Sightseeing:In Chicago, Oklahoma City, and Los Angeles; orientation in St. Louis, Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum, International Route 66 Mother Road Festival, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, Gateway Arch, Will Rogers Memorial Museum, Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma Route 66 Museum, Route 66 Auto Museum, Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta & Mass Ascension, and Barstow Route 66 Museum. Inside visits as shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Scenic Highlights:Route 66, Grand Canyon National Park, and Route 66 icons: Cadillac Ranch, Tucumcari, and Las Vegas.
Services of a professional Tour Director.
NOTE:On vacations that include an overnight stay in Las Vegas, at least one member of the traveling party must be 21 years of age or older.
Welcome to the start of famous Route 66! Enjoy time at leisure to relax or to do some independent exploring. Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer any questions.
Known as the “Windy City,” Chicago is home to America’s tallest building, legends such as Al Capone and his notorious gang, and countless jazz and blues clubs. Get to know this exciting city on a morning sightseeing tour that includes the sign marking the start of historic Route 66. This afternoon is at leisure. Ride the elevator to the top of the Willis Tower, formally known as the Sears Tower, explore The Magnificent Mile or stroll along Navy Pier.
This morning, immerse yourself in Route 66 memorabilia. Visit the ROUTE 66 HALL OF FAME & MUSEUM in Pontiac, housed in a historic fire station. See the large maps that will sketch out your Route 66 adventure for the coming days, and enjoy the nostalgic photos and postcards from the “Mother Road’s” heyday. Outside the museum, enjoy some of the outdoor murals depicting Route 66 themes scattered throughout the town center. On to Springfield and the former home of President Abraham Lincoln. Visit his home and the ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL MUSEUM. The evening is yours to enjoy the International Route 66 Festival, where the streets come alive with the rumble of engines from hot cars, cool tracks and vintage motorcycles. There is free live entertainment featuring R&B, Motown and everyone's favorite tunes of the 50s and 60s. There are also various exhibitors, vendors, and dozens of specialty food stalls.
Day 4Springfield–St. Louis
This morning we cross the mighty Mississippi River and continue to St. Louis, “Gateway to the West.” Your orientation tour includes the towering GATEWAY ARCH. Ride to the top of the 630-foot-tall Arch for a panoramic view of the city and river. (CB)
Day 5St. Louis–Branson
Today we travel through the Missouri countryside, then on to Branson, one of America’s biggest music centers. Join us this evening for our optional award winning buffet dinner and one of Branson’s top shows. Your Tour Director will have further details. (CB)
Day 6Branson–Oklahoma City
This morning, leave the Ozarks and travel through America’s “Bible Belt” into Cowboy Country. After a quick drive through Kansas, enter Oklahoma, once known as Indian Territory. Stop in Claremore to visit the WILL ROGERS MEMORIAL MUSEUM. Born on a sprawling frontier ranch in Oklahoma, Will Rogers was an Indian, a cowboy, a movie and Broadway star, a writer, a speaker, a comedian, and a world figure. View his collection of saddles, photos, and manuscripts that reflect on his incredible life. Later today, arrive in Oklahoma City. (CB)
Day 7Oklahoma City–Amarillo
A city tour this morning includes the NATIONAL COWBOY HALL OF FAME & WESTERN HERITAGE MUSEUM, a national memorial to the American cowboy. Exhibits showcase the lives of Native Americans, the American cowboy, rodeo, and more. A “must-see” is Prosperity Junction, a recreated Western town. From here, travel to Clinton, Oklahoma, to visit the OKLAHOMA ROUTE 66 MUSEUM, home to vintage cars, neon signs, a ‘50s diner, and drive-in theater. Continue into Texas and on to Amarillo, the state’s oil capital. Get into the Lone Star spirit tonight with our optional dinner of juicy Texas steak, served with heaps of Wild West atmosphere. (CB)
Day 8Amarillo–Tucumcari–Santa Rosa–Albuquerque
