Route 66 & Texas Hill Country Road Trip
There’s no more iconic highway than the legendary Route 66. The original ‘Mother Road’ was actually conceived in the heart of the USA, in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the late 1930’s from where it struck out West to Santa Monica, CA and East to Chicago, Illinois, crossing more than 3,750 kms. This Route 66 road trip itinerary is an exciting, immersive opportunity to explore Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico as you travel across some of the oldest parts of this iconic route.
You’ll begin your road trip holiday to America by flying direct from Dublin to Dallas from where you’ll pick up your rental car. You’ll have one night to explore this exciting city of skyscrapers with a past and present rich in the stuff that American legends are made of before getting out on the open road.
Along your route you’ll visit Oklahoma where you can check out some iconic stops of Route 66 such as Lucille’s Service Station or Ann’s Chicken Fry House. At the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton you can see exhibits depicting the history and legends of the most famous highway in the USA. Then its into the Wild West as you travel back into Texas en route to Amarillo. This stretch of Route 66 is home to several vintage Mother Road icons, as well as glimpses of the Wild West. Long stretches of the old road remain, with the original concrete in many spots and as you continue on to Santa Fe, the scenery changes into desert with mountains and mesas.
You’ll then get into Texas Hill Country as you hit Fredericksburg where you can sample local culinary favourites and brewing at the town’s bistros, bakeries and beer gardens. Drive Scenic Highway 16 from Fredericksburg on your way to San Antonio where you’ll be greeted by delicious Tex Mex food before carrying onto Austin where you might cool off in the area’s natural springs: Krause Springs, Blue Hole and Hamilton Pool are local favourites or enjoy the fantastic live music on offer in Austin. Then its onto Fort Worth were your trip comes to an end.
Does a Route 66 self drive holiday sound like your idea of an epic road trip? Contact us today to speak to one of our travel experts! Find out more about driving Route 66 in our blog post Top Tips for a Route 66 Self Drive Holiday.
Return flights from Dublin to Dallas with American Airlines.
1 checked bag per person roundtrip
10 days fully inclusive car hire
Based on 2 adults sharing
This is an indicative price, please call us to quote you for your chosen date.
Dallas - Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City - Amarillo
Amarillo - Santa Fe
Santa Fe - Carlsbad
Carlsbad - Fredericksburg
Fredericksburg - San Antonio
San Antonio - Austin
Austin - Fort Worth
Departure from Fort Worth
Day 1 Dallas Arrival
Welcome to Dallas. The “Big D” is a glittering city of skyscrapers with a past and present rich in the stuff that American legends are made of. From barbecue and steaks to cowboy boots, country music and the nostalgia of the old west - “big things happen here.” Upon arrival, pick-up your rental car and proceed to your hotel. Get your bearings in the city with a trip 470 feet (143 meters) up to the Reunion Tower GeO-Deck to enjoy 360-degree views of Dallas. Stay for dinner in the elegant Five Sixty Restaurant, which is 50 stories up. See the city with a free ride on one of the vintage M-Line trolleys, available at 40 stops around Dallas and running through Uptown and
Downtown (watch for the vintage advertisements on the trolley). Set aside time to explore the Dallas Museum of Art, one of the largest art museums in the USA and featuring some 22,000 works from around the globe. Expand your cultural adventure with a stroll through the Bishop Arts District, home to more than 60 independent shops, galleries,
restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
Day 2 Dallas - Oklahoma City
Two and a half hours north of Dallas is the serene and unspoiled Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur, Oklahoma. The area draws nature lovers and fishermen who enjoy outdoor recreation in the streams, springs and lakes here. Nearby, at the Chickasaw Cultural Center, learn about Native American culture and history in an expansive, interactive museum dedicated to Chickasaw life. The cafe serves traditional foods such as grape dumplings and fry bread. From Sulphur, head about 90 minutes north to Oklahoma City to browse through the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, filled with Old West artefacts, or go modern with a trip to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, home to one of the largest collections of Chihuly glass sculptures in the world. In spring, grab a seat at the National Circuit Finals Rodeo, one of the biggest events of
the professional rodeo season.
Day 3 Oklahoma City - Amarillo
Historic Route 66 winds past the majestic Capitol Building in Oklahoma City, where you can take a guided tour or explore the building on your own. Stop for a home-style lunch of chickenfried steak, Oklahoma’s signature dish, at Ann’s Chicken Fry House (look for the pink Cadillac and vintage police car parked outside). Stay on Route 66 to Hydro, Texas, and visit Lucille’s Service Station. Built in 1929, this is one of only a few historic service stations remaining on Route 66 in Oklahoma. This popular sightseeing stop has been restored to its original condition; however, it’s no longer an operating service station. Continue along Route 66 to the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton. Here, you can see exhibits depicting the history and legends of the most famous highway in the USA. As you cross the state line into Texas, en route to Amarillo, Texas, this stretch of Route 66 is home to several vintage Mother Road icons, as well as glimpses of the Wild West. Long stretches of the old road remain, with the original concrete in many spots.
