10 to 26 May 2023.
Route 66, It’s more than a road.
Route 66, is known as the ‘Mother Road’ or ‘Mainstreet of America’. This 4490 kilometres / 2807 miles route will take us long from Chicago to Los Angeles; it crosses three time zones and eight states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Migrants, dreamers and generations of holidaymakers have travelled this route west.
The 1950s were the Route 66 glory days when thousands of cars travelled bumper to bumper to experience the Western frontier. Hotels, motels, gas stations, classic restaurants, and the ‘New’ America sprang up everywhere. Much of Route 66’s traditional roads and many restaurants, gas stations and nostalgic landmarks have stayed just as they were in the 1950s. The famous and nostalgic Route 66 road appears to be made for motorcycle touring. As stated, this is the American Ride Sampler
You join company founder David on this tour to celebrate his last 17 days of being 66. There will be some of the crew to add to the celebrations.
Route 66 – David’s Birthday Ride Tour Highlights:
- Harley Davidson Factory and Museum Tours
- Route 66 Ride Experiences
- Chain of Rocks Bridge crossing
- World’s Second Largest Rocking Chair
- Devil’s Elbow
- Route 66 Museum in Clinton
- Texan Steakhouse in Amarillo
- Cadillac Ranch
- Petrified Forest National Park
- Stand on the corner in Winslow Arizona
- Grand Canyon
- Ride through the Mojave Desert
- Ride across the Hoover Dam
- Ride the Angeles Crest Highway
- Santa Monica Pier
- And so much more….
Route 66 – David’s Birthday Ride Itinerary.
Day 1: Chicago, Illinois – Arrival. Riding 0 miles / 0 kms
After arriving at O’Hare International Airport, please make your way to the hotel we will stay at for the next three nights. The rest of today is to explore with us or on your own. Discover what Chicago has to offer.
Overnight at the well-located hotel.
Fun fact: Chicago has the World’s Tallest Building designed by a Female Architect.
Day 2: Off to see the Harley Davidson Factory and Museum. Riding 0 miles / 0 kms.
An early start as we are travelling to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We will not be riding today as we will travel together, and it will be a great way to meet some of the other riders.
Overnight at The Hotel in Chicago.
Fun fact: In the early Harley Davidson advertisements, they promoted the ‘Quietness of their Motorcycles’.
Day 3: Discover more of Chicago, Illinois. Riding 0 miles / 0 kms.
A full day to discover ‘The Windy City’ also called ‘The Paris of the Prairie’. The Great Lake’s biggest, most exciting, with a stunning skyline along Lake Michigan, is a gamut of top-rated museums, restaurants and cafes. The numerous bars and nightclubs pay homage to the city’s strong jazz and blues heritage. Tonight, we will get to meet all the other riders and Tour Guides at an Orientation Meeting at the tour hotel, followed by an enjoyable Welcome Dinner. Tomorrow we hit the road.
Overnight at The Hotel in Chicago.
Fun fact: Chicago is home to The World’s first Brownie.
Day 4: Chicago, Illinois to Springfield, Illinois. Riding 187 miles / 200 kms.
We pick up our motorcycles this morning and begin our ultimate American road trip. The legendary Route 66 starts here, and we ride through the state of Illinois. We have days and miles to enjoy on our way to the Pacific Coast. We head south along the Pontiac Trail, the original name for this bit of the road. We arrive at Joliet to check out the ‘Launching Pad Giant’. Our next stop is at the impressive Route 66 Museum in Pontiac. We are now starting to get a feel of the ‘Mother Road’ under our wheels.
Overnight Hotel in Springfield.
Fun fact: There are 34 Places called Springfield in the U.S.A.
Day 5: Springfield, Illinois to St Louis, Missouri. Riding 116 miles / 185 kms.
