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Missouri

  • Missouri

    Joplin St. Louis

    Sitting in the heart of the USA, Missouri offers a fabulous blend of frontier west, gracious south, the sophisticated east and industrial north. The beautiful Missouri Valley was once a major pioneer route, with St Louis known as ‘The Gateway to the West’. A fabulous destination it’s bounded by the Mississippi River in the east, prairies to the north of the Missouri River (which is the longest in the USA), great plains to the west, rolling hills in the south and the Southern-style cotton lands to the southeast.

    • Gateway Arch, St Louis

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    • Missouri River

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    • Anheuser-Busch Brewery

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    • Joplin Historic District

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    Named after the Missouri Native Americans that inhabited the fertile lands around the tributaries of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, the state of Missouri became part of the US after a long colonial tussle between France and Spain. Today the state is associated with historical figures from the nation's past, such as Mark Twain (who immortalized the state’s riverboat culture in his memoirs, Life on the Mississippi and in his famous tales Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn), the gun-slinging outlaw Jesse James, western pioneers like Lewis and Clark, and the 33rd President of the United States, Harry Truman.

    The city of St Louis is recognisable for its Gateway Arch and is the 'Home of the Blues', while Kansas City is famous for its steaks and barbecues as well as its hearty jazz. In contrast, the south features the beautiful hillsides and lakes of the Ozark Mountains that are great recreational areas, and the conservative country-and-western tourist town of Branson.

    The powerful waters of the great Mississippi River and its small river towns, paddle steamers, the stockyards of Kansas City and the jazz and blues clubs of St Louis are other images representative of the state. Music, history, arts and heritage are all an intricate part of Missouri & 'Where the Rivers Run'.

  • Route 66

    Begins in Chicago, Illinois and ends in Los Angeles, California

    23 Days / 22 Nights

    Departures: year round

    Add this Fly Drive to planner

    Your fly drive includes:

    • Round trip scheduled flights
    • Intermediate 4 door car hire, including insurances and satellite navigation.
    • Accommodations as stated
    • Personalised Road Book

    One of the most renowned driving routes in the world, historic Route 66 spans across North America, from Chicago in the east to Los Angeles in the west. Covering over 2,000 miles, it takes three weeks or longer to complete the journey in its entirety so we have created three options to choose from: the entire journey (Chicago to Los Angeles); Chicago to Albuquerque or Oklahoma City to Los Angeles. The journeys shown are based on car rental, however motorbikes or motorhomes can be substituted should you prefer them.

    Alternative Durations

    Should you not have a full 23 days available to do the full length of Route 66, then we can offer shorter duration trips for you to enjoy 'the mother road'. Please see details below:

    Duration: 15 days / 14 nights 

    Starts Chicago and ends Albuquerque

    Or

    Starts Oklahoma City and ends Los Angeles 

    • Route 66 Museum

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    • Gas Station on Route 66

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    • Giant Bottle on Route 66

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    Day
    01
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    Day
    03

    Arrive Chicago

    Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to Chicago. Upon arrival, collect your rental car and proceed to your hotel. Chicago is one of the most popular US cities and it’s easy to see why. A myriad of attractions and the fabled ‘Magnificent Mile’ of shopping keep its visitors entertained and the cultural mix provides for fabulous dining options too.

    Hotel: Palmer House, A Hilton Hotel

    Day
    04

    Springfield

    Make your way to Jackson Boulevard at Lake Shore Drive this morning, considered the official starting place of Route 66. Stop at the Route 66 Welcome Centre in Joliet, see a 28-foot-tall spaceman in Wilmington and have a bite to eat at the Cozy Dog Drive-In in Springfield before arriving at your hotel.

    Hotel: President Abraham Lincoln DoubleTree, Springfield

    202Mi/325Km

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    05
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    St. Louis

    Have lunch at the Ariston Café in Litchfield, which is one of the oldest restaurants on Route 66. Stop at Henry’s Rabbit Ranch where a replica of a vintage gas station and displays of highway memorabilia can be found, and make a slight detour to walk across the old Chain of Rocks Bridge in Madison, the longest pedestrian bridge in the world.

