• Credit Jackie Appleton

Road Trip West

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Travel Road Trip West – from Amarillo to Las Vegas in this itinerary.

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Raod Trip West

From the Big Texan Inn in Amarillo (home of the free 72oz steak) to Cadillac Ranch, this US road trips is full of surprises.

Day 1: Arrive Amarillo
Day 3: Santa Fe
Day 7: Canyon de Chelly
Day 8: Monument Valley
Day 9: Holbrook
Day 10 Sedona
Day 12: Grand Canyon South
Day 14: Las Vegas
Day 15: Depart Las Vegas
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Description

Perhaps not on the top of the list for US Road trips, especially for first timers, but for those hooked on the US, its sometimes grizzly past and the legacy that has been left for us to enjoy, this road trip touches on many stories from the more recent past of this relatively young nation.

Day 1: Arrive Amarillo
Your journey begins in Amarillo, in the centre of the Texas Panhandle where we would suggest a 2 night stay, giving you time to relax after your flights. Amarillo offers an interesting blend of Old and New West and is the perfect place to gently immerse and acclimatize yourself to the American way of life and culture. Stroll along Historic Route 66 (6th avenue) with its unique lovingly preserved restaurants shops and historic buildings. Drive to the wonderful Palo Duro Canyon, the second largest canyon in the States. Explore trails once used by Apaches, Comanches, buffalo hunters, the US cavalry and even early Spanish explorers. Dine at the world famous Big Texan steak ranch – eat your 72oz steak and all the trimmings in an hour and the meal is free!
Amarillo 2 nights

Day 3: Santa Fe
Today begin your drive west along the I40, following the direction of the Historic Route 66. Some of the original stretches of road are still driveable and, with the aid of a good guide book or map, it is worth taking detours to visit some of the small towns along the route to see some of the iconic historic buildings. There is a palpable feeling of what it must have been like for the migrants in the 30s who headed west to escape the ravages of the Dust Bowl. The flat Texan Plains gradually give way to rolling Rocky Mountain foothills as you cross into the “Land of Enchantment”, New Mexico. Follow the Santa Fe Trail through striking mountain scenery to the lovely city of Santa Fe. Make sure you stop off at the Pecos National Monument for your first taste of the Spanish Colonial history which defined much of this wonderful State. We would suggest at least 2 full days in Santa Fe to explore this gorgeous city and its environs; drive up to Taos, a designated World Heritage Site, and explore the Enchanted Circle – this winding circular route takes you through some of the most beautiful areas of North New Mexico. Visit the extraordinary Bandelier National Monument and the scenic Jemez Mountains
Santa Fe 3 nights

Day 6: Albuquerque
Take the scenic Turquoise Trail through several historic little mining towns; towns such as quirky Madrid with its quaint historic little shops, cafes, galleries and bars. Drive up to the top of Sandia Peak for stunning and far reaching views of sprawling Albuquerque and its surroundings. Wander around Albuquerque’s historic old town – consider timing your trip to coincide with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta –for 9 days each October the crisp desert skies are painted with a kaleidoscope of colour as hundreds of balloons take to the skies for the biggest gathering of its kind in the world.
Albuquerque 1 night

Day 7: Canyon de Chelly
Continue west, dipping in and out of I40 and Route 66. Visit Acoma Pueblo, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the US. Don’t miss El Morro National Monument; here you will find Inscription Rock where Conquistadors, native Americans, pioneers and others carved their names and messages in the massive rock face. A self guided trail weaves around the base of the rock and tells the stories of the carvers. More trails lead you to the remains of ancestral pueblo dwellings and stunning views for miles around. Continue to the gorgeous Canyon de Chelly, making sure you arrive before the suns sets when the lighting is stunning.
Canyon De Chelly 1 night

Day 8: Monument Valley
Consider a guided tour into Canyon de Chelly, before taking the scenic drive to Monument Valley. A guided tour here is essential, or consider an overnight stay deep into the heart of the park, staying in a traditional Navajo Hogan.
Monument Valley 1 night

Day 9: Holbrook
Back south onto Route 66, exploring the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Parks before arriving into the Navajo town of Holbrook for an overnight stay. For a unique experience stay in the famous Wigwam Motel, replete with vintage cars in the parking lot.
Holbrook 1 night

Day 10 Sedona
Continue west through Winslow (where you really can stand on the corner…) and on to the gorgeous town of Sedona for a 2 night stay. Surrounded by stunning scenery, a jeep tour up into the red rocks is a must and will take you to places where a hire car could not venture.
Sedona 2 nights

Day 12: Grand Canyon South
Drive to the Seventh Natural Wonder of the World, the Grand Canyon for a 2 night stay. Make sure you catch the rim at dusk and again as the sun rises – or take an unforgettable early morning helicopter or fixed wing flight over the rim
Grand Canyon South Rim 2 nights

Day 14: Las Vegas
Drive to Las Vegas where you will round off your fabulous road trip.
Las Vegas 1 night

Day 15: Depart Las Vegas
Enjoy most of the day in Las Vegas before checking in for your evening overnight flight back to the UK.

