Route 66 & Texas Hill Country: Dallas, Amarillo, Santa Fe & More
- 11 Days
- 11 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 1,732
MODERATE | SELF DRIVE: A superb combination of unique cities in Texas and New Mexico with the existing parts of Route 66 is the focus of this trip. Bookended by the impressive skyscrapers of Dallas and the delightful cowboy roots of Fort Worth, Oklahoma City makes for an intriguing stop as do New Mexico’s Amarillo and Santa Fe, introducing a captivating desert vibe. Roswell beckons you to stop at its UFO Museum, and back in Texas you can look forward to a bewildering choice of live music venues in the great city of Austin.
If you’ve ever wanted to wear a cowboy hat, this 11-day foot-stompin’ adventure from the cedar scented streets of the Lone Star State along Route 66 and into the Wild West, will have you speaking slowly and tipping that wide brim like you were born to the Southwestern life.
Dallas may be a bustling, modern city with all the museums, galleries and shopping you’d expect in a busy metropolis, but as you’ll or - y’all - as they say in Texas, will discover, slipping just outside of the city lends itself to a slower pace. The cedar trees scenting the air at White Rock Lake where you can paddleboard or stroll in nature, the warmth of the Texan sun on your hat, will ease you into the civilized pace of the South and make you feel like a local.
Be sure to tip your hat back in the Big Friendly, Oklahoma City’s moniker, where people are so kindly, you may make pals by simply saying howdy over a plate of fried okra. Mind-bending blown-glass sculpture by Chihuly at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art will awaken your imagination and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will draw you into the ways of the Old West.
Along Route 66, stop for a photo of classic American Craftsman style architecture before vintage red gas pumps at Lucille’s Service Station, a National Historic Place, which harkens to a time when tumbleweed blew past two million struggling Americans who made their way west for a better life.
On the road to Amarillo, the yellow rose of Texas and pose before Mother Road signs and explore the swirling red and orange rocks of Lighthouse pinnacle in Palo Duro Canyon.
You can’t miss the giant white Teepee along Route 66 in Tucumcari and a stop at quirky Tee Pee Curios for western paraphernalia and maybe that perfect cowboy hat will certainly make you smile.
Set at 7,000 feet in the foothills of the southern Rocky Mountains, Santa Fe locals are said to march to the beat of their own drum. The combination of Hispanic, Anglo and Native American cultures has made this city a “City Different” as Santa Fe is known, and this difference is reflected in the mystical Pueblo Revival architecture, the flavourful Tex-Mex cuisine and the colourful resident artists. Explore the oldest capital in the U.S., founded in the early 17th century, snack on green chili breakfast burritos before investigating the evocative petroglyphs and cave dwellings of the Puebloan people at Bandelier National Monument.
At Roswell peruse the UFO Museum, investigate the world’s most-famous cave system and put those cowboy boots to good use in the rugged Chihuahuan Desert before tucking into a plate of steaming corn tortillas, gooey cheese and black beans for some belly-warming classic Tex-Mex gastronomy.
In San Antonio pay tribute to the gun battles of The Alamo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the site of a siege by Mexican forces of American rebels fighting for Texan independence from Mexico in the mid 1800’s. Hop on a boat cruise down the glistening San Antonio River and ascend the 750-foot Tower of the Americas at sunset for panoramic city views.
Ease in the restorative natural waters and sit back in your speedo and cowboy hat in Krause Springs, the Blue Hole or Hamilton Pool en route to Austin. Music explodes from every corner in this live music capital where making chums over a lemony Paloma or two at the Midnight Cowboy bar is easy in this effusively friendly city.
Sit ringside at the oldest stock show and rodeo in the country in Fort Worth and admire the tenacity of the wild women of the west at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, where legends like artist Georgia O’Keeffe and singer Patsy Cline are honoured before putting the chairs in the wagon as the cowboys say, and heading home.
