Duration: 17 Days
Get your kicks on Route 66 with a legendary trip across America. This historic route was called the “Main Street of America” for more than 50 years before the advent of the US Interstate system. On this trip down memory lane, you’ll visit the major cities along Route 66, see many of the Route 66 museums, and step back in time to when the journey was part of the fun. And you’ll be just in time to experience the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, an annual event where hundreds of vibrantly coloured hot-air balloons take to the sky! This trip begins in the “Windy City” of Chicago, travels through eight states, and ends in Los Angeles. Travel to St. Louis where you’ll witness amazing views of the city and the Mississippi River from the top of the 630-foot-tall Gateway Arch. Visit Branson, Missouri – one of America’s most popular entertainment destinations and opt for dinner and a show. Visit the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City to view antique cars and historic documents that help you feel what it was like to travel Route 66. In Albuquerque, watch the colourful spectacle of hundreds of balloons rising into the sky at the early morning Balloon Glow and the Mass Ascension at the International Balloon Fiesta. Spend a day in beautiful Santa Fe, a city known for its art and culture and the home to the oldest and highest capitol in the United States. Deviate from Route 66 to see breathtaking scenery at one of the Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon and then experience the excitement of Las Vegas where you can explore the Vegas Strip, take an optional raft trip on the Colorado River, or just relax by the pool. In Los Angeles, you’ll enjoy a tour of Hollywood, the Sunset Strip, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica, the ending point of Route 66. Discover vintage Americana, wide open spaces, and national treasures on this Route 66 tour designed for value-minded travel lovers.
- Adventure is knocking with everything you need for perfectly affordable touring. Cosmos includes hand-selected accommodations, guided sightseeing, and seamless transportation between destinations—with value-minded travel lovers in mind. Explore with expert Cosmos Tour Directors and Local Guides, and private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach with free Wi-Fi. Enhance your free time to explore like a local with your CosmosGO mobile app!
- On holidays that include an overnight stay in Las Vegas, at least one member of the traveling party must be 21 years of age or older.
- Maximum elevation on tour: 7,262 ft
Welcome to Chicago, the start of Route 66! Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon with answers, tips, and suggestions.
Known as the "Windy City," Chicago is home to one of America's tallest buildings, larger-than-life local legends like Al Capone and his notorious gang, along with 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 the Sears Tower, explore The Magnificent Mile, or stroll along Navy Pier. (CB)
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, the capital of Illinois, where we will visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. (CB)
Cross the mighty Mississippi River and continue to St. Louis, "Gateway to the West." Your orientation tour includes the towering Gateway Arch National Park. Ascend to the top of the 630-foot-tall arch for a panoramic view of the city and river. Then drive along an original stretch of Route 66 and get the chance to savour some of Ted Drewes Frozen Custard.
Today, we travel through the Missouri countryside, then on to Branson, known as The Live Music Capital of the World. You'll have free time to explore the historic downtown, situated along Lake Taneycomo. No visit to Branson is complete without seeing a live performance, so join your Tour Director on tonight's optional dinner followed by a music-filled show. (B)
This morning, leave the Ozarks and continue through America's "Bible Belt" into Cowboy Country. After a quick drive through Kansas, enter Oklahoma, once known as Indian Territory and home to the Cherokee Nation. In Tulsa, see the "East Meets West" sculpture that pays tribute to Cyrus Avery, "The Father of Route 66." Later today, arrive in Oklahoma City. (B)
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. Continue into the Texas Panhandle and on to Amarillo, the Yellow Rose of Texas. (B)
On the way out of Amarillo, you'll stop at Cadillac Ranch, the 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. Next, stop in Tucumcari and shop for souvenirs at Teepee Curios. See the iconic Blue Swallow Motel that has been serving travellers of Route 66 since 1939, along with many original signs from the town's heyday. Visit Central Avenue in Albuquerque, where many of the original Route 66 buildings and businesses still stand. Afterward, there's free time to enjoy this old town with its fine parish church and Spanish-style plaza. (CB)
This morning, enjoy an unforgettable experience at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta's Mass Ascension, where hundreds of colourful hot-air balloons fill the morning sky. Enjoy time walking down Main Street where you'll find food vendors, merchandise, and entertainment. This afternoon, learn about Pueblo culture from ancient times to the present at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Centre, then explore Old Town Albuquerque, site of the city's original settlement. This evening return to the balloon grounds for the breathtaking Night Glow and other exciting events of the Fiesta.
Travel through the foothills of the Sandia Mountains to enjoy the day in Santa Fe. Take an orientation tour with highlights including the Palace of the Governors and the State Capitol. Visit historic Loretto Chapel and learn about its mysterious "Miracle Stairway." Return to Albuquerque via the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway with a stop in the eclectic artist community of Madrid.
Depart Albuquerque and cross the Continental Divide continuing to Gallup, sometimes called the "Indian Capital of the World." It is the homeland of Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, and many other tribes who comprise a large percentage of the population. Then we'll be "standing on the corner of Winslow, Arizona," the sleepy Route 66 town made famous by The Eagles' hit song "Take It Easy." Continue to Williams, gateway to the Grand Canyon, and listed in the National Register for Historic Places. The Historic Downtown District covers six square blocks and boasts a rich heritage that features the Old West and Route 66.
Deviate from Route 66 to see one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Grand Canyon National Park. Wander along the canyon rim for breathtaking views and wildlife, including the chance to spot elk grazing in the forested areas on the South Rim. Consider an optional helicopter flightseeing tour for an unforgettable bird's-eye-view of the canyon. Return to Williams where the evening is free to explore the historic Americana-style shops and restaurants dating back to the early 1900s. Be sure to take note of the neon signs of the preserved circa 1940s "Motel Row." (CB)
Depart Williams for Seligman, home to the rebirth of Route 66. Detour once again from Route 66 to visit the bright lights of Las Vegas. An orientation tour upon arrival shows off many of the themed casino resorts along the glittering "Strip." This evening, consider an optional night on the town featuring an extravagant dinner followed by a dazzling show featuring top Vegas entertainment. (CB)
A day at leisure to relax by the pool or explore the legendary Las Vegas Strip. Maybe ride the world's highest rollercoaster, float through a Venetian canal, or test your luck at one of the many world-famous casinos-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.
Today, depart the man-made oasis of Las Vegas, and cross the natural beauty of the Mojave Desert and the San Bernardino Mountains en route to Los Angeles. Visit the California Route 66 Museum, featuring a 50's diner, VW Love Bus, and the 1917 Model T Ford exhibits. Overnight in Los Angeles, where you'll visit Santa Monica, the ending point of Route 66.
Explore the exciting "City of Angels" on a morning tour of legendary Beverly Hills, Sunset Strip, and Hollywood, where you'll walk along the stars on Hollywood Boulevard, and get a photo of the iconic Hollywood sign. Your afternoon is free to consider an optional Warner Brothers Studio tour, shop for souvenirs, or relax by the pool.
Your holiday ends this morning. Consider extending your holiday with extra nights and explore Los Angeles further.