The Original Mother Road
13 Nights From €1599 (Per Person)
Fly Drive Holidays
Chicago (Illinois) - Springfield (Illinois) - St Louis (Missouri) - Springfield (Missouri) - Joplin (Missouri) - Tulsa (Oklahoma) - Oklahoma City (Oklahoma) - Amarillo (Texas) - Tucumcari (New Mexico) - Albuquerque (New Mexico) - Santa Fe (New Mexico) - Holbrook (Arizona) - Grand Canyon (Arizona) - Las Vegas (Nevada) - Los Angeles (California) - Santa Monica (California)
Are you looking for the real America? Take a trip on the Mother Road; the route young men took from the Midwest to Los Angeles in the 1930s in search of better lives. Originally conceived in the 1920s to connect rural Oklahoma with Los Angeles and Chicago, the road was cobbled together using bits and pieces of existing roadways that passed through rural agricultural towns. Many haven’t changed a lot since then, providing a glimpse of authentic life along the route. At the beginning of the journey, you’ll be astounded by the steel and glass canyons of the Miracle Mile in Chicago. As you leave the city behind, you’ll be surrounded by rich farmland in the Midwest before experiencing the red rock desert as you near the Grand Canyon.
Route 66 has tremendous history and is still lined with the artifacts of another era. Writer John Steinbeck observed of the nearly 200,000 Dust Bowl farmers escaping to California, “they come into 66 from the tributary side roads, from the wagon tracks and the rutted country roads. 66 is the mother road, the road of flight.” By the time Route 66 had become America’s Main Street, it was beginning to be replaced by the new Interstate highway system. Thankfully, the Mother Road refused to give way completely. Today you can still see wonderful old trading posts, filling stations, motels, tourist traps, and diners that have all been there for decades. Preservation groups are working diligently to preserve what remains of the authenticity and icons of America’s golden age of road trips. Enjoy this trip, it’s like no other in America.
View Fly Drive USA - Route 66 in a larger map
Day 1: Arrive Chicago
Route 66, the Mother Road is the stuff of legends. It was the path that young men from the Midwest took to the bright lights of California. Even today hundreds of men and women, young and old take the trip every year from Chicago to Los Angeles to relive the journey. A mosaic of America unfolds as you travel through the Ozarks, authentic towns in southwest and vast open deserts. The trip starts in downtown Chicago, where you can still view historical buildings that were in place when Route 66 was built.
Day 2: Chicago to St. Louis
At St. Louis, the roads from Chicago, Kansas City, Memphis, Nashville, and Indianapolis making it one of the focal points in the US. It was the jumping off point for Lewis and Clark’s Expedition of Discovery in 1803, undertaken to open the West. It will also be your jumping off point to points south and west, as you begin the trip through the wide open spaces.
Day 3: St. Louis to Springfield
Much of the Missouri Ozarks region looks much as it did when the first settlers arrived. Springfield, the Queen City of the Ozarks, has been bustling since the St. Louis-San Francisco railroad arrived in 1870. Enjoy your journey through the second oldest mountains in the US and other natural beauty found along the road.
Day 4: Springfield to Oklahoma City
Southwest of Springfield, you’ll see the territory begin to turn into the true American southwest; red, dry and dusty. During the Dust Bowl, more than 10% of Oklahoma’s population used Route 66 as a way to escape the blowing sand. They picked up their belongings, their families and hopes and dreams and made their way to California in search of a better life.
Day 5: Oklahoma City to Amarillo
Sitting at another American crossroads, Amarillo is one of the last places on earth where the Old West is just minutes away. Step into the Real Texas with working ranches, essentially unchanged from the day-to-day operations of the late nineteenth century peacefully coexisting with the vibrant twenty-first century petroleum economy. Be sure to see the ten tail-finned Cadillacs buried in the sand!
Day 6: Amarillo to Tucumcari, NM
Once nicknamed “Six-Shooter Siding,” Tucumcari got its start in 1901 as a rowdy railroad camp filled with saloons and outlaws. Soon, it became one of the many small railroad towns with a flagging economy and diminishing population. Today, Tucumcari owes its existence to the new businesses established along Route 66, allowing it to hang on when other towns in the area failed completely.
Day 7: Tucumcari to Albuquerque
Next up, Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Old Town Plaza in the center of the city was the answer to Spain’s Laws of the Indies which required setting a plaza at the center of any city. The San Felipe Neri Church complex was built in 1793. El Camino Real, the main route that connected Santa Fe and Albuquerque with Mexico City once ran right through Old Town. The Santa Fe Trail criss-crossed the region in 1821. Today, both routes are National Scenic Byways and All American Roads.
Day 8: Explore Santa Fe
Santa Fe became the seat of power for the Spanish Empire north of the Rio Grande River and served as the capital of the Spanish Kingdom of New Mexico 13 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. The Palace of the Governors is the oldest public building still in use in America. The Museum of Fine Arts, next to the Palace is older than New Mexico itself. Other great cultural museums include the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the Georgia O’Keefe Museum, and World Folk Art. There’s also a huge list of art galleries. Return to Albuquerque for the night.
Day 9: Albuquerque to Holbrook
Today, we suggest you visit the Petrified Forest National Park on the way between Albuquerque and Holbrook, another railroad town. It’s named after the chief engineer of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, which came through in 1881 and thrived as its nickname, with the “fightinest bunch of cowboys in the United States.”
Day 10: Holbrook to Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon, at 277 miles long, 6,000 feet deep at its deepest point and 15 miles wide at its widest is one of the seven wonders of the world. The geologic mosaic has five life zones, three desert types, and high elevation forests. The canyon rim is only a short stroll from the Canyon View Information Plaza and Hermit Road takes you to great views of the river at Hermit’s Rest, and Hopi, Mohave and Pima Points. The 25-mile scenic Desert View Drive delivers views of the canyon and the Colorado River at Moran Point, Lipan Point, and Desert View. Take a 30 minute flight over the canyon for the best view of all.
Day 11: Grand Canyon National Park to Las Vegas
Everybody has to visit Las Vegas once in a lifetime and today is your day! Let your hair down, enjoy yourself, take in a show, try your hand at gambling and otherwise let yourself be entertained!
Day 12: Las Vegas to Santa Monica/Los Angeles
Finally today, after a journey through the Mojave Desert, ghost towns and other rugged terrain, you’ve reached the lights of Hollywood!
Day 13: Explore Los Angeles/Santa Monica
It’s time to leave the glitz of Las Vegas for the real fantasy world of Los Angeles. There are so many major attractions! Visit Grauman’s Chinese Theater, take a behind-the scenes peak at Universal Studios, visit the Armand Hammer Museum, the California Heritage Museum, the Autry National Center Museum of the American West, the Aquarium of the Pacific, Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, the California Science Center, the Music Center, the Japanese American National Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Grand Avenue, or the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Hotel: Custom Hotel
Day 14: Depart Los Angeles
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