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Follow legendary Route 66 and see how Americans traveled from the 1920s through the 1960s. This historic route begins in Chicago, travels through eight states, and ends in Los Angeles. On this trip down memory lane, you’ll get the opportunity to travel to some of the cities along Route 66, visit many of the Route 66 museums, and step back in time to when the journey was part of the fun. Visit Pontiac’s Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum, which features memorabilia from the heyday of Route 66. In Oklahoma, at the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, antique cars and historic documents help you feel what it was like to travel Route 66. In New Mexico, visit Russell’s Car Museum, featuring classic cars and memorabilia. Overnight in Williams Arizona—listed in the National Register for Historic Places and where you’ll see neon signs of the intact circa 1940s “Motel Row.” Before arriving at the end of Route 66 in Santa Monica, California, visit the California Route 66 Museum in Victorville, which displays memories in such settings as a 50’s diner, VW Love Bus and the 1917 Model T Ford. This tour also deviates from Route 66, so you can see breathtaking scenery at the Grand Canyon and experience the excitement of Las Vegas. In Springfield, visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, and in St. Louis, witness amazing views of the city and the Mississippi River from the top of the 630-foot-tall Gateway Arch. These are just some of the many highlights of this Route 66 tour designed for value-minded travelers. Sit back, relax, and let Cosmos handle the driving and details while you enjoy!
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*Book a select 2023 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruise to receive $750 off per person on the cruise/land or cruise only price. Booking must be made, under deposit and discount applied between August 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023 for travel in 2023. Promotional discount will apply to Groups of 8 or more who provide their Group Block Deposit within the promotion's booking dates and will apply to all individual members of the Group until the due date of the passenger names/non-refundable individual deposits. Not applicable on TBA space. Offer reliant on space availability at time of booking and may be withdrawn at any time. Offer combinable only with Welcome Back Credit. Applies to new 2023 bookings only and offer will not be applied to pre-existing bookings. Full cancellation penalties will apply. Additional restrictions may apply; see Travel Terms & Conditions for details. May be withdrawn at any time. Offer applies to participating GFOB offices only. PRMW0992
CHICAGOSightseeingPONTIACVisit Route 66 Hall of Fame & MuseumSPRINGFIELDVisit Abraham Lincoln Presidential MuseumST. LOUISOrientation tour; visit the Gateway Arch National ParkOKLAHOMA CITYSightseeingELK CITYNational Route 66 MuseumAMARILLOCadillac RanchALBUQUERQUEVisit Old Town and Acoma Sky CityGRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARKSightseeingWILLIAMSHistoric Route 66LAS VEGASOrientation tour of the famous Las Vegas “Strip”VICTORVILLEVisit the California Route 66 MuseumLOS ANGELESSightseeingSANTA MONICASightseeing; ending point of Historic Route 66Guides:
PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTORNotes:
On vacations that include an overnight stay in Las Vegas, at least one member of the traveling party must be 21 years of age or older. Maximum elevation on tour: 7,262 ft
World Heritage Sites are designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance. The sites are judged to contain cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:
Private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring with free Wi-Fi.
3 breakfasts, 5 continental breakfasts
CHICAGO Welcome to Chicago, the start of Route 66! Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer questions.
CHICAGO Known as the “Windy City,” Chicago is home to one of America’s tallest buildings, legends such as Al Capone and his notorious gang, and countless jazz and blues clubs. Get to know this exciting city on a morning sightseeing tour that includes the sign marking the start of historic Route 66. This afternoon is at leisure. Ride the elevator to the top of the Willis Tower, formally known as the Sears Tower, explore The Magnificent Mile, or stroll along Navy Pier.
CHICAGO–PONTIAC–SPRINGFIELD This morning, immerse yourself in Route 66 memorabilia. Visit the Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum in Pontiac, housed in a historic fire station. See the large maps that will sketch out your Route 66 adventure for the coming days, and enjoy the nostalgic photos and postcards from the “Mother Road’s” heyday. On to Springfield and the former home of President Abraham Lincoln. Visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.
SPRINGFIELD–ST. LOUIS Cross the mighty Mississippi River and continue to St. Louis, “Gateway to the West.” Your orientation tour includes the towering Gateway Arch National Park. Ascend to the top of the 630-foot-tall arch for a panoramic view of the city and river. Then drive along an original stretch of Route 66 to savor some of Ted Drewes Frozen Custard.
ST. LOUIS–BRANSON Today, we travel through the Missouri countryside, then on to Branson, known as The Live Music Capital of the World. You’ll have free time to explore the historic downtown, situated along Lake Taneycomo. No visit to Branson is complete without seeing a live performance, so join your Tour Director on tonight’s optional dinner followed by a foot-stomping show.
BRANSON–TULSA–OKLAHOMA CITY This morning, leave the Ozarks and travel through America’s “Bible Belt” into Cowboy Country. After a quick drive through Kansas, enter Oklahoma, once known as Indian Territory. In Tulsa, see the “East Meets West” sculpture that pays tribute to Cyrus Avery, “The Father of Route 66.” Later today, arrive in Oklahoma City.
