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PontiacUnited States of America

Many Route 66 road trips include a stop in this small town, home to one of the highway’s biggest museums and a lively cultural scene.

Located halfway between Chicago and Springfield, Pontiac is a must-visit for any fans of Route 66 and its history. Follow the collection of 18 Route 66 murals, painted in 2009 by an artist collective, guiding a tour of this immensely walkable downtown, stopping at the charming small businesses lining the streets.

Visit the town’s unusually robust collection of museums, watching for their collection of 15 miniature cars and trucks that have been painted by local artists and art groups. Start at the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum, one of the largest of its kind in the U.S. It features the bus that painter Bob Waldmire lived in as he traveled along the iconic highway.

Go next door to the Livingston County War Museum, a small but lovingly maintained tribute to local soldiers who fought in every conflict since World War I.

Continue to the Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum, with an extensive collection of vehicles from throughout history and a very impressive collection of oilcans. Indulge your taste for luxury at the Museum of the Gilding Arts, which explores the history and artistry of gold and silver leaf and how it has been used over time.

Wander across unique Swinging Bridges, which connect the two halves of the town across the Vermilion River. These were built to allow shoe factory workers to commute easily between work and home. Linger in Chautauqua Park and watch the river lazily flow by.

Pontiac is located in central Illinois. Fly to the small airport in town or drive from the closest major airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, in 1 hour 45 minutes. Take Amtrak from Chicago in 2 hours, then continue on to destinations farther south. Pontiac itself is walkable, though a car is recommended for exploring the rest of the state.

Combine Pontiac’s cultural scene with outdoor activities. Visit the Humiston Woods Nature Center for hiking, fishing or picnicking in the serenity of this hardwood forest.

Top Hotels in Pontiac

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Super 8 by Wyndham Pontiac
Super 8 by Wyndham Pontiac
2 out of 5
601 S Deerfield Rd, Pontiac, IL
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $48 per night

Situated in a rural location, this motel is within 3 mi (5 km) of International Wall Dog Mural and Sign Art Museum, Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum, and Livingston ...

3.6/5Good! (196 reviews)

"It was convenient to stay there close to places we needed to be"…"

Reviewed on Jul 28, 2020

Super 8 by Wyndham Pontiac
Hampton Inn Pontiac
Hampton Inn Pontiac
3 out of 5
2000 Grand Prix Drive, Pontiac, IL
The price is $97 per night

Situated in Pontiac, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of International Wall Dog Mural and Sign Art Museum, Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum, and Livingston ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (169 reviews)

"Very clean hotel. The rooms were spotless as well as the lobby and pool area. The rooms were quiet and the staff was friendly."…"

Reviewed on Jul 12, 2020

Hampton Inn Pontiac
Best Western Pontiac Inn
Best Western Pontiac Inn
2.5 out of 5
1821 W Reynolds St, Pontiac, IL
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $68 per night

Situated in Pontiac, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of International Wall Dog Mural and Sign Art Museum, Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum, and Livingston ...

4.2/5Excellent! (278 reviews)

"Room in the right place ! Convenient off Expressway"…"

Reviewed on Jul 20, 2020

Best Western Pontiac Inn

Popular places to visit in Pontiac

Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum
Image for Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum

Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum

4.5/5(3 reviews)

Visit a charming family-run museum where the owners’ passion for vintage cars is on clear display throughout all the exhibits. 

Livingston County Courthouse
Image for Livingston County Courthouse

Livingston County Courthouse

4.5/5(3 reviews)

The architectural design elements of this historic courthouse make for an impressive sight right in the heart of Pontiac.

Route 66 Association Hall of Fame & Museum
Image for Route 66 Association Hall of Fame & Museum

Route 66 Association Hall of Fame & Museum

5/5(4 reviews)

This homage to the Mother Road showcases thousands of items and memorabilia, from iconic vehicles and spellbinding murals to vintage brochures and guides.

Livingston County War Museum
Image for Livingston County War Museum

Livingston County War Museum

5/5(2 reviews)

Run by veterans, this museum has a personal touch with its range of photos, videos and uniforms that trace the history of modern wars and the soldiers fighting them.

Chautauqua Park
Image for Chautauqua Park

Chautauqua Park

Cross a swinging bridge and play disc golf in this fun park, which comes alive with theater performances on summer nights. 

Weber House and Garden
Image for Weber House and Garden

Weber House and Garden

4.5/5(4 reviews)

You can find out about the history of Streator with a stop at Weber House and Garden. While you're in the area, wander around the parks.

Top things to do in Pontiac

City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of Illinois
Image for City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of Illinois

City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of Illinois

$10
Per adult
3Quest Challenge Scavenger hunts of Illinois
Image for 3Quest Challenge Scavenger hunts of Illinois

3Quest Challenge Scavenger hunts of Illinois

$10
Per adult
Survival Challenge by Zombie Scavengers of Illinois
Image for Survival Challenge by Zombie Scavengers of Illinois

Survival Challenge by Zombie Scavengers of Illinois

$20
Per adult
Peoria Scavenger Hunt: Peoria Art & History
Image for Peoria Scavenger Hunt: Peoria Art & History

Peoria Scavenger Hunt: Peoria Art & History

$20
Per adult
Axe Throwing Experience
Image for Axe Throwing Experience

Axe Throwing Experience

$36
Per adult
Horseback Riding
Image for Horseback Riding

Horseback Riding

$60
Per adult

Reviews of Pontiac

4.3

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
18
5 - Excellent 50%
4 - Good
11
4 - Good 30.555555555555557%
3 - Okay
6
3 - Okay 16.666666666666668%
2 - Disappointing
1
2 - Disappointing 2.7777777777777777%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Feb 18, 2020

We found a couple very good restaurants and visited the free museums. The downtown area was nice.

4/5 - Good

S

Aug 9, 2019

Pontiac was a nice little town. Has friendly people and good food. Hotel was nice. Friendly workers, clean rooms. But that bed though. Ruined the whole night. Gotta get new beds!!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 14, 2019

Pontiac is a must stop and see if planning on doing the Route 66 Tour. City is beautiful and clean. All the museums were excellent, especially the War Museum. Finally, the wall murals were worth the walk and drive around town to locate them all.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 3, 2019

Pontiac Family Restaurant Route 66 Museum Beautiful murals all over the city!

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Mar 31, 2019

Nice.place ti visit and the people were friendly.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Dec 21, 2018

Seemed like a friendly town.

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