Hitching a Ride on Route 66
A Journey in History from Chicago to Los Angeles
11 Days | Spring | Summer | Fall
Starting At $Flexible Pricing
Route 66, “The Mother Road” — holds a special place in American consciousness. It evokes images of simpler times, mom and pop businesses, the mobilization of a nation and the influence of the automobile. This tour recalls the experiences of earlier generations.
During the highway’s glory days, Route 66 was a muse. “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66.”
It has been part of the American songbook since Nat King Cole first released it in 1946
Day 1 – Chicago, IL – Dinner & Music at Buddy Guy’s
You position your group today in Chicago, the starting point of Route 66.
After check in a comfortable hotel for the night. You enjoy dinner at Buddy Guy’s Legends, it’s the world’s premier Blues Club owned and operated by this Grammy Award Winner and a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. Tonight, you enjoy Louisiana-style Cajun and Soul food – served while a Blues band makes a little music. (B,D)
Day 2 – Pontiac, IL – Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame – Gateway Arch Riverboat Dinner Cruise
Start on down, start on down, the Road. First stop is Pontiac, IL, where Route 66 history dates back to the earliest days of the “Mother Road.” When you visit the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame you will see thousands of pieces of historic memorabilia. This museum is filled with images and stories about life in America when Route 66 was the most important highway in our nation.
You will also have free time in downtown Pontiac for lunch. There are more than 20 hand-painted murals gracing the walls of the downtown buildings.
Travel continues to St. Louis, MO for the night at a Drury Inn. Tonight, from under the shadow of the Gateway Arch’s you set sail on a Riverboat Dinner Cruise with prime rib, live jazz music and captivating views of the St. Louis skyline. (B,D)
Day 3 – Cuba, MO Murals – Springfield, MO – Route 66 Car Museum – Joplin, MO – Route 66 Mural Park – Wilder’s Steak House
Westward this morning you visit Cuba, MO. One of 9 American Cities named after that Island country, it is known as the “Route 66 Mural City.” There are 12 large outdoor murals depicting scenes from local and national history. These include images of Harry S. Truman, Amelia Earhart and Bette Davis. Plus, you will see the Wagon Wheel Motel and the World’s Largest Rocking Chair.
Continuing to Springfield, MO you tour the Route 66 Car Museum filled with classic and one-of-a-kind cars that span history. You’ll find cars that have been a part of American Pop Culture and automobiles been driven by historical figures. There are also famous vehicles that have starred in blockbusters like Batman, Grapes of Wrath and Back to the Future.
Overnight is in Joplin, MO where you see another Route 66 Mural Park. There are two large tile murals: “Cruisin’ into Joplin” and “The American Ribbon.” Plus a mock 1964 Red Corvette that makes a whimsical backdrop for selfies.
Check into another Drury Inn for the night.
Dinner is included this evening at Wilder’s Steak House. One massive neon sign garnishes the entrance to this classic cocktail and steak restaurant. Couched inside a Joplin historic building, it has been in business since the crash of 1929. T-bone steaks, Pacific King Salmon and other surf-and-turf pairings spearhead a menu that includes vegetarian sautés and Colorado lamb chops in its ranks. (B,D)
Day 4 – Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park – Blue Whale of Catoosa – Tulsa’s Mother Road Market – Oklahoma City, OK – Toby Keith’s “I Love This Bar”
Rolling into Oklahoma and the longest stretch of Route 66 (over 400 miles) you stop in Foyil at Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park home of “The World’s Largest Concrete Totem Pole.” He started building that totem pole in 1937 as a tribute to American Indians. Make sure to get an up-close look at the incredible detail on it and the smaller totems throughout the park.
Next is Catoosa and the Blue Whale, a beloved historic landmark. You can walk into the whale’s happy mouth.
In Tulsa you break at the Mother Road Market – Oklahoma’s first food hall! Here you’ll find good food, unique retail, and The WEL Bar! There is also a huge back patio with Route 66-themed mini golf. While in Tulsa, enjoy more Route 66 Sightseeing such as: Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios on 66, Meadow Gold Sign, Neon Sign Park and the Route 66 Historical Village.
