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Historic Route 66 Self-Drive

19 days from £2,980pp

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

    Places visited:

  • Chicago
  • Springfield, IL
  • St Louis
  • Springfield, MO
  • Oklahoma City
  • Amarillo
  • Albuquerque
  • Winslow
  • Grand Canyon National Park - South Rim
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Admire the beaches, architecture and night life of Chicago.

  • Marvel at the epic scenery of the Grand Canyon.

  • Enjoy a hike through the beautiful Petrified Forest National Park.

  • Experience the excitement and bright lights of Las Vegas.

  • Soak up the atmosphere, relax on the beach or go shopping in Los Angeles.

Audley Travel specialist Steph

What our specialists say...

Route 66 no longer exists in its entirety, but this varied itinerary takes in stretches of the original route and provides a sense of the history and landscapes that made this highway iconic. From the dynamic city of Chicago and shores of the Great Lakes, head across the Great Plains, the Ozark Mountains and the canyons and mountains of Arizona and New Mexico before arriving in sunny California. Along the way you’ll pass through land once inhabited by Native Americans, cowboys and outlaws, hike through petrified forest and watch the sun rise and set over the Grand Canyon.

We recommend this trip for:

  • Chicago
  • Springfield, IL
  • St Louis
  • Springfield, MO
  • Oklahoma City
  • Amarillo
  • 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 downtown hotel. The remainder of the day is free for you to settle in. You could relax in Millennium Park and admire its art installations and fountains, visit one of the city's museums or head out to a local pizzeria for your first taste of an authentic Chicago deep dish pizza.

Accommodation options

Day 2 Chicago

Chicago

Enjoy a full day at leisure exploring the 'Windy City', Chicago. There's plenty to do in this exciting metropolis; we recommend a trip to the Skydeck at the top of Willis Tower or, for a different view of the city skyline, take a boat trip on Lake Michigan at sunset.

Accommodation options

Day 3 Springfield, IL

Chicago , Springfield, IL

This morning marks the start of your 3,945 km (2,451 mile) drive to California. Make your own way to your nearest car hire depot, where your car will be ready to collect. All insurances, road maps and a sat-nav are included. Heading out of Chicago on Route 66, your three and a half hour drive to the pretty city of Springfield, Illinois takes you through grassy farmlands and past small towns that dot the rural landscape. Springfield is Illinois' state capital and was the former residence of Abraham Lincoln. Making an early start allows free time to explore Lincoln's presidential museum, home and final resting place at Oak Ridge Cemetery.

Accommodation

Day 4 St Louis

Springfield, IL , St Louis

Departing Springfield, this morning's two hour drive takes you through rolling farmland and patchwork fields into St Louis, Missouri. The afternoon is free for you to explore this historic city at leisure. There's plenty to see and do in St Louis; the famous Gateway Arch represents the city's moniker, the 'Gateway to the West', and the City Museum and Lafayette Square are well worth a visit.

Accommodation

Day 5 Springfield, MO

St Louis , Springfield, MO

Leave the Mississippi River behind and travel along Route 66 through the scenic beauty of the Ozark Mountains. The Ozarks are the second oldest mountains in the world and offer beautiful vistas and great walking opportunities for visitors. Around a four hour drive from St Louis is Springfield, Missouri, where you'll stop for the night.

Accommodation

Day 6 Oklahoma City

Springfield, MO , Oklahoma City

Today's journey sees you drive almost 483 km (300 miles) west to Oklahoma City - a journey of around five hours. Crossing the state border, you officially enter the American South; the land around you becomes increasingly arid and dusty as you pass through land that was once the haunt of Native Americans, later the territory of cowboys and outlaws. On arrival at your hotel, tuck into a hearty meal and put your feet up after your long journey.

Accommodation

Day 7 Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City

Today you have a full day at leisure to explore the great city of Oklahoma. You may wish to take a stroll around Oklahoma City Zoo, visit the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, the Botanical Gardens or the vibrant district of Bricktown.

