Highlights of Route 66 (8530)

16 Day Tour from Chicago to Los Angeles

2017 Tour Details View 2016 Tour Details »

Follow legendary Route 66 and see how Americans traveled from the 1920s through the 1960s. Known as the “Mother Road,” this historic route begins in Chicago and ends in Los Angeles. Now a preserved piece of history, its original purpose was to connect rural and urban communities to main streets, providing freedom of travel. On this vacation, you’ll get the opportunity to travel to some of the cities along Route 66.

Start your trip in Chicago and stop in Springfield, St. Louis, Branson, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Albuquerque, Flagstaff, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. A few of the many highlights along the way include the Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum in Pontiac, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, St. Louis’ Gateway Arch, the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum, the Route 66 Auto Museum in Santa Rosa, the Barstow Route 66 Museum, and various Route 66 icons. The tour also deviates from Route 66, so you can see breathtaking scenery at the Grand Canyon and experience the excitement of Las Vegas.
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 Destinations & Sightseeing

Sightseeing:
In Chicago, Oklahoma City, and Los Angeles; orientation in St. Louis, Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum, 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, and Barstow Route 66 Museum. Inside visits as shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.

Scenic Highlights:
Route 66, Acoma Sky City, Grand Canyon National Park, and Route 66 icons: Cadillac Ranch, Tucumcari, and Wigwam Village.

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.

The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:

  • Grand Canyon National Park

Transportation:

Transportation:
Private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.

 Meals

 Meals & Itinerary

5 continental breakfasts

 Itinerary

Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.

Day 1 Chicago

Welcome to Chicago, the start of famous Route 66! Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer any questions.

Day 2 Chicago

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.

Day 3 Chicago–Pontiac–Springfield

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.

Day 4 Springfield–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 National Parks FoundationNational Parks Foundation GATEWAY ARCH. Ride to the top of the 630-foot-tall Arch for a panoramic view of the city and river.

Day 5 St. 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.

BreakfastContinental Breakfast

Day 6 Branson–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.

BreakfastContinental Breakfast

Day 7 Oklahoma 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.

BreakfastContinental Breakfast

Day 8 Amarillo–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.

BreakfastContinental Breakfast

Day 9 Albuquerque

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.

Day 10 Albuquerque–Gallup–Holbrook–Winslow–Flagstaff

This morning, visit ACOMA SKY CITY, home of the Pueblo Indians, situated on 357-foot-high sandstone rock. It is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited village in the United States. Learn about this city and its inhabitants, and peruse Acoma pottery and jewelry. 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 11 Flagstaff–Grand Canyon National Park

Deviate from Route 66 to see one of the Natural Wonders of the World, National Parks FoundationNational Parks Foundation 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.

BreakfastContinental Breakfast

Day 12 Grand 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 13 Las 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 14 Las Vegas–Barstow–Santa Monica–Los Angeles

Today, depart the man-made 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 15 Los 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 16 Los 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.

 Tour Director

With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.

BARBARA BURYIAK

Years of Experience: 24

As a Tour Director for more than two decades, I've always had a passion for travel. At 18, I traveled solo throughout Europe. A few years later, I was one of three youth ambassadors on a cultural exchange to Burkina Faso. As a Tour Director, I enjoy showing off America's Heartland. I encourage my guests to talk to the locals and try the regional foods. Guests often tell me that their fondest memories are of their time spent in small towns with "real Americans."

Tour Director - BARBARA BURYIAK

 Accommodations

CHICAGO Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro (F)
SPRINGFIELD Wyndham Springfield City Centre (F)
ST. LOUIS Pear Tree Inn Union Station (ST)
BRANSON Comfort Inn at Thousand Hills (ST)
OKLAHOMA CITY Best Western Plus Saddleback Inn (F)
AMARILLO Drury Inn & Suites Amarillo (ST)
ALBUQUERQUE Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn (ST)
FLAGSTAFF Drury Inn & Suites Flagstaff (ST)
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK Grand Canyon National Park Lodges (NP)
LAS VEGAS Harrah’s Las Vegas (F)
LOS ANGELES L.A. Hotel Downtown (D)

 Know Before You Go

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