Route 66 - Westbound

Southwest Adventure Tours invites you on a Route 66 Westbound journey that encapsulates the essence of America's most iconic highway, available on select dates in 2025. Starting in Chicago and concluding in Los Angeles, this carefully curated itinerary offers a blend of comfortable transportation, professional tour guidance, and quality hotel accommodations. The tour showcases an array of unforgettable experiences, from an Evening Architecture River Cruise in Chicago to explorations of historic Route 66 landmarks, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum, the majestic Gateway Arch, the underground marvels of Meramec Caverns, and the culturally rich First Americans Museum. Highlights extend to the solemn Oklahoma City Memorial, the vibrant landscapes of Petrified Forest National Park, and a concluding tour of Hollywood & Beverly Hills. Designed for travelers who appreciate the nuances of America's cultural and natural landscapes, this journey weaves through the heartland's historic sites, natural wonders, and modern marvels, creating a tapestry of experiences that capture the spirit of the legendary Route 66.

 

 

  • Arrive in the Windy City and transfer to your hotel in the heart of Chicago.  After some time to relax and freshen up, take a short walk to the starting point of “The Mother Road.”  There is no better place to start your Route 66 experience than at the Historic Route 66 Begin Sign where you are sure to want a few pictures.  Then join the group for a Chicago style deep dish pizza dinner at a local restaurant (Giordano’s or The Exchequer).  Then finish the day with a wonderful Evening Architecture River Cruise.  Serene and bathed in a softer light, the city's architecture takes on a whole new life as it begins its transition from day to night. 

    Lodging: Hampton Inn Majestic Chicago Theater District

    Meals: D

     

  • After a drive by the Willis Tower and just a few blocks from the start of Route 66, Lou Mitchell’s has been dubbed the “first stop on the Mother Road.”  Enjoy a classic American diner experience, complete with fluffy pancakes, Belgian waffles, and shakes—not to mention what the neon sign proclaims as “the world’s finest coffee.” After breakfast, depart Chicago and begin your journey down the old road driving on Old Route 66 wherever possible. Stops will include Ambler’s Texaco Station in Dwight, Standard Oil in Odell before a stop in Pontiac for a tour of the Route 66 Association of Illinois along with a lunch on your own. After lunch you will enjoy additional Route 66 stops in Towanda, Normal and Lincoln, IL. After checking into your hotel in Springfield, IL, join the group for a fun dinner and Route 66 nostalgia at Cozy Dog.  This is the official birthplace of the corn dog!  

    • 7:30am Depart Hotel for Lou Mitchel’s and Breakfast
    • 7:45am Breakfast at Lou Mitchell’s
    • 8:45am Depart Chicago, IL and travel through Joliet, IL
    • 10:00am Ambler’s Texaco Dwight, IL and Standard Oil in Odell, IL stops
    • 11:00am Pontiac, IL Explore the Route 66 Museum and Lunch (Not included)
    • 1:00pm Travel to Towanda, Normal, and Lincoln, IL.  Explore the areas
    • 4:30pm Hotel Check-In
    • 5:30pm CozyDog Dinner
    • 7:30pm Enjoy the rest of your evening 

     

    Lodging: Hampton Inn & Suites Springfield, IL

    Meals: B,D

  • Begin your day with a visit to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum which documents the life of the 16th U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln, and the course of the American Civil War. Also, there will be a stop at his home before leaving Springfield and traveling to St Louis, MO.  Enroute to St Louis you will explore multiple locations along the original Route 66 routing including Auburn, Virden, Girard, and Litchfield.  After a stop in Mt Olive, you will continue to Granite City before the historic Chain of Rocks Bridge in St Louis.  Late this afternoon you will be able to enjoy a tour of Gateway Arch including a tram ride to the top.  The evening will be yours to enjoy the downtown St Louis area including historic Union Station, the Ballpark, and the waterfront along the Mississippi River. 

    • Breakfast served: 6:00am - 10:00am
    • 8:15am Enjoy a driving tour to several Route 66 locations in Springfield, IL
    • 9:00am Tour Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
    • 11:00am Depart for St Louis, MO and Explore along the original Route 66 Route
    • 12:00pm Lunch at Doc’s Just off 66
    • 1:00pm Continue to St Louis, MO including a stop at chain of Rocks Bridge photo
    • 4:00pm Explore Gateway Arch including a ride up if interested
    • 6:00pm Check in to hotel for the evening. Dinner on your own 

     

    Lodging: Drury Plaza Hotel St. Louis At The Arch

    Meals: B, D

  • After time for lunch on own, continue west on the Old Road to an iconic stop, Meramec Caverns.  Beneath the fertile rolling hills of the Meramec Valley, lies a complex of mineral formations and color as rare and unique as they are beautiful.  Enjoy a guided tour of these beautiful caverns, then continue to Cuba with time to explore the 14 amazing murals.  Explore more sights along the Route 66 corridor including the world-famous Route 66 Giant Rocking Chair, Giant Faucet and the Route 66 Motors & Gift Shop in Rolla.  Arrive in Springfield, MO for overnight and dinner at Jimm’s Steakhouse.

