Top Ten Historic Sites on the New Chicago to New York City Bicycle Route

June 15, 2017

Adventure Cycling’s new bicycle route, Chicago to New York City (CNYC), is ripe with historic sites. Here are the 10 we picked, but we need your help adding more historic places to this list. If you know of a must-see historic site riders will find on our route, please add them to the comments. Thank you!

1 Chicago's Chess Records and the Historic Chess Studios

Once known as America’s greatest blues label, Chess Records included artists such as Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Etta James, and Chuck Berry. Even the Rolling Stones recorded at Chess Studios. 

2 Chicago’s National Museum of Mexican Art

The National Museum of Mexican Art features exhibitions and collections from ancient Mesoamerican civilizations to contemporary artists, from both sides of the border. 

3 Chicago’s Prairie Avenue Historic District

Once serving as an Indian trail linking Fort Dearborn to Fort Wayne in Indiana, Prairie Avenue derived its name from the vast Midwestern prairie land between the two endpoints. Over time, the district evolved from an upscale neighborhood to a factory district and back to an upscale neighborhood, eventually housing the finest mansions in the city, each equipped with its own carriage house. “Millionaire’s Row” consisted of more then 90 mansions belonging to the city’s rich and powerful. 

Indiana University’s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Indiana

The Little 500, held each April, is the largest collegiate bike race in the United States. Modeled after the Indianapolis 500, the riders compete in teams and race around a quarter-mile cinder track. The men’s race is 200 laps! The Little 500 was started in 1951 as a way to raise scholarship money for students working their way through college. You've seen Breaking Away, right?

Wright Brothers Bike Shop in Dayton, Ohio

Before pioneering human flight, the Wright Brothers owned a printing business and eventually went into manufacturing bicycles. The Wright Cycle Company Complex consists of the Wright Cycle Company building, the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center, and the new Aviation Trail Visitor Center and Museum. 

Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The wealth and generosity of the industrialist Andrew Carnegie endowed Pittsburgh with many gifts that have evolved into the four Carnegie museums of Pittsburgh. Cycle touring with your kids? The Carnegie Science Center is one of the four and it connects science and technology with everyday life, including exhibits, an Omnimax theater, a planetarium, and even live shows.

7 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s Independence Hall and Liberty Bell

Experience the birthplace of our nation at Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were both debated and signed. Nearby are the Independence Visitor Center, the Liberty Bell Center, and the Benjamin Franklin Museum. 

8 9/11 Memorial in New York City

The September 11 Memorial is a tribute of remembrance and honor to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. The memorial's twin reflecting pools, which sit within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood, are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in North America.

9 New York City’s Stonewall National Monument

The 1969 uprising at the Stonewall Inn, a bar in Greenwich Village, is regarded by many as the single most important event that led to the modern LGBT civil rights movement. 

10 Museum of the American Gangster in New York City

Situated in an historic speakeasy, the Museum of the American Gangster gives you a peek into the dark underbelly of New York City during Prohibition. 

Top photo John Harwood | Photo 2 Maria Campos-Vera | Photo 3 By Cervin Robinson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons | Photo 4 Will White | Photo 5 Gene Runion | Photo 6 John Beavers |Photo 7 William Zhang |Photo 8 Dave Z | Photo 9 NPCA Photos | Photo 10 Mike Licht


GEOPOINTS BULLETIN is written by Jennifer ‘Jenn’ Hamelman, Routes & Mapping Assistant Director, and appears once a month, highlighting curious facts, figures, and persons from the Adventure Cycling Route Network with tips and hints for personal route creation thrown in for good measure. She also wants to remind you that map corrections and comments are always welcome via the online Map Correction Form.


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