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Self-Drive: Historic Route 66

15 days from £1937 per person

NO One-Way Drop Off Fees!* Saving over $500!

Travel along the nostalgic Mother Road through the heart of America on this two week cross-country road trip of a lifetime. Admire muscle cars, quirky traditions and iconic Route 66 landmarks as you wind your windows down and follow the historic route west; it’s impossible to not feel like a real American!

During your ultimate driving experience, you’ll stick to the classic route between Chicago and Los Angeles, spending nights in wacky motels and authentic digs that’ll take you on a journey down memory lane. This road trip is all about experiencing the real America, discovering the real history and meeting the real people that keep the Route 66 dream alive. 

Route: Chicago – Springfield- St Louis – Lebanon – Tulsa – Elk City – Tucumcari – Elk City – Gallup – Holbrook – Kingman – Palm Springs – Los Angeles

*Please Note: The 'no one-way drop off fee' offer only applies for car hire collected from Chicago O'Hare Airport and dropped off at Los Angeles Airport. Please ask for full details. Subject to availability.

Itinerary Highlights

Take the historic route from Chicago to Los Angeles and stay over at the less frequently visited spots that are full of nostalgic gems.

Enjoy the break from the dry desert heat that a stop at Palm Springs provides, soak up the cosmopolitan vibe as you lap up the stylish hotels, golf courses and spas.

Drive to Santa Monica pier to take a photo next to the sign that marks the end point of the traditional Route 66 route.

Itinerary: Self-Drive: Historic Route 66

Today you begin your journey by boarding your international flight to Chicago. On arrival you will collect your hire car from the airport and drive to your centrally located hotel in Downtown Chicago. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the city at your own leisure. (N)

Accommodation in Chicago: Public Hotel Chicago (or similar)

From sports enthusiasts and shopping fanatics, to foodies and culture vultures, Chicago has something to offer everyone. Ride the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier, watch a ball game at Wrigley Park, scope out the shops on the Magnificent or visit ‘The Bean’ at the Millennium Park. Chicago offers some of the best cuisine, including several of the top 100 restaurants in the country, so head down to Restaurant Row or West Loop to try one out for yourself this evening. (N)

Accommodation in Chicago: Public Hotel Chicago (or similar)

Today marks the beginning of your ultimate driving experience as you hop in your car, wind down the windows and let that cool American breeze run through your hair as you head out on the great open highway to Springfield, Illinois. You’ll start spotting Route 66 landmarks and signs dotted along the roadside as you journey through Illinois. From the Route 66 Raceway and the Gemini Giant, to Shea’s Gas Station and a tasty hot dog on a stick at the Cozy Dog Drive-In when you reach Springfield. Enjoy your first slice of Route 66! (N)

Accommodation in Springfield: Ramada Springfield South (or similar)

Cruise into Missouri, crossing the historic Martin Luther King Memorial Bridge and the Mississippi River until you reach Saint Louis. Spend your time today visiting the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, the Mother Road’s original Mississippi River crossing or head to Ted Drewes for a bite of Frozen Custard. No trip to Saint Louis is complete without visiting the iconic Gateway Arch which offers impressive views over the Mississippi River. (N)

Accommodation in Saint Louis: Hyatt Regency Saint Louis at The Arch (or similar)

Leave Saint Louis today and continue your journey west. Stop off to check out Meramec Caverns, 26 miles of underground caves which you can explore with a guide, and visit the Totem Pole Trading Post in Rolla. When you arrive in Lebanon, head to the Route 66 museum which is located inside the local library. It may be small but it’s brimming with historical pictures and stories of Route 66. You’ll spend the night at Munger Moss Motel; classic Route 66 digs that emanates true Americana. It’s decorated with nostalgic Route 66 memorabilia and home to hallways that echo stories of those that have travelled the Mother Road before you. (N)

Accommodation in Lebanon: Munger Moss Motel (or similar)

Today you’ll travel through the scenic Ozark Mountains, passing through vibrant Joplin where you can stop to enjoy the Route 66 attractions. From burger drive-ins and Route 66 murals to Bonnie and Clyde’s iconic hideout; Joplin makes for an interesting pit-stop. Tulsa’s not just the ‘Oil Capital of the World’, it has another energy running through it, and it’s built on the city’s passion for Route 66. Spend your time exploring the various historic Route 66 icons, such as the Vickery Phillip’s 66 Station, the 11th St Arkansas River Bridge or wander past the many art deco buildings built in the 1920s. Head to the lively Brookside district tonight for a bite to eat at one of the many popular restaurants in the area. (N)