    • Breakfast served: 6:00am - 10:00am 
    • 8:00am Depart St Louis and explore Route 66 to Meramec Caverns 
    • 10:00pm Meramec Caverns Tour
    • 12:15pm Explore Cuba and free time for lunch
    • 1:00pm Explore Route 66 including in Rolla, Lebanon, and Marshfield
    • 4:00pm History Museum on the Square Springfield, MO
    • 5:15pm Hotel Check-In 
    • 6:15 pm Dinner at Jimm’s Steakhouse
    • 7:30 pm Return to the hotel

     

    Lodging: Hampton Inn & Suites Springfield

    Meals: B

  • After breakfast, depart Springfield with some famous Route 66 sites including Gary Gay Parita, Spencer, Avilla, Carthage and Joplin, MO.  Once finished with Missouri you will travel Route 66 into Kansas with a picture stop at Cars on the Route in Galena and visit the famous Marsh Arch Bridge.  Cross into Oklahoma and arrive in Miami for touring of the historic Coleman Theater. Enjoy stops at Ed Gallaway’s Totem Pole Park and the Blue Whale as you travel the Mother Road.  Upon arrival in Tulsa, OK you will get to visit the various points/stops within the city. You will also visit the Cyrus Avery Plaza who is known as the Father of Route 66. Enjoy your evening exploring this historic town. 

    • Breakfast served: 6:00am - 10:00am
    • 8:00am Depart Springfield, MO
    • 11:00am Stop in Galena, KS for touring of the city. 
    • 12:30pm Lunch 
    • 1:30pm Depart for Tulsa, OK. Multiple Stops enroute
    • 5:30pm Hotel check in and enjoy your evening exploring Tulsa

     

    Lodging: Embassy Suites Tulsa, OK

    Meals: B

  • Begin your day with a visit to the Route 66 Historical Village and a few other iconic Tulsa locations before moving on the Mother Road.  Enjoy a journey along historic Route 66 including a stop in Sapulpa for a tour of their famous Gasoline Alley Classics and the Rock Café.  A brief stop will be made in Davenport before arriving in Chandler for touring of the Route 66 Interpretive Center.  The Center takes visitors on a visually entertaining “drive” from the 1920’s through current-day Oklahoma on what author John Steinbeck called, in his classic novel, The Grapes of Wrath, our “Mother Road,” Route 66.  You will also visit McJerry’s Route 66 Gallery.  This is home to an award-winning artist and Route 66 historian and writer. 

    Continue with stops on Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum, a visit to the Arcadia Round Barn and a fun rest stop at POPS, an iconic stop along the Old Hwy.  With over 600 different kinds of soda, a POPS soda guru can guide you to a refreshing alternative or an old time favorite.  Arrive in Oklahoman City finish your day at the First Americans Museum.  Opened in 2021, visitors experience the collective histories of 39 distinctive First American Nations in Oklahoma today. First Americans Museum shares the cultural diversity, history, and contributions of the First Americans. These people are as much a part of the Route 66 History as everything else we experience.  Once finished you will travel to your hotel in the heart of Bricktown with the evening free to explore and have dinner on your own.

    • Breakfast served: 6:00am - 10:00am
    • 8:00am Explore Tulsa and the Route 66 Historic Village 
    • 9:30am Explore along the Mother Road to Chandler, OK
    • 11:00am Route 66 Interpretive Center and McJerry’s Route 66 Gallery
    • 12:30pm Lunch
    • 1:30pm Explore along the Mother Road to Oklahoma City OK 
    • 3:30pm First Americans Museum
    • 5:00pm Hotel check in and explore Downtown OKC on your own

     

    Lodging: Hampton Inn & Suites Oklahoma City-Bricktown

    Meals: B
     

  • This morning, enjoy touring of the Oklahoma City National Memorial which honors the victims, survivors, rescuers, and all who were affected by the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995.  Depart Oklahoma City and continue your Route 66 journey westward first stopping in Clinton for lunch on own followed by touring of the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum.  The museum offers visitors a personal journey through the history of the nation’s most revered highway from a perspective of the state where it all began. Encounter the iconic ideas, images, and myths of the Mother Road. Learn about the dreams and the labor needed to make the road a reality.  A but further down the road in Elk City, explore various sites and unique locations in this rural town.  Continue west to Amarillo, your destination for the day.  After checking into your hotel, join the group for a true Texas experience at the Big Texan!   

