2018: Highlights of Route 66 with Mother Road & Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta (8580)
16 days from Chicago to Los Angeles
Get your kicks on Route 66 with a legendary trip across America. From Chicago to Los Angeles, your budget-minded tour of eight states includes stays in Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. Your affordable vacation is just in time to attend the 17th Annual Mother Road Festival in Springfield, Illinois. See automobile and motorcycle enthusiasts gather with hot cars, cool trucks, and vintage bikes with a salute to Route 66 and the tradition of the open road. The annual festival celebrates Route 66 (aka the Mother Road) which was called the 'Main Street of America' and 'Will Rogers Highway' for more than 50 years before the advent of the US Interstate system. Enjoy classic cars, live entertainment, contests and prizes, and other scheduled activities for the Route 66 and automotive enthusiast. Visit Branson, Missouri - one of America's most popular entertainment destinations - and opt for dinner and a show. In Oklahoma, tour the Will Rogers Memorial Museum, then see the famous Cadillac Ranch outside of Amarillo, Texas. You'll attend the amazing Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and see hundreds of hot-air balloons fill the sky with a multi-colored display. Seize the chance to join the optional outing to Sandia Peak or shop for artisan jewelry made by local craftsmen. Your budget travel plans include an exciting detour from Route 66 with a night at Grand Canyon National Park, as well as a stop in Las Vegas with the option to relax by the pool, explore the Vegas Strip, or raft on the Colorado River. In Los Angeles, you'll enjoy a guided tour of Hollywood, the Sunset Strip, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica. Discover vintage Americana, wide open spaces, and national treasures on your budget travel vacation across the USA.
CHICAGO AREA Holiday Inn Chicago O'Hare (F)SPRINGFIELD State House Inn (MF)ST. LOUIS Pear Tree Inn Union Station (ST)BRANSON Comfort Inn at Thousand Hills (ST)OKLAHOMA CITY Sheraton Oklahoma City Downtown Hotel (SF)AMARILLO Country Inn & Suites Amarillo West (ST)ALBUQUERQUE Crowne Plaza Albuquerque (SF)FLAGSTAFF Days Hotel Flagstaff (MF)WILLAMS Grand Canyon Railway Hotel (F)LAS VEGAS SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino (MD)LOS ANGELES L.A. Hotel Downtown (SF)
|Offer valid through 3/31/2018|
|Day 1||Chicago||Welcome to Chicago, the start of Route 66! Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer questions.|
|Day 2||Chicago||AREA. Known as the 'Windy City,' Chicago is home to America's tallest building, legends such as Al Capone and his notorious gang, and countless jazz and blues clubs. Get to know this exciting city on a morning sightseeing tour that includes the sign marking the start of historic Route 66. This afternoon is at leisure. Ride the elevator to the top of the Willis Tower, formally known as the Sears Tower, explore The Magnificent Mile, or stroll along Navy Pier.|
|Day 3||Springfield||This morning, immerse yourself in Route 66 memorabilia. Visit the ROUTE 66 HALL OF FAME & MUSEUM in Pontiac, housed in a historic fire station. See the large maps that will sketch out your Route 66 adventure for the coming days, and enjoy the nostalgic photos and postcards from the 'Mother Road's' heyday. On to Springfield and the former home of President Abraham Lincoln. Visit the ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL MUSEUM. The evening is yours to enjoy the International Route 66 Festival, where the streets come alive with the rumble of engines from hot cars, cool tracks and vintage motorcycles. There is free live entertainment featuring R&B, Motown and everyone's favorite tunes of the 50s and 60s. There are also various exhibitors, vendors, and dozens of specialty food stalls.|
|Day 4||St. Louis||Cross the mighty Mississippi River and continue to St. Louis, 'Gateway to the West.' Your orientation tour includes the towering GATEWAY ARCH. Ride to the top of the 630-foot-tall Arch for a panoramic view of the city and river. (CB)|
|Day 5||Branson||Today, we travel through the Missouri countryside, then on to Branson, one of America's biggest music centers. Join us this evening for our optional award-winning buffet dinner and one of Branson's top shows. (CB)|
|Day 6||Oklahoma City||This morning, leave the Ozarks and travel through America's 'Bible Belt' into Cowboy Country. After a quick drive through Kansas, enter Oklahoma, once known as Indian Territory. Stop in Claremore to visit the WILL ROGERS MEMORIAL MUSEUM. Born on a sprawling frontier ranch in Oklahoma, Will Rogers was an Indian, a cowboy, a movie and Broadway star, a writer, a speaker, a comedian, and a world figure. View his collection of saddles, photos, and manuscripts that reflect on his incredible life. In Arcadia, on historic Route 66, visit POPS landmark diner and gas station. Later today, arrive in Oklahoma City. (CB)|
