Highlights: Travel through the heart of America, You will pass by small towns, gas stations, old shops & retro motels telling the story of The Mother Road. Start in Chicago for 2 nights before hitting the famous Route 66 on your way to St Louis. Continue to Springfield, recognised as the birthplace of Route 66. Cut through Kansas before entering Oklahoma. Next is Texas home to one of the best-preserved sections of Route 66 before hitting Arizona followed by fabulous Las Vegas. Finish in Los Angeles by the beautiful pacific. ** Please note there is a one-way drop off charge for car hire of upto approx $550 plus tax payable locally.
Day 1- Chicago (Arrive)
Route 66, the Mother Road is the stuff of legends. Arrive Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. Collect your car-hire and transfer to your chosen hotel. Accommodation: The St James Chicago or Similar, 2 Nights.
Day 2: CHICAGO
Start in downtown Chicago, where you can still view historical buildings that were in place when Route 66 was built. Stand on the corner of Michigan and Adams, marked as the starting point of Historic Route 66. Enjoy coffee and a big breakfast at Lou Mitchell's, a Chicago institution since 1923 and a must for Route 66 travelers. Stroll the lakefront, peruse the shops or explore the city's incredible sights and architecture.
Day 3: Chicago to St. Louis (477 KM)
Today, get ready for an unforgettable journey into the then and now of America along Historic Route 66. You will pass through a variety of landscapes and take in some of the country’s biggest, oldest and most peculiar sites along the way. Begin your journey by following the traditional east-to-west prairies path of Route 66 from Chicago to St. Louis, En-route, don’t miss Wilmington’s most photographed citizen, the larger-than-life green Gemini Giant, and Atlanta’s Bunyan Giant, a 19-foot statue of Paul Bunyan holding a giant hot dog. In Springfield, stop at the Cozy Dog Drive-In, the birthplace of the corn dog, and explore the legacy of Abraham Lincoln with a visit to the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. Arrive in St. Louis, the largest city along Route 66, and visit the historic Gateway Arch, the nation’s tallest monument. Overnight Holiday Inn St Louis, Forest Park/Hampton Ave or Similar, 1 Night.
Day 4: St. Louis to Springfield (347 KM).
Continue through the Ozark Highlands of southern Missouri to Springfield, recognized as the birthplace of Route 66. Enjoy your journey through the second oldest mountains in the US and other natural beauty found along the road. Overnight Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven, 1 Night.
Day 5: Springfield – Tulsa - Oklahoma City (458 KM)
Cut through the southeastern corner of Kansas on your way to Oklahoma City, you'll see the territory begin to turn into the true American southwest; red, dry and dusty. During the Dust Bowl, more than 10% of Oklahoma's population used Route 66 as a way to escape the blowing sand. They picked up their belongings, their families and hopes and dreams and made their way to California in search of a better life. Once in Oklahoma City, the state’s capital, be sure to check out the old Route 66 motels, gas stations and numerous vintage buildings. Overnight Ramada Oklahoma City Airport North, 1 Night.
Day 6: Oklahoma City to Amarillo (416 KM).
Continue to Amarillo, located in the flat plains of the Texas Panhandle. This area of Texas was once the buffalo-rich grasslands of the Great Plains, inhabited by bands of Kiowa and Comanche Indians. Stop at the Route 66 Museum in Clinton where you experience six decades of Route 66 history. Once in Amarillo, be sure to stop at Big Texas Steak Ranch where you can attempt their 72oz. steak challenge. Overnight Comfort Inn & Suites, 1 Night.
Day 7: Amarillo to Albuquerque, NM (462 KM)
Before leaving Amarillo be sure to visit Cadillac Ranch. This unique display of art features a row of ten colorfully painted Cadillac cars buried grille first in the ground. Continue to the Mid-Point Cafe in Adrian famous for its ugly crust pies. From Adrian you’ll follow Route 66 to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Overnight Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn, 3 Nights.
Day 8: ALBUQUERQUE
The state's largest city, Albuquerque spreads north and south along the banks of the Rio Grande. Explore downtown Albuquerque's Central Avenue, a treasure trove of Route 66 landmarks and the historic Old Town offers a taste of New Mexico's Spanish colonial past while the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center traces the history of the region's Native American cultures.
Day 9: ALBUQUERQUE - SANTA FE - ALBUQUERQUE
To get a true sense of the Old Route 66, take a detour to New Mexico’s state capital, Santa Fe, the oldest capital in the U.S. Although it lost its place on Route 66 in 1938, it remains one of the most picturesque cities in the state. At one time this was the end of the old Santa Fe Trail, the earliest trade route linking the American frontier back east with the far west.
Day 10: Albuquerque to Holbrook (374 KM).
This morning, the state of Arizona welcomes Route 66 travelers with an overwhelming display of trading posts. Visit the Petrified Forest National Park on the way between Albuquerque and Holbrook, another railroad town. Once in Holbrook, stop at the Wigwam Motel whose steel and concrete teepees featuring modern conveniences have welcomed guests since the 1950’s. Overnight Magnuson Adobe Inn Holbrook, 1 Night.
Day 11: Holbrook - Grand Canyon National Park - Williams (270 KM).
Continue to 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 and 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. Visit a Photo Hot Spot, or climb to the top of a stone Watchtower for panoramic views that extend over 100 miles on clear days. Overnight Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, 1 Night.
Day 12: GRAND CANYON/WILLIAMS - LAS VEGAS (442 KM).
Leave the town of Williams and the Grand Canyon behind as you make your way to Seligman, the first stop heading west on the longest uninterrupted stretch of Route 66. Continue through Kingman whose old Route 66 cafes and motels still flourish, to one of Arizona’s hidden treasures, Hoover Dam. 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, Nevada, a city that needs no introduction. Overnight Excalibur Hotel & Casino, 2 Nights.
Day 13: LAS VEGAS
Enjoy a full day Las Vegas style. Walk the famous Strip lined with mega-resorts and flashing neon lights, place a bet at one of the many casinos, dine at world-class restaurants, catch the latest must-see show, shop designer boutiques, ride a rollercoaster, lay by the pool ... the list goes on. With so much to do, 24 hours in a day hardly seems like enough.
Day 14: LAS VEGAS - SANTA MONICA - LOS ANGELES AREA (434 KM)
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 camps of the Old West. Rejoin Route 66 in Barstow where a collection of historic photographs and artifacts related to Route 66 and the 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, the western end of Historic Route 66. Overnight Quality Inn & Suites Anaheim Resort, 2 Nights.
Day 15: LOS ANGELES AREA
Spend the day strolling along the beaches of Santa Monica or browsing the shops at Third Street Promenade. Explore L.A.'s playgrounds of the rich and famous or visit Universal Studios Hollywood and Anaheim's original Disneyland Park which are also located within easy driving distance or via public tram.
Day 16: LOS ANGELES DEPARTURE
Return your rental car at Los Angeles International Airport prior to your departure for your onwards flight home.
**Please note there is a one-way drop off charge for the car hire of approx €550 plus tax which is payable locally. *Prices Includes: Flights from Ireland to Chicago and return from Los Angeles, 15 Nights accommodation based on 2 sharing and fully inclusive car rental for 16 days. Price also includes flight taxes. Hotels may be substituted for similar or higher categories. 4 star hotel packages also available on request, please ask our Sunway sales agent for more information.