You are in Oklahoma City tonight at a hotel located in Bricktown with dinner included at Toby Keith’s “I Love This Bar” Restaurant. It’s a down-home dining and music experience right in the middle of OKC’s historic district. It’s known for daily beer specials and good, old-fashioned country favorites like chicken fried steak, pork chops topped with homemade jalapeño peach jam – even calf fries! (D)
Day 5 – Oklahoma City Memorial – Milk Bottle Grocery – Lunch at Lucille’s Roadhouse – Oklahoma Route 66 Museum – Dinner at Amarillo’s The Big Texan Steakhouse
This morning you visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial, dedicated to the victims of the April 19, 1995 bombing City of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. This Outdoor Symbolic Memorial stands on the ground where it happened and contains a Field of Empty Chairs, a Reflecting Pool and Rescuers’ Orchard.
Before leaving OKC, you see the Milk Bottle Grocery, a fun and unique Route 66 landmark. The wedge-shaped building was constructed in the 1930s, but the giant milk bottle on top that makes it a popular photo stop was not added until 1948.
In Clinton, OK you have lunch at Lucille’s Roadhouse – serving fine food for the hungry traveler. This Route 66 themed restaurant has a 1950s Diner-look with polished chrome, glass brick and colored lighting.
Then visit the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum. Exhibits at this museum begin with “the world’s largest curio cabinet” offering special treasures collected from along the route. Each room is enhanced by music in keeping with that rooms particular theme; like “Will Rogers Highway” by native son Woody Guthrie and “Hotel California” by The Eagles.
Lodging is at the Drury Inn Amarillo, TX. Dinner is included at the Big Texan Steak House. Enjoy the atmosphere as well as the food in another unique restaurant along the iconic Route 66. (B,L,D)
Day 6 – Cadillac Ranch – Tucumcari, NM – New Mexico Route 66 Museum – Albuquerque, NM – Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway
Did you know there’s a Cadillac Ranch on Route 66? Ten graffiti-covered cars half-buried, nose-down, facing west at the same angle as the Cheops’ pyramids. Built by a group of art-hippies imported from San Francisco, by Amarillo billionaire Stanley Marsh 3. He wanted a public art piece that would baffle the locals. So, ten Caddies were driven into one of his fields, and half-buried, nose-down.
You then drive to Tucumcari, NM often called “The Heart of the Mother Road.” There are nearly 100 murals in town. You can spot most of them along Tucumcari Boulevard, while others are down side streets, decorating shops, restaurants and even the grocery store. There are also plenty of vintage Route 66 Motels to see.
While here you will visit the New Mexico Route 66 Museum. Current exhibits include: Michael Campanelli’s Route 66 Photo Exhibit with over 166 photos of Route 66 from Chicago to L.A. and a vintage diner display with Rock-Ola juke box, gas pumps, porcelain signs, memorabilia and more.
Next in Albuquerque you ride the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway. It stretches from the northeast edge of the city to the crest line of the Sandia Mountains. It is the longest aerial tram in North America.
Lodging is at the Albuquerque Drury. Dinner is on your own and you can take advantage of Drury’s 5:30 Kickback Happy Hour featuring a rotating menu of hot food and cold beverages. (B, HH)
Day 7 – Petrified Forest National Park – Winslow, AZ – Flagstaff, AZ
Continue travel today with a stop at the Painted Desert Visitors Center in Petrified Forest National Park. Then take a drive on the Northern loop of Petrified Forest Road. Experience one of the world’s largest and most vibrantly colored assemblies of petrified wood, historic structures and archeological sites. Here, 200-million-year-old fossils tell the tale of the earth – and its prehistoric inhabitants – amongst the picturesque wonders of Arizona’s Painted Desert. Petrified Forest is a surprising realm of fascinating landscape and science.
