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Route 66 was considered the quintessential North American road when it opened in 1926, linking Chicago to Los Angeles. It remained the essential transportation link in the United States for over three decades until the late 50s, when the development of a new and modernized highway system caused it to lose its importance. It was then slowly abandoned, leaving hundreds of small towns and their businesses almost deserted. By the end of the 80s, it had become a “cult” itinerary for people all over the world, representing a time when America experienced unparalleled development. This trend would only increase in the decades since, as proven by the intense work of renewing old motels, restaurants, and gas stations along the old route. To cross it today is, in many ways, to travel in time. The roughly 2.500- mile route passes by eight states, and it is undoubtedly a must-have experience for all interested in learning this fascinating country’s modern history.
Complete luggage system in selected models
Motorcycle Coverage (CDW & TP)
Accommodations in selected hotels
"À la carte" dinners (except on rest days)
Airport transfers (first and last day)
Customized Welcome Kit
Tour booklet with daily description
Rider on Single room 1.750€
Co-Rider on double room 3.150€
Upgrade BMW 1250 GS 304€
Upgrade BMW 1250 RT 338€
Upgrade BMW R18 Classic 149€
Upgrade BMW R18 Bagger 338€
Upgrade BMW R18 TransContinental 493€
Upgrade Harley-Davidson Ultra 604€
Upgrade Harley-Davidson Street Glide 404€
Upgrade Harley-Davidson Softail Classic 216€
Upgrade Harley-Davidson Pan America 304€
* Base Price: One rider with a BMW 750 GS motorcycle in a shared room
Chicago - Springfield
We start our tour by visiting the Mile Zero sign in downtown Chicago and then ride southwest through the Wind City outskirts, always following the Historic Route 66 signs. Soon the urban scenery will change, and we’ll find ourselves in a timeless environment: one after another, the little towns that the Mother Road served in its heydays will show us why people so revere this road.
Even though Route 66 is officially decommissioned, we can ride through it most of the time, next to the modern highways but enjoying the quiet of the old roads. Many iconic places are still to be experienced today: the Route 66 Museum in Joliet, the Launching Pad in Wilmington, and the Paul Bunyan hot-dog statue in Atlanta are among many of the landmarks we’ll see. The stop for this first day will be in Springfield, Illinois, well-known as the home of Abraham Lincoln.
Springfield - Rolla
Illinois will soon be behind us as we cross into Missouri later in the morning. The world-famous Arch of St Louis will be our first sight in this beautiful state, and after stopping there for a few photos, we’ll continue through the suburbs of the big city. Still following the highways, but on the old roads, which are now parallel to the fast I-44, we continue via small towns like Pacifica, St Clair, Bourbon, and Cuba, among many others.
As we move on to our night stop in Rolla, a sweet surprise starts to unfold: the original track of 66 has excellent pavement, has very little traffic, and it goes on with many gentle curves in unsuspected green scenery. We’ll be hard-pressed to believe we are in Missouri, as it feels more like an excellent European road.
Rolla - Miami
The morning starts with a superb ride along the side roads that used to be Route 66. More of the same excellent curves are waiting for us, the highlight being the historic Devil’s Elbow Bridge in Devil’s Elbow. This bridge was built in 1923 and is one of the most photographed spots on the route. Crossing the beautiful Mark Twain National Forest, the procession of old forgotten towns continues, each with their share of the good ol’ days when the Mother Road brought visitors to them: Waynesville, St. Roberts, Conway… We keep going to Springfield (another Springfield on the route!) for lunch.
In the afternoon, we press on to Joplin and Carthage, then cross into Kansas for a short stretch before entering Oklahoma to Quapaw, Commerce, and Miami, a small town with a rich Route 66 history for our night stop. All in all, another excellent of riding, even if a bit on the long side.
Miami - Oklahoma City
Not all days are equal on Route 66! The ride today will not feel like what our group has had during the first three days. We’ll follow the original track like always, but be prepared for long straights in the morning as we leave Miami and keep moving West. Even though this section of 66 may look uneventful on paper, rest assured there are plenty of famous road attractions for us to enjoy: the Custom Car Hall of Fame Museum in Afton, the Totem Pole Park near Foyil, the funny-looking Blue Whale in Catoosa, and the Heart of Route 66 car Museum in Sapulpa.
We’ll find a bit curvier stretches in the afternoon, and before we reach Oklahoma City, there are still two must-stop attractions to be visited. The first one is the Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum in Warwick, followed by Pops, where you can find over 700 flavors of soda pops, including unimaginable ones like mustard, bacon, and chicken teriyaki. It will be a long day for sure, but absolutely fulfilling. A good night’s rest in Oklahoma City will replenish our energy for another long day tomorrow.
Oklahoma City - Amarillo
We’ll leave Oklahoma behind and head into the Texas panhandle. The drive features long stretches of road, big skies, and some of the most barren terrain on the whole †rip. The vast surroundings will surely give us a proper perspective of the immensity of the state.
