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Christian Tours

Making Travel Dreams Come True Since 1977!

Route 66 - Chicago to Santa Monica

“Get your kicks on Route 66”

Day 1

FLIGHT TO CHICAGO • “WINDY CITY” SIGHTSEEING • CHICAGO STYLE DEEP DISH PIZZA:

We depart Charlotte-Douglas Airport on our flight to Chicago. Upon our arrival to Chicago, we board our comfortable motorcoach for a guided sightseeing tour of the “Windy City.” We visit Grant Park where we see the official banner “Historic Route 66 Starts Here.” While here, we visit the park's centerpiece, the impres- sive Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain. After our introduction to the city, we enjoy Chicago's legendary, deep- dish pizza for dinner. We overnight just outside of Chicago. (D)
Day 2

WEST ON ROUTE 66 • ROUTE 66 HALL OF FAME • ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL MUSEUM • ST. LOUIS:

Today we commence our nostalgic journey on Route 66. Also known as the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, this highway became one of the most famous roads in America running from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California. Today we visit the Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum in Pontiac before continuing to Springfield, Illinois. This is a city rich in Route 66 memories and where President Abraham Lincoln lived for 24 years. We drive by the Illinois State Capitol building before visiting the wonderful Library and Muse- um of President Abraham Lincoln. We see the Chain of the Rocks Route 66 Bridge over the Mississippi River. The bridge was named for the rocks that made crossing the river so rough before the bridge was built in the 1960's. We overnight in the St. Louis, Missouri, area.
Day 3

FANTASTIC CAVERNS • SPRINGFIELD • JOPLIN:

Missouri is home to more than 6,000 caves including Fantastic Caverns. This is America's only drive through cave. You can relax in comfort by boarding the Jeep-drawn tram and experience the natural beauty. We continue through Missouri on Route 66. Officially recognized as the birthplace of Route 66, it was in Springfield on April 30, 1926, that officials first proposed the name of the new Chicago-to-Los Angeles highway. In 1938, Route 66 became the first completely paved transcontinental highway in America, the “Mother Road,” stretching from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Coast. Route 66 runs through downtown Springfield as traces of the Mother Road are still visible in downtown with interesting shops. We overnight near Joplin. Our hotel offers a light kickback dinner for you to enjoy.
Day 4

WILL ROGERS MUSEUM • OKLAHOMA CITY • NATIONAL COWBOY & WESTERN HERITAGE MUSEUM • DINNER:

Continuing on Route 66, we will be traveling a scenic stretch of the highway known as the Will Rogers Highway. We'll be passing through such towns as Commerce, which is the boyhood home of Baseball Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle. We arrive in Claremore, Oklahoma, the Home of Will Rogers where we stop to visit the Will Rogers Museum. The museum is loaded with memorabilia, his saddle collection, photographs and manuscripts, with nine galleries and three theaters. Also on the grounds is the family tomb located at the sunken garden. Upon arrival in Oklahoma City, we visit the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Here we find one of the finest collections of western art in the country, depicting in graphic glory America's Western heritage. The West of Yesterday Gallery features life-size re-creations of early Indian and pioneer life. The Rodeo Hall of Fame is always a favorite, as is a stroll through the sculpture hall, which features the famous “End of the Trail” and “Coming Through the Rye” sculp-tures. Don't miss the 33-foot statue of Buffalo Bill. We spend the night in Oklahoma City. We're in cattle country and steak is on the menu tonight. (D)
Day 5

MURRAH MEMORIAL & MUSEUM • NATIONAL ROUTE 66 MUSEUM • BIG TEXAN STEAK RANCH DINNER:

This morning we have a somber reminder of the Oklahoma City tragedy as we visit the Murrah Memorial honoring the 1995 bombing victims. Each of the 168 people killed in the tragedy is represented by a chair made of bronze, stone, and glass. The museum presents the story of this horrendous terrorist attack on April 19, 1995. Continuing on through Oklahoma we stop in Elk City, Oklahoma, at the National Route 66 Museum. This museum takes us on a trip through the route's history with photographs, old signs, and vintage automobiles. We make our way to Amarillo, Texas, where dinner is included at the Big Texan Steak Ranch. We spend the night in Amarillo. (D)
Day 6

CADILLAC RANCH • TUCUMCARI • OLD TOWN ALBUQUERQUE WALKING TOUR • DINNER AT 66 DINER:

Just outside of Amarillo we pause for a photo at the famed Cadillac Ranch. This interesting place was built in 1974 by Stanley March III. Here are 10 brightly painted Cadillacs, each of the models from 1949 to 1964 buried nose down in concrete, at the angle of the great pyramids. Our next stop is in the town of Tucumcari, New Mexico, where we drive through this unique town to see all the murals and pause for a photo at the Route 66 mural, the Tee Pee Curios and the Blue Swallow Motel. Continuing across the New Mexico Desert, we arrive in Albuquerque, where the spirit of Route 66 still thrives. Nestled amongst the mountains, we take a walking tour of Old Town, the original Albuquerque, to see the old adobe architecture. Founded in 1706, the warmth of aged adobe adds a special charm to its shops and galleries. This evening dinner is included at the 66 Diner. With its 1950's jukebox and blue-plate specials, this place has hardly changed since the heyday of the “Main Street of America” days. (D)
Day 7

SANDIA PEAK AERIAL TRAM • TRADITIONAL NEW MEXICO LUNCH • SANTA FE HIGHLIGHTS TOUR • “MIRACULOUS” STAIRCASE AT LORETTO CHAPEL:

