Historic Route 66 - USA - Tours
Travel back in time on the ultimate American road trip as you drive the “Mother Road” from Chicago to Santa Monica. Route 66 is a journey that has been immortalised in song and folklore, crossing seven states as it winds its way from the heartland of the USA across plains, through mountains and deserts, to the Pacific Ocean. Cowboys, Indians, bright lights, deserts and gaping canyons; this trip has it all.
Follow legendary Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles on this 19 day self drive tour. Enjoy sweeping views of America's heartland, visit the spectacular Grand Canyon National Park and Las Vegas before arriving at Santa Monica on California's Pacific Coast.
The ultimate American self drive tour - follow classic Route 66: the "Mother Road", one of the most famous routes in the United States. Your trip starts in Chicago and takes you through seven states, past the Grand Canyon & Las Vegas and finally to the end of the road in Santa Monica, Los Angeles on the California Coast.
Day 1 Arrive Chicago
Arrive into Chicago airport and collect your rental car before driving to your hotel.
Hotel for 2 nights: Best Western Chicago Hillside
Day 2 Chicago
Enjoy a day exploring Chicago. Stroll along fashionable Michigan Avenue, the Magnificent Mile, for some world-class shopping or marvel at some of the most impressive architecture in the city’s bustling business district. The Sears Tower, at 108 stories, stands as Chicago’s tallest building since its completion in 1974 and is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Boat cruises are offered on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Millennium Park which opened to the public in 2004 is a green oasis along the city’s lakefront and is home to many cultural events. In the evening do not miss a visit to one of Chicago’s famous blues clubs.
Day 3 Chicago to Springfield
Leave Chicago this morning and drive to Springfield, Illinois, its most famous citizen was President Abraham Lincoln.
Hotel: Best Western Clearlake Plaza
Day 4 Springfield to St. Louis
Continue west to St. Louis on the banks of the Mississippi River. The city’s famous Gateway Arch commemorates Thomas Jeff erson and his quest for the westward expansion of the United States.
Hotel for 2 nights: Best Western Kirkwood Inn
Day 5 St. Louis
St. Louis has always been widely considered the gateway to the West. It was host to the World’s Fair and the fi rst ever Olympic Games in the United States in 1904 and it was here that Charles Lindbergh embarked on the first transatlantic flight.
Day 6 St Luis to Springfield
Today you will travel through the scenic countryside of Missouri, the home of Mark Twain. Along the route you will see numerous billboards advertising Meramec Caverns, a 26-mile cave system that’s worth a visit. Call at a trading post and collect some Route 66 souvenirs before arriving in Springfield.
Hotel: Best Western Rail Haven
Day 7 Springfield to Tulsa
Enter the state of Oklahoma. It has a colourful history as a frontier state, as the destination of freed slaves looking for opportunity and equality and as the heart of the oil boom in the early 20th century. Tulsa is the home to the largest, most comprehensive collection of American Western art and artefacts in the world, housed in the Gilcrease Museum. Today, Oklahoma contains more Native American tribal headquarters than any other state, as well as the nation’s second largest American Indian population.
Hotel: Best Western Plus Downtown Tulsa
Day 8 Tulsa to Oklahoma City
Continue along historic Route 66 through small towns and farmland and perhaps stop at the Will Rogers museum in Claremore before arriving in Oklahoma City, the state capital. Visit the Myriad Botanical Gardens with its tropical conservatory or one of the interesting museums like the Omniplex Science Museum in the Kirkpatrick Center or the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, home to galleries of western art and to the Hall of Great Western Performers.
Hotel: Best Western Plus Broadway Inn & Suites
Day 9 Oklahoma CIty to Amarillo
As you continue along the Mother Road, stop in El Reno to see Fort Reno, established in 1874 to protect the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. Then proceed to Clinton, to visit the Route 66 Museum with its vintage cars and Route 66 memorabilia, before heading to Amarillo in the “Lone Star State” of Texas.
Hotel: Quality Inn West Medical Center
Day 10 Amarillo to Tucumcari
Just west of Amarillo is the legendary “Cadillac Ranch” where 10 Cadillacs have been half-buried nose down in the ground as homage to the road. Make a stop at the Midpoint Café in Adrian, located at an equal distance to both Chicago and Los Angeles. Cross the state line to New Mexico and gain 1 hour. Drive through the ancient hunting grounds of the Comanche Indians until you arrive in Tucumcari.
