Route 66 East Albuquerque to Chicago Self Drive Motorcycle Tour - Tour Itinerary
New Mexico is nicknamed “The Land of Enchantment”, and the city of Albuquerque is one of its most interesting. Straddling the Rio Grande River, ‘ABQ’ came into prominence during the Atomic Age of the 1950s thanks to the Sandia National Laboratories and its research of nuclear energy and weaponry. Albuquerque is also home a vibrant arts culture, including the annual International Balloon Festival, a large gathering of hot-air balloons from around the world. This eclectic, quirky city has a unique charm, one you will enjoy exploring before your motorcycle tour begins.
After picking up your bike in the morning it’s time to hit the road! The legendary Route 66 is a 2,300-mile odyssey right through the heart of America, between California and Illinois, and it’s time to get started! Your trip on “The Mother Road” begins with many famous Route 66 icons, the first one being the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari. This roadside attraction is representative of the dozens of gas stations, motels, and restaurants that attracted motorists of decades past. Next is the Midpoint Café in Adrian, TX and of course the unforgettable Cadillac Ranch just outside of Amarillo, today’s destination. Be sure to visit the Big Texan Steakhouse, for some of the biggest and best steaks in the USA, we guarantee it!
This riding day is like none other as you traverse the High Plains region of Texas and into Oklahoma – once called ‘Indian Territory’, this region of the USA was once the home of several Native American tribes, who were ‘relocated’ to the Indian Territory in the 1830s by the Federal Government for ‘blocking’ white settlement in the southern states. Clinton is home to one of the biggest and best museums dedicated to the legacy and influence of Route 66, so plan on an early arrival to give yourself enough time to explore this incredible display of history.
Day 4 is full of little Oklahoma towns along Route 66, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. You’ll cruise through El Reno and Yukon on your way to the capital, Oklahoma City. This is just about the halfway point, so feel free to stop for lunch. Here you can see the remarkable Memorial of the infamous bombing of the downtown Federal Building in 1995. In the afternoon you’ll ride to Arcadia, Chandler, Stroud, and Sapulpa, on your way to Tulsa, formerly a major hub in the American cattle and oil industries.
Today’s ride is a long one, so be sure to get an early start! The string of famous Route 66 icons continues with the Blue Whale in Catoosa, the Vintage Iron Museum in Miami, the “Tow Tater” in Galena, Kansas (the inspiration for the tow truck Tow Mater in the Pixar movie Cars), the giant Drive-In Theater in Carthage, Missouri, and The Devil’s Elbow just outside of Rolla. This gorgeous ride from Oklahoma into Kansas and Missouri crosses through the Ozark Plateau, a highland region of the central United States characterized by lush forests, fertile farmland, river valleys and small mountain ranges. The dry climate of New Mexico seems like a long time ago...
Just 100 miles from Rolla is the Midwestern metropolis of St. Louis, on the shores of the mighty Mississippi River. Dubbed the "Gateway to the West”, this is where the explorers Merriweather Lewis & William Clark began their famous westward expedition in 1804 after the Louisiana Purchase. After some famous St. Louis BBQ for lunch, the afternoon is filled with more small towns and some of the oldest backroads of the tour – including some stretches of original brick, laid long before any pavement came to Route 66. The road from Staunton to Carlinville will eventually lead you to Springfield, Illinois, the famous boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln.
Your exciting motorcycle tour ends at the beginning today, as you make your way into Chicago, the eastern terminal of Route 66. But the fun isn’t over yet! On your way into the “Paris of the Prairie” you’ll get to visit the other famous Route 66 museum in Pontiac, as well as the iconic Gemini Giant in Wilmington. From there it’s a final 60 miles through the suburbs to return your bike at our EagleRider office near the O’Hare airport. The ‘Windy City’ is one of America’s greatest cities boasting world-class museums, restaurants, parks, architecture, art galleries, and music clubs paying homage to its Jazz roots. If you would like to stay in town a little longer, we can easily arrange an extra night or two for you to enjoy some sightseeing. We can even arrange a discounted motorcycle rental!
We hope you enjoyed your tour on America’s Main Street, and we congratulate you for completing a journey most motorcycle riders only fantasize about. Please let us know whenever you are ready for your next grand motorcycle adventure – as you have now seen for yourself, EagleRider makes dream rides come true!
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