May 08, 2014
Route 66, also known fondly as the “Mother Road” holds miles of history and still stands as a symbol of free-spirited independence. The open road is calling. Will you answer? The Show-Me State’s portion of the route runs from the Mississippi River in St. Louis, down the Interstate 44 (I-44) corridor to the Kansas border.
While you’re visiting this historic route you can also experience delicious, award-winning Missouri wine. On your journey, you can pair a little history with local wine and take the old highway that dates back to pre-Civil W
ar era state lines. Hop on I-44 in St. Louis and head southwest to Eureka. Eureka is host to the Route 66 State Park. When you leave Eureka you can take Historic Route 66 out of town, or you can get back on the Interstate to continue onward. Don’t forget to visit Meramec Caverns in Sullivan on the way!
The next stretch of the Mother Road includes some “must see” wineries. A good place to start is the historic town of Leasburg where Belmont Vineyards has access directly off Route 66. A few more miles down you will find St. James, which boast many prized wineries including; St. James Winery, Meramec Vineyards, Three Squirrels Vineyards, and Heinrichhause Winery. Another good spot to check out is the Rosati Winery Museum, where you can see the impressive history and mechanics of the pre-prohibition Missouri wine industry. Another spot to check out is Peaceful Bend Winery, which has one of the most romantic views along the route. For even more breathtaking views continue along the Route, winding around the river bluffs of the Big Piney River, and check out the Trestle Bridge in Devil’s Elbow.
If you’re headed home after a day on Route 66 remember to bring home a bottle (or two) of your favorite Missouri wine to share. Continuing for a second day? There are several beautiful Bed & Breakfasts’ just a few minutes off Route 66 around Waynesville. Start your next day off right with a stop in Lebanon to check out the Route 66 Museum, complete with classic cars and other memorabilia.
Hop back in your car and head to Springfield which has a Route 66 park and both OOVVDA Winery and Tyler Ridge Winery only a short jaunt off of the Mother Road. If you decide to spend more time in the Springfield area, the Ozark Mountain Wine Trail stretches 30 miles outside the city in every direction and boasts nine wineries and special gifts for visiting.
Beyond Springfield is the oldest part of the route that was bypassed years ago. However, there are still gems like the historic town of Carthage, home to White Rose Winery, and plenty more fun before you end your trip in Joplin, Missouri. For more information about the wineries, visit www.missouriwine.org or if you want more information about Route 66 check out www.visitmo.com .
“Get your kicks on Route 66″ by the legendary Nat King Cole