Spend 16 days following legendary Route 66 and see how Americans travelled from the 1920s through the 1960s. Also known as the “Mother Road,” this historic route begins in Chicago and ends in Los Angeles. Now a preserved piece of history, its original purpose was to connect rural and urban communities to main streets, providing freedom of travel. A few of the many highlights along the way include St. Louis’ Gateway Arch; National Route 66 Museum in Elk City; Acoma Sky City; Grand Canyon National Park; and various Route 66 icons such as Cadillac Ranch and Tucumcari.
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Welcome to Chicago, the start of Route 66! Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer questions.
Known as the “Windy City,” Chicago is home to America’s tallest building, legends such as Al Capone and his notorious gang, and countless jazz and blues clubs. Get to know this exciting city on a morning sightseeing tour that includes the sign marking the start of historic Route 66. This afternoon is at leisure. Ride the elevator to the top of the Willis Tower, formally known as the Sears Tower, explore The Magnificent Mile, or stroll along Navy Pier.
This morning, immerse yourself in Route 66 memorabilia. Visit the ROUTE 66 HALL OF FAME & MUSEUM in Pontiac, housed in a historic fire station. See the large maps that will sketch out your Route 66 adventure for the coming days, and enjoy the nostalgic photos and postcards from the “Mother Road’s” heyday. On to Springfield and the former home of President Abraham Lincoln. Visit the ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL MUSEUM.
Cross the mighty Mississippi River and continue to St. Louis, “Gateway to the West.” Your orientation tour includes the towering GATEWAY ARCH. Ride to the top of the 630-foot (192 metre) tall Arch for a panoramic view of the city and river.
Today, we travel through the Missouri countryside, then on to Branson, one of America’s biggest music centres. Join us this evening for our optional award-winning buffet dinner and one of Branson’s top shows. (B)
This morning, leave the Ozarks and travel through America’s “Bible Belt” into Cowboy Country. After a quick drive through Kansas, enter Oklahoma, once known as Indian Territory. Stop in Claremore to visit the WILL ROGERS MEMORIAL MUSEUM. Born on a sprawling frontier ranch in Oklahoma, Will Rogers was an Indian, a cowboy, a movie and Broadway star, a writer, a speaker, a comedian, and a world figure. View his collection of saddles, photos, and manuscripts that reflect on his incredible life. In Arcadia, on historic Route 66, visit POPS landmark diner and gas station. Later today, arrive in Oklahoma City. (CB)
Start the day with a city sightseeing tour of Oklahoma City, the capital and largest city in Oklahoma. From here, travel to Elk City and visit the NATIONAL ROUTE 66 MUSEUM and take a journey through each of the eight states Route 66 passes through-from Illinois all the way to California. Continue into Texas and on to Amarillo, the state’s oil capital. Get into the Lone Star spirit tonight with our optional dinner of juicy Texas steak, served with heaps of Wild West atmosphere. (B)
On the way out of Amarillo, see Cadillac Ranch, a quirky art sculpture consisting of a collection of 10 Cadillacs. Before crossing into New Mexico, reach Adrian, the halfway point on Route 66. Across the New Mexico border, visit RUSSELL’S CAR MUSEUM, featuring classic cars and memorabilia that takes you back to the heyday of Route 66. Next, stop in Tucumcari and shop for souvenirs at Teepee Curios, and see the neon signs of the Blue Swallow Motel that has been serving travellers of Route 66 since 1939. Continue along old Route 66 west to Santa Rosa. Look for the signs of the good ol’ days: Comet Drive-In, Silver Moon, Sun and Sand, and the stillgrinning faces of Fat Man billboards outside of town. Next, visit Central Avenue in Albuquerque, where many of the original Route 66 buildings and businesses still stand. Afterward, there’s free time in this original Spanish town with its fine parish church and Spanish-style plaza. (B)
This morning, enjoy a leisurely breakfast or sunbathe in the New Mexico sunshine. Consider a short walk to Old Town, site of the city’s original settlement. Hone your bargaining skills with the local craftsmen who line the square to sell their lovely silver and turquoise jewellery. After exploring more of this atmospheric city, seize the chance to ride the world’s longest aerial tramway up nearby Sandia Peak Mountain and witness spine-tingling views of the desert floor, forests, and canyons below.
This morning, visit ACOMA SKY CITY, home of the Pueblo Indians, situated on 357-foot (108 metre) high sandstone rock. It is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited village in the United States. Learn about this city and its inhabitants, and peruse Acoma pottery and jewellery. Then, cross the Continental Divide and continue to Gallup, which claims a longtime Hollywood connection. From Redskin, filmed in 1929, to the more recent adventures of Superman, the area has provided unequaled movie scenery. Tonight is in Flagstaff, nestled at the base of the San Francisco Mountains.
Deviate from Route 66 to see one of the Natural Wonders of the World, GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK. Wander along the canyon rim for breathtaking views. Perhaps join the optional helicopter flightseeing tour. Overnight inside the national park.
Return to Route 66 and pass through historic Williams, which is listed in the National Register for Historic Places. Make sure to appreciate the neon signs of the intact circa 1940s “Motel Row.” Later today, visit Seligman, home to the rebirth of Route 66. Detour once again from Route 66 to visit the bright lights and excitement of Las Vegas.
A day at leisure to relax by the pool or explore the world-renowned Las Vegas Strip. Ride the world’s highest rollercoaster, float through a Venice canal, or see man-eating sharks up close-it’s all possible in Las Vegas. Don’t miss downtown Las Vegas, where you’ll find the Fremont Street Experience, five city blocks enclosed in a glass atrium and filled with dazzling lights, sounds, and action. A variety of optional excursions are available, including a float trip through dramatic Black Canyon on the Colorado River. This evening, join an optional night at a dazzling show featuring top Vegas entertainment.
Today, depart the man-made phenomenon of Las Vegas and cross the Mojave Desert and the San Bernardino Mountains en route to Los Angeles. Visit the BARSTOW ROUTE 66 MUSEUM, which displays a collection of historic photographs and artifacts related to Route 66 and the Mojave Desert communities. Overnight in Los Angeles, the “Capital of Glamour.”
Savour the exciting “City of Angels” on our morning tour of glamorous Beverly Hills, Sunset Strip, Hollywood, and Santa Monica, the ending point of Route 66. Return to Los Angeles where the rest of the day is yours to perhaps shop for souvenirs or relax by the pool.
The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers to Los Angeles International Airport are included. You can extend your holiday with extra nights and explore Los Angeles further. Your Tour Director will have suggestions.