Photograph Courtesy: New Mexico Toursim & Sedona Chamber of Commerce

Raod trip west - Bell Rock & Courthouse Web      Raod trip west - Big Texan web      Road trip west - BosquedelApache2[1] web

 

Road Trip west - CanyonDeChelly comp      Road trip west      Road trip west - UniqueNM8 web

 

Road trip west - Valles Sunrise Web      Road trip west - Winslow

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Little Gems

Mention Winslow Arizona and most people will start to hum the tune made famous by The Eagles.  You just have to get your picture ‘standing on the corner’ and of course, buy the T-shirt.
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Client Feedback

‘Tucking into our moderate 18ozers we watched as one brave soul took up the challenge [of the 72 oz steak]… we left with 10 minutes to go and he was failing miserably – barely half his steak touched he was suffering the additional humiliation of an attentive audience taking photos of every mouthful of his ordeal. The current record is 8 minutes and 52 seconds’

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Route 66

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A journey along route 66.

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Route 66

It was in 1926 in Springfield, Missouri that the idea of a highway connecting Chicago with Los Angeles was born, but it is perhaps most famous as the route taken by many families suffering hardship during the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s when agricultural workers headed west in search of employment.  Today, much of the original road has now been by-passed, but stretches are still driveable.  Many of the businesses along the way have been renovated to reflect the era when this road was considered the Great Mother Road.

Day 1: Chicago
Day 2: Springfield, Illinois (205 miles)
Day 3: St Louis, Missouri (105 miles)
Day 4: Springfield, Missouri (210 miles)
Day 5: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (290 miles)
Day 6: Amarillo, Texas (260 miles)
Day 7: Albuquerque (290 miles)
Day 8: Holbrook (230 miles)
Day 9: Flagstaff (90 miles)
Day 10: Grand Canyon South Rim (90 miles via Williams)
Day 11: Kingman (185 miles)
Day 12: Santa Monico, California
Day 14: Return to London or continue elsewhere.
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Description

Here we give one suggestion for a 2 week trip following Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles. No matter how long you take, this journey involves a lot of driving – if you can stretch to 3 weeks then you will only enhance your experience and give yourself the opportunity to explore more of the amazing diversity of landscapes and places you are passing through. We have included some suggestions as to where you might add some extra time. Or why not just do part of the route and combine with some of the stunning National Parks of Western USA. We can help you plan the perfect trip …

Day 1: Chicago
Arrive in Chicago then pick up your hire car before heading to your downtown hotel for an overnight stay. Chicago is known as America’s favourite city. Situated on Lake Michigan it boasts sandy beaches, cycle paths, superb architecture, authentic blues music, great restaurants, shops, museums and art galleries. If time allows, an extra night here would be highly recommended.

Day 2: Springfield, Illinois (205 miles)
Your advernture begins with a drive through the farmlands of Illinois. First stop, the State Capitol, Springfield. Long time home and final resting place of Lincoln, the city has maintained many of the original Route 66 sites.

Day 3: St Louis, Missouri (105 miles)
Continue to St Louis, located on the banks of the Mississippi and home to the Gateway Arch, which reflects St Louis’ role in the Westward expansion of the United States during the 19th Century. Ride the tram to the top for magnificent views of the city and river.

Day 4: Springfield, Missouri (210 miles)
Today’s journey takes you through the Ozark Highlands of Southern Missouri. The original route has been replaced by the I44 freeway but many of the signs of the route can be seen near each exit. One of the most famous attractions are the Meramec Caverns, a set of limestone caves once used as a hide-out by Jesse James and widely advertised on barns and buildings all over the Midwest.

Day 5: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (290 miles)
Into Oklahoma which boast more self-driveable miles of the original Route 66 than any other State. Once known as Indian Territory the state is home to more Native American Tribes than any other. During the Dust Bowl of the 30s thousands of Oklahomans headed west along Route 66 to escape poverty – the Oklahoma Museum of History reflects on this period of the States History in addition to special collections relating to the Native American presence. Take time to see the moving and powerful memorial to those killed or affected by the 1995 bombing.

Day 6: Amarillo, Texas (260 miles)
Continue west into Texas, passing through McLean, the headquarters of Texas’s Historic Route 66 Association. Much is being done to try to preserve the town in its original condition. Visit the Devil’s Rope Museum where you will learn everything you need to know about barbed wire.