Accommodation in Tulsa: Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Tulsa – Warren Place (or similar)

Continue your journey through Oklahoma today, the nation’s longest stretch of driveable Route 66; you’ll pass charming towns, roadside diners and iconic attractions including the round house in Arcadia and Oklahoma City before you reach Elk City. Spend your time exploring Elk City’s Old Town Museum complex, pick up some souvenirs from the Mohawk Lodge Trading Post and tuck into a traditional American dinner at Boomtown Grill this evening. (N)

Accommodation in Elk City: Hampton Inn – Suites Elk City (or similar)

Today you will travel through Texas, the ‘Lone Star State’. Stop off to admire the artistic Cadillac Ranch and pop in to the Big Texan Steak Ranch to take a photo next to the giant bull. Carry on towards the gateway to New Mexico, Tucumcari, where you will spend the night. Tucumcari is brimming with bold and bright Route 66 neon lights, roadside attractions at the Convention Centre and colourful murals dotted around the town. After you’ve popped into Tee Pee Curious, you might wish to spend some time relaxing by Ute Lake where you can enjoy boating and fishing. (N)

Accommodation in Tucumcari: Blue Swallow Motel (or similar)

Carry on your travels today through the enchanting state of New Mexico, stopping off at the ‘hot air balloon capital of the world’, Albuquerque. Breathe in the high desert air and admire the beautiful scenery as you take in the sights during your self-led Route 66 tour through the town. Before you move on, head to the cobbled streets of the Old Town, for some lunch at one of the many Spanish influenced restaurants. Enjoy the peaceful small town vibe when you reach Gallup. Head to town to check out the varied mix of Route 66 signs or soak up the nostalgic atmosphere at El Rancho Hotel where you will spend the night. (N)

Accommodation in Gallup: El Rancho Hotel (or similar)

You’ll notice a change in scenery as you cross the border into Arizona today. Enjoy the sights of cactus, tumbleweed and vast stretches of dusty red plains that unfold before you. You might choose to stop off at one of the many viewpoints when you reach the Petrified Forest and admire the acres of colourful petrified trees. When you reach Holbrook, spend the afternoon visiting a working ranch or local rodeo before spending the night at the iconic Wigwam Motel. (N)

Accommodation in Holbrook: Wigwam Motel Holbrook (or similar)

En Route to Kingman today you might choose to stop off at Flagstaff, home to plenty of Route 66 attractions, motels and icons. Before you leave, stop in for a slice of apple pie at the family run Miz Zips, who have been serving Route 66 travellers since the 50s. As Flagstaff trails off into the distance, take the scenic route via Peach Springs to Kingman. Here you can drive on part of the original Route 66 road and enjoy a bite to eat at the Route 66 diner. Cruise into Kingman and enjoy taking a trip down memory lane as you spot picturesque gas stations, browse Route 66 gift shops and visit the Route 66 museum. (N)

Accommodation in Kingman: Ramada Kingman (or similar)

As you travel from Kingman to Palm Springs today, go via Lake Havasu and take a photo next to the famous London Bridge and stop for lunch. Continue on past the rugged mountains of Joshua Tree National Park until you reach Palm Springs. Palm Springs is a swanky welcome break from the dry desert you have been travelling through over the past few days. Lap up the cool modern vibe, palm-fringed roads and chic art scene of this ritzy collective of desert communities. (N)

Accommodation in Palm Springs: Palm Canyon Resort (or similar)

The final stretch of your ultimate road trip takes you from Palm Springs through the Californian countryside to Santa Monica. Drive right up to the famous Santa Monica pier and take a photo next to the sign that marks the end point of the Mother Road. Enjoy visiting the main attractions within the Los Angeles bubble; head to the Getty Centre, check out the Hollywood sign from the Griffiths Observatory or take a stroll past the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (N)

Accommodation in Los Angeles: Ramada Los Angeles Downtown West Hotel (or similar)

Enjoy spending this morning in Los Angeles at your leisure. Later on you will drive to Los Angeles International Airport where you will drop off your hire car and board your international flight back to the UK. (N)
Today you will arrive back into the UK, where you will continue your journey home. (N)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes
  • Car hire as specified

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Meals unless specified

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

USA : Route 66 & Highway 1 Holiday Review

We had a fantastic time! The hotels you selected were amazing. The feature ones were very different. Wigwam, although more basic, was definitely worth staying at. We were both impressed with all your choices and would recommend the same itinerary to anyone doing a Route 66 trip.

SW & JW - USA : Route 66 & Highway 1 - July 2017

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For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

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