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MISSOURI

  The Ozark Highlands of southern Missouri, which Route 66 crosses in its 300-odd-mile journey between Illinois and Kansas, are about the only significant hills the road crosses east of Arizona. This plateau region, though not by any means alpine or breathtaking, is visually dynamic in a way the broad flatlands of Illinois and the Great Plains rarely are. Though the I-44 freeway has replaced the old road all the way across the state, many signs of the old highway line the surviving stretches of the original route, and every exit drops you within a moment’s drive of the Mother Road. Missouri also holds one of the greatest of the old Route 66 tourist attractions—Meramec Caverns, an extensive set of limestone caves offering the most over-the-top underground tour you can take.

Route 66: Joplin to Rolla, Missouri map

Route 66 Route Detail: Joplin to Rolla, Missouri

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