Arrive at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and transfer independently to your hotel. Chicago – home to some of America’s tallest buildings, a rich culture and, more importantly, the starting point for Route 66. This vibrant city is a fantastic start to your trip, with something for everyone.
Begin your day with breakfast at Lou Mitchell’s in the heart of the Loop in Chicago. Check out ‘The Ledge Experience’ at the Skydeck where you can step out onto a full-enclosed glass ledge from the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower. Visit Navy Pier, with its fun attractions and stroll Millennium Park where you will find the stunning sculpture "Cloud Gate". This evening you'll need to try out Chicago's famous Deep Dish Pizza.
Chicago – St Louis (300 Miles)
This morning, pick up your rental car and get ready for an unforgettable journey into the then and now of America along Historic Route 66. Begin your journey by following the transitional east-to-west path from Chicago to St Louis, Missouri, cruising through endless cornfields and flat prairies. Once in St Louis you can follow in the footsteps of legendary explorers by visiting the historic sites found throughout the city, including the Gateway Arch, the nations tallest monument.
St Louis – Springfield, Missouri (210 Miles)
Continue though the Ozark highlands of Southern Missouri to Springfield, recognised as the birthplace of Route 66. En route stop at Meramec Caverns, an extensive set of natural limestone caves whose formations and colours are as unique as they are beautiful. Adding to the pleasure of exploring the caves is learning that Jesse James used them as a hideout and took advantage of the underground river to escape though the "backdoor".
Springfield – Tulsa - Oklahoma City (310 Miles)
This morning cut through the southeastern corner of Kansas on your way to Oklahoma City. En route stop to view the beloved 20-foot tall cement Blue Whale on Catoosa and the Cyrus Avery Route 66 Memorial Bridge in Tulsa honouring the "Father of Route 66's" memory and connection to the historic highway. Once in Oklahoma City, the state's capital, be sure to check out the old Route 66 motels, gas stations and numerous vintage buildings.
Oklahoma City – Amarillo (260 Miles)
Today you can visit the Route 66 Museum in Clinton where you’ll learn about the history and culture of each decade of this famous route. As you enter Texas you’ll be back on Route 66 for some famous stops, including McLean. Tonight you'll be staying in the characterful town of Amarillo with all sorts of quirky sights and fun venues. Perhaps this evening you visit the famous Big Texan Steak Ranch which is home to the free 72oz. steak – provided you can consume the steak and all the trimmings in an hour!
Amarillo – Albuquerque (270 Miles)
Before leaving Amarillo be sure to visit Cadillac Ranch. This unique display of art features a row of ten colourfully painted Cadillac cars buried grille first in the ground. Continue to the MidPoint Cafe in Adrian famous for its "ugly crust" pies. From Adrian you'll follow Route 66 to Albuquerque, New Mexico for a great taste of the Land of Enchantment.
The state's largest city, spreading north and south along the banks of the Rio Grande. Spend the day exploring Downtown Albuquerque's Central Avenue, a treasure trove of Route 66 landmarks. Historic Old Town offers a taste of New Mexico's Spanish colonial past, while the Indian Pueblo Cultural Centre communities traces the history of the region's Native American cultures.
Albuquerque - Sante Fe - Albuquerque (116 Miles)
To get a true sense of the Old Route 66, today you will detour to New Mexico's sate Capital, Santa Fe. Founded on the ruins of an abandoned Indian Village and steeped in history, Santa Fe is the oldest capital in the US, and although it lost its place on Route 66 in 1938, it remains one of the most picturesque cities in the state. Plan to visit one of the Santa Fe's famous art galleries, art markets, or museums full of traditional and contemporary art, including works by their own Georgia O'Keeffee, or shop for authentic creations you just won't find anywhere else.
Albuquerque – Holbrook (260 Miles)
If you’re looking for a route that steps away from the beaten track you can travel old Route 66 from Albuquerque to Gallup. This is definitely one of the most scenic portions of the route, with jumbled boulders, distant mountain peaks and a deep red tone to the earth. Don’t miss a drive through the Petrified Forest National Park where you can see 250 million year-old logs that have literally been transformed into rocks in shades of red, purple, amber and blue. Once in Holbrook stop at the Wigwam Motel whose steel and concrete teepees featuring modern conveniences have welcomes guests since the 1950's.
Holbrook – Williams/Grand Canyon (180 Miles)
Continue to the Meteor City, a true vintage trading post whose distinctive dome can be seen for miles along this stretch of Route 66. Pass through Flagstaff and Williams en route to Grand Canyon National Park, a natural wonder that you simply have to see to believe. Spend the day discovering the distinct South Rim of the Canyon. Stop at one of the numerous overlooks, walk part of the Rim trail or along the historic Hermit Road.
Grand Canyon/Williams – Las Vegas (300 miles)
Leave the town of Williams and the Grand Canyon behind as you make your way to Seligman, the first stop heading west. Continue through Kingman whose old Route 66 cafes and motels still flourish, to one of Arizona's hidden treasures - the Hoover Dam. Considered the largest single public works project in the history of the US, the Hoover Dam straddles the mighty Colorado River, which forms the border between Nevada and Arizona and brings much-needed water and power to the Southwest. Continue to Las Vegas, a city that needs no introduction.
You’ll have a full day today to explore the ‘Entertainment Capital of the World’ – Las Vegas. Explore the iconic casinos, cool down on a rafting trip down the Colorado River or take an exciting helicopter tour to the Grand Canyon west rim and the amazing glass Skywalk. In the evening be sure to take in one of the world-class shows.
Las Vegas – Santa Monica - Greater Los Angeles (290 Miles)
This morning, set out through the Mojave Desert for Calico Ghost Town, California's authentic silver mining town and one of the few original mining towns of the Old West. Rejoin Route 66 in Barstow where a collection of historic photographs and artefacts related to Route 66 and Mojave Desert communities are on display at the Route 66 Mother Road Museum. Continue through Pasadena, Los Angeles, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills to Santa Monica for a true Hollywood ending to your cross-country journey. Park and venture the last few blocks on foot to view the "End of the Trail" sign on Santa Monica's Pier.
Greater Los Angeles
Spend the day strolling along the beaches of Santa Monica or browsing the adjacent indoor/ outdoor shops at Third Street Promenade. Or further explore LA's on-of-a-kind destinations, playgrounds of the rich and famous and architectural gems. Universal Studio's Hollywood and Anaheim's original Disneyland Park are also located within easy driving distance.
Los Angeles - Home
Spend your last morning relaxing in the California sunshine before returning your rental car at Los Angeles International Airport and transferring independently for your departure flight.