St. Louis, here we come. The roads are primarily the 2-lane sections of ‘The Mother Road’, traversing cornfields and small towns that represent the heartland of America. We cross the Mississippi River on the Chain of Rocks Bridge. The Chain of Rocks Bridge was the original bridge on Route 66 into St. Louis, the “Gateway to the West”. Sitting on the shores of the mighty Mississippi River, it is home to some of the U.S.A.’s best live music and B.B.Q. ribs.
Overnight at The Hotel in St Louis.
Fun fact: St Louis is the location of the first U.S. interstate highway.
Day 6: St Louis, Missouri to Joplin, Missouri. Riding 335 miles / 536 kms.
We wake early this morning to walk across the street and enjoy an early morning view of St. Louis Arch and the Mississippi River before we return to the road. Soon St Louis is a memory as we settle into riding through the rolling Missouri hills. This area is so beautiful and fun to ride in. We will stop and see the famous World’s Second Largest Rocking Chair in Fanning. Why it is the ‘Second Largest” we’ll discover at the stop.
Further down the road, we will wind our way on the twisting roads of ‘Devil’s Elbow’. There are some other Route 66 icons yet to come. Tonight’s stay is in Joplin; a city hit very hard in 2011 by a massive tornado. We may meet some locals and hear some fantastic stories about what it was like to be in the eye of an enormous tornado.
Overnight at The Hotel in Joplin
Fun fact: The Trolley and rail lines made Joplin the hub of southwest Missouri.
Day 7: Joplin, Missouri to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Riding 255 miles / 407 kms.
We will head west through Oklahoma’s hills and horse country from Joplin, crossing Miami, Claremore and Catoosa, home of the legendary Blue Whale, before passing through Tulsa. As we ride, we will travel through the reservations of several Native American tribes. In the 1830s, much of this land was considered ‘unusable’ by the U.S. Federal Government. Being unusable, the various Indian tribes were ‘settled’ here after colonisation. These tribes include the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, Creek and Cherokee. This evening we will stay in Oklahoma City, the heart and soul of Route 66. Bricktown, the neighbourhood in the city’s heart, is full of lively restaurants, bars and shops. Time to go exploring.
Overnight at The Hotel in Oklahoma City.
Fun fact: Thankfully, we are riding into town; Will Rodgers Airport, named after the Oklahoma-born vaudevillian who died in a plane crash.
Day 8: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Amarillo, Texas. Riding 266 miles / 427 kms.
Today’s ride has us travelling along some of the oldest stretches of Oklahoma’s Route 66. A land once contained vast buffalo herds. This section of Route 66 traverses some of the great cattle trails used in the 1860s to drive herds of cattle from Texas up to the railhead in Abilene, Kansas. We ride a ‘Chisholm Trail’ section, which passes through Yukon and El Reno. The Route 66 Museum in Clinton is a mandatory stop. After lunch, we cross the border into the Texas Panhandle, the southernmost portion of the Great Plains. At the Big Texan Steakhouse in Amarillo, you have the opportunity to enjoy the best steaks in Texas, guaranteed.
Overnight at The Hotel in Amarillo.
Fun fact: Amarillo is home to the Big Texan Steakhouse. which serves a 72-ounce steak, and they promise anyone who eats the dinner entirely in less than one hour can have the dinner for free.
Day 9: Amarillo, Texas to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Riding 303 miles / 485 kms.
We leave Texas and are on our way into ‘The Land of Enchantment’, New Mexico. After passing through the world-famous Cadillac Ranch, we’ll stop at the midway point of Route 66 in Adrian, Texas. At the ghost town of Glen Rio, you can stand with one foot in New Mexico and the other in Texas. From here, we enter the land of the Comanche Indians, where mesas, mountains, cacti and pines define the landscape. We are heading up into the High Plains and altitude of Santa Fe in central New Mexico. Santa Fe is one of America’s oldest and most beautiful cities and will be our stopping point base for the next two nights.
Overnight at The Hotel in Santa Fe.