Today’s noteworthy stop is the historic Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Cafe in Shamrock, TX. This Art Deco gas station was built in the 1930s and is now a museum and visitor center. Another iconic landmark is the Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, TX, which offers a 72-ounce steak challenge that’s become a Route 66 legend. As we end our day in Amarillo, a visit to the Big Texan is in order. We are in Texas, after all!
Amarillo - Santa Fe
It’s time to head into New Mexico! The drive today will take our group through stunning desert scenery, with red rock formations and mesas as far as the eye can see, but first we’ll make one important stop at the world-famous Cadillac Ranch right after we leave Amarillo. This art installation features a row of classic Cadillacs buried nose-down in the ground, and it’s become one of the most iconic sights on Route 66. The next stop will be Midpoint Cafe in Adrian, which marks the exact midpoint of the route between Chicago and Los Angeles.
Continuing west, we cross the New Mexico border and start to see the peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the distance. After passing through the historic town of Santa Rosa, we’ll head northwest to ride alongside the Santa Fe National Forest until we arrive in Santa Fe for a well-deserved rest from the road.
For our free day in Santa Fe, there are plenty of things to see and do. We can check out the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, which features works by the famous artist who called Santa Fe home. We can also explore the historic Santa Fe Plaza, a gathering place for travelers and locals since the city was founded in 1610. And if we’re feeling adventurous, we can also take a hot air balloon ride over the New Mexico landscape.
Santa Fe - Gallup
Back on the bikes, we continue our journey west on Route 66 through New Mexico. The drive will take us through remote and rugged terrain, with long stretches of road and few towns, like Madrid, Los Lunas, and Mesita.
As we arrive in Gallup, close to the border with Arizona, a visit to the historic El Rancho Hotel is an absolute must-do. The hotel, which has hosted countless movie stars and other celebrities over the years, is one of the most visited lodges on Route 66. We’ll be at the El Rancho for dinner and will do our best to secure it as our accommodation for tonight so the “time traveling experience” can be complete.
Gallup - Tusayan (Grand Canyon)
We leave Gallup to enter Arizona today, entering the Navajo Indian Reservation. Small towns like Lupton, Houck, and Chambers are on the route. Next is a visit to the Petrified Forest National Park in Holbrook. This unique park features a landscape of petrified wood, ancient fossils, and the historic Painted Desert Inn. Time allowing, we’ll also make a quick stop at the Meteor Crater, a massive impact crater that’s over 50,000 years old, in Winslow.
Leaving the original route, we head north to visit the south entrance to Grand Canyon via Flagstaff and Cameron. As the landscape changes, we start to get a sense of this region’s natural wonders and geological history.
On our rest day at the Grand Canyon, there are plenty of things to see and do. We can take a hike into the canyon, go on a guided tour, or soak up the breathtaking views from the rim. Another highlight of the Grand Canyon is the historic Grand Canyon Railway, which takes us on a scenic journey through the southwest. We should also check out the Grand Canyon Village, which offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and museums.
Grand Canyon - Needles
The rest day in Grand Canyon will have given the group the necessary energy to face another long day on the road. We are now on one of the best stretches of the original Route 66, and the day will pass by without us even noticing it! We’ll ride south first to rejoin the Mother Road in Williams, and from there, our group will enjoy a series of pictoresque small towns: Seligman, Hackberry, and Kingman, each with its charms and attractions.
After a good lunch at the Mr. D'z in Kingman, the road changes to a series of twisties on our way to Oatman, a historic mining town that’s become a popular tourist destination. Here, we can see wild burros roaming the streets and visit the landmark Oatman Hotel, where Clark Gable and Carole Lombard honeymooned in 1939. We’ll end our day in Needles, a small town on the banks of the Colorado River, already in California.
Needles - Victorville
This part of the trip takes us through some of the most iconic Route 66 Californian towns, like Barstow and Ludlow, and features a few of the best roadside attractions on the entire route, like the iconic Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch in Oro Grande. This unique outdoor art installation features hundreds of colorful glass bottles and has become a must-see spot on the route.
Another stop at the museum is a must in Barstow. This museum is dedicated to the history of Route 66 and features a collection of vintage cars and artifacts from the route’s heyday. Our stop for the night will be Victorville, in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains.
Victorville - Los Angeles
On our last road day on this fabulous journey, we head south through the San Bernardino range. The Angeles Crest Scenic Byway in the San Gabriel Mountains offers incredible views of the Los Angeles area and will be a ride to remember.
We are reaching our destination, the end of Route 66 at the historic Santa Monica Pier. It offers a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as an always vibrant urban beach scene. After the mandatory photos at the pier, below the sign that marks the end of the road, we’ll return our bikes and get ready for a final group dinner to celebrate these days of fun and discovery among new and old friends.
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