    • Breakfast served: 6:00am - 10:00am
    • 8:30am Travel to Oklahoma City National Memorial
    • 9:00am Oklahoma City National Memorial Visit
    • 10:30am Oklahoma Route 66 Museum
    • 11:30am Departure for Elk City, OK
    • 12:00pm Lunch in Elk City OK 
    • 1:30pm Travel to Amarillo with a Erik, OK among others.
    • 5:30 pm Hotel check-in
    • 6:30pm Big Texan Dinner experience

     

    Lodging: Drury Inn & Suites, Amarillo, TX
            
    Meals: B, D

  • As you leave Amarillo this morning following the Mother Road west, a must stop is the Cadillac Ranch.  Invented and built by a group of art-hippies imported from San Francisco. Ten Caddies were driven into one of Stanley Marsh 3's fields, then half-buried, nose-down, in the dirt (supposedly at the same angle as the Great Pyramid of Giza). They face west in a line, from the 1949 Club Sedan to the 1963 Sedan de Ville, their tail fins held high for all to see on the empty Texas panhandle. A must stop will be at Route 66 halfway point in Adrian, TX. Afterwards we will cross the border into “The Land of Enchantment,” New Mexico, and enjoy the Route 66 nostalgia of Tucumcari which is home to many iconic Route 66 sights such as the Blue Swallow Motel, Tee Pee Curios, La Cita Mexican Restaurant, and a shining monument to the Old Road.  In Santa Rosa, drive Route 66 through town and stop at Joseph’s Bar & Grill for lunch.  Enjoy more time following the old route as you make your way north on the original Route 66 route into Santa Fe.  Explore downtown Santa Fe, NM before journeying down to Albuquerque.  The rest of the day is free to explore historic Old Town Albuquerque on your own.  Old Town’s narrow streets and century-old adobe houses are home to New Mexican eateries serving enchiladas and sopaipilla pastries, and tiny artisan shops selling jewelry, rugs, and pottery. Old Town Plaza is a charming spot overlooked by 18th-century San Felipe de Neri Church.   

    • Breakfast served: 6:00am - 10:00am
    • 7:30am Explore Cadillac Ranch and the continue through West Texas
    • 11:30am Lunch and explore Santa Rosa, NM (Mountain Standard Time)
    • 1:00pm Depart for Santa Fe, NM
    • 3:00pm Explore Historic Santa Fe, NM
    • 5:00pm Travel to Albuquerque, NM 
    • 6:00pm Hotel check-in and free evening

     

    Lodging: Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town, Albuquerque, NM
            
    Meals: B

  • This morning, depart Albuquerque and travel west with a stop in Gallup at the El Rancho Hotel, a delightful old hotel lovingly preserved in its 1930s glory.  Continue westward entering Arizona and arrive at Petrified Forest National Park for lunch sightseeing.  After lunch, enjoy a scenic drive through the Painted Desert and on Blue Mesa with picture stops along the way.  Then walk through the Crystal Forest before exiting the park.  Next drive through another town full of Route 66 nostalgia and made famous in a song, Winslow, AZ.  After a full day on Route 66, arrive in Flagstaff for a free evening exploring this amazing and eclectic downtown area. 

    • Breakfast served: 6:00am - 10:00am
    • 7:30am Depart for Gallup, NM
    • 9:30am Explore Historic Gallup, NM El Rancho Hotel
    • 11:00am Lunch at the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest NP (Pacific Standard Time)
    • 12:00pm Explore Painted Desert Petrified Forest National Park 
    • 3:30pm Travel to Winslow, AZ then to Flagstaff, AZ
    • 6:30pm Hotel Check-In and free evening

     

