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.
Day 1 CHICAGO
Welcome to Chicago, the start of Route 66! Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer questions.
Day 2 CHICAGO
Known as the “Windy City,” Chicago is home to one of America’s tallest buildings, 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–INTERNATIONAL ROUTE 66 MOTHER ROAD FESTIVAL
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. On to Springfield and the former home of President Abraham Lincoln. Visit 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 trucks 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 4 SPRINGFIELD–ST. LOUIS
Cross the mighty Mississippi River and continue to St. Louis, “Gateway to the West.” Your orientation tour includes the towering Gateway Arch National Park. Ride to the top of the 630-foottall 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. Your Tour Director will make suggestions for independent exploration.
Day 6 BRANSON–TULSA–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. In Tulsa, see the “East Meets West” sculpture that pays tribute to Cyrus Avery, “The Father of Route 66.” Later today, arrive in Oklahoma City.
Day 7 OKLAHOMA CITY–ELK CITY–AMARILLO
Start the day with a city sightseeing tour of Oklahoma City, the capital and largest city in Oklahoma. From here, travel to Elk City and visit the National Route 66 Museum and take a journey through each of the eight states Route 66 passes through—from Illinois all the way to California. Continue into Texas and on to Amarillo, the state’s oil capital.
Day 8 AMARILLO–TUCUMCARI–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. Across the New Mexico border, visit Russell’s Car Museum, featuring classic cars and memorabilia. Next, stop in Tucumcari and shop for souvenirs at Teepee Curios, and see the neon signs of the Blue Swallow Motel that has been serving travelers of Route 66 since 1939. Visit Central Avenue in Albuquerque, where many of the original Route 66 buildings and businesses still stand. Afterward, there is free time in this original Spanish town with its fine parish church and Spanish-style plaza.
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–ALBUQUERQUE BALLOON FIESTA–GALLUP–WINSLOW–WILLIAMS
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 13 balloons in 1972 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 classic westerns to the more recent adventures of Superman, the area has provided unequaled movie scenery. The next two nights are in Williams, gateway to the Grand Canyon, and listed in the National Register for Historic Places. The Historic Downtown District covers six square blocks and boasts a rich heritage that features the Old West and Route 66.
Day 11 WILLIAMS. EXCURSION TO GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
Deviate from Route 66 to see one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Grand Canyon National Park. Wander along the canyon rim for breathtaking views and wildlife. Elk are frequently spotted grazing in the forested areas on the South Rim. Perhaps join the optional helicopter flightseeing tour? Return to Williams where the evening is free to explore the historic Americana-style shops and restaurants dating back to the early 1900s, and home of Pete’s Route 66 Gas Station Museum, featuring highway memorabilia. Be sure to appreciate the neon signs of the intact circa 1940s “Motel Row.”
Day 12 WILLIAMS–SELIGMAN–LAS VEGAS
Depart Williams for Seligman, home to the rebirth of Route 66. Detour once again from Route 66 to visit the bright lights and excitement of Las Vegas. An orientation tour upon arrival shows off many of the themed casino resorts along the colorful “Strip.” This evening, join an optional night at a dazzling show featuring top Vegas entertainment.
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.
Day 14 LAS VEGAS–VICTORVILLE–LOS ANGELES
Today, depart the man-made oasis of Las Vegas and cross the Mojave Desert and the San Bernardino Mountains en route to Los Angeles. Visit the California Route 66 Museum, which displays memories in such settings as a 50’s diner, VW Love Bus and the 1917 Model T Ford. Overnight in Los Angeles, the “City of Angels.”
Day 15 LOS ANGELES
Savor the exciting “City of Angels” on our morning tour of glamorous Beverly Hills, Sunset Strip, Hollywood, and Santa Monica, the ending point of Route 66. Return to Los Angeles where the rest of the day is yours to shop for souvenirs or relax by the pool.
Day 16 LOS ANGELES
Your vacation ends this morning. You can extend your vacation with extra nights and explore Los Angeles further. Your Tour Director will have suggestions.