Fun fact: Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the U.S.A. Established way back in 1607, Santa Fe first became a capital three years later, making it the oldest capital city in the country and the oldest European settlement west of the Mississippi.
Day 10: Santa Fe, New Mexico – Free Day. Riding 0 miles / 0 kms.
If you choose not to ride today, take time out to rest. You could enjoy the distinctive flavour of this nearly 400-year-old city. The blend of cultures here becomes evident in the southwestern architectural style closely associated with New Mexico’s capital city. You can take a ride along the river valley to Taos’s old Native American Indian town. Here you can enjoy a sunrise hot air balloon ride or play cowboy for a day on a horseback ride along a mountain or canyon trail. Santa Fe offers these and more.
Overnight at The Hotel in Santa Fe.
Fun fact: Santa Fe is one of the largest art markets in the U.S. The city is home to a whopping 250+ galleries, 100 or so located on the winding Canyon Road.
Day 11: Santa Fe, New Mexico to Gallup, New Mexico. Riding 271 miles / 466 kms.
Our first stop in Albuquerque is New Mexico’s largest city, having a third of the state’s population. Albuquerque is sprawling at the heart of New Mexico, where the main east-west road and rail routes cross both the Rio Grande and the old road south to Mexico. We cross the Rio Grande and head west, out into the open country and the colours of the Navajo wilderness. We skirt mesas and bluffs as we head for Laguna. Next, we ride through Grants and along Cibola National Forest towards the famous Route 66 town of Gallup. Gallup is an old railroad town and Indian stronghold. Venture out tonight and maybe meet some fellow riders from around the world at one of the many biker-friendly bars in Gallup.
Overnight at The Hotel in Gallup.
Fun fact: The rugged and majestic terrain around Gallup was famous during the 1940s and 50s for the on-location shooting of movie Westerns with Stars like John Wayne and Kirk Douglas.
Day 12: Gallup, New Mexico to Grand Canyon, Arizona. Riding 283 miles / 453 kms.
Today’s riding is memorable in more ways than one, full of spectacular scenery and iconic Route 66 stops. Crossing the border into Arizona, we ride to the Petrified Forest National Park, a fossilised prehistoric forest of gigantic trees unearthed by erosion. We will have the time to explore this stunning landscape and hopefully not get lost in the expansiveness of this area. Leaving Petrified Forest National Park, we ride further west to the Wigwam Hotel in Holbrook.
Our next stop we will stand on the corner in Winslow, Arizona. Tonight we do not stay in Flagstaff or Williams, Arizona. Instead, our overnight accommodation is just one mile from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Though off Route 66, it is a worthwhile side trip. Take in the sunset over the South Rim of the Grand Canyon tonight.
Overnight at The Hotel is near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Fun fact: In 1909, the canyon was the site of a giant hoax. The Arizona Gazette reported that archaeologists had discovered traces of an ancient Tibetan or Egyptian civilisation in an underground tunnel in the canyon. The Smithsonian denied this entire story, claiming that they did not know the archaeologists. To this day, conspiracy theorists still believe this may have been a government cover-up.
Day 13: Grand Canyon, Arizona to Laughlin, Nevada. Riding 256 miles / 410 kms.
For those looking to get an authentic “Bird’s Eye View” of the Grand Canyon, be sure to let us know, and we will arrange a morning helicopter ride over the heart of the South Rim. Leaving the Grand Canyon, we return to Route 66 at Williams, Arizona, then onto the famous Route 66 towns of Seligman, Hackberry, Kingman and Oatman. We are riding then to Laughlin on the shores of the Colorado River for our overnight stay.
Overnight at The Hotel in Laughlin.
Fun fact: The southernmost tip of Nevada, along the Colorado River, where Nevada, California, and Arizona meet, has become a major national tourist destination and gambling resort within the last few decades. Laughlin was established in the 1940s as South Pointe due to its proximity to the southern tip of Nevada.
