Meramec Caverns barn roof sign replica.
Meramec Caverns barn roof sign replica.

Rest Stops: Route 66 in Miniature

Field review by the editors.

Conway, Missouri

The Interstate 55 Missouri Route 66 Welcome Center Rest Area is an awkward tribute when you think about it. Its whimsical picnic shelters -- small-scale replicas of classic Mother Road signs and structures -- are also cenotaphs to Route 66 businesses killed by Interstate 55: a Phillip's 66 gas station, a diner, a barbershop, a barn with Meramec Caverns painted on it. Out front is a replica of the neon Munger Moss Motel sign in Lebanon, Missouri, always set to "Vacancy."

Missouri Route 66 Welcome Center Rest Area.

The lobby floor outside the rest rooms has the entire route of Route 66 from Chicago to California inlaid in tile. Travelers not otherwise preoccupied can study the map; if they're driving west, they can see they've got a long way to go.

In early 2017 it was announced that paved parts of the rest area would be inset with solar panels, part of a "Road to Tomorrow" initiative. It would have been a bold project, juxtaposing the interstate-bypassed past with the zero-emissions future. But in late 2017 the plan was canceled.

Rest Stops: Route 66 in Miniature

Missouri Route 66 Welcome Center Rest Area

Address:
110619 I-44, Conway, MO
Directions:
Missouri Route 66 Welcome Center Rest Area. At milepost 111 on I-44. Separate, nearly identical rest stops both eastbound and westbound.
Phone:
417-589-0023
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Nearby Offbeat Places

I Love Lucy CarI Love Lucy Car, Phillipsburg, MO - 7 mi.
Hubble Telescope ReplicaHubble Telescope Replica, Marshfield, MO - 10 mi.
George Bush Was In Our ParadeGeorge Bush Was In Our Parade, Marshfield, MO - 10 mi.
In the region:
Catapillasaurous, Springfield, MO - 30 mi.

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November 17, 2019

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