Get your kicks on Route 66 - One of the most iconic roads in the world, Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles covers over 2400 miles across 8 states and travels through 3 time zones.
Spend 15 nights and 16 days on this fabulous self-drive holiday of a lifetime made easy with The Internet Traveller on this very carefully planned itinerary that will allow you to see all the major sights without the stress of planning a route and finding somewhere to stay each night.
Must see's on Route 66!
Day 1 - 2: Chicago
Fly direct to Chicago and transfer independantly to your hotel for 2 nights. Chicago, known as the windy city, is a bustling and vibrant city with striking architecture and lovely parks as well as world-class shopping and fantastic dining options.
Before heading off on your Route 66 journey you have time to explore this fabulous city and the must visit attractions are the Hancock Tower Observatory, Navy Pier and a guided city bus tour. In the evening why not sample on of the many blues of jazz clubs.
Stay 2 nights at the Affinia Chicago Hotel
Day 3: Arrive St. Louis
Today is the day you start your epic drive across America! Collect your car and start you journey at the very beginning of Route 66 at Grant Park.
Most of the day will be spent driving through the Illinois farmlands but some of the suggested stops along the way would be the Midewin Tall grass Prairie where you appreciate the transition between the metroplolis that is Chicago and the wide open spaces along Route 66. Take a stop for a picture or two at 36-foot tall muffler man statue near the Launching Pad restaurant, the legendary drive-in at Willmington, Illinois. In addition stop for a visit at the Village of Riverside, now preserved as a Landscape Architectural Historic Distict.
Stay 1 night at the Hampton Inn & Suites St. Louis (includes breakfast)
Today's driving distance: 310 miles
Day 4: Arrive Springfield, Missouri
Route 66 to Springfield takes you through the Ozark Mountains with lush roling hills and is still remarkably similar to the late 1800s when the first settlers arrived.
Springfield is considered the mother of the Mother Road itself. It was here that Cyrus Avery of Oklahoma who fought for a route through Oklahoma met with John Woodruff of Springfield, to plan and promote the idea of an interregional link that would bring trade and access to the area. In honor, Springfield has preserved much of the old highway frontage along St. Louis Street as well as the "Chestnut Expressway." If you’re a fan of western lore, delve into the "Wild" Bill Hickock legend surrounding his fellow gambler Dave Tutt. There’s so many different stories no one really knows what happened.
Stay 1 night at the Best Western Coach House Inn, Springfield
Today's driving distance: 225 miles
Day 5 - 6: Arrive Oklahoma City
Nowhere is Route 66 more at home than in Oklahoma, where the pavement follows the contours of the land as though it has always been there. In the dust-bowl years of the 1930s, fifteen percent of Oklahoma's population started out on Route 66 in single cars or caravans carrying all their belongings, children, hopes and dreams with them. This section of your holiday takes you through rolling countryside once the haunt of Native Americans, later the territory of cowboys and outlaws and along part of the famous Cherokee Strip.
Oklahoma City suffered a dramatic decline at the end of the 1980s, however since then the city has gone through an astounding transformation which continued during the re building which followed the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. There is a monument dedicated to the victims with an adjacent museum which tells the story.
For nightlife, make sure you visit Bricktown, a former warehouse district that has been reinvented with restaurants, cafes, night clubs giving a wonderfully vibrant atmosphere.
Stay 2 nights at the Hilton Skirvin
Today's driving distance: 285 miles
Day 7: Amarillo, Texas
For the traveller going west on the classic Route 66, Texas is Cowboy Country. It is here that some of the most wonderful icons of Route 66, those functional simple buildings that were adorned with all manner of exterior signs promising all things larger than life, still exist. Two headed snakes, reptile farms, alligators, wondrous caves and petrified mummies all vied for the attention of the holiday-maker in a unique side show that would have made P. T. Barnum proud. The tales carried home from these holidays would entice and amaze the neighborhood for months.
Make sure you allow time to drive Amarillo Boulevard which is part of the original Route 66. The road is lined with block after block of strip shopping centres and roadside motels straight out of the 1950s.
Stay 1 night at the Holiday Inn Amarillo West Medical Centre
Today's driving distance: 260 miles
Day 8 - 9: Arrive Albuquerque, New Mexico
En route to Albuquerque, New Mexico you'll pass through Tucumcari once nicknamed "Six Shooter Siding", Tucumcari, New Mexico got its start in 1901 as a rowdy railroad camp filled with saloons and outlaws. It soon became one of the many small railroad towns in the Southwest with a failing economy and diminishing population. But this was to change, with a large number of roadside businesses that sprung up along Route 66.
