St. Louis: Getting our kicks on Route 66

Street Art in The Grove in St. Louis, MO

Route 66 has been immortalized as part of America’s modern culture. The highway, which runs from downtown Chicago to the Santa Monica pier in California, has been referred to as “America’s Main Street” and the “Mother Road.”

Historic Route 66

Lisa has been enamored with all things Route 66 since I’ve known her. if she finds out any of our trips will include a portion of the highway, we have to see it. St. Louis was no exception. We took in a few of the local sites along the highway.

Our first Route 66 site was the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge on the Illinois side. The bridge is now a pedestrian walking bridge across the Mississippi River. We took a short stroll, taking in the river and its views.

Old Chain of Rocks Bridge

The Grove – aka the Mangrove – is located along Route 66 in St. Louis. The area is undergoing a redevelopment. Several shuttered and abandoned buildings dotted the street.

The Grove in St. Louis, MO

But, several establishments were doing robust business during our visit. Urban Chestnut Brewing Company had several younger adults enjoying themselves on a sunny warm afternoon.

Urban Chestnut Brewing Company

Sweetie Pies, a restaurant that has been featured on travel and food shows, was also doing decent business.

Sweetie Pie's has been on national tv shows and is located in The Grove

Other businesses, such as Atomic Cowboy, looked to be getting ready for the evening’s influx of customers.

Atomic Cowboy is a bar in The Grove

The Grove has a lot of public art on display. You can tell people are interested in ensuring this area continues to grow with the public art.

Murals in The Grove

Murals depicting The Grove’s history are located throughout the street.

The Grove's history depicted in murals

Lisa loved a mural of a big cat on the wall of a building.

Big Cat on side of building in The Grove

Missouri’s black history is highlighted, featuring many African-Americans from the state, including Tina Turner, Redd Foxx, Miles Davis and Katherine Dunham.

Missouri's Black History in mural in The Grove

I was fascinated by a chess board with pieces such as a teddy bear and a rock ‘em sock ‘em robot fighter.

Chess board w/interesting pieces painted on the side of a building

The Grove seems to be an inclusive area. Signs highlight the area’s support for diversity.

Signs that support diversity in The Grove in St. Louis

We closed out Route 66 tour with a trip to Ted Drewe’s custard shop. We thought some custard would be a nice way to top off the day; unfortunately, so did several other people. As we pulled up and saw the line for ordering, we decided maybe next time we’re in town, we’ll stop by (much earlier, too).

Ted Drewe's on Route 66 in St. Louis

We’ve seen several spots along Route 66 – Arizona, New Mexico, Chicago, Oklahoma, as well as the Santa Monica Pier – but it’s always fun to add to that list. There are still other spots to check out in the area…and we will get to them.