Get your kitsch on Route 66

Tour highlights

  • Travel along the legendary Route 66 and eat at traditional diners on the way
  • Experience authentic ‘Main Street’ America
  • See the unique Gateway Arch in St Louis, the gateway to ‘The West’
  • Visit quirky Cadillac Ranch – an art installation constructed using old Cadillac cars
  • See the incredible landscapes of the Petrified Forest, Meteor Crater and the Grand Canyon
  • Enjoy Las Vegas, the city that never sleeps
  • End your journey of a lifetime on the beach in Santa Monica, LA

Day 1 – 5: Chicago to Oklahoma City

Read more

Days 1 - 3: Chicago, Illinois

Every Route 66 journey starts in Chicago. The road originally began in 1926, although parts of the highway have been in existence since 1857 when the US War Department ordered a government funded wagon road across the desert. Later the Lone Star Route connected Chicago and St. Louis and the National Old Trail Roads traced a path between St Louis and Los Angeles. Ultimately all these roads were connected into one to become Route 66.

Chicago is the perfect blend of cosmopolitan city and friendly mid-western town. Considered the birthplace of the skyscraper, there are several ways to experience them. A narrated boat trip along the Chicago River highlights the design and architectural achievements across the city. On ground, be sure to visit both 360 Chicago at the John Hancock Observatory and Skydeck at Willis Tower – once the tallest building in the world. Chicago was also the stomping ground of Al Capone, back in the day, and a mobster tour will give you the lowdown or we can arrange a city walking tour with an ex-Chicago police officer. 

Days 4 - 5: Springfield, Illinois

Receive a full orientation session at the motorhome depot prior to collecting your vehicle. As you set off on your Route 66 adventure, the icons of Route 66 will start to appear. Just under half way, stop in Pontiac for the first of many Route 66 museums and Pontiac’s famous murals that depict the history of the region.

Springfield is the capital city of Illinois and was also the home of Abraham Lincoln between 1844-1861. Not surprisingly, the city is dotted with sites dedicated to his memory.

For a taste of Route 66, head to Springfield’s iconic Cozy Dog Drive-In, home of the corn dog since 1949. The diner is a local institution and full of Route 66 memorabilia. For another authentic experience, head for the Route 66 Drive-In movie theatre and watch the latest blockbuster from your motorhome!

Day 6 – 9: Amarillo to New Mexico

Read more

Day 6: Lebanon, Missouri

Cruise into Missouri by way of the historic Martin Luther King Memorial Bridge. St Louis' Gateway Arch, the tallest arch in the world, is the perfect first stop with spectacular views of the mighty Mississippi River.

From St Louis, cruise past Meramec Caverns and the city of Cuba - known as 'Mural City'. The 12 large murals depict the history of the town from the mid-1850s. In Lebanon, the town library is home to a terrific Route 66 Museum. In the evening check out the award winning southern deep fried catfish at Dowd's Catfish & BBQ stop.

Days 7 - 8: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Carthage is a great stop to stretch your legs. The centre is dominated by the Jasper County Courthouse, featured in the Back to the Future movies. Then swing round to Iggy's Diner for a traditional root beer float.

Before arriving in OK City, another fun Route 66 stop is the Rock Café in Stroud. This landmark was originally built in the Dust Bowl era of the Great Depression out of native stone. Once in Oklahoma City, head to historic Bricktown for live music and mouth-watering BBQ. 

Day 9: Amarillo, Texas

Oklahoma State boasts the longest stretch of Route 66 and the National Route 66 Museum at Elk City is definitely worth a stop. From there, it’s welcome to Texas – the Lone Star State. In Amarillo, the downtown historic district is full of antique shops, Wild-West stores and arts galleries. Follow that with a cold beer in the Golden Light Roadhouse with the local cowboys and girls.

Day 10 - 14: Santa Fe to Gallup

Read more

Days 10 - 11: Santa Fe, New Mexico

A must stop before you leave Texas is the quirky Cadillac Ranch – an art installation made of old Cadillacs. From there, you’re just over 30 minutes to Adrian, Texas and the official half way mark of Route 66 – be sure to stop at Midpoint Café and Gift Shop for road snacks and souvenirs. Then it’s over the border to New Mexico. Straddling the border is the ghost town of Glen Rio, which became a casualty when Route 66 was replaced by the interstate. Then it’s on to the classic Route 66 town of Tucumcari, known for legendary Motel Row and the great neon signs of a bygone era.

Santa Fe is the capital city and the oldest one in the USA. It’s a magical place with a definite heart and story. Delve into art galleries, visit museums and historic sites and enjoy live music in the historic Santa Fe Plaza in the evenings.

Days 12 - 13: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque is home to the longest urban stretch of Route 66 and is brimming with nostalgia. Stroll through Old Town’s narrow streets and old adobe homes for authentic New Mexican eateries and local artisans selling jewellery, rugs and pottery. Take to the sky for views over the city on the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway. Climbing over 10,000 feet into the Sandia Mountains, it’s an ideal spot for sunset. Learn about the history of the city at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Museum, or take a walk on the wild side at the International Rattlesnake Museum!

Day 14: Gallup, New Mexico

Just 60 miles west of Albuquerque lies Sky City Cultural Centre which serves as the gateway to the 13th century Pueblo of Acoma, the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in North America. Take a tour with a local guide.

Gallup is the commercial hub of the nearby Navajo reservation and the self-proclaimed Capital of Indian Country, where Route 66 serves as its Main Street. Between May – September you can experience nightly American dance displays.

Day 15 - 22: Las Vegas and Los Angeles

Read more

Days 15 - 16: Williams, Arizona

You’ll tick off your sixth state today as you cruise across the border into Arizona and journey via the Petrified Forest and the iconic Route 66 Wigwam Village. Meteor Crater is a must stop. The world’s best preserved meteorite impact site on Earth is at least 50,000 years old and nearly a mile-wide

Then it’s on to the historic railroad town of Williams, your base to explore the epic Grand Canyon.

Days 17 - 18: Las Vegas, Nevada

There’s a few worthy stops to make before you leave Arizona today. Plan on Seligman for breakfast or lunch at the quirky Roadkill Café. Route 66 cut right through the town and it is still very evident today. Further west is Kingman, the historic heart of Route 66 with one of the best museums and a downtown district that boasts over 40 buildings on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Viva Las Vegas! Arrive into Nevada via Lake Mead and the impressive Hoover Dam. Then it’s on to the Vegas strip and all its glory. You’ll easily spend two nights exploring this desert phenomenon! 

Days 19 - 20: Los Angeles, California

It’s the final leg of your Route 66 adventure through the Mojave Desert, mountains and lush inland valleys before arriving at the Pacific Ocean and the golden beaches of Santa Monica. Round off your adventure with a picture under the Route 66 sign at the official end of the route on Santa Monica Pier. 

Day 21 - 22: Fly home

Transfer to Los Angeles Airport for your overnight flight back to the UK.

Worldwide Tours brochure

Find escorted and independent tours in iconic destinations with fantastic itineraries

Order a free copy

You may also like...