    Lodging: Weatherford Hotel, Flagstaff, AZ

    Meals: B,L,D

  • A short drive west of Flagstaff lies the small town of Seligman, now known as “The Birthplace of Historic Route 66” and a must see for Route 66 fans.  In 1972, Angel Delgadillo moved his barber shop so that he could take advantage of the traffic on the new alignment of Route 66 through Seligman.  Business was good until September of 1978, when I-40 bypassed Seligman.  To stimulate tourism, Angel, his wife Vilma, and other shop owners in northwest Arizona established the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona.  From here you will drive the longest remaining stretch of the original road through towns like Peach Springs and Hackberry on your way to Kingman with a stop at Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner for lunch. After lunch, it is an interesting and scenic drive through the desert mountains as you make your way to the old mining ghost town of Oatman.  Located at elevation 2,700 feet on old Route 66 between Kingman, Arizona, and Needles, California, the popular small town is an interesting stop, with numerous gift shops and small restaurants.  From Oatman, pass through Needles and then arrive in Barstow for touring of the Route 66 Mother Road Museum.  Tonight, arrive in San Bernardino for dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at the fun and historic Wigwam Motel.   

    • Breakfast served: 6:00am - 10:00am
    • 7:00am Depart for Williams & Seligman, AZ
    • 9:00am Depart Seligman for Kingman, AZ
    • 10:30am Explore Kingman, AZ
    • 11:15am Lunch on own
    • 12:15pm Depart for Oatman, AZ
    • 1:15pm Explore Oatman, AZ
    • 2:15pm Travel to Barstow, CA
    • 5:00pm Dinner in Barstow, CA 
    • 8:00 pm Hotel Check-in with the evening on your own

     

    Lodging: Residence Inn by Marriott Flagstaff
     
    Meals:  B,L,D

  • Stop for breakfast at a local diner and then travel to Hollywood for a fun tour of Hollywood, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills.  You will see The Hollywood Sign, The Walk of Fame, Dolby Theater, Laugh Factory, Sunset Strip, Rodeo Drive, Route 66, Capitol Records, Filming Locations, Chinese Theatre, and celebrity homes in Beverly Hills.  After an exciting tour, stop at a local diner for lunch on own.  In the afternoon, take a short drive to the Santa Monica Pier and visit the western terminus of America’s Main Street, Route 66. Enjoy free time to explore the pier on your own.  Then celebrate this wonderful journey along the Mother Road as you join your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner on the pier.  A fitting end to a nostalgic trip!

    • Breakfast served: Group Breakfast
    • 7:30am Breakfast at a local restaurant
    • 8:45am Depart San Bernardino and explore Hollywood and LA
    • 12:30pm Lunch on own
    • 1:30pm Head to Santa Monica for the final experiences! 
    • 5-6pm Hotel Check-in
    • 6:30pm Farwell Dinner

     

    Lodging: Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Santa Monica

    Meals B,D

  • Transfer to the Los Angeles Airport for your departure flight home.   

    Breakfast served: 6:00am – 10:00am
    Meals: B

Tour Details:

Inclusions:

  • Services of a Southwest Adventure Tours tour director 
  • Comfortable transportation 
  • 11 nights hotel accommodations
  • 11 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Evening Architecture River Cruise in Chicago
  • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum
  • Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center
  • Gateway Arch
  • Meramec Caverns
  • Tour of the Coleman Theater
  • First American’s Museum
  • Oklahoma City Memorial
  • Route 66 Interpretive Center, Chandler, OK
  • National Route 66 Museum, Elk City, OK
  • Petrified Forest National Park
  • Tour of Hollywood & Beverly Hills
  • Gratuities for included meals
  • Gratuities for included activities
  • Airport Transfers
  • Park Entrance Fees
  • Applicable Taxes and Fees

Exclusions:

  • Airfare
  • Any meals not listed 
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities for the tour director, driver, local guides, and outfitters

Requirements:

Clients should be comfortable walking on uneven terrain for an average of 1/4 to 1 mile at a time. Elevation gain and loss averages between 50 to 100 ft over the course of the areas visited during this tour. Touring and overnight locations are above 5000 to 7000 ft above sea level in some areas (Flagstaff, AZ and Albuquerque, NM).

Arrival Location: Chicago O’Hare ORD or Chicago Midway Airport MDW
Arrival Time: By 2:00 PM Central Standard Time 

Departure Location: Los Angeles International Airport – LAX
Departure Time: Any time after 6:00 AM on Saturday on Day 12

Pricing:

  • $5,499.00  Per Person Double Occupancy
  • $6,499.00  Per Person Single Occupancy
  • $5,199.00 Per Person Triple Occupancy
  • $5,099.00 Per Person Quad Occupancy 

2025 Trip Dates:

Departure
Return
April 19, 2025 April 30, 2025
May 31, 2025 June 11, 2025