Accommodation

Day 8 Amarillo

Oklahoma City , Amarillo

Your journey continues for another 418 km (260 miles) west across the state border into Texas to Amarillo. It's on this four and a half hour journey that you'll find some wonderful icons of Route 66, including the National Route 66 Museum, which is home to an array of antique cars, historical artefacts and a replica drive-in theatre.

Accommodation

Day 9 Albuquerque

Amarillo , Albuquerque

Continue your road trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico; around a four and a half hour drive from Amarillo. You'll be driving through the former hunting ground of the Comanche Indians; now the land of tumbleweed, cattle and cotton of the Texas Panhandle.

Accommodation options

Day 10 Albuquerque

Albuquerque

Enjoy a day at leisure exploring Albuquerque under your own steam. There's plenty to see and do; you may wish to take one of the many hiking trails into the nearby Santa Fe Forest or visit one of the city's excellent art galleries, which are housed in brightly painted adobe huts that line the old town's cobblestone streets.

Accommodation options

Day 11 Winslow

Albuquerque , Winslow

There is plenty to see on your drive into Arizona; you'll pass Petrified Forest National Park, a huge landscape dominated by red, barren vistas of the Painted Desert and thousands of acres of petrified wood. Your destination today is the town of Winslow, which was a thriving town on the Santa Fe Railway and made famous by the Eagles' song 'Take It Easy'.

Accommodation

Day 12 Grand Canyon National Park - South Rim

Winslow , Grand Canyon National Park - South Rim

Today's four hour drive will take you to the Grand Canyon, passing the world's first proven meteor crater en route. You may wish to stop in the town of Flagstaff for lunch, before an afternoon free to explore the canyon.

Accommodation options

Day 13 Grand Canyon National Park - South Rim

Grand Canyon National Park - South Rim

Spend a full day exploring Grand Canyon National Park. You may wish to take a helicopter trip over the canyon, take a hike down into the valley, or simply gaze in awe at the sight of the canyon at sunrise or sunset.

Accommodation options

Day 14 Las Vegas

Grand Canyon National Park - South Rim , Las Vegas

Continue your drive west for another 483 km (300 miles) into Nevada. It's worth making an early start as there's lots to see on this five and a half hour journey. Detouring from the main highway at Seligman allows you to travel along the original Route 66, which is peppered with abandoned motels, derelict gas stations, and the outdoor Route 66 Car Museum. Venturing deeper into the desert, you'll have the opportunity to stop at the Hoover Dam, which is located around 56 km (35 miles) south of Las Vegas.

Accommodation options

Day 15 Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Spend a full day at leisure exploring the spectacle that is Las Vegas. Visit one of the many themed casinos, admire the bright lights and take in a show from some of the world' s most famous performers.

Accommodation options

Day 16 Los Angeles

Las Vegas , Los Angeles

Complete your epic journey with your final 435 km (270 mile) drive to Los Angeles. A journey of around six hours, you'll travel through the Californian desert for much of the day, passing by the Mojave National Preserve; a sweeping desert landscape punctuated by wildflowers and Joshua trees. On arrival in Los Angeles, return your car to the depot and make your own way to your hotel.

Accommodation options

Day 17 Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Enjoy a full day at leisure exploring California's largest city, Los Angeles. This cosmopolitan city offers a diverse range of shops, restaurants and night life as well as world-renowned art galleries, beaches and film studios. Don't miss a shopping trip to Beverly Hills, explore the celebrity haunts of Hollywood or just relax on the golden sands of Santa Monica.

Accommodation options

Day 18 International return flight

Los Angeles , International return flight

Enjoy a last morning at leisure in Los Angeles then make your way to the airport in time for your onward flight.

Day 19 International return flight

International return flight

Arrive home today to complete your journey.

Audley Travel specialist Alex
Dave, an Audley Travel specialist

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When to go

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