Pontiac is a wonderful stop along Route 66. The town has really embraced the 66 culture. It has three free museums and a great walking tour of 23 murals painted on the sides of the buildings. We visited Pontiac a few years ago but stopped again to see some of the things that we missed.
Illinois Route 66 Hall Of Fame and Museum – reposted from 2012 visit
Along with hundreds of Route 66 artifacts this museum has two special gems, the 1972 Volkswagen van that artist, Bob Waldmire, lived in as he drove back and forth on the road, painting murals and selling small copies of his drawings; and the 1966 converted school bus that he lived in in Illinois. The building also has a War Museum which is mostly just uniforms from different wars.
The museum is partially accessible. There’s a slight ramp to the door, which opens out, so it’s a little difficult to maneuver plus the threshold is high. The first floor of the museum is all accessible. An elevator goes to all of the floors except of the fifth. The second floor is a gift shop which we didn’t visit. The third floor has displays about daily life during the 1940s. Most of it is accessible. The forth floor is the War Museum which is accessible. The curb cuts and sidewalks are fairly good.
Pontiac Oakland Automobile Museum –reposted from 2012 visit
There isn’t enough room in this museum for many cars but the ones on display are in pristine condition. For enthusiasts a large library is available to browse.
The museum is accessible but a slight ramp and an outward opening door make entering a little difficult. Curb cuts and sidewalks are in good condition.
This unusual but interesting museum explains the process of pounding gold into extremely thin sheets which can then be glued onto any surface to add decorative gold accents. One ounce of gold can be pounded so thin that would spread out over an entire acre!
Most of the artifacts are from the M. Swift & Sons company of Hartford, CT. Their entire workshop from the late 1880s is on display along with examples of gold leafing.
Everything is accessible.
The murals are really good and close enough together that it’s easy to see them all in a short amount of time.
A free parking lot is located across the street from the Route 66 Museum. Vans and small RVs will fit but larger RVs might have to be parked along the street. It’s possible to walk anywhere in town from this lot. The sidewalks are in good condition and have colored footprint paths to follow for a museum tour, a mural tour or a combination of both. Most of the curb cuts are good but a short detour may be necessary in a few spots. Map