    Hotel: St Louis Union Station DoubleTree

    96Mi/155Km

    Day
    07

    Springfield

    Leaving the Mississippi River behind today, you’ll travel through the picturesque Ozark Mountains towards the small city of Springfield, Missouri. A stop at the Meramec Caverns near Stanton is a must.

    Hotel: DoubleTree by HIlton Springfield

    289Mi/465Km

    Day
    08

    Tulsa

    You’ll cross three states today; you’ll leave Missouri, briefly drive through Kansas and arrive in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Along the way, stop at the ‘4 Women on The Route’ restored gas station in Galena, cross the Rainbow Curve Bridge in Baxter Springs, visit the Route 66 Packard Museum in Afton, see the world’s largest Totem Pole in Foyil and peruse the giant Blue Whale in Catoosa.

    Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton, Tulsa

    113Mi/182Km

    Day
    09

    Oklahoma City

    It’s a short drive today past the Cherokee Outlet towards Oklahoma City. Walk around the Oklahoma City Zoo or botanical gardens and visit the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

    Hotel: Sheraton Oklahoma Downtown

    107Mi/173Km

    Day
    10

    Amarillo

    Today’s drive brings you into the cowboy state of Texas. Stop en route at the entertaining Sand Hills Curiosity Shop in Erick, visit the U-Drop Inn in Shamrock, the Devil’s Rope Barbed Wire Museum in McLean, the leaning water tower in Groom and the VW Slug Bug Ranch in Conway, where five VW Beetles are buried nose-down in the ground.

    Hotel: Courtyard Amarillo Downtown

    260Mi/419Km

    Day
    11
    Day
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    Santa Fe

    Briefly taking the I-40 which replaced the old Route 66, you’ll witness ghost towns which were once thriving when Route 66 was a major highway. Stop at the Midpoint Café in Adrian, which marks the midpoint of the old Route 66, equidistantly 1139 miles from Los Angeles and Chicago. We have allowed a full day in Santa Fe, which is America’s oldest state capital, to relax and explore.

    Hotel: Inn & Spa at Loretto

    279Mi/449Km

    Day
    13
    Day
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    Albuquerque

    It’s a short but scenic journey to Albuquerque, so why not venture off the freeway along the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway? You’ll enjoy breathtaking views from atop Sandia Crest, and pass through the mining towns of Los Cerrillos, Madrid and Golden. Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico and is full of exciting attractions such as the historic downtown and city zoo.

    Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Albuquerque

    61Mi/98Km

    Day
    15

    Gallup

    Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the 66 Diner on Central Avenue before getting back on the road. Stop at Grants, where some of the historic Route 66 motels and shops still exist, before arriving in the old railroad town of Gallup on the western edge of New Mexico. Visit the historic El Rancho Hotel and drive down motel row, which sparkles with vintage neon motel signs.

    Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Gallup

    140Mi/226Km

    Day
    16
    Day
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    Flagstaff

    Crossing the border into Arizona, today’s drive promises some great sights. Stop at the Petrified Forest; the only National Park to contain a section of historic Route 66, pass through the ghost town of Two Guns, stop for a photo in Winslow and visit the Meteor Crater. In Flagstaff, we recommend you take time to explore the historic downtown area.

    Hotel: Little America Hotel, Flagstaff

    186Mi/299Km

    Day
    18

    Kingman

    Back on the road, you’ll enjoy stops in Williams, where the Grand Canyon Railroad takes passengers to the Grand Canyon, and Seligman, which is rich in Route 66 nostalgia including the famous Snow Cap Drive-In. Kingman is home to the Route 66 Museum, as well as many scenic walking trails.

    Hotel: Best Western Plus, A Wayfarer's Inn

    167Mi/269Km

    Day
    19

    Barstow

    Leaving Arizona behind, you cross the magnificent Mojave Desert en route towards California - which is the last state on the Route 66 journey. We suggest a stop at the small Wild West-style town of Oatman, where gift shops, saloon bars and live shows are sure to entertain, before crossing the Colorado River and arriving in California.

