Highlights of Route 66 with Mother Road & Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta (8580)

16 Day Tour from Chicago to Los Angeles

2020 Tour Details View 2021 Tour Details »

Get your kicks on Route 66 with a legendary trip across America. From Chicago to Los Angeles, your budget-minded tour of eight states includes stays in Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.

Your affordable vacation is just in time to attend the 19th Annual Mother Road Festival in Springfield, Illinois. See automobile and motorcycle enthusiasts gather with hot cars, cool trucks, and vintage bikes with a salute to Route 66 and the tradition of the open road. The annual festival celebrates Route 66 (aka the Mother Road) which was called the “Main Street of America” and “Will Rogers Highway” for more than 50 years before the advent of the US Interstate system. Enjoy classic cars, live entertainment, contests and prizes, and other scheduled activities for the Route 66 and automotive enthusiast.

Visit Branson, Missouri – one of America’s most popular entertainment destinations – and opt for dinner and a show. Then just outside of Amarillo, Texas, see the famous Cadillac Ranch.

You’ll attend the amazing Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and see hundreds of hot-air balloons fill the sky with a multi-colored display. Seize the chance to shop for artisan jewelry made by local craftsmen.

Your budget travel plans include an exciting detour from Route 66 with a night in Williams, a picturesque mountain town with Route 66 as the Main Street and the gateway to the Grand Canyon National Park, as well as a stop in Las Vegas with the option to relax by the pool, explore the Vegas Strip, or raft on the Colorado River. In Los Angeles, you’ll enjoy a tour of Hollywood, the Sunset Strip, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica.

Discover vintage Americana, wide open spaces, and national treasures on your budget travel vacation across the USA.

Highlights of Route 66 with Mother Road & Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta map
National Park Tours – National Park Foundation

 Photo Highlights

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

  • Grand Canyon National Park

 Meals

 Meals & Itinerary

4 breakfasts, 2 continental breakfasts


Notes:

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.

 Itinerary

Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.

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 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 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.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 6 BRANSON–ARCADIA–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 Arcadia, on historic Route 66, visit POPS landmark diner and gas station. Later today, arrive in Oklahoma City.

Breakfast Breakfast

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.

Breakfast Breakfast

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’s free time in this original Spanish town with its fine parish church and Spanish-style plaza.

Breakfast 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.

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 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 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.”

BreakfastContinental Breakfast

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.

BreakfastContinental Breakfast

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–BARSTOW–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. 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 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.



Transportation:

Private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring

 Tour Director

With COSMOS, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of a Tour Director. We’d like you to meet one of our Tour Directors, who average over a decade of experience and are representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.

BARBARA BURYIAK

Escorting tours for more than 20 years

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

 Optional Excursions

No matter what you’re into: food, wine, history, art, music or anything else, we give you the freedom to personalize your vacation with optional excursions that speak to your interests.

When you book your excursions with us, you can be assured that every optional excursion that we offer coordinates with the free time that you'll have in your destination, so you'll never have conflicts between included and optional activities. Our team of travel experts carefully selects each optional excursion that we offer to ensure that you receive the highest quality at a great value. Our tried-and-true partners have a finger on the pulse of the city in which they operate so they deliver the very best experiences. We offer experiences you cannot create on your own and because you’re booking with us, we coordinate all your transportation and timing needs.

The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased). Optional excursions are available for purchase on our MyCosmos site 90 days prior to the tour start date.

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)


Chicago
Branson
Amarillo
Grand Canyon National Park
Las Vegas
Los Angeles

Chicago

Chicago River Cruise

Chicago River Cruise

Marvel at the exquisite architectural wonders of the Windy City during this exciting narrated cruise.

Price Range: $

Branson

Branson Show and Dinner

Branson Show and Dinner

Enjoy a world-class live show and dinner in Branson, the lively Ozark town that has grown into one of the country¿s hottest entertainment meccas.

Price Range: $$

Amarillo

Big Texan

Big Texan

Experience a piece of genuine Americana on this fun dinner outing to The Big Texan Steak Ranch, a Route 66 landmark since 1960!

Price Range: $

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon Helicopter Flightseeing

Grand Canyon Helicopter Flightseeing

There may be no better way to uncover the sheer splendor of the incredible Grand Canyon than from the air! Choose from two helicopter tours with awe-inspiring views, a once in a lifetime opportunity!

Price Range: $$$$

Las Vegas

Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam

Come face to face with one of the world's Top 10 architectural wonders on this captivating tour of Hoover Dam!

Price Range: $$$$

"Vegas! The Show"  The Story of Vegas Entertainment

"Vegas! The Show" The Story of Vegas Entertainment

Savor a hearty dinner of juicy, hand-carved meats at Pampas Brazilian Grille, then enjoy "Vegas! The Show", a toe-tapping musical tribute to the good ol' days of the "real" Las Vegas!

Price Range: $$$

Helicopter Tours

Helicopter Tours

Discover the scenery and sights of Las Vegas and beyond on this phenomenal helicopter flightseeing tour!

Price Range: $$$$

Black Canyon Raft Adventure

Black Canyon Raft Adventure

Travel through the breathtaking scenery of the Black Canyon on this exhilarating rafting trip along the legendary Colorado River!

Price Range: $$$$

Los Angeles

Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Step behind the scenes at a real working film studio including sets and sound stages used in classic movies and TV shows' on this fun half-day tour of Warner Bros. Studio Hollywood.

Price Range: $$

Los Angeles Farewell Dinner

Los Angeles Farewell Dinner

Join your fellow travel companions for a family-style Italian farewell dinner to celebrate your memorable journey together!

Price Range: $

 Know Before You Go

These Know Before You Go travel tips are designed with you in mind, with helpful hints to help you prepare for and enjoy your escorted vacation. They are your guide to getting ready and contain general information on travel documentation, customs, and the country/countries you will be visiting, including budgeting, transportation, climate, languages, and much more. With Globus, you benefit from our experience.



* The "Starting at" or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. If a price is crossed out, the new price includes a limited time promotional offer(s) – please review current promotions or deals for additional information. Some tours require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Cosmos).