Day 7: Albuquerque (290 miles)
Depart Amarillo and take time to visit the famous Cadillac Ranch where bizarrely 10 classic Cadillacs lie nose down in the ground. Cross the mid-point of Route 66 before heading into New Mexico – for many this is their favourite section of the trip. With stunning mountain scenery, breathtaking views, ranches, reservations and Pueblo communities along the route you will find many motels, trading posts and gas stations that have been restored and preserved. Spend a couple of nights in Albuquerque to give you plenty of time to explore this historic city and the nearby State Capital, Santa Fe – the original Route 66 passed through here.

Day 8: Holbrook (230 miles)
Cross into Arizona, taking time to visit the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert National Parks before staying overnight in the town of Holbrook. Visit the Navajo County Museum, located in the Historic Navajo County Courthouse.
If you have an extra day or two then we would highly recommend taking a detour from the route here to visit the Canyon de Chelly National Monument and Monument Valley.

Day 9: Flagstaff (90 miles)
Short drive today, past Winslow and the massive Meteor Crater to the lively and vibrant town of Flagstaff. If time allows, a detour or a night or two in nearby Sedona is highly recommended.

Day 10: Grand Canyon South Rim (90 miles via Williams)
Not strictly on Route 66 but a detour to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is well worth it. Make sure you see the Canyon when the light is at its best at sunrise or sunset. Or for a truly spectacular view take an early morning flight by helicopter or fixed wing aircraft over the Canyon.

Day 11: Kingman (185 miles)
This stretch of the route through Arizona has some of the best surviving stretches of the original route – many of the old cafes and motels are still flourishing. Overnight stop in Kingman.
At this point you may not be able to resist a night or two in Las Vegas

Day 12: Santa Monico, California
And finally into California (first passing London Bridge at Lake Havasu), crossing the State Border at Needles. Cross the Mohave Desert to Santa Monica; this marks the end of Route 66 where the road meets the Pacific Ocean. End your trip here with a couple of nights relaxation by the beach.

Day 14: Almost a full day before heading to the airport to drop off the car and your direct overnight flight pack to the UK

Cadillac Ranch

Credit Helen Wibley

CanyonDeChelly comp

Credit Helen Wibley

Museum_Club_Flagstaff comp

Credit Helen Wibley

Painted Desert Arizona

Credit Helen Wibley

Petrified Forest Arizonan

Credit Helen Wibley

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Little Gems

If you can only afford the time to do a section of Route 66, do the section between Amarillo and the Grand Canyon.  It is here that you will see the Cadillac Ranch and cross the midway point.  You’ll see renovated gas stations, diners and trading posts, to say nothing of the scenery!
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Client Feedback

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The Texas State Fair: A Must Experience For Autumnal Travellers to the USA

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Thinking about heading to Texas in autumn 2016? Whether you are planning on embarking on tailor made holidays starting in Amarillo and ending in Las Vegas or Santa Monico, if you are heading in the direction of Texas in autumn 2016, it’s more than worth experiencing the Texas State Fair.

Credit Helen Wibley

Credit Helen Wibley

Held annually every year since 1886, the Texas state fair starts on the last Friday in September in Dallas, and runs on right through for a full show stopping 24 days. Until that is, even the locals have started to get weary of eating deep fried Oreos while taking in the sights, sounds and aromatic scents of the fair, from the vantage of the fair’s own dedicated gondola ride.

Of course, stereotypical USA overindulgence isn’t something which is going to be on everyone’s holiday bucket list of potential travel itineraries. However, the Texas State Fair is the most highly anticipated of state fairs in America. Even better, the fair represents a once a year opportunity to sample almost every facet of American culture.

From professional American football, to car shows, amusement park rides, rodeo events and world class entertainment line ups, the Texas State fair allows people to experience America in all its pomp and flamboyancy, just without having to visit everywhere in America to do so.

The best part? With our self drive tailor made holidays, you will have the flexibility to visit the Texas State Fair for as little or as long as you like. Moreover, if following route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, adapting travel itineraries slightly in order to sample the State Fair can make for a truly spectacular build up to finally heading further north ready for your once in a lifetime grand canyon experience.           

Region: Mid West, Texas, Arizona, California

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Yvonne Dann

 

No list of road trips is complete without the Great Mother Road, Route 66 in the Mid West. Much of the original route has now been bypassed by the interstates but many stretches are still driveable and accessible. During the Great Depression, thousands travelled west to California, to escape poverty in the dust bowls.   Along the route you will find motels, diners, neon lights, museums, kitsch and more nostalgic reminders of a different era…

Route 66

Road Trip West

Region: Texas and Arizona

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Yvonne Dann

 

In the South Western States of Texas and Arizona  and New Mexico, the Old West blends with the New.  One of the best ways to see the region is on a self-driving holiday. On the trip you may drive along some of the most iconic stretches of Route 66. Thriving cultures, sweeping desert vistas and towering mountains form a perfect back drop to a Western Adventure…

Road Trip West

Route 66

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