Route 66 remains the iconic symbol of the great American road trip. This American holiday is a journey of adventure, discovery and the freedom on the open road.
You’ll set out on your Route 66 holiday from Chicago and your first stop will be in Pontiac to see the fantastic Main Street murals celebrating Route 66, the Pontiac automobile brand before continuing to the iconic Route 66 stop of Springfield, the capital of Illinois. Continue along this famed route into Missouri and the town of Branson, home to Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede and considered an alternative version of The Strip as country music is to Branson what gambling is to Las Vegas.
You’ll continue on to Oklahoma and with more drive-able miles of the old highway than any other state, this State is a mecca for fans of the ‘Mother Road’. As you will spend two nights in Oklahoma you will have plenty of time to it’s many cultural attractions. Visit the Route 66 Vintage Iron Motorcycle Museum and the historic Coleman Theatre – built in the late 1920s in the era of vaudeville and silent films. Oklahoma is also the gateway to cowboy country so what could be a better introduction to the ‘Wild West’ than an optional visit to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Originally established in 1955 as the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Museum.
Get back on the road and continue into Texas and through Amarillo and Albuquerque with stops at the ‘official’ Route 66 Museum and The Cadillac Ranch where owners encourage graffiti, so you can grab a spray can and leave your mark! Route 66 continues westwards towards the Grand Canyon, a spectacle not to be missed. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to explore the park at your own pace. Be sure to finish the day watching a spectacular sunset over one of the world’s natural wonders! Continue into Las Vegas and spend two nights savouring the bright lights of Sin City. Your Route 66 holiday ends travelling to Los Angeles across the Mojave Desert.
The Exciting Parts
Pontiac - Springfield
Grand Canyon (South Rim)
Las Vegas - Los Angeles
Day 1 Chicago
Arrive in Chicago, the official start of Route 66. A welcome meeting will be held at 18:00 hrs in your hotel for you to meet you tour leader and fellow travelling companions. If you arrive earlier in the day why not kick off your Route 66 holiday by grabbing a slice of deep-dish pizza before venturing up the Willis Tower, or take to the streets for your very own walking tour along the shores of Lake Michigan.
Hotel: Cambria Hotel or similar
Day 2 Pontiac - Springfield
After leaving Chicago, your first stop on your Route 66 holiday is the town of Pontiac to see the fantastic Main Street murals celebrating Route 66, the Pontiac automobile brand, and local cultural and political history. A collection of more than 150 artists known as the `Walldogs' painted a collection of 18 murals in just four days in the summer of 2009. Then you'll head south to the iconic Route 66 stop of Springfield, the capital of Illinois. Springfield's favourite son was Abraham Lincoln and you'll pay a visit to the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. Springfield is also the birthplace of the corndog and drive-thru restaurants, so make sure you arrive with an empty stomach!
Hotel: The State House Inn or similar
Day 3 St. Louis
From Springfield, Illinois, it's only a couple of hours drive to St Louis, Missouri. St Louis is one of the largest cities in the USA. Founded in 1764 it became a major port on the Mississippi River and even hosted the Olympic Games in 1904. The Gateway Arch commemorates the settlement of America's West and it was from here that countless pioneers set out to conquer the wild frontier. Spend the evening checking out the city's vibrant nightlife at your leisure.
Hotel: Druzy Plaza Hotel St Louis at the Arch or similar
Day 4 Branson
Home to Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede and considered an alternative version of The Strip, country music is to Branson what gambling is to Las Vegas. With over 50 dinner theatres, shows and other entertainment oddities, Branson is where it's at in Missouri. It unleashes a hefty dose of pure Americana and a wonderful playlist to enjoy it to.
Hotel: Grand Plaza Hotel Branson or similar
Day 5-6 Oklahoma City
Oklahoma, with more driveable miles of the old highway than any other state, is a mecca for fans of the 'Mother Road'. Oklahoma City is the capital and the largest city in the state. You spend a couple of nights here and can enjoy a full day discovering some of the city's many cultural attractions. Visit the Route 66 Vintage Iron Motorcycle Museum and the historic Coleman Theatre - built in the late 1920s in the era of vaudeville and silent films. Oklahoma is also the gateway to cowboy country so what could be a better introduction to the 'Wild West' than an optional visit to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Originally established in 1955 as the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Museum, it has broadened its scope to encompass both Western and Native American artwork and artefacts
Hotel: Sheraton Oklahoma City Downtown Hotel or similar
Day 7 Amarillo
Amarillo in the state of Texas is your destination for today. Before you leave Oklahoma and get on your 'Way to Amarillo', you'll visit the 'official' Route 66 Museum to learn about the legends surrounding the road you're travelling on, and make a short stop at Lucille's Service Station & Roadhouse. Then you make your way to the Big Texan Steak Ranch for a steak meal (optional). If you can eat a 72-oz. steak in less than one hour, you get it for free! This is 'Man Vs Food' for real!
Hotel: Drury Inn & Suites Amarillo or similar
Day 8 Albuquerque
Your Route 66 road trip continues with a visit to the Cadillac Ranch. The owners encourage graffiti, so you can grab a spray can and leave your mark! After a short driving time, you reach the Midpoint Café, the midway point between Chicago and Los Angeles, which is famous for hot coffee and rolls. Today you make a stop at Tucumcari Post and Curios, an eccentric souvenir store and drive through the Tijeras Canyon which cuts the Southern Rocky Mountains from east to west.
Hotel: Nativo Lodge Albuquerque or similar
Day 9 Gallup
Drive along the Rio Puerco Valley to Inscription Rock, a cliff face at El Morro National Monument where you can observe Native American petroglyphs. Cross the Continental Divide en route to Gallup. Stay at the El Rancho Hotel, a little slice of history which counts John Wayne and Katherine Hepburn amongst its famous guests.
Hotel: El Rancho Hotel & Motel or similar
Day 10-11 Grand Canyon (South Rim)
Stop at the Petrified Forest National Park to see the different colours of rock layered on top of each other. The Grand Canyon is the ultimate symbol of the Desert Southwest and a spectacle not to be missed. It's not on the original Route 66, but it's so close it would be a crime to pass it by! This incredible natural wonder is difficult to comprehend. You'll have plenty of opportunity to explore the park at your own pace. Venture down the Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point, or stroll along the more leisurely West Rim Trail. Finish your day by watching the amazing IMAX film, 'The Grand Canyon Experience', and enjoy a spectacular sunset over one of the world's natural wonders!
Hotel: Red Feather Lodge or similar
Day 12-13 Las Vegas
The historic Route 66 town of Seligman and its Snow Cap Diner makes for a quirky stop, especially since it’s filled to the brim with pure Americana. Next up is Vegas and if it's gambling you want, you’ve come to the right place, as nowhere else in the world will you find so many casinos. In Las Vegas you'll enjoy a city tour to discover some of the quirky things that epitomise this city, as well as learning about some of its colourful history. You also have time for some last-minute shopping and to relax by the pool before a night out on the town amidst the bright lights and world-class shows.
Hotel: Golden Nugget Hotel or similar
Day 14 Las Vegas - Los Angeles
On your final day, you have the endless sunshine of California in your sights, following Route 66 across the great Mojave Desert to the city of Los Angeles. You'll toast farewell to an epic American road trip and to your new friends, from the iconic Santa Monica Pier.
This tour ends at our gateway hotel at approximately 17:00 hrs. We can book you post-tour accommodation at our gateway hotel if required. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.