OKLAHOMA CITY–ELK CITY–AMARILLO Start the day with a city sightseeing tour of Oklahoma City, the capital and largest city in Oklahoma. From here, travel to Elk City and visit the National Route 66 Museum. Take a journey through each of the eight states Route 66 passes through—from Illinois all the way to California. Continue into the Texas Panhandle and on to Amarillo, the Yellow Rose of Texas.
AMARILLO–TUCUMCARI–ALBUQUERQUE On the way out of Amarillo, see Cadillac Ranch, a quirky art sculpture consisting of a collection of 10 Cadillacs. Before crossing into New Mexico, reach Adrian, the halfway point on Route 66. Across the New Mexico border, visit Russell’s Car Museum, featuring classic cars and memorabilia. Next, stop in Tucumcari and shop for souvenirs at Teepee Curios. See the iconic Blue Swallow Motel that has been serving travelers of Route 66 since 1939. Visit Central Avenue in Albuquerque, where many of the original Route 66 buildings and businesses still stand. Afterward, there’s free time in this original Spanish town with its fine parish church and Spanish-style plaza.
ALBUQUERQUE This morning, enjoy a leisurely breakfast or sunbathe in the New Mexico sunshine. Consider an optional Albuquerque Trolley ride or a short walk to Old Town, site of the city’s original settlement. Hone your bargaining skills with the local craftsmen who line the square to sell their lovely silver and turquoise jewelry. After exploring more of this atmospheric city, seize the chance to ride the world’s longest aerial tramway up nearby Sandia Peak Mountain and witness spine-tingling views of the desert floor, forests, and canyons below.
ALBUQUERQUE–ACOMA SKY CITY–GALLUP–WINSLOW–WILLIAMS This morning, visit Acoma Sky City, home of the Pueblo Indians, situated on 367-foot-high sandstone rock. It is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited village in the United States. Learn about this community and its inhabitants, and peruse Acoma pottery and jewelry. Then, cross the Continental Divide and continue to Gallup, which claims a longtime Hollywood connection. From classic westerns to the more recent Adventures of Superman, the area has provided unequaled movie scenery. Then we’ll be “Standing on the Corner of Winslow, Arizona”, the sleepy Route 66 town made famous by The Eagles in their hit song “Take It Easy”. The next two nights are in Williams, gateway to the Grand Canyon, and listed in the National Register for Historic Places. The Historic Downtown District covers six square blocks and boasts a rich heritage that features the Old West and Route 66.
WILLIAMS. EXCURSION TO GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK Deviate from Route 66 to see one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Grand Canyon National Park. Wander along the canyon rim for breathtaking views and wildlife. Elk are frequently spotted grazing in the forested areas on the South Rim. Perhaps join the optional helicopter flightseeing tour? Return to Williams where the evening is free to explore the historic Americana-style shops and restaurants dating back to the early 1900s, and home of Pete’s Route 66 Gas Station Museum, featuring highway memorabilia. Be sure to appreciate the neon signs of the intact circa 1940s “Motel Row.”
WILLIAMS–SELIGMAN–LAS VEGAS Depart Williams for Seligman, home to the rebirth of Route 66. Detour once again from Route 66 to visit the bright lights and excitement of Las Vegas. An orientation tour upon arrival shows off many of the themed casino resorts along the colorful “Strip.” This evening, join an optional night at a dazzling show featuring top Vegas entertainment.
LAS VEGAS A day at leisure to relax by the pool or explore the legendary Las Vegas Strip. Ride the world’s highest rollercoaster, float through a Venetian canal, or test your luck at one of the many world-famous casinos—it’s all possible in Las Vegas. Don’t miss downtown Las Vegas, where you’ll find the Fremont Street Experience, five city blocks enclosed in a glass atrium and filled with dazzling lights, sounds, and action. A variety of optional excursions are available, including a float trip through dramatic Black Canyon on the Colorado River.
LAS VEGAS–VICTORVILLE–LOS ANGELES Today, depart the man-made oasis of Las Vegas, and cross the Mojave Desert and the San Bernardino Mountains en route to Los Angeles. Visit the California Route 66 Museum, which displays memories in such settings as a 50’s diner, VW Love Bus and the 1917 Model T Ford. Overnight in Los Angeles, the “City of Angels.”
LOS ANGELES Savor the exciting “City of Angels” on our morning tour of glamorous Beverly Hills, Sunset Strip, Hollywood, and Santa Monica, the ending point of Route 66. Return to Los Angeles where experience Hollywood behind the scenes on an optional Warner Brothers Studio tour, shop for souvenirs or relax by the pool.
LOS ANGELES Your vacation ends this morning. You can extend your vacation with extra nights and explore Los Angeles further. Your Tour Director will have suggestions.
With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
Escorting tours for more than 20 years
"As a Tour Director for more than two decades, I've always had a passion for travel. At 18, I traveled solo throughout Europe. A few years later, I was one of three youth ambassadors on a cultural exchange to Burkina Faso. As a Tour Director, I enjoy showing off America's Heartland. I encourage my guests to talk to the locals and try the regional foods. Guests often tell me that their fondest memories are of their time spent in small towns with "real Americans.""