Historic neon signs still glow on old Route 66 through Albuquerque, which is now Central Avenue. The classic Route 66 continues to guide visitors through Albuquerque from the volcanoes on the city's far west side past the Rio Grande Botanical Gardens and the Albuquerque Aquarium, through historic Old Town and downtown areas, through the University of New Mexico and trendy Nob Hill. Here you will find many of the city's best restaurants, distinctive shops and boutiques.
Stay 2 nights at the Sheraton Uptown Hotel
Today's driving distance: 288 miles
Day 10: Arrive Holbrook, Arizona
Today visit the Petrified Forest National Park on your Route 66 holiday with it's thousands of acres of petrified trees.
Approx 30 miles from Holbrook is the fascinating Meteor Crater. Over 22,000 years ago a meteorite blasted a huge hole, nearly a mile across and over 500 foot deep into this plateau.
On site the former USA Museum of Astrogeology has been remodeled and includes new displays on the never-ending process of impacts and collisions in our solar system. The Meteor Crater Interactive Learning Centre includes twenty-four exciting exhibits, making it the most extensive and informative museum of its type on planet earth. Also included in the Learning Centre are two interactive computer displays that contain information and high-tech graphics on space, meteorites and asteroids, the solar system, and the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet that impacted Jupiter.
Stay 1 night at the Best Western Arizonian, Holbrook
Today's driving distance: 230 miles
Day 11: Arrive Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Grand Canyon is not officially on the classic Route 66 tour, but it’s a popular detour on our Route 66 holiday. You couldn’t miss one of the seven wonders of the world when you’re this close.
Named the greatest natural wonder of the world, the Grand Canyon was formed over millions of years by the swift water of the Colorado River along with the constant exposure to the wind and sun. In return this has produced the miles of formation of rocks and earth, with the vibrant colours and depth.
Once you reach the Grand Canyon, you’ll soon discover standing on the South Rim that it is absolutely awesome; a massive and most dramatic natural wonder. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, 6,000 feet deep at its deepest point and 15 miles wide at its widest.
A must to do on your holiday is to take a 30 minute flight over the canyon for the best view of all. The newest attraction, the newly opened Grand Canyon Skywalk is a unique horseshoe-shaped structure which extends 70 feet beyond the edge of the Grand Canyon. Its glass-bottomed pathway allows visitors an opportunity to peer thousands of feet straight down into the Grand Canyon for a very unique perspective.
Stay 1 night at the Best Western Squire Inn, Grand Canyon (breakfast included)
Today's driving distance: 170 miles
Day 12 - 13: Arrive Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is quite rightly known as an ‘Adult’s Playground in the Desert’. Everywhere you look from the Las Vegas Strip to the fabulous eliminations of the Fremont Street Experience, there is an incredible variety of amazing things to do and see.
Attracting more than 38 million visitors every year, you will be blown away by the most glamorous, unique Las Vegas hotels, you can eat in five-star restaurants, play at any of the glorious casino’s and indulge yourself by the pools or in the health spas and even get married if you so desire. These are just of the choices that await any visitor to Las Vegas. As part of the golden triangle, this is also the perfect stop off on a twin or multi centre holiday.
If you think Las Vegas is hot and full of energy during the day, just wait until you sample its sizzling and sparkling nightlife. After dark Las Vegas is transformed in to a whole new world and a different experience that needs exploring including the world-famous Blue Note Jazz club, Studio 54 and many other see-and-be-seen hotspots. Some of the most popular venues are the Coyote Ugly bar at New York-New York, Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace and JET at Mirage. Las Vegas is also home to some of the best shows seen anywhere like the fabulous Blue Man Group as well as regular appearances from the likes of Barry Manilow, Cher and Tom Jones.
Stay 2 nights at the Luxor Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
Today's driving distance: 275 miles
Day 14 - 15: Arrive Santa Monica, Los Angeles
Finally, after a journey through the Mojave Desert you will reach the bright lights of Los Angeles & Hollywood. Today's final destination is Santa Monica, where Route 66 - the Mother Road offically ends at the Santa Monica Pier.
Once in Los Angeles the sky is the limit, so make sure you make time to check some of the main sights such as Sunset Boulevard and the Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Trolley tour and the many museums throughtout this amazing city.
Finally, congratulations on making this epic journey and we hope your entire experience was a pleasurable one!!
Stay 2 nights at the Doubletree Santa Monica
Today's driving distance: 260 miles
Day 16: Fly home!