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The Mother Road, Route 66 in California


From Needles to the Santa Monica Pier


  • Visit Oatman, AZ, one of the most unique towns on the entire route
  • Overnights in Needles, San Bernardino, Hollywood
  • Your opportunity to “sleep in a teepee” at the Wigwam Motel (optional)
  • See Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch
  • Attend “class” at the historic desert schoolhouse in Goffs, Patton trained here
  • Visit the McDonald’s Museum and hear the founding brothers’ story
  • Drive past the famous “Paramount Gates”
  • Lunch and time on the Santa Monica Pier


Daily Itinerary

Day 1

A morning flight brings you to Las Vegas, and after a stop for lunch, we head south in search of The Mother Road, a popular moniker for Route 66. We find it in Oatman, a one-of-a-kind old mining town, at the bottom of harrowing Sitgreaves Pass (a route we do not use). Meet the burros, explore the “shops,” you haven’t traveled 66 until you’ve been to Oatman.

Needles is our final destination for the evening. Join us for a casual dinner, with a discussion of some of the attractions and landmarks we will see on the remainder of our journey. BW Colorado River Inn (L,D)

Day 2

During the Dust Bowl Days of the 30’s, a horrible drought in the Midwest sent people west in search of food, jobs and a better life. They entered California by crossing a bridge over the Colorado River on Route 66… if they had $5 in their pockets. Hear the story and head off to Goffs, where an old schoolhouse serves as the backdrop for more Route 66 history. A little known general, Patton was his name, established a training camp here in WWII. One of the groups trained here landed at Normandy. The Route 66 Museum in Victorville is a must-see! 

End the day in San Bernardino, where you will have a choice of accommodations. Stay in a regular hotel, or spend the night in a Wigwam! There are two of these hotels on 66, and tonight, you can make your home in one if you wish (some limitations on type of accommodations, inquire at registration). We’ll gather everyone together tonight for a great dinner in a landmark Route 66 eatery, The Magic Lamp, in Rancho Cucamonga. Wigwam Motel or Comfort Inn Fontana (B,L,D)

Day 3

The McDonald Brothers first had a restaurant in Arcadia, then moved to San Bernardino, which is where the modern-day fast food concept was born. Would you believe Taco Bell, founded by Thomas Bell, was also born in San Bernardino? Visit the McDonald’s Museum before traveling across suburban Los Angeles. Past Santa Anita Racetrack and onto the “Rose Parade street,” Colorado Boulevard, into Pasadena, then taking what seems like a back road into downtown Los Angeles, but believe it or not this really is the Original Route 66. Sunset Boulevard, is the way to travel into Hollywood on the old road, and we’ve arranged for a theater tour at the home of the Oscars. Hilton Garden Inn – Hollywood (B,L)

Day 4

Past the studios of Hollywood and the luxury of Beverly Hills and on to the coast. The original 66 ended in downtown Los Angeles. It wasn’t until 1936, ten years after the road opened, that it was extended out to Santa Monica. Enjoy time on the pier this morning, before doubling back to the Farmer’s Market for lunch and free time to browse. Arrive at the airport mid-afternoon, in time for your 5pm flight home. (F,L)

Daily Itinerary Meal Legend
CBContinental Breakfast
BGenerally a limited buffet or menu
FBFull buffet or choice of menu
BRBrunch, often buffet-style
LLunch, often several menu options
HT or ATHigh or Afternoon Tea
DDinner, often several menu options


Wednesday, October 27, 2021 to Saturday, October 30, 2021

4 Days, 7 Meals

1 breakfast, 1 full breakfast, 3 lunch, 2 dinners


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