Welcome to the starting point of Route 66! Get settled in at your hotel and spend the afternoon relaxing from your travels or set out on your own to get acquainted with the city of Chicago. At 6 p.m., gather at the hotel with your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception. (WR) Hotel: The Palmer House Hilton (MD)
Chicago - Springfield
After an introduction to the Windy City, including elegant Lakeshore Drive and the Magnificent Mile, hit the road for a good, old-fashioned American road trip. Just outside Chicago, see several of Route 66’s original gas stations. Explore the history and cultural impact of America’s Mother Road at the Route 66 Association Hall of Fame & Museum. Roll on southwest to Springfield, where you will visit the final resting place of Abraham Lincoln. (FB)
Hotel: Hilton Springfield (F)
Springfield - St Louis
Get ready for a real taste of America’s Midwest today, starting with the view from atop the famed St. Louis Gateway arch. Take a break at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, a Route 66 favourite since 1929. Then, experience another American favourite with a guided tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery—from the stables of the Clydesdales to the tasting room—and enjoy a taste of this Local Speciality as well. And what goes better with beer than barbecue? Learn to mix up your own sweet and spicy barbecue sauce with a team of master barbecue chefs and enjoy a rib-sticking Be My Guest barbecue dinner, hot off the grill. (FB BG)
Hotel: Omni Majestic Hotel (MD)
St Louis - Meramec Caverns - Branson
Begin your day by crossing the Mississippi river via the Chain of Rocks Bridge, named for the rocks that made crossing the river so rough before the bridge was built in the 1960s. As you near the middle, keep your eyes peeled for the bridge’s most notable feature, a 22-degree bend. Go underground in Meramec Caverns, a former hideout of Jesse James, for a glimpse of some outstanding subterranean formations. Then it’s onward to the Ozarks and the lively American musical mecca of Branson. Explore Branson Landing, a shopping, dining and entertainment hub on the shores of Lake Taneycomo. Tonight, perhaps get your kicks at an optional dinner show. (FB)
Hotel: Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing (F)
Branson - Will Rogers Memorial - Oklahoma City (2 Nights)
Roll on through historic Joplin, Missouri into eastern Oklahoma, an especially scenic stretch of highway known as the Will Rogers Highways. Stop to visit the Will Rogers Museum dedicated to the famous American humorist Will Rogers, who once said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” See more classics of the Old Road such as the Round Barn in Arcadia, Oklahoma. Tonight, enjoy a Highlight Dinner in the vibrant warehouse district of Bricktown. (FB HD)
Hotel: Courtyard Oklahoma City Downtown (MF)
Oklahoma City Sightseeing & Free Time
Get a taste of the Old West at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum with its collection of Native American art and outstanding display of antique firearms. After lunch, visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, honouring the 1995 bombing victims. The rest of the day is yours to explore historic Bricktown. (FB)
Oklahoma City - Route 66 Museum - Amarillo
In Clinton, explore a classic collection of Route 66 history, memorabilia and culture. Crossing into the Texas Panhandle, return to Old Route 66 for a scenic drive before stopping at Amarillo, the “yellow rose of Texas.” (FB)
Hotel: The Ambassador Hotel
Amarillo - Albuquerque (2 Nights)
Yes, those are 10 classic Cadillacs buried nose down in the dirt, the famed Cadillac Ranch pop art installation just outside Amarillo. Stop in Tucumcari, where a large number of the vintage motels and restaurants built in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s are still in existence. Travel on to Albuquerque where the spirit of Route 66 still thrives. Tonight, don your poodle skirt or leather jacket for a dinner at the 66 Diner with its 1950s jukebox and blue-plate specials that have hardly changed since the heyday of the “Main Street of America.” (FB D)
Hotel: Albuquerque Marriott (SF)
Albuquerque Sightseeing & Free Time
While Albuquerque didn’t boom until the coming of Route 66, the city has been here for more than 300 years. Take a tour of the Old Town and old adobe architecture and enjoy some free time to explore on your own. Visit one of the many museums, relax in a cafe or perhaps opt to visit southwestern arts-filled Santa Fe. (FB)