You’ll be “Standin’ on the Corner in Winslow, Arizona” this afternoon. There’s a ‘must-see” sculpture and mural because of the popularity of the song “Take It Easy” by The Eagles. Winslow is a great photo op and fans of the HGTV show Hometown Kickstart, may recognize a few more places.
Your day ends in Flagstaff, AZ for a two-night stay at the Drury Inn. Dinner is on your own this evening, but the group can take advantage of Drury’s 5:30 Kickback Happy Hour featuring a rotating menu of hot food and cold beverages. (B, HH)
Day 8 – Full Day Grand Canyon Tour – Black Bart’s Steakhouse, Saloon & Musical Revue
Today, enjoy a full day tour of Grand Canyon National Park with a local guide. Tour the South Rim of the Grand Canyon from the Desert View Watch Tower to Hermits Rest. “One of the Wonders of the World,” Grand Canyon National Park hosts a vast variety of wildlife and scenic wonders. Learn about the geology and history of the canyon while taking in its breathtaking beauty at all the best view points along the South Rim including Grand Canyon Village.
Returning to Flagstaff, dinner is included at Black Bart’s Steakhouse, Saloon and Musical Revue. It’s a great meal and a truly unique dining experience. The talented waiters and waitresses perform a Musical Revue with songs from the 60s and 70s. (B,D)
Day 9 – Kingman, AZ – Arizona Route 66 Museum – Barstow, CA – Outlets at Barstow
Today you motor into Kingman, AZ for the Arizona Route 66 Museum. In the Historic Powerhouse this museum depicts the evolution of travel along the 35th parallel that became Route 66.
Brilliant murals, photos and life-size dioramas capture the various groups that traveled on what has come to be known as the Mother Road. You are following Native American trade routes and the U. S. Army led survey expeditions. Learn of settlers on their migration west and how this became the nation’s first federally funded wagon road. Feel the hardship and despair of the dust bowl refugees as they journeyed to a better life in the 30’s. And how the road became Main Street America as the 50’s ushered in fun and excitement for Route 66 travelers.
End the day in Barstow, CA where original Route 66 runs right down Main Street. This evening you visit the Outlets at Barstow forr dinner on own. This “Diamond in the Desert” boasts clean facilities, an official California State Welcome Center, an on-site Food Court, and 38 retailers. (B)
Day 10 – Calico Ghost Town – Victorville, CA – California Route 66 Museum – Los Angeles – Santa Monica Pier
This morning is a hoot at the Calico Ghost Town Calico. The town settled in 1881 gave miners a good living, but when silver lost its value in 1890’s it became a “ghost town.” Today it features the Lucy Lane Museum, the Maggie Mine, Calico Odessa railroad, gold panning options and fourteen shops with unique gifts and flavors of the west.
Your next stop is Victorville, CA and the California Route 66 Museum. This interactive museum share Mother Road Memories in such settings as a 50’s Diner and a VW Love Bus complete with hippy wigs and sunglasses for that perfect selfie.
This afternoon you roll into Los Angeles for a two-night stay. The day will end at the Santa Monica Pier which is also the end of historic Route 66. Dinner is included at a local restaurant at the Pier. You will also have free time for people watching and shopping. (B,D)
Day 11 – Hollywood – Beverly Hills – Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
Today, you enjoy a full day of Hollywood and Beverly Hills Sightseeing. Starting with morning tour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills. You will see the Beaches, the Hollywood Sign, Mulholland Drive, Rodeo Drive, Bel Air, Sunset Strip and many Movie Star Homes.
This afternoon includes Grauman’s Chinese Theater (now TLC Chinese Theater) the most famous movie theatre in the world. Known for the Hollywood Walk of Fame, featuring cement hand and footprints of major movie stars from past to present. Since 1927, it has been the home of the star powered red carpet movie premieres and special events, where Hollywood’s biggest and brightest stars have come to watch their movies!
Dinner is included this evening at a local restaurant. (B,D)
Day 12 – Depart for Home
Today your group either transfers to the airport for homeward flights, or you turn your motorcoach eastward for the return journey. (B)