Day 14: Laughlin, Nevada to Las Vegas, Nevada. Riding 129 miles / 206 kms.
We detour today to take in the incredible sights and sounds of Las Vegas. We will ride through our first real taste of the Mojave Desert, then ride across the famous Hoover Dam. We will overnight in Las Vegas, which may seem a short time to see so much. Remember to get some sleep because we pick up Route 66 tomorrow right where we left off.
Overnight at The Hotel in Las Vegas.
Fun fact: The famous Las Vegas Strip, is not located within the city limits of Las Vegas. The strip comes under the jurisdiction of Clark County.
Day 15: Las Vegas, Nevada to Victorville, California. Riding 282 miles / 451 kms.
Our last state border crossing today as we ride Route 66 into California. We again ride through the Mojave Desert, which offers some of the most dramatic scenery in Southern California. Imagine what it must have been like for early Route 66 travellers as they made their way across this vast expanse of desert, dotted with Joshua Trees, cactus, volcanic rock and sand. We will stop in the tiny towns of Amboy and Ludlow. Our last night on the road as our riding ends tomorrow.
Overnight at The Hotel in Victorville.
Fun fact: In 1885, the newly established telegraph station at the railroad siding of “Victor”, named for the California Southern Railroad’s General Manager Jacob Nash Victor, was the beginning of today’s Old Town Victorville. The village which sprang up around that railroad facility became known by the same name as Victor. In 1901, at the suggestion of local postmistress Abbey Turner, the U.S. Post Office Department changed that name to Victorville to stop the postal confusion with Victor, Colorado.
Day 16: Victorville, California to Los Angeles, California. Riding 124 miles / 198 kms.
Here we are on our last day riding together on Route 66. Today’s ride ends at the Santa Monica Pier, but we are ahead of ourselves. We have yet to ride the 66 miles of the Angeles Crest Highway through the mountainous terrain of the Angeles National Forest. Considered one of the top motorcycles rides in southern California, it rises to over 2300 metres. We will then descend ‘The Crest’ into the Los Angeles Basin and head towards the Pacific Ocean.
Riders always have mixed emotions as they stand at the ‘End of the Trail’ sign at the Santa Monica Pier. You may experience a sense of joy and delight at having completed the journey most people only dream about or a sense of sadness at the thought of the ride having come to an end. Maybe both. Tonight, we celebrate and remember the miles we’ve ridden together and the friends we made as we enjoy our Farewell Dinner.
Overnight at The Hotel in Los Angeles.
Fun Fact: Santa Monica Pier marks the end of the famous Route 66. Route 66 was created in 1926 to link Chicago and Los Angeles. After much speculation and debate over the official end of the road in Santa Monica, in 2009, the Route 66 Alliance named Santa Monica Pier as the proud owner of the title.
Day 17: Los Angeles, California – Departure. Riding 0 miles / 0 kms.
Today your exciting trip will conclude in Los Angeles. Please be sure to let us know if you need an extra night or two in L.A. to enjoy the sights.
- Harley Davidson Factory and Museum Tours
- Late Model Motorcycle Rental
- Bike Model Guarantee
- Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour
- 3 – 4 Star Motorcycle Friendly Hotels
- Fuel on Riding Days
- Riding Jacket
- Breakfast on Riding Days
- Hosted Welcome Dinner
- Half-Shell Helmet for Rider and Pillion
- Farewell Party
- Experienced Multilingual Tour Guide
- Support Vehicle Equipped for Luggage and Spare Bike
- Support Vehicle Driver
- Door to Door Luggage Service
- On-Road Concierge
- Mobile Tour Guide App
- Custom Tour Completion Patch
- National Park Entrance Fees
- Hotel Parking Fees
- 1 Person / 1 Bike / 1 Room: AU$ 14,401.00 per person
- 2 People / 2 Bikes / 1 Room: AU$ 11,428.00 per person
- 2 People / 1 Bike / 1 Room: AU$ 8,572.00 per person