    Hotel: Best Western Plus Desert Villa Inn

    207Mi/333Km

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    Santa Monica

    There is plenty to see on the final stretch of Route 66. Stop at the Route 66 Museum in Victorville, see the Wigwam Motel and the McDonald’s Restaurant Museum in San Bernardino and enjoy a fresh orange juice at Bono’s Big Orange in Fontana. You’ll drive through West Hollywood and Beverly Hills before reaching Santa Monica Pier, the official end of Route 66! We have allowed a three night stay in Santa Monica for you to relax and enjoy the many attractions of Los Angeles.

    Hotel: Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows

    131Mi/211Km

    Day
    23

    Journey home

    Take the short drive to Los Angeles Airport, return your rental car and check-in for your flight back to the UK.

    13Mi/21Km

    Prices

    From £3092 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.

    Alternative Durations

    Duration: 15 days / 14 nights 

    Starts Chicago and ends Albuquerque

    From £2165 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.

    or

    Starts Oklahoma City and ends Los Angeles 

    From £2415 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.

    One way drop off charge on car hire is not included in these prices and is payable locally.

    PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of the route involved and locations visited, some hotels featured are tourist class only. Should you wish to stay in higher graded properties please let us know and we will amend the route accordingly.

  • Historic Route 66

    Begins in Chicago, Illinois and ends in Los Angeles, California

    14 Days / 13 Nights

    Departures: June, July and August

    Add this Escorted Tour to planner

    Your escorted tour includes:

    • Round trip scheduled flights
    • Accommodations as specified
    • Transportation in a custom-made vehicle
    • Services of a Grand American Adventure tour leader
    • Classic tour
    • Historic Route 66

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    • Route 66

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    • Pontiac Town Mural, Illinois

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    • Gateway Arch, St. Louis

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    • Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede in Branson

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    • Route 66 Museum, Oklahoma

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    • Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo

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    • El Morro National Monument

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    • Grand Canyon National Park

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    • Las Vegas

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    • Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles

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    Day
    01

    Arrive Chicago

    Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to Chicago. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel, where a welcome meeting will be held in your hotel for you to meet your tour leader and fellow travelling companions. Relax and enjoy the remainder of your day by grabbing a slice of deep-dish pizza before venturing up the Willis Tower, or take to the streets for your very own walking tour along the shores of Lake Michigan.

    Hotel: Cambria Hotel

    Day
    02

    Springfield

    After leaving Chicago, your first stop on your Route 66 holiday is the town of Pontiac to see the fantastic Main Street murals celebrating Route 66, the Pontiac automobile brand, and local cultural and political history. A collection of more than 150 artists known as the `Walldogs' painted a collection of 18 murals in just four days in the summer of 2009. Then you'll head south to the iconic Route 66 stop of Springfield, the capital of Illinois. Springfield's favourite son was Abraham Lincoln and you'll pay a visit to the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, the home that he lived in with his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, from 1844 until 1861 when he became US President. Springfield is also the birthplace of the corndog and drive-thru restaurants, so make sure you arrive with an empty stomach!

    Hotel: The State House Inn

    Day
    03

    St Louis

    From Springfield, it's only a couple of hours drive to St Louis, Missouri. St Louis is one of the largest cities in the USA with a metropolitan population of over 2.8 million. Founded in 1764 it became a major port on the Mississippi River and even hosted the Olympic Games in 1904. The Gateway Arch commemorates the settlement of America's West and it was from here that countless pioneers set out to conquer the wild frontier. Stop at Ted Drewes, an iconic Route 66 tour attraction, where you can try a 'Concrete', an extremely thick milkshake made from vanilla frozen custard. Spend the evening checking out the city's vibrant nightlife at your leisure.

    Hotel: Drury Plaza Hotel St. Louis at the Arch

    Day
    04

    Branson

    Home to Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede and considered an alternative version of The Strip, country music is to Branson what gambling is to Las Vegas. With over 50 dinner theatres, shows and other entertainment oddities, Branson is where it's at in Missouri. It unleashes a hefty dose of pure Americana and a wonderful playlist to enjoy it to.

