America’s Mother Road - Route 66
16 Day Self Drive - from £1,099
The ultimate Route 66-inspired road trip takes you to some of the best known highlights along this famous road. You will travel along portions of the actual ‘Mother Road’, which runs from Chicago to Los Angeles.
- Chicago city
- Route 66 Historic Towns
- Cowboy town Oklahoma
- Lone Star State Texas
- Grand Canyon National Park
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Your Self Drive Adventure
Day 1: Arrive in Chicago
Arrive into Chicago and make your way to your centrally located hotel. Chicago is a city with a rich history and a musical soul. From the towering skyline to the smokey lounges where you can hear jazz and blues, Chicago offers a special treat for anyone with a special interest.
Hotel: Chicago South Loop Hotel or similar (2 nights)
Day 2: Chicago
Today is yours to explore Chicago. For a spectacular view of the city, visit the John Hancock Centre, a 40 second ride in the elevator and you’re transported above the Chicago skyline to the viewing deck where stunning vistas await you. For a cultural encounter, visit one of the unique neighbourhoods like Chinatown or Little Italy, both offer cultural food specialties and family-owned restaurants and shops. In the evening venture out to one of the many lounges offering live musical entertainment featuring jazz and blues.
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE - Scenic Chicago Tour
This is the tour for those looking to experience the vitality and excitement of Chicago! You’ll drive through Chicago’s main business section, one of the busiest financial centers in the world. You’ll tour the famous “Loop” and State Street - the great street where Chicago’s fame began. Next, travel by the striking Richard J. Daley Plaza with its acknowledged masterpiece, the Pablo Picasso sculpture, created specifically for Chicago. You will take a ride on Wacker Drive, the double-decked thoroughfare that winds its way under the city. Also journey over the Chicago River, which flows backwards due to one of the world’s greatest engineering feats.
Day 3: Springfield (Illinois) (205 miles)
Pick up your car this morning and head out on the ‘Mother Road’ towards the Illinois state capital, Springfield. Along the way you will encounter the town of Bloomington, home of the Historic Route 66 Memory Lane. After a brief stop to marvel at the billboards and memorabilia continue on to the once home of Abraham Lincoln, Springfield. It’s here that you will be spending the night.
Hotel: Best Western Clearlake Plaza or similar (1 night)
Day 4: St. Louis (103 miles)
Drive toward Saint Louis today, it’s the largest city on Route 66 and known to be the ‘Gateway to the West’. Visit Union Station; a wonderful example of historic preservation and once the busiest railway station in the world, and for spectacular views of the city’s skyline and Mississippi River, head to the top of the famous St. Louis Gateway Arch.
Hotel: Best Western Saint Louis Inn or similar (1 night)
Day 5: Springfield (Missouri) (217 miles)
Continue on the trail of this historic road, your next stop will be Springfield, Missouri, where you will see traces of the ‘Mother Road’ all around you. Look out for the red booths and gleaming chrome diners, the stone cottages of tourist courts and the now-silent service stations that saw America fall in love with the automobile. Take a moment and enjoy the interesting shops and creative eateries that surround the historic downtown area.
Hotel: Sleep Inn Springfield or similar (1 night)
Day 6: Tulsa (181 miles)
Leave Missouri behind today and drive toward historic Oklahoma. For a real bit of nostalgia on the way there, visit Dale’s Ole ‘66’ Barber Shop on the corner of Utica St. and Euclid Ave in Joplin. Continue on your journey to Tulsa, once the home of Beloved cowboy Will Rogers.
Hotel: Best Western Plus Tulsa or similar (1 night)
Day 7: Oklahoma City (107 miles)
Today’s journey takes you into Oklahoma’s state capital, Oklahoma City. At heart it’s a cowboy town popular for its restaurants and shops specializing in Western wear, custom-made boots, and saddles. Visit the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Centre, the history and culture of frontier life are depicted in a wide range of exhibits in this large-scale museum. Visit the revitalized Bricktown Canal where many restaurants and clubs have built patios to take advantage of the wonderful vistas. Water taxis are a popular and enjoyable means of transport between shops, cafes, and nightclubs here.
Hotel: Days Inn Oklahoma City/Moore or similar (1 night),
Day 8: Amarillo (259 miles)
It’s now time to make your way into the Lone Star State, Texas. As you head into Amarillo make a stop in the town of Shamrock for a glimpse of how life was in these parts when Route 66 was indeed the Mother Road. Continue onwards to Amarillo; a must see en route is the Cadillac Ranch; this roadside attraction features 10 graffiti-covered Cadillac’s standing upright in a row. Also worth a visit is Route 66’s Historic District, a mile-long stretch of road originally belonging to Route 66; it now features great shops, bars and restaurants.