Hotel: Rodeway Inn
Day 11 Tucmcari to Albuquerque
Today’s leg leads to Albuquerque, the city of the Rio Grande and New Mexico’s “Big City”. It is surrounded by the beautiful Sandia Mountains. Stroll around Old Town Albuquerque or visit the Pueblo Indian Museum on the Rio Grande.
Hotel for 2 nights: Best Western Plus Rio Grande
Day 12 Albuquerque and Santa Fe
Enjoy a day trip to the state capital Santa Fe. The city is dominated by unique Southwestern Pueblo architecture. Visit the colorful local Indian crafts market held daily in front of the Palace of the Governors, walk around the gallery-lined town square or visit the History Museum. If time permits, continue to Taos Pueblo, the ancient pueblo of a Northern Tiwa speaking Native American tribe of Pueblo people that has been continuously inhabited for more than 1000 years.
Day 13 Albuquerque to Holbrook
Drive via Gallup, a famous stop on Route 66 that is notable for its mix of indigenous people and native culture. Enter Arizona and visit the Petrifi ed Forest National Park. This area was once the site of an ancient forest later covered by lava floe and now revealed by erosion. Continue to Holbrook where you’ll find old cafes and colourful motels still line the old Route 66.
Hotel: Best Western Arizonian Inn
Day 14 Holbrook to Flagstaff
On your way to Flagstaff be sure to visit Meteor Crater and the impressive Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. Meteor Crater is the breathtaking result of a collision between a piece of an asteroid traveling at 26,000 miles per hour and planet Earth approximately 50,000 years ago. Today, Meteor Crater is nearly one mile across, 2.4 miles in circumference and more than 550 feet deep. Arrive into Flagstaff , a town rich in route 66 legacies and in an area known for its rich Native American history.
Hotel: Best Western Pony Soldier Inn & Suites
Day 15 Flagstaff to Grand Canyon
Leave Flagstaff early this morning so that you have plenty of time at the majestic Grand Canyon. Along the canyon rim there are numerous vista points with ever changing and awe-inspiring views of this magnificent natural wonder and lots of optional sightseeing trips by helicopter or road.
Hotel: Canyon Plaza Resort
Day 16 Grand Canyon to Las Vegas
Today travel along one of the longest remaining segments of the historic Route 66. Continue through the desert and cross over into the state of Nevada to reach the Entertainment Capital of the World, Las Vegas. The “Strip” will mesmerise you with its glittering lights and mega-hotels.
Hotel for 2 nights: Hampton Inn Tropicana
Day 17 Las Vegas
A day to relax and enjoy the delights of Las Vegas; it isn’t called Sin City for nothing! You can relax by the pool, shop in the malls, try your hand with lady luck in one of the myriad themed casinos or watch a show that would grace any Broadway stage. The choice is yours.
Day 18 Las Vegas to Santa Monica
Today drive through the Mojave Desert; along the way visit Calico Ghost Town. Cross the San Bernardino Mountains and enter the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles. This is where Route 66 becomes Santa Monica Boulevard, winding its way through Hollywood and Beverly Hills until it suddenly ends at the Santa Monica Boardwalk and the Pacific Ocean.
Hotel: Crowne Plaza LAX Airport
Day 19 Los Angeles
Your adventure ends today as you return your car to the airport by the time you collected it on day 1 and take your onward flight.
Want to spend more time in any of the locations along the route, make some extra side trips or extend your stay in Chicago or LA before and after the tour? The itinerary is completely flexible and we can make any amendments to the tour itinerary you require. Please just send us your exact requirements and we'll send you a quotation.
Tour price includes
- 18 nights hotel accommodation as chosen
- Intermediate size car for 18 days including unlimited mileage, CDW, insurance and taxes, additional driver & first tank of fuel (full terms and conditions on request).
- GPS in-car satellite navigation unit
- Comprehensive documentation pack
Not Included in the price
- Airfare to/from Chicago/Los Angeles - We can arrange your flights for you, please ask us for details.
- One way rental fee $500 + tax which must be paid locally.
- Parking fees, tolls, fuel, admission tickets.
* Please note that due to regular city-wide conventions, these rates may not be available on certain dates due to hotel blackouts. Please contact us with your chosen dates and we will check blackout dates for you.
Holiday Name : Historic Route 66
Reference : 1CH