This epic journey has inspired writers, artists & musicians for decades. Get your kicks, it's Route 66.

The ultimate American road trip attracts all those who are as excited about the journey as the destination. Route 66, known as The Mother Road, crosses this great and diverse nation via 8 states, historic cities and faded desert towns. From the sky scrapers of Chicago to the pier of Santa Monica discover Native American heritage, scenic vistas and the spirit of exploration. We can talk you through possible side trips and excursions meaning all you need to do is create your all-American road trip playlist and get ready to hit the open road.

Tour highlights

    • Drive the 'Mother Road', inspiration for music, movies & novels.
    • St Louis’ Gateway Arch – a monument to westward exploration.
    • New Mexico’s rich and vibrant Native American heritage.
    • Reach the Pacific Ocean in sunny Santa Monica.


Day 1

UK to Chicago

Arrive into the Windy City, Chicago, on the shores of Lake Michigan and head to your centrally located hotel. The city abounds with great restaurants, live music venues, cosy pubs and sophisticated bars so there are plenty of options to keep yourself entertained on your first night in the USA.

Day 2


Take a day to explore this remarkable city. Chicago’s architecture makes it a joy to simply guide yourself around the downtown, where ornate and historic façades sit beside towering modern sky scrapers. Follow the banks of the Chicago River to the beaches of Lake Michigan then take to the Hancock Tower for stunning city vistas and a hair-raising look down through the glass floor viewing deck.

Day 3

Chicago to St Louis

Collect your car and get ready to take on Route 66. Departing south through Illinois make a stop at the state capital, Springfield, a historic town filled with Route 66 memorabilia. Continuing on your way you will cross the mighty Mississippi River and enter your second state, Missouri. The town of St Louis has long been an important trading post on this famous waterway, marking the end of the east and the start of the west. This afternoon head to the home of Anheuser-Bush for a brewery tour and a tasting.

Day 4

St Louis to Springfield

Take the lift up inside the striking Gateway Arch, a monument to westward discovery, for impressive views of the city from this unique attraction before rejoining the road and striking out into Missouri. Stop at the Meramac Caverns where ancient rock formations once hosted the outlaw Jesse James while he was evading the law. Continuing through verdant farmlands you will reach the town of Springfield, Missouri.

Day 5

Springfield to Oklahoma City

Today’s journey will take you from the green fields of Missouri into the Wild West scenery of Oklahoma. Be sure to follow the Route 66 signs and route via Kansas to ensure you tick-off all 8 states. As the dry prairie land takes over feel the excitement of driving through this legendary scenery. Oklahoma City has an array of intriguing museums to set you up for your onward journey, like the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and the Oklahoma Railway Museum.

Day 6

Oklahoma City to Amarillo

Oklahoma boasts more miles of the original Route 66 than any other state so as you continue your journey look out for the signs and remnants marking the legendary road. Soon you will enter Texas, travelling through the expansive ranch land for which this state is so famous. The town of Amarillo offers a taste of true Americana with 1950s signs, store fronts and motels lining the streets.

Day 7

Amarillo to Albuquerque

The long desert roads into New Mexico are lined with cacti and tumbleweed, in a land that seems unchanged for millennia. Stop at the intriguing town of Tucumcari where you can fill up at the only original Route 66 service station to remain in operation today. Later roll into Albuquerque, a town with a proud Native American heritage.

Day 8


New Mexico is home to 22 Native American tribes so today is a great opportunity to learn about their heritage and traditions and discover how they live alongside modern day America. Visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, head to Historic Old Town to buy souvenirs directly from the artists themselves and visit the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology before settling down to a meal of traditional New Mexico cuisine.

Day 9

Albuquerque to Holbrook

Crossing through the Navajo Nation Reservation you will enter Arizona.  Before arriving at your destination, stop off at the remarkable Petrified Forest National Park where 225 million year old trees have been fossilised into stone, capturing the rainbow colours of this area’s diverse minerals.

Day 10

Holbrook to Flagstaff

Today’s drive to Flagstaff is short and as you ascend into the more mountainous north of Arizona you will notice the scenery and climate start to change. Stop en route at the Metor Crater, a 1 mile wide scar in the desert caused by an ancient astronomical collision.

Day 11

Grand Canyon National Park

Take a day to deviate from Route 66, heading north for a trip to one of the wonders of the world. The Grand Canyon is 80 miles north so get up early to make the most of a day at the canyon where you can explore on foot, by helicopter or by boat. Alternatively find a quiet vantage point at the South Rim and just soak in these awe inspiring vistas.

Day 12

Flagstaff to Barstow

As you leave Arizona you will cross the Colorado River, the same waterway you saw yesterday that has carved out the Grand Canyon. Upon entering California you will need to cross the Mojave Desert, a massive and arid expanse of hard-baked rock and dust. Before arriving at your destination make a detour to Calico, an abandoned mining town and now a well preserved example of a ghost town.

Day 13

Barstow to Santa Monica

Rural America becomes a distant memory as you approach the mega city of Los Angeles, and your cross country road trip is coming to an end. Make the most of your last day on the road, stopping in the mountains outside Los Angeles at Big Bear Lake or lunching with celebrities in Beverly Hills. You know your journey has ended when you see the Pacific Ocean and Santa Monica’s famous pier with its sign marking the terminus of Route 66.

Day 14

Santa Monica

This pedestrian friendly town is the perfect place to unwind and reflect on your journey. Lounge on the beach, shop in 3rd St Promenade or ride the roller coaster on the pier.

Your vehicle

Full Size 4 Door

Dodge Charger, Ford Fusion or similar

Capacity:Up to 4 adults & 1 child
Luggage:Up to 3 suitcases & 1 medium sized bag

Your car hire includes:
  • Unlimited mileage
  • Zero excess
  • Loss damage waiver
  • Theft waiver
  • Third party liability
  • Supplementary liability insurance (up to $1million).
  • Rentals starting in California include free additional drivers.

Min Rental age: 21. Drivers under 25 will be charged a supplement locally.

Additional Info

Best at Travel works with a number of car hire companies to bring you a huge selection of routes, depots and car types.  Precise conditions and inclusions vary between companies so ask your Best at Travel consultant for details of what is the best hire for you.


This fly drive itinerary runs all year round

Let us plan your perfect trip to Chicago, call 0203 553 2122 to speak to one of our experts

Enquire now

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