Route 66 with Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta - 2015

5 out of 5 stars

14 days

from €2875 pp

Trip available from Sep 2015 to Oct 2015.
"Our experience was first class"
Glendon , Jun 2014

It's all about the journey as we hit this famous highway from Chicago to L.A. Known as the Main Street of America, the stops on this ‘bucket list' experience reveal classic Americana.

It's Insider moments like... racing to make the best barbecue sauce from the spices on your picnic table before two local families, real barbecue championship winners, vote which is best. A true American ‘pit master' serves downhome dishes, from pulled pork to St Louis-style ribs. It's also visiting The Hill in St Louis, where our Midwest friend shows you his Italian neighbourhood and teaches you bocce. And it's meeting first responders and survivors from the 1995 Oklahoma tragedy, who recount stories of that fateful day.

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Large Map

Trip Itinerary

  • 1.


    Welcome to the starting point of Route 66! Get settled in at The Palmer House, an Authentic Accommodation, and the nation’s oldest continually operating hotel. Hosting entertainers such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland, this elegant hotel became an epicenter for entertainment in the early 1900s. Spend the afternoon exploring the grounds, relaxing from your travels or head outdoors to get acquainted with the city of Chicago. At 6 p.m., gather at the hotel with your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception.


    The Palmer House Hilton (MD)

  • 2.


    After an introduction to the Windy City, including elegant Lakeshore Drive and the Magnificent Mile, hit the road for a good, old-fashioned American road trip. Explore the history and cultural impact of America's Mother Road at the Route 66 Association Hall of Fame and Museum. Roll on southwest to Springfield, on the way to St. Louis, the Gateway to the West.


    Full Breakfast


    Omni Majestic

  • 3.


    Get ready for a real taste of America's Midwest today, starting with the view from atop the famed St. Louis Gateway Arch. Head to "The Hill" and learn about St. Ambrose Church, the history of the Italian immigrants and why they came to and stayed in St. Louis. This Unique Insight introduces you to wonderful Italian markets and the ancient game of Bocce. Afterward, experience another American favourite with a guided tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery—from the stables of the Clydesdales to the tasting room—where you enjoy a taste of this Local Speciality. And what goes better with beer than barbecue? Learn to mix up your own sweet and spicy sauce with a team of master BBQ chefs and enjoy a rib-sticking Be My Guest dinner, hot off the grill.


    Full Breakfast,Be My Guest Dining

  • 4.


    Begin your day by crossing the Mississippi River via the Chain of Rocks Bridge, named for the rocks that made crossing the river so rough before the bridge was built in the 1960s. Go underground in Meramec Caverns, a former hideout of Jesse James, for a glimpse of some outstanding subterranean formations. Then it's onward to the Ozarks and the lively American musical mecca of Branson. Explore Branson Landing, a shopping, dining and entertainment hub on the shores of Lake Taneycomo. Tonight, perhaps get your kicks at an optional dinner show.


    Full Breakfast


    Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing

  • 5.


    Roll on through historic Joplin, Missouri into eastern Oklahoma, an especially scenic stretch of highway known as the Will Rogers Highway. Stop to visit the Will Rogers Museum dedicated to the famous American humourist. Tonight, enjoy a Regional Meal in the vibrant warehouse district of Bricktown at Mickey Mantle's Steakhouse.


    Full Breakfast,Regional Meal


    Courtyard Oklahoma City Downtown

  • 6.


    Get a taste of the Old West at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum with its collection of Native American art and outstanding display of antique firearms. Later, visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, honouring the 1995 bombing victims. Get a Unique Insight into the events of that infamous day through the eyes of someone who experienced it as they recount stories from the tragic event. The rest of the day is yours to explore historic Bricktown.


    Full Breakfast

  • 7.


    In Clinton, explore a classic collection of Route 66 history, memorabilia and culture. Crossing into the Texas Panhandle, return to Old Route 66 for a scenic drive before stopping at Amarillo, the “yellow rose of Texas.”


    Full Breakfast


    Holiday Inn West

  • 8.


    Yes, those are 10 classic Cadillacs buried nose down in the dirt, the famed Cadillac Ranch pop art installation just outside Amarillo. Stop in Tucumcari, where a large number of the vintage motels and restaurants built in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s are still in existence. Travel on to Albuquerque where the spirit of Route 66 still thrives. Take a walking tour of Old Town and see the old adobe architecture with a Local Expert. Tonight, don your poodle skirt or leather jacket for a dinner at the 66 Diner with its 1950s jukebox and blue-plate specials that have hardly changed since the heyday of the “Main Street of America.”


    Full Breakfast,Dinner


    Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown

  • 9.