- 11 Days
- 11 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 1,732
Itinerary View Trip Map
Arrive at Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport and transfer independently to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival you might have time to explore a little bit of the city, a glittering place of skyscrapers with a past and present rich with the stuff of which American legends are made. Try and get your bearings with a trip up the Reunion TowerGeO-Deck for a breathtaking 360-degree views of Dallas. If US history is on your list, you may want to explore the life of President John F. Kennedy at The Sixth Floor Museum or an in-depth look at 8 years of presidential history at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Alternatively, stroll through the Bishop Arts District, home to more than sixty independent shops, galleries, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.
Dallas - Oklahoma City
Two and a half hours north of Dallas is the serene and unspoiled Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur, Oklahoma. The area draws nature lovers and fishermen who enjoy outdoor recreation in the streams, springs, and lakes here. Nearby, at the Chickasaw Cultural Center, you can learn about Native American culture and history in an expansive, interactive museum dedicated to Chickasaw life. From Sulphur, head about 90 minutes north to Oklahoma City and browse through the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, filled with Old West artefacts, or go modern with a trip to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, home to one of the largest collections of Chihuly glass sculptures in the world. During spring, grab a seat at the National Circuit Finals Rodeo, one of the biggest events of the professional rodeo season.
Overnight Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City - Amarillo
Historic Route 66 winds past the majestic Capitol Building in Oklahoma City, where you can take a guided tour or explore the building on your own. Worthy of note, this is the only capitol building in the world that's surrounded by working oil wells. Stop for a home-style lunch of chicken-fried steak, Oklahoma's signature dish, at Ann's Chicken Fry House (look for the pink Cadillac and vintage police car parked outside). Stay on Route 66 to Hydro, Texas, and visit Lucille's Service Station. Built in 1929, this is one of only a few historic service stations remaining on Route 66 in Oklahoma. This popular sightseeing stop has been restored to its original condition, however, it's no longer an operating service station. Continue along Route 66 to the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton. Visitors can also learn about a devastating period in American history when, in the 1930s, the Midwest states became known as the 'Dust Bowl'; more than two million people were eventually displaced by dust storms, poverty and lack of opportunity. As you cross the state line into Texas, enroute to Amarillo, this stretch of Route 66 is home to several vintage Mother Road icons with long stretches of the old road remaining intact, still showing the original concrete in several spots.
Amarillo - Santa Fe
Continue west along Route 66 to Adrian, Texas, and make a stop at the Midpoint Cafe. This is the midpoint of Route 66, where it's 1,139 miles (1,833 km) east to Chicago, Illinois, and 1,139 miles (1,833 km) west to Los Angeles, California. Cross into New Mexico and drive to Tucumcari, stopping at one of the last remaining curio shops in New Mexico. Tee Pee Curios is not only a unique sight from outside, but inside too, with its Route 66 souvenirs, shirts, and jewelry. Head west, then north on Route 84, which was also old Route 66, on the way to Santa Fe, where the scenery changes into desert, mountains, and mesas.
Overnight Santa Fe
Enjoy a full day of leisure in Santa Fe. Start at the famous Canyon Road galleries, a collection of more than one hundred art galleries, shops, and restaurants. Continue to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum to see the colourful work of this important American artist. Take a break with a meal at one of Santa Fe's many restaurants celebrating the most well-known local product, New Mexico chili peppers. Save time to explore the Museum of International Folk Art, home to more than 125,000 objects from one hundred countries, the largest collection of its kind in the world. Explore the ancient lives of the Puebloan people at Bandelier National Monument, where petroglyphs and cave dwellings can still be seen in the rock face.
Overnight Santa Fe
Santa Fe - Carlsbad
Today, you head south to Carlsbad, with a stop along the way at Roswell. This is the site of the 1947 Roswell Incident, which put it on the map as the location of an alleged UFO landing and is now home to the UFO Museum, attractions, and shops. From here, continue to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, tucked beneath the scenic and rugged Chihuahuan Desert in the rocky slopes and deep canyons of the Guadalupe Mountain range. The world's most-famous cave system has huge underground chambers filled with spectacular, varied cave formations, viewable on a self-guided tour. Visitors may choose to hike along the steep 1.25-mile (2 km) paved trail, entering through the cave's Natural Entrance, which leads them into the spectacular 1.25-mile (2 km) Big Room Trail. Or simply take an elevator ride from the visitor centre directly to the Big Room Trail.
