If you want small town charm, look no further than Shea's Gas Station Museum in Springfield, Illinois. The museum is one of the prime attractions on the first leg of historic Route 66, though the station is actually about a mile west of the famous highway. Travelers might it easier to access Shea's Gas Station Museum by taking the business extension of I-55 and heading toward the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

However you get there, Shea's Gas Museum is a hidden gem of Americana. Bill Shea, a lifelong Texaco gas station owner, has assembled over fifty years worth of gas station and Route 66 memorabilia in his private collection. There are antique gas pumps, a working Champion air compressor, humorous signs, historic photos, and plenty of kitsch. If you're inquisitive and lucky, Bill Shea is often available to answer questions and tell stories about his lifetime selling gas on Route 66. He and his museum are open to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children under 12.

Two filling stations make up Shea's Gas Museum, neither of which sells gas anymore. Very little is for sale, in fact, excluding a few books and photos about Shea's and Route 66. However, visitors are welcome to bring their cameras. If you are looking for any historic gas station memorabilia, you will probably find it here. Visitors should also take the time to sign the guest book; other travelers from 59 countries (and counting) have done so already.