    Hotel: Grand Plaza Hotel Branson (Breakfast included )

    Day
    05
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    Oklahoma City

    Today you will make your way to Oklahoma, with more driveable miles of the old highway than any other state, it's a mecca for fans of the 'Mother Road'. Oklahoma City is the capital and the largest city in the state. You spend a couple of nights here and can enjoy a full day discovering some of the city's many cultural attractions. Visit the Route 66 Vintage Iron Motorcycle Museum and the historic Coleman Theatre - built in the late 1920s in the era of vaudeville and silent films. Oklahoma is also the gateway to cowboy country so what could be a better introduction to the 'Wild West' than an optional visit to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. A top tip is to swing by the many food trucks scattered around the city and sample some local flavours at reasonable prices.

    Hotel: Sheraton Oklahoma City Downtown Hotel (Breakfast included)

    Day
    07

    Amarillo

    Amarillo in the state of Texas is your destination for today. Before you leave Oklahoma and get on your 'Way to Amarillo', you'll visit the 'official' Route 66 Museum to learn about the legends surrounding the road you're travelling on, and make a short stop at Lucille's Service Station & Roadhouse. Then you make your way to the Big Texan Steak Ranch for a steak meal (optional). If you can eat a 72-oz. steak in less than one hour, you get it for free! This is 'Man Vs Food' for real!

    Hotel: Drury Inn and Suites (Breakfast included)

    Day
    08

    Albuquerque

    Your Route 66 road trip continues with a visit to the Cadillac Ranch, where 10 classic cars are buried nose-down in the dirt. The owners encourage graffiti, so you can grab a spray can and leave your mark! After a short driving time, you reach the Midpoint Café, the midway point between Chicago and Los Angeles, which is famous for hot coffee and rolls. Today you make a stop at Tucumcari Post and Curios, an eccentric souvenir store and drive through the Tijeras Canyon which cuts the Southern Rocky Mountains from east to west.

    Hotel: Nativo Lodge (Breakfast included)

    Day
    09

    Gallup

    Drive along the Rio Puerco Valley to Inscription Rock, a cliff face at El Morro National Monument where you can observe Native American petroglyphs. Cross the Continental Divide en route to Gallup. Stay at the El Rancho Hotel, a little slice of history which counts John Wayne and Katherine Hepburn amongst its famous guests.

    Hotel: El Rancho Hotel

    Day
    10
    Day
    11

    Grand Canyon (South Rim)

    Stop at the Petrified Forest National Park to see the different colours of rock layered on top of each other. Pass through Winslow and see the location mentioned in The Eagles' lyric, "standin' on the corner in Winslow, Arizona". The Grand Canyon is the ultimate symbol of the Desert Southwest and a spectacle not to be missed. It's not on the original Route 66, but it's so close it would be a crime to pass it by! This incredible natural wonder is difficult to comprehend. You'll have plenty of opportunity to explore the park at your own pace. In your free time, we highly recommend a scenic helicopter flight over the canyon, which offers perspectives that you simply can't see visiting on foot. Venture down the Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point, or stroll along the more leisurely West Rim Trail and catch a shuttle bus out to Hermit's Rest. Finish your day by watching the amazing IMAX film, 'The Grand Canyon Experience', and enjoy a spectacular sunset over one of the world's natural wonders!

    Hotel: Red Feather Lodge

    Day
    12
    Day
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    Las Vegas

    The historic Route 66 town of Seligman and its Snow Cap Diner makes for a quirky stop on route to Vegas, especially since it’s filled to the brim with pure Americana. Once in Vegas and if it's gambling you want, you’ve come to the right place, as nowhere else in the world will you find so many casinos. In Las Vegas you'll enjoy a city tour to discover some of the quirky things that epitomise this city, as well as learning about some of its colourful history. You also have time for some last-minute shopping and to relax by the pool before a night out on the town amidst the bright lights and world-class shows.

    Hotel: Golden Nugget Hotel

    Day
    14

    Journey Home

    On your final day, you have the endless sunshine of California in your sights, following Route 66 across the great Mojave Desert to the city of Los Angeles. You'll toast farewell to an epic American road trip and to your new friends, from the iconic Santa Monica Pier, before you transfer to the airport for your flight home.

    Prices

    From £3199 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.