Get your kitsch on Route 66

At a glance

  • 21 day independent tour
  • Tours run from April to October 2019/20
  • Prices start from £3,795pp
  • Choose to travel by car, motorhome or coach tour
  • Return flights from the UK included
  • Chosen transport and accommodation included

Day 1 – 5: Chicago to Oklahoma City

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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

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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

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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 - 21: Las Vegas and Los Angeles

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Days 10 – 11: Williams, Arizona

Driving distance: 218 miles

Today you'll cross into Arizona, the Grand Canyon State. Roll down the windows and let the warm desert air in. Take it slowly and be sure to stop along the way, there's so much to see. En route to your two night stay in Williams, you'll cruise through the Painted Desert, pass the Petrified Forest and spy the Wigwam Village in Holbrook. A Route 66 must-do, which is often overlooked in this area, is the amazing Meteor Crater just west of Winslow.  The meteorite was believed to be 50 meters and over 200,000 tons when it came crashing to the earth over 50,000 years ago. Today, Meteor Crater is nearly a mile across and sight to behold.

On day 11 you can drive to the Grand Canyon (which should take around 90 minutes) or let the train take the strain and jump on the historic Williams to Grand Canyon Railroad to the canyon’s rim. We would be pleased to pre-book this for you as well as helicopter trips over this stunning Wonder of the World.

Days 12 - 13: Las Vegas, Nevada

Driving distance: 217 miles

Viva Las Vegas! Before you arrive in the city, take time to explore the delightful Route 66 town of Seligman, home of the Roadkill Cafe and the quirky Snow-drop Inn. Journey further west and you'll encounter Kingman, the historic heart of Route 66. The Route 66 Museum here is one of the best and the historic downtown district boasts over 40 buildings on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Arrive into Las Vegas driving via Lake Mead and the impressive Hoover Dam. The Las Vegas Strip comes alive at night, so take the opportunity to cruise slowly along the strip enjoying this neon city in its full glory.

If you’re arriving into Las Vegas by motorhome, you will have the option of leaving your RV in Las Vegas, staying at a 5-star hotel and continuing your journey into Los Angeles by car.

On day 13 in Las Vegas, you’re free to do as you wish. Explore the varied and amazing hotels & casinos, go shopping in the designer boutiques & the outlet malls, visit historic Fremont Street or we’d be delighted to suggest scenic drives for you in the immediate area. Alternatively, just pull up a sun lounger and relax by the pool with a cocktail!

Day 14: Santa Monica, Los Angeles

Driving distance: 287 miles

Sadly, it's the final leg of our Route 66 adventure. En route to Santa Monica, you'll pass through the Mojave Desert, over mountains and through lush inland valleys before you arrive at the sparkling Pacific Ocean and the golden beaches of Santa Monica! Don't forget to have your picture taken under the 'End of the Trail' sign on Santa Monica Pier.

Day 15: Depart Los Angeles

Your flight back to the UK departs late afternoon.

Want to extend your time in Santa Monica or fly onto the Islands of Hawaii? Maybe, you'd like to see San Francisco. Call our team of experts to extend your stay.

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