Route 66: Traditional Trail

21 day trip on authentic Route 66

This self drive road trip will take you along Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles through 8 US states and includes cities such as St Louis, Oklahoma City, Amarillo and Santa Fe. A side trip to the fabulous Grand Canyon is included. Las Vegas was never part of Route 66, so this isn’t part of this itinerary - you’ll go through Oatman and the Black Mountains instead. However Las Vegas can be added as a side trip if you wish.

This is real Route 66 and we mix modern hotels with classic or traditional hotels and motels such as the Wigwam Motels. If you want an authentic Mother Road experience, this is the trip for you.

All our road trips can be shortened or extra nights added or modified with upgraded hotels, car etc. We love building tailor made trips!

 Includes flights from UK, car hire and accommodation
Fly into Chicago and out of Los Angeles
You’ll drive approximately 2450 miles in total
 Includes St Louis, Oklahoma City, Santa Fe & Grand Canyon
Extra days can easily be added or we can shorten the trip if preferred
Your full road trip pack and itinerary will be sent to you
 Your entire package is ATOL protected

Your Itinerary

route 66 chicago
Days 1 - 3:
Begin in Chicago

Arrive in the Windy City, pick up your hire car and spend 2 full days and 3 nights in Chicago. Our recommendations include the Willis Tower, the second tallest building in the USA and the “magnificent mile”.

Fly into Chicago
 Chicago, IL
 4 star hotel
 3 Nights
route 66 illinois
Day 4:
Drive through Illinois

Today you’ll begin your “Mother Road” adventure. Retrace old 66 through Illinois to the State Capital,  Springfield. This city is famously associated with Abraham Lincoln who lived here and is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery

Approx 200 miles
Springfield, IL
 3 star hotel
route 66 st louis
Day 5:
Towards St Louis

There's just got 100 miles to drive today. You’ll be able to drive a short section of the original brick road in Auburn, Illinois. Just before you arrive in St Louis, take a walk across the “Chain of Rocks” bridge, opened in 1929 to take traffic over the Mississippi River.

Approx 100 miles
St Louis, MO
 3 star hotel
route 66 springfield
Day 6:
Birthplace of Route 66

You’re heading through the Ozark Mountains today towards Springfield in Missouri where, in 1926 a road linking Chicago and Los Angeles was agreed. Originally planned as Route 60, but was finally designated as Route 66.

 Approx 215 miles
Springfield, MO
 Historic hotel
route 66 blue whale catoosa
Day 7:
Three States today

Today, you’ll visit three States! Just after Joplin you’ll leave Missouri and head into Kansas. Don’t blink though - there’s just 13 miles of Route 66 in Kansas! Next up is Oklahoma, and don’t miss the famous Blue Whale of Catoosa!

 Approx 180 miles
Tulsa, OK
 3 star hotel
route 66 oklahoma
Day 8:

Just a short drive today at a mere 115 miles. You’re continuing your journey through Oklahoma - don’t miss the famous “Sidewalk Highway” section of Route 66 between Miami and Afton. So called because it was a single lane, just 9 foot wide section of the original Route 66.

Approx 115 miles
Oklahoma City, OK
 3 star hotel
route 66 cadillac ranch
Day 9:
Texas Panhandle

Route 66 cuts through the Texas panhandle - On the list of must-see places today is the Provine Service Station, Route 66 Museum in Clinton, U-Drop Inn and of course the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo

 Approx 260 miles
Amarillo, TX
 Historic hotel
route 66 blue swallow motel
Day 10:
Half way point

Adrian, Texas is the midway point of Route 66 - a great photo opportunity. You’ll pass the ghost town of Glenrio on the Texas and New Mexico border. Tucumcari feels like an old 1950s town.

