The Big One

Route 66 Chicago to Los Angeles and onwards to San Francisco

Motorhome Itinerary

For many, Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles is the ultimate road trip.

Day 1: Chicago IL to Springfield IL

200 miles

After a night or 2 enjoying the windy city it’s time to collect your motorhome! You are heading for the midwest of the USA & Springfield, IL. Welcome to Route 66 – enjoy the museum, shops and maybe dinner at a classic American diner! Visit Lincoln’s tomb & the Salem State Historic site, a reconstruction of an 1830s village where Abraham Lincoln spent his early adulthood.

A place to stay: KOA Springfield

Day 2: Springfield IL to St Louis MO

125 miles

Today you are heading for the banks of the Mississippi River. On the way, visit Henry’s Rabbit Ranch and stop by Weezy’s Diner in Hamel.

In St Louis, the Gateway Arch commemorates the westward expansion of the United States. Then travel onwards stopping off at Lone Elk Park to enjoy some wildlife viewing before a visit to Route 66 State Park

A place to stay: KOA St Louis West

Day 3: St Louis MO to Tulsa OK

380 miles

Make sure you stop off in Joplin, once a hide out town of that famous duo, Bonnie & Clyde! Vibrant Tulsa was once known as the ‘oil capital of the world’ and is now home to the world’s largest collection of art and artefacts of the American West, superb collections of European art and the fabulous Brady Arts District, where Tulsa’s reputation as a ‘live’ music powerhouse - for jazz, folk, blues, rock and much more - is growing ever-stronger.

A place to stay: KOA Tulsa

Day 4: Tulsa OK to Oklahoma City

110 miles

Today is a short but memorable drive as you head out along legendary Route 66 to Oklahoma City. Much of the Mother Road is still negotiable, and it’s a living museum of old motels, diners, iconic sights and atmospheric attractions. In Oklahoma City, there’s Western and Native American history and culture galore, the unique atmosphere of Stockyard City - the USA’s largest working cattle market, and the riveting nightlife of Bricktown - alive with music, entertainment and eating places.

A place to stay: KOA Oklahoma City

Day 5: Oklahoma City to Elk City OK

110 miles

Another comfortable driving day out on Route 66 to Elk City, perhaps following a last drive around Oklahoma City and the pretty, bustling University town of Norman. This section of 66 is the beating heart of the Mother Road, littered with typical Oklahoma townships and unmissable delights - like the mouth-watering fried onion burgers in El Reno, historic Lucille’s Roadhouse and Diner in Weatherford and the two major Route 66 Museums in Clinton and Elk City.

A place to stay: KOA Elk City

Day 6: Elk City OK to Amarillo TX

325 miles

You will ask the question more than once today…is this the way to Amarillo? It is a longer drive but well worth it as there is a lot to see and do. Definitely take time to visit “Palo Duro” (which is Spanish for “hard wood”) Canyon state Park the 2nd largest in the USA, once inhabited by the Apache, Cheyenne & Comanche and consisting of more than 20,000 acres. Whilst in Amarillo visit the American Quarter Horse Heritage Centre, Cadillac Ranch & the Route 66 historic district featuring antiques, boutiques and eclectic dining.

A place to stay: KOA Amarillo

Day 7: Amarillo TX to Tucumcari NM

160 miles

Today you are heading for Americas Southwest & the gateway to New Mexico, Tucumcari. Tour the town during the day to see the wonderful murals located all over the city and at night to see those famous Route 66 Neon signs. Maybe take a trip to nearby Ute Lake or Conchas Lake State Parks and go picnicking, hiking, boating or fishing.

A place to stay: KOA Tucumcari

Day 8: Tucumcari NM to Albuquerque NM

185 miles

Today you are heading for Albuquerque the capital of New Mexico. En route take a scenic drive via Santa Fe national forest to Santa Fe which is a world class tourist destination and has long been a center for arts and culture. Take a tour at some of the Pueblos, you’ll learn about Native America’s heritage as well as contemporary cultures in New Mexico.

A place to stay: KOA Albuquerque Central

Day 9/10: Albuquerque NM to Williams AZ

360 miles

It is a long drive today as you head for Williams KOA, the gateway to the Grand Canyon. En route be sure to stop off at Gallup, which some say is the ‘Indian capital of the world’ because of its location in the centre of Native American lands. Once you are at Williams KOA you have three choices for going to the Grand Canyon. Take the hour’s drive so you have all the home comforts; join KOA’s van tour or arrive by rail on the Grand Canyon Railway.

A place to stay: KOA Williams

Day 11: Williams AZ to Kingman AZ

125 miles

Today there is no need to rush away from Williams – so do spend the morning enjoying some of those activities they provide. 82 miles of your trip take you along world-famous ‘Route 66’ – where we hope you will continue to get some kicks! A visit to the Route 66 Museum in Kingman is a must.

A place to stay: KOA Kingman

Day 12/13: Kingman AZ to Las Vegas NV

100 miles

Make your way to the city that never sleeps – Las Vegas! Spend the day wandering the Strip and then enjoy one of the many world class acts or shows like Cirque du Soleil.

A place to stay: Circus Circus RV site

Day 14: Las Vegas to Barstow CA

155 miles

Heading west, the first stop is another icon of the Colorado River – the world-famous Hoover Dam on the border of Arizona and Nevada. Stop and stare at this man-made wonder before heading into Boulder City, then go south and skirt the Providence Mountains before diverting to the Mojave National Preserve.

A place to stay: KOA Barstow

Day 15/16: Barstow CA to Los Angeles CA

115 miles

If you fancy some shopping then visit one of the two outlet malls and their 100 stores before heading off to explore the city of Angels. Take a Beverly Hills Tour, experience Venice & Muscle Beach, head to Universal, Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm and check out the stars on Hollywood Boulevard!

A place to stay: KOA Los Angeles

At this point you can end your Route 66 tour at Santa Monica Pier. If you have time, you can continue north to San Francisco

Day 17: Los Angeles CA to Santa Margarita CA

240 miles

Leaving Los Angeles today head north on to Route 101. The area around Santa Barbara is “America’s Riviera” so the beaches & restaurants might make it a natural break on the way.

A place to stay: KOA Santa Margarita

Day 18

150 miles

Ready to get going towards Santa Cruz today? Please, be sure to stop at that well-known ‘Folly’, Hearst Castle, as you drive through San Simeon. Take plenty of time to enjoy amazing coastal scenery through the Big Sur and Pebble Beach; enjoy a stop at Carmel or Monterey.

A place to stay: KOA Santa Cruz

Day 19/20: Santa Cruz to San Francisco

115 miles

Today you cross the famous Golden Gate Bridge. You should ride the cable car and visit notorious Alcatraz. Spend time enjoying the fantastic, dining, shopping and nightlife of this vibrant city.

A place to stay: KOA San Francisco

Abridged version of an itinerary supplied by our rental partners in the USA