Starting in Chicago, this classic tour follows the famous Route 66, passing through St Louis and its famous Gateway Arch, Springfield (recognised as the birthplace of Route 66), Oklahoma City, Amarillo and Albuquerque. Enter Nevada and visit the Grand Canyon, see the glitz of Las Vegas and travel on to Santa Monica, the end of the trail. By the close of this amazing journey, you surely will get your kicks on Route 66!
• 15 nights’ accommodation
• Car hire (Intermediate car, fully inclusive package) – pick up your car on day 3
• A personalised Roadbook containing essential travel information, hotel vouchers and customised day-by-day route maps
Day 1 – Chicago
Arrive at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and make your way to your hotel. Pick-up your Roadbook as you check-in. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. Overnight in Chicago.
Day 2 – Chicago
Step outside today and experience mile after magnificent mile of the Windy City. Stand on the corner of Michigan and Adams, marked as the starting point of Historic Route 66. Enjoy coffee and a big breakfast at Lou Mitchell’s, a Chicago institution since 1923 and a must for Route 66 travellers. Stroll the lakefront, peruse the shops or explore the city’s incredible sights and architectural treasures – including Willis Tower, North America’s tallest building. Overnight in Chicago.
Day 3 – Chicago to St Louis (480 km)
Pick up your car today and get ready for an unforgettable journey into the ‘then’ and ‘now’ of America along Historic Route 66. This legendary old road passes through a variety of pure Americana landscapes and takes in some of the country’s biggest, oldest and most peculiar sites along the way. Begin your journey by following the traditional east-to-west path of Route 66 from Chicago to St. Louis, Missouri, cruising through endless cornfields and flat prairies. Overnight in St Louis.
Day 4 – St Louis to Springfield (340 km)
Continue through the Ozark Highlands of southern Missouri to Springfield, recognised as the birthplace of Route 66. En route, stop at the Meramec Caverns, an extensive set of limestone caves which are unique and beautiful. Jesse James was said to use them as a hideout and took advantage of the underground river to escape. Overnight in Springfield.
Day 5 – Springfield to Oklahoma City (520 km)
Cut through the southeastern corner of Kansas on your way to Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma section of Route 66 contains more driveable miles than any other state. It also contains several miles of the original 9-foot road segment that served Oklahoman families heading west in search of better opportunities during the 1930s. Stop to view the beloved 20-foot tall cement Blue Whale in Catoosa, a landmark along Route 66. Once in Oklahoma City, check out the Route 66 motels, gas stations and numerous vintage buildings. Overnight in Oklahoma City.
Day 6 – Oklahoma City to Amarillo (420 km)
Continue to Amarillo, located in the flat plains of the Texas Panhandle. Stop in Clinton and visit the Route 66 museum where you can experience six decades of Route 66 history. On arrival into Amarillo make sure you pay a visit to the Big Texas Steak Ranch where if you’re feeling brave you can attempt their 72oz steak challenge. Overnight in Amarillo.
Day 7 – Amarillo to Albuquerque (450 km)
Before departing Amarillo, pay a visit to Cadillac Ranch. This unique display of art features a row of ten colourfully painted Cadillac cars buried grille-first in the ground. Continue to the MidPoint Cafe in Adrian famous for its ‘ugly crust’ pies. Then follow Route 66 to Albuquerque, New Mexico for a great taste of the Land of Enchantment. Overnight in Albuquerque.
Day 8 – Albuquerque
The state’s largest city, Albuquerque spreads north and south along the banks of the Rio Grande. Spend the day exploring Downtown’s Central Avenue which has a treasure trove of Route 66 landmarks. Overnight in Albuquerque.
Day 9 – Albuquerque/Santa Fe/Albuquerque (186 km)
To get a true sense of the Old Route 66, you will visit Santa Fe, New Mexico’s state capital. Founded on the ruins of an abandoned Indian village and steeped in history, Santa Fe is the oldest capital in the US. Although it lost its place on Route 66 in 1938, it remains one of the most picturesque cities in the state. Return to Albuquerque and overnight.
Day 10 – Albuquerque to Holbrook (420 km)
This morning, the state of Arizona welcomes Route 66 travellers with an overwhelming display of trading posts. View huge concrete tepees that stand at the foot of brilliant red-rock mesas en route to Petrified Forest National Park, the only park in the National Park System containing a section of Historic Route 66. Here you will come face to face with over 13,000 years of human history and one of the world’s largest assemblies of petrified wood and historic structures. Catch a sunset over the Painted Desert from the park’s Kachina Point before heading to Holbrook to overnight.
Day 11 – Holbrook to Williams (290 km)
Continue to Meteor City, a true vintage trading post whose distinctive dome can be seen for miles along this stretch of road. Pass through Flagstaff and on to the Grand Canyon. Spend most of the day admiring this natural wonder: walk part of the Rim, stop at one of the numerous overlooks and visit a Photo Hot Spot. Continue to Williams to overnight.
Day 12 – Williams to Las Vegas (480 km)
Leave the town of Williams and make your way to Seligman, the first stop heading west on the longest uninterrupted stretch of Route 66. Continue through Kingman where old Route 66 cafes and motels still flourish, to one of Arizona’s hidden treasures, Hoover Dam. Continue to Las Vegas and overnight.
Day 13 – Las Vegas
Enjoy a fun filled stay in Las Vegas. Walk the famous strip lined with mega-resorts and flashing neon lights, place a bet at one of the many casinos, dine at world class restaurants, catch the latest must-see show, shop designer boutiques, ride a rollercoaster, lay by the pool... the list goes on. With so much to do, 24 hours in a day hardly seems like enough. Overnight in Las Vegas.
Day 14 – Las Vegas to Los Angeles (470 km)
This morning, travel through the Mojave Desert to Calico Ghost Town, California’s authentic silver mining town and one of the few original mining camps of the Old West. Rejoin Route 66 in Barstow where a collection of historic photographs and artefacts related to Route 66 and the Mojave Desert communities are on display at the Route 66 Mother Road Museum. Continue through Pasadena, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills to Santa Monica for a true Hollywood ending to your cross-country journey. Park and venture the last few blocks on foot to view the ‘End of the Trail’ sign on Santa Monica’s Pier. This sign officially marks the western end of Historic Route 66. Overnight in Los Angeles.
Day 15 – Los Angeles
Spend the day strolling along the beaches of Santa Monica or browsing the adjacent indoor/outdoor shops at Third Street Promenade. Overnight in Los Angeles.
Day 16 – Los Angeles & end of tour
Drop off your car as this tour comes to an end.Want to alter anything?
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