of the “seven scenic wonders of Missouri.” Drive or stroll across the 1923 steel truss bridge.
“That is Devils Elbow. That is the epitome of Ozarks beauty right there. The bluffs, the shimmering of the sun across the stream. The trees overhanging, the canopy, you just can’t beat this. This is the Ozarks.” —Roamin' Rich Dinkela
Stop by Scenic Overlook in the Grandview neighborhood slightly west of Devils Elbow for a breathtaking look at the picturesque railroad bridge in the Ozark valley below. Visit the old building that housed the Devils Elbow Cafe for a unique photo opportunity including a mural, antique fire truck, and Devils Elbow signage.
WORLD WAR II BOOMTOWN
During construction of Fort Leonard Wood, businesses and residences sprang up in an area the locals nicknamed Eastville. In 1951, Eastville was incorporated as Saint Robert. Unpack a picnic lunch at George M. Reed Roadside Park, one of the only remaining original roadside parks on Route 66 in Missouri. Featuring a real-life M-60 tank to commemorate the influence of Fort Leonard Wood, the park will host numerous beautifully restored neon signs when the park opens in fall 2023.
BIRTHPLACE OF THE BYWAY
In Waynesville, the birthplace of the byway, Route 66 heritage is on full display in attractions like Frog Rock, a painted, geological formation reminiscent of the kitschy roadside attractions that once beckoned cross-country travelers on the Mother Road. Waynesville is home to the 1903 Courthouse Museum, one of only two period courthouses on the Missouri stretch of Route 66. The oldest stop in the Show-Me State’s leg of the famed highway, the Old Stagecoach Stop, crowns the east side of the public square.
GASCONADE + OZARK = GASCOZARK
Closing in on the Laclede County line, Pulaski County’s Route 66 still has treasures to share. Photograph the crumbling Spring Valley Court. Admire the abandoned giraffe-rock Gascozark Service Station and Café, or book a float trip along this section of the Gasconade River.
COMPLIMENTARY DRIVING & WALKING TOURS
Our Route 66 Historic Driving Tour brochure will deepen your understanding of the Mother Road with turn-by-turn directions, background information, and vintage images. Don’t explore Waynesville without the essential Historic Waynesville Walking Tour brochure!
SPEND THE NIGHT
Saint Robert, the midpoint between St. Louis and Joplin, is an ideal location to book your overnight stay for your Route 66 road trip. Choose from clean and comfortable hotel rooms, AirBNBs, or book your stay in an Ozarks cabin! Pulaski County’s wide variety of restaurants, from comfort food to international dining, will add local flavor to this leg of your journey!