Your VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your journey to London Heathrow or Gatwick Airport and a direct, scheduled flight to Chicago. On arrival you will transfer to the Hotel Indigo Chicago Downtown Gold Coast or Courtyard River North, your base for the next two nights.
A morning city tour introduces us to this magnificent city constructed along the shores of Lake Michigan. The afternoon is free to explore the ‘Windy City’.
Chicago to Springfield
This morning we take our first steps along the ‘Mother Road’. Although the roads have been changed and modernised through the years, our route over the following days still encompasses the Route 66 spirit that has enthralled so many since its inception in 1926. We stop to visit the Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame & Museum, housing thousands of artefacts and memorabilia on this world-famous road. We continue south to the Springfield area, which President Lincoln called his home for so many years. We stay this evening at the Wyndham Springfield City Center
Springfield to St Louis
Spend today learning about the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. Our first stop is President Lincoln’s tomb, the final resting place of the president after he was assassinated in 1865. We then visit Lincoln’s home, a National Historic site, and travel to New Salem, where Lincoln lived and worked for six years in the 1830s. This reconstructed village includes houses, shops and a general store, with information imparted by period costumed interpreters. We now head for St Louis, where we spend the next two nights at the Drury Inn Union Station. This evening you are again free to explore.
Today we take a trip to the top of the 630ft Gateway Arch, opened in 1965 to honour President Jefferson’s vision of the continental United States. The rest of the day is free to discover all that St Louis has to offer. Why not take a riverboat cruise along the Mississippi, tour the huge Anheuser-Busch Brewery or experience the beautiful Botanical Garden.
St Louis to Springfield
Our first stop today is at the Museum of Transportation. Over 20 classic locomotives are housed here, together with many classic motor vehicles, many of which would have taken the old Route 66 in years past. Later, we take a tour of the aptly named Fantastic Caverns to view the spectacular cave formations. Tonight we stay in Springfield, Missouri at the Oasis Hotel & Convention Centre or DoubleTree by Hilton Springfield.
Springfield to Oklahoma City
Departing Springfield, we cross into Kansas and on to the state of Oklahoma and our lunch stop in Tulsa. This afternoon we continue to Oklahoma City, where on 22 April 1889 tens of thousands of settlers surged forward in the Great Land Run to grab their piece of glory and stake their claim on part of the two million areas of unassigned land then opened for settlement. Not surprisingly, Oklahoma City became known as ‘the city born in a single day’. On arrival we take an orientation tour, before checking into the Courtyard by Marriott or Skirvin Hotel
Oklahoma City to Amarillo
We continue west, leaving the plains of Oklahoma for the oil-rich Texas Panhandle. We take time to view Palo Duro Canyon State Park, second largest in America and where spectacular vistas greet the eye. We continue to Amarillo for our overnight stay. Since it was founded in the 1880s, Amarillo has experienced many things, from civil war battles to the creation of many millionaires from the ‘black gold’ of the area. Our hotel is the Embassy Suites Downtown
Amarillo to Albuquerque
Just outside Amarillo we catch a glimpse of a strange sight – ten half-buried Cadillacs, tail up in a field, which is said to represent the golden era of the car. Onward to New Mexico, known as ‘the Land of Enchantment’ and Albuquerque, a historic city dating back nearly 300 years. We take a brief orientation tour before checking into the Best Western Rio Grande Hotel
Today is free to explore at your leisure. The Historic Old Town is worthy of exploration with its many museums and galleries.
Albuquerque to Flagstaff
Arizona greets us today as we make a visit to the Petrified Forest National Park, where quite literally the remnants of an ancient forest have been fossilised. Incorporated in the park is the Painted Desert, a vast arid badland scattered with buttes and mesas. We continue west to Flagstaff and stay at the Little America Hotel for the next two nights.
Our journey today takes us to a true world wonder – the Grand Canyon. The colossal size is difficult to comprehend, especially as its creator, the mighty Colorado River, is so small in comparison. After an enchanting day with an opportunity to take a superb helicopter flight over the canyon, we return to our hotel at Flagstaff.
Flagstaff to Williams – Kingman Las Vegas
Our scenic journey today takes us onwards for a brief stop at Williams, a town steeped in Route 66 history. Time to explore before travelling through Hualapai Indian country to Kingman. We continue to Las Vegas where we overnight at the classic Golden Nugget Hotel, located on Fremont Street, the original Las Vegas before the Strip was developed.
Las Vegas to Santa Monica – Long Beach
West to Barstow and a visit to Calico Ghost town, an old silver mining town which has become a popular tourist attraction. We continue our travels through the San Bernardino Mountains and down to Los Angeles. Taking Santa Monica Boulevard to the coast itself and the actual end of the road at the Pacific Ocean our journey is now complete. You have a short time for reflection or exploration in Santa Monica before our transfer to Long Beach and the Renaissance Long Beach, our base for the next two nights.
Today you are at leisure in the waterfront city of Long Beach. There are many attractions a short distance from your hotel including the fabulous Queen Mary, where you can take a fascinating self-guided walking tour.
Today we transfer to Los Angeles Airport for a direct, scheduled flight to London.
Arrival at London Heathrow or Gatwick Airport where you will be met and guided to your vehicle for the journey home.