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HIWAY AMERICA- AMERICA’S GREATEST MAIN STREETS

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HIWAY AMERICA- AMERICA’S GREATEST MAIN STREETS

America’s Greatest Main Streets

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America's greatest main streets: StauntonWoods Pierce

Cheers to these small towns for great Main Streets, where you can admire architecture, sample the local flavor, and find a lost America.

From May 2012 By

America's greatest main streets: GalenaJudy Lange

Galena, IL

Galena’s Main Street bends gently as it follows the Galena River (a tributary of the Mississippi) and presents a medley of brick storefronts and bayfront windows, many in an Italianate style. This is the home turf for chocolate shops and galleries—and the second home of many Chicagoans who escape the Windy City three hours away. Trolley cars depart from Main Street for area wineries, and at the intersection with Water Street, you can turn onto a riverfront walkway.

Worth a Stop: DeSoto House Hotel has welcomed prominent guests since 1855. Locals flock here, too, for events such as a trivia quiz night in honor of Ulysses S. Grant’s birthday.

—Wayne

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SILVER CITY N.M. MAIN STREET

America's greatest main streets: GalenaJudy Lange

Galena, IL

Galena’s Main Street bends gently as it follows the Galena River (a tributary of the Mississippi) and presents a medley of brick storefronts and bayfront windows, many in an Italianate style. This is the home turf for chocolate shops and galleries—and the second home of many Chicagoans who escape the Windy City three hours away. Trolley cars depart from Main Street for area wineries, and at the intersection with Water Street, you can turn onto a riverfront walkway.

Worth a Stop: DeSoto House Hotel has welcomed prominent guests since 1855. Locals flock here, too, for events such as a trivia quiz night in honor of Ulysses S. Grant’s birthday.

—Wayne Curtis

STAUNTON VIRGINIA MAIN STREET

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Driving across America, it’s all too easy to lose your mooring amid the commercial thicket of the same old fast-food outlets and big-box stores.

But push on a mile or two beyond the interstate exit, and you may discover a town that’s anchored by a distinctive Main Street—one with grand architecture, eclectic small businesses, and community-oriented features like a park or theater. Often it thrives thanks to locals who have made a conscientious effort to fight the general decline of Main Street.

The work of such activists and preservationists is acknowledged each year by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Great American Main Streets Awards and by the American Planning Association’s Great Places in America: Streets. We scoured their recent designations to select the most vibrant, distinctive downtowns worth the trip.

You’ll find these great Main Streets across the U.S., from mining towns like Silver City, NM, to stately, red-brick Staunton, VA. Yet our list does skew east of the Mississippi, favoring towns that were established before the age of the automobile—and so display the DNA of a pedestrian and bike-friendly environment.

Not that a walkable layout can guarantee a thriving Main Street. Take York, PA, where the 1978 shuttering of the last of four downtown department stores triggered a period of decay. The turnaround was slow going, as landowners aided by various programs renovated nearly every Victorian and Classical Revival façade. Now, on the first Friday of each month, local businesses stay open late, with special events and discounts.

Port Townsend, WA, went through its own reinvention. Expecting a shipping boom, 19th-century residents built out the town in high Victorian style—only to find themselves on the wrong side of Puget Sound when the railroads connected to Seattle. It’s been reborn as an arts center around the main drag, Water Street.

Second chances are just as American as a homespun Main Street, and with the recent economic downturn have come do-it-yourselfers seeing opportunity in cheap abandoned storefronts and converting them into bakeries or boutiques.

So it’s well worth driving the extra few miles to see what Main Street lies ahead. Let us point you in the right direction.

—Wayne Curtis

HIWAY AMERICA-ROUTE 66 SPRINGFIELD MO.. PART 4

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Springfield is the third largest city in the State of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County.[5] According to the 2010 census data, the population was 159,498, an increase of 5.2% since the 2000 census.[6] The Springfield Metropolitan Area, population 436,712, includes the counties of Christian, Dallas, Greene, Polk and Webster. Springfield’s nickname is the Queen City of the Ozarks and is known as the Birthplace of Route 66 as well as the home of several universities including Missouri State University.

 

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HIWAY AMERICA-SPRINGFIELD IL. -ROUTE 66, COZY DOG DRIVE-IN, LINCOLN’S GRAVE AND MEMORIAL

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Cozy Dog Drive-In

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Description

The restaurant is a shrine to Route 66 and to itself, packed with mementos, clippings, and old signs, as well as with Mother Road souvenirs for sale. The “corn dog on a stick” was invented during World War II by Ed Waldmire when he was in the Air Force stationed in Texas. Cozy Dogs were officially launched at the Lake Springfield Beach House in 1946, and a stand was opened on Ash and MacArthur. The Cozy Dog Drive-In is now situated where the old Abe Lincoln Motel used to be.:

HISTORY        PRESIDENT LINCOLN’S TOMB

The Tomb is the final resting place of President Lincoln, his wife and three of their four children. It was constructed between 1869-1874 in Springfield’s Oak Ridge Cemetery. Be sure to rub the nose of the bronze Lincoln bust at the entrance, which is said to bring good luck. Dogs are allowed on the site; they are not allowed inside the monument. Dogs must be under their owner’s control, leashed, and cleaned up after at all times.

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HIWAY AMERICA – ROUTE 66 SPRINGFIELD IL. PART 2