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What is tailor made? Customised itinerary | Every trip is unique | Flexible accommodation options | Designed to your budget

    Places visited:

  • Chicago
  • Springfield, IL
  • St Louis
  • Albuquerque
  • Winslow
  • Grand Canyon National Park - South Rim
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Enjoy the Chicago skyline from Lake Michigan.

  • Drive the original brick-topped section of Route 66.

  • Admire St Louis' impressive Gateway Arch.

  • Marvel at the magnificent Grand Canyon.

  • Watch the sunset from Santa Monica.

Audley Travel specialist Amy

What our specialists say...

This itinerary is ideal for those short of time or wish to avoid the full 2,448-mile drive between Chicago and Los Angeles, whilst still taking in the highlights of Route 66. Starting your journey in Chicago, you'll have time to explore this Midwestern metropolis before venturing across Illinois, where some of the best Route 66 icons and classic Americana dot the highway. After time in St Louis, known as the 'Gateway to the West', fly to the historic, Spanish-influenced city of Albuquerque, before taking in the Western highlights of Route 66, including the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

We recommend this trip for:

  • Chicago
  • Springfield, IL
  • St Louis
  • Albuquerque
  • Winslow
  • Grand Canyon National Park - South Rim
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles

Itinerary idea in detail

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Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Day 1 Chicago

International outbound flight , Chicago

Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Chicago. On arrival in Chicago, make your own way to your hotel in the heart of the city. You have the rest of the day to begin exploring this famous Midwest metropolis, perched on the shores of Lake Michigan.

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Day 2 Chicago

Chicago

You'll start the day with an architectural tour of the city, enjoyed from a boat on the Chicago River. This group tour is an excellent way to orientate yourself and you will float past over forty key Chicago sights and impressive skyline vistas. You'll have the rest of the day at leisure to continue exploring the city. There is plenty to see and do; take a walk through Millennium Park and admire the famous 'Bean' sculpture, catch a sports game, or admire skyline views from the USA's second tallest building, the Willis Tower.

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Day 3 Springfield, IL

Chicago , Springfield, IL

It's time to head out of the city and into rural Illinois, marking the start of your journey along historic Route 66. Make your own way to the car hire depot, where your car will be ready to collect. All insurances, road maps and a sat-nav are included. Your destination today is Springfield, Illinois, which is around 200 miles from Chicago and famed for its long association with Abraham Lincoln, who lived in the city and is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery. There is also plenty of Route 66 Americana to see on your drive today; including the Gemini Giant, swinging bridges, the Bunyan Giant and colourful murals in the small town of Pontiac.

Accommodation

Day 4 St Louis

Springfield, IL , St Louis

Your journey south west continues; your destination is only 100 miles away but be sure to allow plenty of time for the drive as you will pass by some notable icons of Route 66, including the Auburn Brick Road; an original brick-topped stretch of the original Route 66. Later today you will arrive in the city of St Louis, Missouri.

Accommodation

Day 5 St Louis

St Louis

A full day at leisure to explore St Louis, known as the 'Gateway to the West'. We recommend visiting the famous Gateway Arch, which stands as an impressive monument to the USA's western expansion. You may wish to travel 630 feet to the top of the Arch and enjoy stunning views of St Louis and the Mississippi River.

Accommodation

Day 6 Albuquerque

St Louis , Albuquerque

Return your hire car at the airport and fly to Albuquerque, travelling via Dallas or Denver. On arrival you'll collect your new hire car for the second half of your Route 66 trip - all insurances, road maps and a sat-nav are included with your rental. The rest of the day is yours to explore Albuquerque; one of the key stops on historic Route 66. There is plenty here to keep you occupied - why not visit one of the city's museums, browse the art galleries and shops that line its bright cobblestone streets, or take the Sandia Peak Tramway for beautiful views of the city and the nearby Sandia Mountains.

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Day 7 Winslow

Albuquerque , Winslow

Begin the second leg of your journey along Route 66; today's destination is the small town of Winslow, which is located around four hours away over the border in Arizona and was made famous by the Eagles' song 'Take it Easy'. You will pass plenty of points of interest on your drive there, including the Sky City Acoma Pueblo and Petrified Forest National Park.

Accommodation

Day 8 Grand Canyon National Park - South Rim

Winslow , Grand Canyon National Park - South Rim

Continue your journey to the Grand Canyon, which is around three hours from Winslow. On the way you might like to stop at the mile-wide Meteor Crater that is around 50,000 years old.

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Day 9 Grand Canyon National Park - South Rim

Grand Canyon National Park - South Rim

You have the full day at leisure to explore Grand Canyon National Park; you might like to explore one of the park's many hiking trails or simply take a free hop-on hop-off shuttle bus along the canyon rim to enjoy the many spectacular panoramas and view-points.

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Day 10 Las Vegas

Grand Canyon National Park - South Rim , Las Vegas

Your journey toward Las Vegas today allows the opportunity to follow an original stretch of Route 66, where you'll pass derelict gas stations and old motels overgrown with foliage. As you approach Las Vegas you might like to visit the impressive Hoover Dam that impounds the Colorado River.

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Day 11 Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Enjoy a day at leisure in Las Vegas; wander down its famous Strip, browse its many shops and arcades, or venture out to Red Rock State Park. This evening you may like to enjoy a spectacular show or, if you're feeling lucky, place your bets in one of its glittering casinos.

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Day 12 Los Angeles

Las Vegas , Los Angeles

Complete your epic trip along Route 66 as you drive the final 300 miles of your journey. Today you'll travel through the Mojave National Preserve, passing sand dunes, wildflowers and joshua trees, before reaching Los Angeles on the Pacific Coast. On arrival, return your hire car at the depot and make your way to your hotel.

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Day 13 Los Angeles

Los Angeles

You have the day at leisure to explore Los Angeles. There's something for everyone here, whether it's hiking in the Hollywood Hills, browsing boutique shops in Beverly Hills, visiting working film and television studios or simply relaxing on Santa Monica beach.

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Day 14 International return flight

Los Angeles , International return flight

Finish off your sightseeing today before making your way to the airport in time for your flight home.

Day 15 International return flight

International return flight

Arrive home today to complete your journey.

Audley Travel specialist Gillian
Audley Travel specialist Bianca

Contact a specialist

The specialist who designs your trip to the USA will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip. Your dedicated specialist will take the time to understand your preferences and build them into an itinerary to match, working to your budget. He or she will keep perfecting it until you’re completely happy and ready to book.

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When to go

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