Hotel: Amarillo Inn & Suites or similar (1 night)
Day 9: Albuquerque (288 miles)
Leave Texas behind as you drive into the south-western charm of New Mexico. First on this road you will encounter the fascinating town of Tucumcari. Here you will find the Tucumcari Historical Museum where you can experience the legendary past of this town. Next on the way is the town of Santa Rosa which contains more than ten structures still in operation from the glory days of Route 66. Later, carry onto Albuquerque, a town of old and new, natural beauty and man-made wonders.
Hotel: Marriott Fairfield Inn Albuquerque or similar (2 nights)
Day 10: Santa Fe
After a short drive, enter Santa Fe, the oldest capital city in the United States. Flanked by crooked streets and Pueblo style buildings, Santa Fe has an old world feel with a central plaza where you’ll find excellent shops, restaurants and art galleries. Santa Fe is known as the ‘City Different’ because of the blending of cultures which is reflected in the harmonious inhabitants and different architectural styles.
Day 11: Holbrook (233 miles)
Press on into Arizona today and pass through the ancient Native American lands of the Navajo and Hopi Indian Nations. Be sure to visit the Petrified Forest National Park on your way to Holbrook, it’s home to beautifully coloured petrified logs that existed 225 million years ago. The 28-mile drive through the park has scenic lookouts and many wonderful photo opportunities. This evening, explore Holbrook’s Main Street for shopping and dining.
Hotel: Howard Johnson Holbrook or similar (1 night)
Day 12: Flagstaff (Grand Canyon National Park) (262 miles)
This morning depart for Grand Canyon National Park. The overwhelming size and brilliant colours of the Grand Canyon easily make it one of the natural wonders of the world. The South Rim has an assortment of viewing areas that can be reached by car; the Bright Angel Lodge, a historic landmark, offers a particularly good view.
Hotel: Quality Inn Flagstaff or similar (1 night)
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE - North Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour
Enter the Dragon corridor, as this exciting tour puts you in the action, with a“front-row” seat to this Natural Wonder. Marvel at the Canyons’ legendary beauty while relaxing in comfort. You could spend the entire day walking around the Canyon and not see a fraction of the sights with this breathtaking tour. Tour departs from the South Rim Grand Canyon. Guests must drive to the Grand Canyon South Rim.
Day 13: Las Vegas (251 miles)
Leave the natural wonder of the Grand Canyon behind as you drive toward Las Vegas. Although not technically part of the historic route, it would be mad to miss out such an impressive highlight. From the outrageous live shows to the excitement of casinos, Las Vegas has something to offer everyone.
Hotel: Gold Coast Hotel or similar (1 night)
Day 14: Los Angeles (287 miles)
Continue following Route 66 via Barstow for a visit to Casa Del Decierto (Desert House). This restored Harvey House houses the Route 66 Museum. After a brief stop, continue to Santa Monica to visit the famous Santa Monica Pier, once known as the ‘finish line’ of legendary Route 66.
Hotel: Carmel by the Sea or similar (2 nights)
Day 15: Los Angeles
Today, spend some time at the beach; with 3.5 miles of Southern California beaches and over 300 days of sunshine, Santa Monica Beach is a welcome retreat with a range of activities on offer. Swimming, surfing, volleyball, skating and biking are among the favourite beach-side past times of this area. Or, you can choose to visit the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and shop on the famous Rodeo Drive, where luxury retail commands the street.
Day 16: Depart Los Angeles (12 miles)
The epic journey along ‘America’s Mother Road’ comes to an end today. You can choose to stay a little longer in L.A. to soak up more of the city, or depart at your leisure to Los Angeles Airport for your flight home.
16 Day Self Drive - from £1,099
with flights from £1,539
- Add a Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour – from £196
- Add a Scenic Chicago Tour – from £26
NEW YEAR SALE
FREE Car Upgrade with Self Drive Holidays until 31st January 2019
*NEW YEAR SALE - Free car upgrade on self drive holidays until 31st January 2019. Valid on new bookings only. Vehicles are subject to availability, seasonal variations may apply.
Price is per person, based on 2 sharing a double or twin room and include pre-booked accommodation, air-conditioned car and unlimited mileage. One-way fees charged locally. Hotels specified are subject to availability and may be substituted by one of a similar or higher standard. Self Drive also available in reverse.
Self Drive Touring
Enjoy independent touring at its very best. Book our self drives as they are or add extra days in the places you choose. Normally available in both directions.
Your self drive includes:
- Well planned, easy to follow route
- Travel guide and maps
- 15 nights pre-booked accommodation
- Hotel upgrades available upon request
- Modern air-conditioned car
- Unlimited mileage
- Roadside assistance
- Car upgrades available upon request