On the way out of Amarillo, see Cadillac Ranch, a quirky art sculpture consisting of a collection of 10 Cadillacs. Before crossing into New Mexico, reach Adrian, the halfway point on Route 66. Next, stop in Tucumcari to hear the ancient Indian fable of how the city received its name, shop for souvenirs at Tepee Curios, and see the neon signs of the Blue Swallow Motel that has been serving travelers of Route 66 since 1939. Continue along old Route 66 west to Santa Rosa. Look for the signs of the good ol’ days: Comet Drive-In, Silver Moon, Sun and Sand, and the still-grinning faces of Fat Man billboards outside of town. Visit the ROUTE 66 AUTO MUSEUM to see memorabilia and cars of the era. Next, drive to Albuquerque and visit Central Avenue, where many of the original Route 66 buildings and businesses still stand. Afterward, free time in this original Spanish town with its fine parish church and Spanish-style plaza. (CB)
This morning, enjoy a leisurely breakfast or sunbathe in the New Mexico sunshine. Consider a short walk to Old Town, site of the city’s original settlement. Hone your bargaining skills with the local craftsmen who line the square to sell their lovely silver and turquoise jewelry. After exploring more of this atmospheric city, seize the chance to ride the world’s longest aerial tramway up nearby Sandia Peak Mountain and witness spine-tingling views of the desert floor, forests, and canyons below.
This morning stand in awe as you experience the pre-dawn opening ceremonies and the unforgettable Mass Ascension where hundreds of hot air balloons take off, turning the sky into a virtual rainbow of colors. What began as a gathering of thirteen balloons 35 years ago has since turned into the largest ballooning event in the world. Then, cross the Continental Divide and continue to Gallup, which claims a longtime Hollywood connection. From Redskin, filmed in 1929, to the more recent adventures of Superman, the area has provided unequaled movie scenery. Tonight is in Flagstaff, nestled at the base of the San Francisco Mountains.
Day 11Flagstaff–Grand Canyon National Park
Deviate from Route 66 to see one of the Natural Wonders of the World, GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK. Wander along the canyon rim and experience breathtaking views. Perhaps join the optional helicopter flightseeing tour. Tonight you stay inside Grand Canyon National Park.
Day 12Grand Canyon National Park–Williams–Seligman–Las Vegas
Return to Route 66 and pass through historic Williams, which is listed in the National Register for Historic Places. Make sure to appreciate the neon signs of the intact circa 1940s “Motel Row.” Later today, visit Seligman, home to the rebirth of Route 66. Detour once again from Route 66 to visit the bright lights and excitement of Las Vegas.
Day 13Las Vegas
A day at leisure to relax by the pool or explore the world-renowned Las Vegas Strip. Ride the world’s highest rollercoaster, float through a Venice canal, or see man-eating sharks up close— it’s all possible in Las Vegas. Don’t miss downtown Las Vegas, where you’ll find the Fremont Street Experience, five city blocks enclosed in a glass atrium and filled with dazzling lights, sounds, and action. A variety of optional excursions are available, including a float trip through dramatic Black Canyon on the Colorado River. This evening, join an optional night at a dazzling show featuring top Vegas entertainment.
Day 14Las Vegas–Barstow–Santa Monica–Los Angeles
Today, depart the manmade phenomenon of Las Vegas and cross the Mojave Desert and the San Bernardino Mountains en route to Los Angeles. Visit the BARSTOW ROUTE 66 MUSEUM, which displays a collection of historic photographs and artifacts related to Route 66 and the Mojave Desert communities. Continue on to Santa Monica, the ending point of Route 66. Overnight in Los Angeles, the “Capital of Glamour.”
Day 15Los Angeles
Savor the exciting “City of Angels” on our morning tour of glamorous Beverly Hills, Sunset Strip, Hollywood, and more legendary sights. The rest of the day is yours to perhaps enjoy Disneyland® or Universal Studios®, shop for souvenirs, or relax by the pool.
Day 16Los Angeles
The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers to Los Angeles International Airport are included. You can extend your vacation with extra nights and explore Los Angeles further with a variety of exciting optional activities.
Transportation:Private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.