This morning we're off for an exciting ride on the Sandia Peak Tramway, an aerial tram which lofts passengers to the top of 10,000-foot Sandia Peak. The 2.7-mile ride is the longest clear and unsupported span in North America. The view, both east and west, is spectacular! On to Santa Fe, we enjoy a traditional New Mexico lunch served in one of Santa Fe's gourmet restaurants. After lunch we get acquainted with downtown Santa Fe, as our local guide joins us. We get a great overview of Santa Fe's history, culture and archi-tecture as we navigate the winding streets in and around the downtown plaza. Our knowledgeable guide will share stories about the famous buildings, the significant events and colorful people of Santa Fe's past. Our tour will also include a visit to Loretto Chapel, with its famous “miraculous” staircase, and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis, built between 1869 and 1886 in the French Romanesque Style. Next we have free time to enjoy shopping for one-of-a-kind treasures in Santa Fe. Santa Fe is known for its beautiful handmade jewelry. We return to Albuquerque for the evening. (L)
Day 8

PETRIFIED FOREST NATIONAL PARK • PAINTED DESERT • WILLIAMS • CRUISER'S CAFÉ 66:

Traveling through Gallup this morning we see the history of Route 66 on the “Main Drag.” See the historic El Rancho Hotel which served as a home base to movie stars such as John Wayne and Katherine Hepburn, who came to the desert for their films. Crossing into Arizona on Route 66, we marvel at the colors of the Painted Desert as it comes into view. Today we visit one of our most unique National Parks, the Petrified Forest. At the Visitor's Center and Rainbow Forest Museum, we see polished sections of the wood. Next, we travel through Holbrook where we see the Wigwam Motel. In Winslow, have a photo taken with the famous bronze statue of “The Man Standing on the Corner.” Upon our arrival to Williams, we have an included dinner at the Cruiser's Café 66, a local favorite. We overnight in this charming little town on Route 66. (D)
Day 9

SELIGMAN • KINGMAN • HUALAPAI NATION • GRAND CANYON SKYWALK • INDIAN VILLAGE • GUANO POINT:

Traveling along Route 66, we stop in Seligman. This delightful town retains all the flavor of the “Mother Road.” We stop in town allowing you time to browse the local shops loaded with Route 66 memorabilia and gifts. Maybe we get to visit with Angel Delgadillo, a Route 66 legend. We also pass through Peach Springs, the town that was the inspiration for the Pixar movie Cars. Next we drive through Hackberry, a Route 66 ghost town along the original route. Further ahead, we pass through Kingman, a Route 66 hotspot that has kept the culture alive. From here we journey through the desert oases to the land of the Hualapai Nation. The Hualapai are a native people of the southwest. If you've never visited the Grand Canyon, you're in for a treat! Even if you've been here a dozen times, you'll stand awestruck at the magnificence of this natural wonder. Our motorcoach takes us to the edge of the Hualapai Nation where we visit the Grand Canyon Skywalk. Here we walk beyond the canyon walls, becoming surrounded by the Grand Canyon-West while standing at the edge of the Glass Bridge. The Glass Bridge is suspended more than 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. We visit an Indian Village consisting of five smaller villages. Our stop at Guano Point offers incredible views of the Grand Canyon and Colorado River. Lunch is included here. Back on our motorcoach we get back on Route 66 and travel to the Colorado River Valley to the resort town of Laughlin, Nevada. We overnight at one of the casino resorts. (L)
Day 10

MOTHER ROAD MUSEUM • SANTA MONICA • LOS ANGELES:

This morning we cross into California making our a stop in Barstow to visit the Route 66 “Mother Road” Museum. Displays include development of Route 66 from early pioneer trails, railroads, automotive history, businesses, and other sites. Continuing west toward the coast along the last stretch of the legendary Route 66, we skirt the Mojave National Preserve. We make our way to Santa Monica, known as the end of famous Route 66! We overnight just outside of Los Angeles for the next two nights. Dinner is included this evening. (D)
Day 11

RONALD W. REAGAN LIBRARY & MUSEUM • FARMER'S MARKET • LOS ANGELES CITY TOUR:

This morning we visit the Ronald W. Reagan Presidential Library & Museum. Artifacts from his childhood and professional career provide physical evidence of his extraordinary life. A recreated studio booth highlights his early radio broadcasting career. Glimpse into Ronald and Nancy Reagan's devoted marriage, a love story straight out of a Hollywood script. See a piece of the Berlin Wall, immerse yourself in Camp David and Rancho del Cielo. You'll be able to board the Air Force One that served as the “Flying White House,” for President Reagan and six other U.S. presidents from 1973-2001. We make a stop at the Los Angeles Farmer's Market. This historic market offers over 100 shops, restaurants and grocers. We take a tour of the “City of Angels,” Los Angeles. In the heart of Hollywood, you'll recognize the familiar facade of TCL Chinese Theater. We make a brief stop here to take pictures of the footprints, hand prints, and autographs cast in the concrete outside the theater's doors. Here, too, we find the renowned Walk of Stars, where many of your favorite actors, actresses, singers, dancers, and musicians have stars dedicated to them. We also see the famous intersection of Hollywood & Vine. Enjoy dinner together this evening with all your newfound friends you've made while traveling Route 66! (D)
Day 12

FLIGHT HOME:

We've now traveled Historic Route 66 from Illinois to California by motorcoach.
Route 66 - Chicago to Santa Monica
Departure Dates
12 Days
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MEALS INCLUDED
Continental Breakfasts: 11
Lunches: 2
Dinners: 7
Activity Level: 4
Easy
Strenuous