|Day 7||Amarillo||Start the day with a city sightseeing tour of Oklahoma City, the capital and largest city in Oklahoma. From here, travel to Elk City and visit the NATIONAL ROUTE 66 MUSEUM and take a journey through each of the eight states Route 66 passes through-from Illinois all the way to California. Continue into Texas and on to Amarillo, the state's oil capital. Get into the Lone Star spirit tonight with our optional dinner of juicy Texas steak, served with heaps of Wild West atmosphere. (B)|
|Day 8||Albuquerque||On the way out of Amarillo, see Cadillac Ranch, a quirky art sculpture consisting of a collection of 10 Cadillacs. Before crossing into New Mexico, reach Adrian, the halfway point on Route 66. Across the New Mexico border, visit RUSSELL'S CAR MUSEUM, featuring classic cars and memorabilia that takes you back to the heyday of Route 66. Next, stop in Tucumcari and shop for souvenirs at Teepee Curios, and see the neon signs of the Blue Swallow Motel that has been serving travelers of Route 66 since 1939. Continue along old Route 66 west to Santa Rosa. Look for the signs of the good ol' days: Comet Drive-In, Silver Moon, Sun and Sand, and the still-grinning faces of Fat Man billboards outside of town. Next, visit Central Avenue in Albuquerque, where many of the original Route 66 buildings and businesses still stand. Afterward, there's free time in this original Spanish town with its fine parish church and Spanish-style plaza. (CB)|
|Day 9||Albuquerque||This morning, enjoy a leisurely breakfast or sunbathe in the New Mexico sunshine. Consider a short walk to Old Town, site of the city's original settlement. Hone your bargaining skills with the local craftsmen who line the square to sell their lovely silver and turquoise jewelry. After exploring more of this atmospheric city, seize the chance to ride the world's longest aerial tramway up nearby Sandia Peak Mountain and witness spine-tingling views of the desert floor, forests, and canyons below.|
|Day 10||Flagstaff||This morning, stand in awe as you experience the pre-dawn opening ceremonies and the unforgettable Mass Ascension where hundreds of hot air balloons take off, turning the sky into a virtual rainbow of colors. What began as a gathering of 13 balloons 35 years ago has since turned into the largest ballooning event in the world. Then, cross the Continental Divide and continue to Gallup, which claims a longtime Hollywood connection. From Redskin, filmed in 1929, to the more recent adventures of Superman, the area has provided unequaled movie scenery. Tonight is in Flagstaff, nestled at the base of the San Francisco Mountains.|
|Day 11||Williams||Deviate from Route 66 to see one of the Natural Wonders of the World, GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK. Wander along the canyon rim for breathtaking views. Perhaps join the optional helicopter flightseeing tour.|
|Day 12||Las Vegas||Leave historic Williams, which is listed in the National Register for Historic Places. Make sure to appreciate the neon signs of the intact circa 1940s 'Motel Row.' Later today, visit Seligman, home to the rebirth of Route 66. Detour once again from Route 66 to visit the bright lights and excitement of Las Vegas.|
|Day 13||Las Vegas||A day at leisure to relax by the pool or explore the world-renowned Las Vegas Strip. Ride the world's highest rollercoaster, float through a Venice canal, or see man-eating sharks up close-it's all possible in Las Vegas. Don't miss downtown Las Vegas, where you'll find the Fremont Street Experience, five city blocks enclosed in a glass atrium and filled with dazzling lights, sounds, and action. A variety of optional excursions are available, including a float trip through dramatic Black Canyon on the Colorado River. This evening, join an optional night at a dazzling show featuring top Vegas entertainment.|
|Day 14||Los Angeles||Today, depart the man-made phenomenon of Las Vegas and cross the Mojave Desert and the San Bernardino Mountains en-route to Los Angeles. Visit the BARSTOW ROUTE 66 MUSEUM, which displays a collection of historic photographs and artifacts related to Route 66 and the Mojave Desert communities. Overnight in Los Angeles, the 'Capital of Glamour.'|
|Day 15||Los Angeles||Savor the exciting 'City of Angels' on our morning tour of glamorous Beverly Hills, Sunset Strip, Hollywood, and Santa Monica, the ending point of Route 66. Return to Los Angeles where the rest of the day is yours to perhaps shop for souvenirs or relax by the pool.|
|Day 16||Los Angeles||The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers to Los Angeles International Airport are included. You can extend your vacation with extra nights and explore Los Angeles further. Your Tour Director will have suggestions.|
|US$ Price Details|
Gratuities for Tour Director and driver are available for pre-purchase.Prices are per person, based on double room occupancy.Single Room Supplement:$1,090Triple Room Reduction per person:$250Additional accommodations before or after your tour may be available.
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