Day 4 Amarillo - Santa Fe
Continue west along Route 66 to Adrian, Texas, and make a stop at the Midpoint Cafe. This is the midpoint of Route 66, where it’s 1,139 miles (1,833 km) east to Chicago, Illinois, and 1,139 miles (1,833 km) west to Los Angeles, California. Cross into New Mexico and drive to Tucumcari to stop at one of the last remaining curio shops in
New Mexico. Tee Pee Curios is not only a unique sight from outside, but inside too, with its Route 66 souvenirs, shirts and jewelry. Head west, then north on Route 84, which was also old Route 66, on the way to Santa Fe, where the scenery changes into desert with mountains and mesas.
Day 5 Santa Fe
Enjoy a full day of leisure in Santa Fe. Start at the famous Canyon Road galleries, a collection of more than 100 art galleries, shops and restaurants. Continue to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum to see the colorful work of this important American artist. Take a break with a meal at one of Santa Fe’s many restaurants celebrating the most well-known local product, New Mexico chili peppers. Save time to explore the Museum of International Folk Art, home to more than 125,000 objects from 100 countries, the largest collection of its kind in the world. Explore the ancient lives of the Puebloan people at Bandelier National Monument, where petroglyphs and cave dwellings can still be seen in the rock face,
Day 6 Santa Fe - Carlsbad
Head south to Carlsbad, with a stop along the way at Roswell. It’s the site of the 1947 Roswell Incident, which put Roswell on the map as the location of a possible UFO landing - and now home to the UFO Museum, attractions and shops. Continue to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, tucked beneath the scenic and rugged Chihuahuan Desert, in the rocky slopes and deep canyons of the Guadalupe Mountain range. The world’s most-famous cave system has huge underground chambers filled with spectacular, varied cave formations, viewable on a self-guided tour. Visitors may choose to hike along the steep 1.25-mile (2 km) paved trail, entering through the cave’s Natural Entrance, which leads them into the spectacular 1.25-mile (2 km) Big Room Trail. Or, simply take an elevator ride from the visitor center directly to the Big Room Trail.
Day 7 Carlsbad - Fredericksburg
Get an early start and head into Texas Hill Country to Fredericksburg, where walking tours illuminate the area’s German heritage. Afterwards, sample local culinary favourites and brewing at the town’s bistros, bakeries and beer gardens. Hill Country also takes pride in its barbecue tradition, with mesquite coals lending a signature flavour to meat, including tender brisket. Seek out an iconic barbecue restaurant such as Backwoods BBQ
Day 8 Fredericksburg - San Antonio
Drive Scenic Highway 16 from Fredericksburg to Kerrville, the unofficial capital of Texas Hill Country. Take time to visit its excellent museums, galleries and shops before continuing on to San Antonio. Explore San Antonio’s 18thcentury Spanish Catholic missions, including Mission San Antonio de Valero (known as The Alamo), which collectively were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nearby, the River Walk is a paved path along the city’s namesake river. Follow it to restaurants with open-air patios, or take a boat tour. In this gateway to Latin America, Mexican-made clothing and artisan wares make unique souvenirs, and the cuisine is in a class of its own. Tex-Mex, as it’s called, blends Mexican and American culinary traditions. Sample tasty enchiladas at a family-owned restaurant or fresh fish tacos from a small taqueria
Day 9 San Antonio - Austin
Today, take more time to explore Texas Hill Country on the way to Austin. Pause to cool off in the area’s natural springs: Krause Springs, Blue Hole and Hamilton Pool are local favourites. Austin earns its reputation as a live music capital with some 250 venues. Slip into a retro bar such as The Continental Club for Rockabilly, Country and
Swing shows, or get tickets to Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater, a venue that hosts concerts of all genres and the taping of Austin City Limits, the USA’s longest-running televised music series. You may know Austin for its springtime South by Southwest Music Festival. However, you can find music festivals almost any time of the year, so listen up when you’re in town. From breakfast tacos stuffed with farm fresh eggs and avocados to top-shelf margaritas, Austin is also revered for its take on Tex-Mex. Try ordering from one of the city’s popular food trucks or trailers.
Day 10 Austin - Fort Worth
Depart Austin and head to Fort Worth, an easy 30-minute drive west of Dallas, Texas, and a modern city that honours its cowboy roots. Start at the always-bustling Stockyards National Historic District for Old West shops selling cowboy boots and hats, many saloons offering live entertainment, and lots of barbecue and other dining options. Learn about the strong women who shaped the American West with a visit to the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, which is packed with artwork and stories from women such as artist Georgia O’Keeffe and singer Patsy Cline. Take a walk around the 35 blocks of Sundance Square downtown, a large shopping, dining and entertainment district.
Day 11 Departure from Fort Worth
Return your rental car prior to your departure flight