    Rise early to watch the greatest show in the air. Gaze in wonder as hundreds of brightly coloured hot air balloons rise into the clear blue autumn sky. You'll enjoy this once and a lifetime experience in the exclusive Chasers' Club featuring guaranteed private seating, deluxe views of the launch and hot food! Gather again this evening for the spectacular Balloon Glow where all the balloons light their burners in unison to illuminate the night sky. Conclude your day with a bang at the After Glow fireworks show!


    Full Breakfast

  • 10.


    Cruise through Gallup this morning and see the history of Route 66 on the main drag. See the Historic El Rancho hotel, which served as a home base to the movie stars who came to the desert for their flms. Crossing into Arizona, watch the sun play over the changing colours of the Painted Desert and Petrifed Forest National Park. See the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook and the Man Standing on the Corner in Winslow before arriving in Flagstaff with its quaint downtown and pine-forested hills.

  • 11.


    As the morning sun gilds the desert landscape, visit the traditional land of the Navajo people. Stop at Cameron Trading Post to browse through handicrafts and maybe enjoy some tasty fry bread. This afternoon, wind along scenic Desert View Drive before arriving at the Grand Canyon. Spend the night inside the park, allowing time to explore this natural world wonder.


    Full Breakfast


    National Park Lodges

  • 12.


    Hit the road again, passing through Seligman then Peach Springs, the town that was the inspiration for the Pixar movie Cars. Then drive through Hackberry, a Route 66 ghost town along the original route. Further ahead, stop in Kingman, a Route 66 hotspot that has kept the old culture alive. Driving the Mother Road in these desert oases is like time travelling to see the well-preserved motels, diners and gas stations of a simpler era. Then it's full speed ahead to glittering Las Vegas. The afternoon and evening are yours to hit the Strip, catch a show or try your luck in the casinos.


    Full Breakfast


    Paris Las Vegas

  • 13.


    Travel from Sin City to the City of Angels today, with one last jaunt on Route 66 near the town of Barstow. Upon arrival in Los Angeles, see the sights, including Grauman's Chinese Theater, and the place where the road comes to an end, Santa Monica and the great Pacific. This evening, celebrate your journey at a festive Farewell Dinner.


    Full Breakfast,Farewell Dinner


    The Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites

  • 14.


    Say goodbye to the road and take flight after a transfer to Los Angeles International Airport. You may wish to extend your stay in L.A. at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites.


    Full Breakfast

The Trafalgar Difference

  • Authentic Accommodation

    The Palmer House, in Chicago, houses the largest collection of impressionist art outside of France and is an entertainment epicenter having hosted legendary performers.
  • Be My Guest

    Be the guests of master barbecue chefs for an outdoor feast of traditional American barbecue.
  • Local Expert

    Take a walking tour of Old Town Albuquerque.
  • Local Speciality

    Tour the Anheuser-Busch brewery and sample the beer.
  • Unique Insight

    Visit "The Hill," where Italian Immigrants came and settled in St. Louis and learn about Bocce and even try your hand at a few frames of the game.
    Hear from people whose stories allow you to experience history – and the Oklahoma Standard – from those who lived it during the fateful bombing tragedy of 1995. Speakers include family members, survivors, first responders, journalists, judges, FBI agents, and others directly impacted by the bombing or involved in the investigation and trials.

Find out what makes Trafalgar different.

What's Always Included

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Orientation tours of Chicago and Los Angeles.
  • View the striking outdoor installations at Cadillac Ranch and the Petrified Forest National Park.
  • Visit the Route 66 Association Hall of Fame and Museum, St. Louis, the hideaway of Jesse James at Meramec Caverns, Branson, the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Tulsa, the Oklahoma City National Memorial and National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Clinton, Albuquerque, Grand Canyon National Park and Las Vegas.


  • 13 full breakfasts.

  • 5 dinners

    (including Be My Guest, Regional Meal, 2 three course dinners, and Farewell Dinner).
  • Welcome Reception with light appetisers.

Travel Highlights

  • Audio Headsets are provided throughout your holiday to enhance your included sightseeing experiences.
  • A travel wallet with your documentation.
  • 13 nights First Class accommodation
  • All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes included.
  • Airport transfers are provided on the first and last day of your guided holiday

Airport Transfers

Specific transfer information can be found on the airport transfers page

Optional Experiences

We offer a range of Optional Experiences and entertainment options to complement our trips. These are purchased when you are on your trip, via your Trafalgar Travel Director. Depending on the region visited, these can be paid with cash or credit card. We are sorry but at this time we are unable to display all optionals for this trip. Where available, these Optional Experiences will be added to our website shortly.

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