Depart London Heathrow – 11:50
Arrive Chicago – 13:55
Journey Time – 8 hours 30 minutes
Welcome to the starting point of Route 66! Get settled in at The Palmer House, an Authentic Accommodation, and the nation’s oldest continually operating hotel. Hosting entertainers such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland, this elegant hotel became an epicenter for entertainment in the early 1900s. Spend the afternoon exploring the grounds, relaxing from your travels or head outdoors to get acquainted with the city of Chicago. At 6 p.m., gather at the hotel with your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception.
Overnight – Chicago (Welcome Reception Meal Included)
Chicago to Springfield to St Louis
After an introduction to the Windy City, including elegant Lakeshore Drive and the Magnificent Mile, hit the road for a good, old-fashioned American road trip. Just outside Chicago, see several of Route 66’s original gas stations. Explore the history and cultural impact of America’s Mother Road at the Route 66 Association Hall of Fame & Museum. Roll on southwest to Springfield, on the way to St. Louis, the Gateway to the West.
Overnight – St Louis (Breakfast included)
St. Louis Sightseeing
Get ready for a real taste of America’s Midwest today, starting with the view from atop the famed St. Louis Gateway Arch. Head to “The Hill” and learn about St. Ambrose Church, the history of the Italian Immigrants and why they came and stayed in St. Louis. This Unique Insight introduces you to wonderful Italian markets and the ancient game of Bocce. Afterward, experience another American favourite with a guided tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery—from the stables of the Clydesdales to the tasting room—and enjoy a taste of this Local Speciality as well. And what goes better with beer than barbecue? Learn to mix up your own sweet and spicy sauce with a team of master BBQ chefs and enjoy a rib-sticking Be My Guest dinner, hot off the grill.
Overnight – St Louis (Breakast and Be My Guest Dining included)
St Louis to Meramec Caverns to Branson
Begin your day by crossing the Mississippi River via the Chain of Rocks Bridge, named for the rocks that made crossing the river so rough before the bridge was built in the 1960s. As you near the middle, keep your eyes peeled for the bridge’s most notable feature, a 22-degree bend. Go underground in Meramec Caverns, a former hideout of Jesse James, for a glimpse of some outstanding subterranean formations. Then it’s onward to the Ozarks and the lively American musical mecca of Branson. Explore Branson Landing, a shopping, dining and entertainment hub on the shores of Lake Taneycomo. Tonight, perhaps get your kicks at an optional dinner show.
Overnight – Branson (Breakfast incuded)
Branson to Will Rogers Memorial to Oklahoma City
Roll on through historic Joplin, Missouri into eastern Oklahoma, an especially scenic stretch of highway known as the Will Rogers Highway. Stop to visit the Will Rogers Museum dedicated to the famous American humorist who once said “I never met a man I didn’t like.” See more classics of the Old Road such as the Round Barn in Arcadia, Oklahoma. Tonight, enjoy a Highlight Dinner in the vibrant warehouse district of Bricktown.
Overnight – Oklahoma City (Full Breakfast / Highlight Dinner included)
Oklahoma City Sightseeing & Free Time
Get a taste of the Old West at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum with its collection of Native American art and outstanding display of antique firearms. After lunch, visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, honouring the 1995 bombing victims. The rest of the day is yours to explore historic Bricktown.
Overnight – Oklahoma City (Breakfast included)
Oklahoma City to Route 66 Museum to Amarillo
In Clinton, explore a classic collection of Route 66 history, memorabilia and culture. Crossing into the Texas Panhandle, return to Old Route 66 for a scenic drive before stopping at Amarillo, the “yellow rose of Texas.
Overnight – Amarillo (Breakfast and Dinner included)
Amarillo to Albuquerque
Yes, those are 10 classic Cadillacs buried nose down in the dirt, the famed Cadillac Ranch pop art installation just outside Amarillo. Stop in Tucumcari, where a large number of the vintage motels and restaurants built in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s are still in existence. Travel on to Albuquerque where the spirit of Route 66 still thrives. Take a walking tour of Old Town and see the old adobe architecture with a Local Expert. Tonight, don your poodle skirt or leather jacket for a dinner at the 66 Diner with its 1950s jukebox and blue-plate specials that have hardly changed since the heyday of the “Main Street of America.”
Overnight – Albuquerque (Breakast and Dinner included)
Albuquerque Sightseeing & Free Time
While Albuquerque didn’t boom until the coming of Route 66, the city existed for more than 300 years. Enjoy the day exploring on your own. Visit one of the many museums, relax in a cafe or perhaps opt to visit southwestern arts-filled Santa Fe.
Overnight – Albuquerque (Breakfast included)
Albuquerque to Flagstaff
Cruise through Gallup this morning and see the history of Route 66 on the main drag. See the Historic El Rancho hotel, which served as a home base to the movie stars who came to the desert for their films. Crossing into Arizona, watch the sun play over the changing colours of the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park. See the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook and the Man Standing on the Corner in Winslow before arriving in Flagstaff with its quaint downtown and pine-forested hills.
Overnight – Flagstaff (Breakfast and Dinner included)
Flagstaff to Cameron Trading Post to Grand Canyon National Park
As the morning sun gilds the desert landscape, visit the traditional land of the Navajo people. Stop at Cameron Trading Post to browse through handicrafts and maybe enjoy some tasty fry bread. This afternoon, wind along scenic Desert View Drive before arriving at the Grand Canyon. Spend the night inside the park, allowing plenty of time to explore this natural world wonder. For more stunning views, take an optional plane or helicopter trip to see the canyon from the sky.
Overnight – Grand Canyon National Park (Breakfast included)
Grand Canyon to Selifman to Kingman to Las Vegas
Hit the road again, passing through Seligman then Peach Springs, the town that was the inspiration for the Pixar movie Cars. Then drive through Hackberry, a Route 66 ghost town along the original route. Further ahead, stop in Kingman, a Route 66 hotspot that has kept the old culture alive. Driving the Mother Road in these desert oases is like time travelling to see the well-preserved motels, diners and gas stations of a simpler era. Then it’s full speed ahead to glittering Las Vegas. The afternoon and evening are yours to hit the Strip, catch a show or try your luck at the slots.
Overnight – Las Vegas (Breakfast included)
Las Vegas to Hollywood to Los Angeles
Travel from Sin City to the City of Angels today, with one last jaunt on Route 66 near the town of Barstow. Upon arrival in Los Angeles, see the sights, including Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Beverly Hills, Sunset Boulevard and the place where the road comes to an end, Santa Monica and the great Pacific. This evening, celebrate your journey at a festive Farewell Dinner.
Overnight – Los Angeles (Breakfast included)
Depart Los Angeles
Say good-bye to the road and take flight after a complimentary transfer to Los Angeles International Airport. You may wish to extend your stay in L.A. at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites.
Depart Los Angeles – 17:45
Arrive London Heathrow – 12:00 (Next Day)
Journey time – 10 hours 20 minutes