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Self-drive from Chicago to Los Angeles, Route 66 by Rail or Route 66 in Reverse – How it works


There’s nothing like a Route 66 road trip. Route 66 offers sheer pleasure, discovery and adventure. As you cruise along the endless stretches of open highways, you can pull over and admire the incredible American landscapes of wide-open cornfields, arid deserts, vast rivers, towering mountains, sparkling lakes, haunting forests and countless magnificent scenic vistas. A journey along Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience.If you are not comfortable with self-driving, it is also possible to travel the route by rail. You can also opt for a reverse journey from Los Angeles to Chicago.

Self-drive from Chicago to Los Angeles 

Pettitts Travel has created an itinerary for travellers to explore and experience the best of what this road has to offer. In this itinerary, they have included a short side trip to two significant hotspots: the majestic Grand Canyon and the glittering lights of Las Vegas, to give a good sense of the scale and diversity of the United States. The itinerary can be customised to include other attractions along the route depending on travel preferences, holiday time frame and other requirements.

Itinerary highlights:

Your journey starts in Chicago. You drive through picturesque farmlands and corn fields to Springfield, Illinois, as you cruise along. Crossing the border into Missouri on the fourth day of your journey you make your way to Saint Louis. On the road you can enjoy the scenery of woodlands, rivers and bridges.

On day six, you will head to the capital of Oklahoma. The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and the Myriad Botanical Gardens are among the significant attractions in Oklahoma City.Explore the historic Comanche hunting grounds until you reach Albuquerque, the ‘Big City’ of New Mexico near the Rio Grande and surrounded by the stunning Sandia Mountains.Put on your cowboy hat and spend the afternoon going to a local rodeo or visiting a working ranch.

A visit to the vibrant Petrified Forest National Park and the magnificent Meteor Crater Volcano National Monument in Arizona is next on your itinerary. The journey from the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas can be broken into two days, for there are countless sights along the way.

The journey through the Mojave Desert from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, along the San Bernardino Mountains, allows you to visit the old San Bernardino Ranch, an old adobe ranch with an authentic horse-and-truck and stagecoach.

Route 66 holidays – Route 66 by rail:

Whilst travelling by rail, you can visit many places at once, as the train makes numerous stops. Starting in Chicago, travel by rail through Saint Louis, Albuquerque, Williams, the Grand Canyon to Los Angeles where your journey. A rail holiday with a twist provides a new perspective on American history, landmarks, world-class sights, and delectable American cuisine.

Fabulous Chicago is one of the world’s largest cities and offers every modern thrill in transportation, communication and recreation. Sports enthusiasts may catch a baseball game at Wrigley Field. You can try an authentic deep pan pizza in the local restaurant to satisfy your appetite.

Nothing comes close to the majestic Grand Canyon in size and scale. The views, either at sunrise or sunset, will leave you breathless.

The cross-country adventure ends in Los Angeles. The Griffith Observatory is one of the major highlights of the city. It offers a 360-degree view of the entire city and the surrounding area.

Self-drive: Route 66 in reverse– Los Angeles to Chicago: 

The journey along America’s beloved ‘Mother Road’ in reverse is no less thrilling than the one from Chicago to Los Angeles. In reverse, the Route 66 self-drive adventure starts in Los Angeles and ends in Chicago. The itinerary combines the long drives in Arizona, Nevada and California at the start and a few short trips at the end.

Chicago to Los Angeles

Itinerary highlights: 

Before heading off to Nevada, explore the Mojave National Park in California, the largest national park in the Lower 48 and designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. It is home to various landscapes, from rugged deserts and high-altitude canyons to desolate lava fields and craggy mountain ridges.

Gallup is a wild city famous for skiing, horseback riding, and white-water rafting. The city was also home to many Hollywood filmmakers and movie stars that lived here in the 1940s. Some famous western films are Stagecoach, High Noon, Rio Bravo, and Westward Ho the Wagons.

In St. Louis, catch a game of baseball or ascend the famous Gateway Arch. Alternatively explore the old town with its maze of alleyways and courtyards and ornate mansions with elegant stained-glass windows.

Whilst planning your Route 66 holiday, it is recommended to consult PettittsTravel to ensure that you pick the best hotels, restaurants, and attractions along the highway.

Tags: route 66 tours, route 66 holidays
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