Carlsbad - Fredericksburg
Get an early start and head into Texas Hill Country to Fredericksburg, where walking tours illuminate the area's German heritage. Afterwards, sample local culinary favorites and brewing at the town's bistros, bakeries, and beer gardens. Hill Country also takes pride in its barbecue tradition, with mesquite coals lending a signature flavour to meat, including tender brisket. Seek out an iconic barbecue restaurant such as Backwoods BBQ.
Fredericksburg - San Antonio
Drive Scenic Highway 16 from Fredericksburg to Kerrville, the unofficial capital of Texas Hill Country. Take time to visit its excellent museums, galleries, and shops before continuing to San Antonio. Explore San Antonio's 18th-century Spanish Catholic missions, including Mision San Antonio de Valero (known as The Alamo), collectively declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nearby, the River Walk is a paved path along the city's namesake river with lots of unique restaurants sporting open-air patios. The Tex-Mex cuisine is in a class of its own, so be sure to sample tasty enchiladas at a family-owned restaurant or fresh tacos from a small taqueria.
Overnight San Antonio
San Antonio - Austin
Today, take more time to explore Texas Hill Country on the way to Austin. Pause to cool off in the area's natural springs: Krause Springs, Blue Hole and Hamilton Pool are local favourites. Austin earns its reputation as a live music capital with some 250 venues. Slip into a retro bar such as The Continental Club for Rockabilly, Country, and Swing shows, or get tickets to Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater, a venue that hosts concerts of all genres and the taping of Austin City Limits, the USA's longest-running televised music series. You may know Austin for its springtime South by Southwest Music Festival; however, you can find music festivals almost any time of the year. From breakfast tacos stuffed with farm fresh eggs and avocados to top-shelf margaritas, Austin is rightly famous for its take on Tex-Mex cuisine. Try ordering from one of the city's popular food trucks or trailers.
Austin - Fort Worth
Depart Austin and head to Fort Worth, an easy 30-minute drive west of Dallas and a modern city that honours its cowboy roots. Start at the always-bustling Stockyards National Historic District for Old West shops selling cowboy boots and hats, many saloons offering live entertainment, and lots of barbecue and other dining options. Learn about the strong women who shaped the American West with a visit to the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, packed with artwork and stories from women such as artist Georgia O'Keeffe and singer Patsy Cline. Alternatively, take a walk around the 35 blocks of Sundance Square downtown, a large shopping, dining, and entertainment district.
Overnight Fort Worth
Make your way to Dallas/Fort Wort International Airport for your flight home unless you plan to extend your stay in the area
Daily departures: October 1, 2022 - March 31, 2024
- 11 days Intermediate Car Rental with unlimited mileage (Mazda 3 or similar)
- Detailed day by day itinerary
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Dallas
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Oklahoma City
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Amarillo
- 2 nights moderate class accommodations in Santa Fe
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Carlsbad
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Fredericksburg
- 1 night moderate accommodations in San Antonio
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Austin
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Fort Worth
- Car rental insurance
- Travel insurance
- International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
- Entrances fees to sites not explicitly listed as included
- Meals and beverages not mentioned
- Road tolls
- Items of a personal nature
- Visa fees if applicable
- Get your bearings in Dallas with a trip 470 feet (143 meters) up to the Reunion TowerGeO-Deck to enjoy 360-degree views (optional)
- At the Chickasaw Cultural Center learn about Native American culture and history in an expansive, interactive museum dedicated to Chickasaw life (optional)
- Explore the Museum of International Folk Art, home to more than 125,000 objects from 100 countries, the largest collection of its kind in the world (optional)
- Slip into a retro bar such as The Continental Club for Rockabilly, Country, and Swing shows, or get tickets to Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater, a venue that hosts concerts of all genres and the taping of Austin City Limits, the USA’s longest-running televised music series (all optional)
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request. Additional terms and conditions apply for car rental - please inquire.
1 Oct 2023