Albuquerque - Flagstaff
Cruise through Gallup this morning and see the history of Route 66 immortalized on the main drag. See the Historic El Rancho hotel, which served as a homebase to the movie stars who came to the desert for their films. Crossing into Arizona, watch the sun play over the changing colours of the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park. See the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook and the Man Standing on the Corner in Winslow before arriving in Flagstaff with its quaint downtown and pine-forested hills. (FB D)
Hotel: Radisson Woodlands Hotel Flagstaff (F)
Flagstaff - Cameron Trading Post - Grand Canyon National Park
As the morning sun gilds the desert landscape, visit the traditional land of the Navajo people. Stop at Cameron Trading Post to browse through handicrafts and maybe enjoy some tasty fry bread. This afternoon, wind along scenic Desert View Drive before arriving at the Grand Canyon. Spend the night inside the park, allowing plenty of time to explore this natural world wonder. For more stunning views, take an optional plane or helicopter trip to see the canyon from the sky. (FB)
Hotel: National Park Lodges
Grand Canyon - Seligman - Kingman - Las Vegas
Hit the road again, passing through Seligman then Peach Springs, the town that was the inspiration for the Pixar movie Cars. Then drive through Hackberry, a Route 66 ghost town along the original route. Further ahead, stop in Kingman, a Route 66 hotspot that has kept the old culture alive. Driving the Mother Road in these desert oases is like time travelling to see the well-preserved motels, diners and gas stations of a simpler era. Then it’s full speed ahead to glittering Las Vegas. The afternoon and evening are yours to hit The Strip, catch a show or try your luck at the slots. (FB)
Hotel: Paris Las Vegas (SF)
Las Vegas - Hollywood - Los Angeles
Travel from Sin City to the City of Angels today, with one last jaunt on Route 66 near the town of Barstow. Upon arrival in Los Angeles, see the sights, including Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Beverly Hills, Sunset Boulevard and the place where the road comes to an end, Santa Monica and the great Pacific. This evening, celebrate your journey at a festive Farewell Dinner. (FB FD) Hotel: Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel (SF)
Depart Los Angeles
Say good-bye to the road and take flight. A complimentary transfer is provided to Los Angeles International Airport. (FB)
Arrival back home.
Return scheduled International flights.
- Chicago Enjoy an orientation tour of this beautiful lakefront city.
- Pontiac Visit the Route 66 Association Hall of Fame & Museum.
- Springfield See the tomb of President Lincoln.
- Meramec Caverns Explore the one-time hideaway of legendary Jesse James.
- Branson Kick your heels up in an all-American musical extravaganza destination.
- Tulsa Visit the Will Rogers Memorial Museum.
- Oklahoma City Visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
- Clinton Stroll through decades of history and culture at the Route 66 Museum.
- Amarillo See iconic Cadillac Ranch, one of America’s most striking outdoor art installations.
- Albuquerque Spend two nights in this major Route 66 outpost; visit Old Town and cruise down
- Central Avenue.
- Petrified Forest National Park Wonder at this ancient desert landscape.
- Flagstaff See the charming historic downtown and the world’s largest Ponderosa Pine forest.
- Grand Canyon National Park Travel along the canyon’s Desert View Drive.
- Las Vegas Visit the “Entertainment Capital of the World.”
- Los Angeles Enjoy an orientation tour of this exciting city.
- 13 Full breakfasts
6 evening meals: Welcome Reception with light appetisers and drinks with your Travel Director
in Chicago, Be My Guest dinner with drinks in St. Louis, 2 three-course dinners, Highlight Dinner with wine in Oklahoma City,
Farewell Dinner with wine in Los Angeles
First Class Highlights
- 13 Nights First Class hotel accommodation
- Complimentary airport transfers are provided on Day 1 and Day 14
- Complimentary keepsake photo and My Journey book
- Audio Headsets For all guided visits and included sightseeing
- Be My Guest - You'll be guests of two master barbecue chefs for an outdoor feast of traditional American barbecue with beer and wine.
- Hidden Treasure - Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure experience, unique to your itinerary, courtesy of your expert Travel Director
- Local Speciality - Tour the Anheuser-Busch brewery and sample the beer.