AAA Travel Tips / Oklahoma to Route 66 End of the Trail in California: A 9-Day Road Trip

Oklahoma to Route 66 End of the Trail in California: A 9-Day Road Trip

By AAA Travel Editors
March 14, 2023
Make plans to head west with us along Route 66 for the AAA Route 66 Road Fest. As part of the celebration, you can road trip from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to Santa Monica, California, on a 9-day journey. Consider traveling in style in a full-size motor coach, taking in the sights, sounds and experiences of one of the most popular, historic and iconic roadways in the country — Route 66. There’s the American landscape to enjoy, from the modern frontier of Oklahoma City all the way to the Santa Monica Pier in California.
So pack your bags and join us on a trip that tells the story of American freedom, mobility and exploration; phone your local AAA Travel Agent for reservations and other travel information. If you can’t travel now, add this itinerary and the 8-day Chicago to Oklahoma City road trip to your bucket list. Route 66 has welcomed road-trippers for 100 years and remains one of the best American road trip routes.
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Day 1: Arrive in Oklahoma City

If you booked the AAA Route 66 Road Fest vacation package, you’ll arrive in Oklahoma City and meet your local tour director before you join the group for a welcome dinner. If you’re an independent traveler, make time to enjoy fun in the vibrant neighborhood of Bricktown.
Recommended accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn Oklahoma City-Bricktown.
Wikimedia Commons / CC BY/MARELBU

Day 2: Route 66 – OKC

Enjoy a journey along historic Route 66 on your way to Chandler for a tour of the Route 66 Interpretive Center. Then, continue to Pops, an iconic stop along the old highway, for lunch on your own. Depart for the AAA Route 66 Road Fest, with time to enjoy and explore on your own before returning to your hotel. If you booked the vacation package, your breakfast today will be included.
Recommended accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn Oklahoma City-Bricktown.
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Day 3: AAA Route 66 Road Fest

A number of activities await, including live music. As part of the vacation package, your breakfast today will be included. However, if you're looking for other things to do, consider other road trips in the South Central Region or Oklahoma's Music Trail.
Recommended accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn Oklahoma City-Bricktown.
Wikimedia Commons / CC BY SA/Gorup de Besanez

Day 4: OKC to Amarillo

Depart Oklahoma City and continue your Route 66 road trip. Visit the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum and the National Route 66 Museum before you depart Elk City and continue west to Amarillo. There are plenty of sights to see in the Route 66 Historic District if you have time. If you’re part of the vacation package group, you’ll enjoy a true Texas experience, as you take a short drive to Palo Duro Canyon State Park for the Texas Outdoor Musical. Take delight in a delicious Texas barbecue dinner, followed by a night full of excitement. If you booked the vacation package, your breakfast and dinner today is included.
Recommended accommodations: Drury Inn & Suites-Amarillo.

Day 5: Amarillo to Albuquerque

Our journey continues on the Mother Road west. A must-stop is the Cadillac Ranch — invented and built by a group of artists from San Francisco. Then, we will cross the border into “The Land of Enchantment” — New Mexico — and enjoy the Route 66 sights, such as the Blue Swallow Motel, Tee Pee Curios, La Cita Mexican Restaurant and a shining monument to the old road. Plan to eat lunch at Joseph’s Bar & Grill. The remainder of the day is free to explore historic Old Town Albuquerque on your own. Your breakfast and lunch today are included, if you booked the vacation package.
Recommended accommodations: Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town (reopening is scheduled March 1; otherwise book Hotel Chaco next door).
Wikimedia Commons/Scott Catron

Day 6: Albuquerque to Flagstaff

This morning, depart Albuquerque and make your way to Acoma Sky City for touring. Continue west, with a stop in Gallup at the El Rancho Hotel, a delightful old hotel, lovingly preserved in its 1930s glory. After lunch, enjoy a fun visit to Richardson’s Cash Pawn and Trading Post. Continue westward to enter Arizona and arrive at Petriļ¬ed Forest National Park for sightseeing. Next, drive through Winslow, Arizona. After a full day on Route 66, arrive in Flagstaff for dinner at a local restaurant. All of your meals today are included with the vacation package.
Recommended accommodations: Drury Inn & Suites-Flagstaff.
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Day 7: Flagstaff to Laughlin

A short drive west of Flagstaff lies the small town of Seligman, now known as “The Birthplace of Historic Route 66” — a must-see for Route 66 fans. From here, you will drive the longest remaining stretch of the original road through towns like Peach Springs and Hackberry on your way to Kingman, with a stop at Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner for lunch on your own. After lunch, make your way to the old mining ghost town of Oatman. If you’re part of the travel package, this evening you’ll join the group for a scenic Colorado River cruise. Today’s breakfast is also included in the travel package.
If you're traveling independently, find a recommended AAA Diamond hotel at
Courtesy of Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau

Day 8: Laughlin to Santa Monica

Depart Laughlin and follow the Old Road into California and across the Mohave Desert, with a few photo stops on your way to Barstow. This afternoon, arrive in San Bernardino to visit the Original McDonald’s Museum and check out the wonderfully preserved Wigwam Motel. Continue on Route 66 through Los Angeles to Santa Monica. If you’re a tour participant, toast this wonderful journey along America’s Mother Road during a farewell dinner with your group on the Santa Monica Pier.
Recommended accommodations: Wyndham Santa Monica at the Pier.

Day 9: Journey Home

Transfer to Los Angeles International Airport for your departure flight home.

Start Your Next Route 66 Road Trip with AAA

AAA Travel provides peace of mind for travelers — from the first mile of the journey to the last. Get inspiration for your next road trip and locate AAA Diamond designated hotels and restaurants with AAA’s TripTik Travel Planner, or browse pre-planned itineraries on Estimating fuel costs for your trip is easy with the AAA Gas Cost Calculator, and if your car needs a quick tune-up before the trip, find a AAA Approved auto repair facility near you at For printed maps, AAA TourBook guides and trip planning advice, contact your local AAA office. For questions about AAA Route 66 Road Fest travel packages, contact your local AAA Travel Agent or email .