 Approx 115 miles
Tucumcari, NM
 Historic motel
route 66 santa fe
Day 11: 
Santa Fe Loop

Santa Fe, the New Mexico state capital was on the original Route 66 from 1926 until realignment in 1937. The Santa Fe loop was part of the original alignment of Route 66 until it was re-routed in 1937 following an act of revenge by Arthur Hannett, the governor of New Mexico after he lost an election in Santa Fe.

Approx 175 miles
Santa Fe, NM
 Historic hotel
route 66 albuquerque
Day 12:
Neons & Ghost Towns

Spend the morning enjoying the markets and buildings in Santa Fe. Then drive through Albuquerque and and through several New Mexico ghost towns presenting some great photo opportunities. Your hotel tonight will be in Gallup. 

 Approx 200 miles
Gallup, NM
 Historic hotel
route 66 petrified forest
Day 13:
Petrified Forest

You’ll have a fairly short and easy drive today as you cross into Arizona. We recommend spending a couple of hours at the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert before arriving at Holbrook.

 Approx 100 miles
 Holbrook, AZ
 Historic hotel
route 66 winslow
Day 14:
Standin’ on the Corner

Highlights today include the Jack Rabbit Trading Post and Standin’ on the Corner in Winslow, famously mentioned in the Eagles song “Take It Easy”. Get an early night, you’ll want to catch sunrise at the Grand Canyon. Conveniently your hotel is only minutes from the South Rim.

 Approx 170 miles
 Grand Canyon, AZ
 3 star hotel
route 66 grand canyon
Day 15: 
The Grand Canyon

Its well worth getting up early to catch sunrise at the specular South Rim of the Grand Canyon and then spending a few hours enjoying the breathtaking views. In the afternoon you’ll make the short drive South to historical Williams. 

Approx 60 miles
Williams, AZ
 Historic hotel
route 66 road trip
Day 16: 
The Old West

There’s plenty of old Route 66 sections to drive today. Drive through Seligman and, further on make sure you stop at the Hackberry General Store. Winding roads take you through the Black Mountains into Oatman, an old mining town.

Approx 190 miles
 Needles, CA
 Historic hotel
route 66 amboy
Day 17: 
California Desert

Today you’ll be in the California desert passing various ghost towns. Stop for a photo at Roy’s Motel & Cafe in Amboy. Further along you’ll pass many old Route 66 towns including Barstow and Victorville, home of the California Route 66 Museum.

Approx 175 miles
 Victorville, CA
 3 star hotel
route 66 los angeles road trip
Days 18 & 19: 
Final Leg to Los Angeles

You’ll start the final leg of your journey to Santa Monica Pier. On the way you’ll pass many historic buildings including gas stations and motels. You’ll end up at Santa Monica Pier, the western terminus of Route 66. Make sure you get a photo at the “End of the Trail” sign. You will stay in Los Angeles for 2 nights

Approx 110 miles
 Los Angeles, CA
 3 star hotel
 2 Nights
route 66 los angeles roadtrip
Day 20: 
Final morning in LA

Make the most of your last morning in Los Angeles today. We can recommend a bike ride from Santa Monica Pier to Venice Beach or perhaps you’d like to see the famous Hollywood sign or walk down Rodeo Drive. This evening you’ll catch your flight back to the UK.

Fly out of Los Angeles
route 66 road trip
Day 21: 
Arrive back in UK

You’ll arrive back in the UK today. Thank you for booking your road trip with RouteTrip USA.

Arrive back in UK
 Why not add extra days or some side trips to your holiday? Here’s a few ideas...
Fancy an upgrade?

Our standard prices include a small family car, but you can hire a convertible or SUV. Take a look at your car choice here.

We are completely independent and have a wide choice of hotels. We can upgrade some or all of your hotels. Just ask us!

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All per person prices (pp) shown on this website are based on two adults sharing. Where hotel ratings are shown, these are US ratings, half stars are rounded up to the next full star. RouteTrip USA and RouteTrip are registered trademarks of RouteTrip USA Ltd. *T&Cs Apply. **Subject to availability. ***Refundable deposit required