1 New Orleans to Avery Island to Lafayette
Our glorious trip across the robust southern and western United States begins in New Orleans, the homeland of smooth jazz and voodoo. We'll depart for Lafayette bright and early but make a pitstop in Avery Island along the way. Here, feel free to take a self-guided tour of the famous Tabasco sauce factory and learn all about the production of this staple of American dining. Back on the road, we'll arrive at Lafayette in the afternoon where you can join an optional Swamp tour. In the evening you're free to enjoy a city known as the unofficial capital of Cajun culture.
2 Lafayette to Austin
The Lone Star State calls today and we answer gleefully. Before we hit Texas we'll stop at an alligator rescue centre and learn about the work they're putting in to reintroduce these creatures to the wild. We'll make our way to Austin, arriving in the afternoon. After checking in we're back out on the streets to experience Austin's bohemian vibe! Tonight, you'll head to Rainey St with your guide to experience the food truck and eclectic music and bar scene. Here we'll lavish in Austin's astounding atmosphere and booming party spirit.
Today you're free to experience the weird and wonderful city of Austin. The fastest growing city in the US, Austin attracts 150 new residents and oodles of new businesses daily. Take the day to see all of the best sights, like the Cathedral of Junk or Zilker Park. At sunset, treat yourself to a natural marvel on the Congress Avenue Bridge as almost two-million Mexican Free-Tailed bats flock to the skies, hunting for summer-time bugs. Tonight, make sure you head to Sixth St and enjoy some of the live music Austin's famous for. Tonight, the city is your oyster!
4 Austin to Fort Worth
See ya Austin, we're headed for new horizons! On our way to Fort Worth today we'll be stopping off in Waco, where Dr Pepper was first sold. Have a wander through the Magnolia markets and snack on some hand-made goodies. Back on the road and we'll arrive in Fort Worth for the afternoon where you're free to explore this zealously southern city. Ferociously proud of its cowboy heritage, in the Fort Worth Stock Yards you'll find rodeos, horse-and-cart rides, longhorn drives, and BBQ joints as far as the eye can see. Nab yourself an authentic Stetson and a pair of boots in Wild Bill's then join up with your Busabout team for an evening of beer, BBQ, and boisterous laughter in Billy Bob's Texas - the World's Largest Honky-Tonk.
5 Fort Worth to Amarillo
Day five dawns and we bid Fort Worth a contented farewell, our sights set firmly on Amarillo. By now we all know the way to this iconic city, but don't be surprised if you hear a note or two of Tony Christie's famous ballad. As we travel we'll be passing through Wichita Falls, home to the world's smallest skyscraper, and arrive at Amarillo in the late afternoon. Here you're free to explore for the rest of the day. Take a gander at Sixth Street Historic District for top-notch shopping, restaurants aplenty, and some rustic architecture. Tonight, meat fanatics might want to try their hand at Big Texan Steak Ranch's 72-ounce (2kg) Steak Challenge. If you can devour the whole thing in under an hour, it's free!
6 Amarillo to Santa Fe
Route 66 beckons so we hit the iconic highway with Santa Fe as our goal. Before we leave Texas for New Mexico, we'll stop off at the Cadillac Ranch: a monument to the golden age of American automobiles crafted from ten colourfully painted Cadillacs. We'll arrive in Santa Fe in the afternoon and hit the streets for an orientation walk before you're free to do your own thing. Soak in the history of one of the United States' oldest settlement and explore its 15th century Spanish roots. The older parts of the city feature pueblo adobe architecture and harkens back to an era where Navajo natives and Spanish settlers lived a peaceful co-existence.
7 Santa Fe to Durango
Early this morning we're back on Route 66 and heading to Durango. We'll arrive in the early afternoon and after an orientation tour, you're free to seize the day. Well known for its pulse-pumping activities, Durango offers a whole range of exciting, historic, and natural outings. Brave the rapids of the Lower Animas River during a white water rafting excursion or go horseback riding across the nearby mountain ranges. Make sure you do some antique shopping or stop in at one of the many boutique stores. Tonight, seek out some fine dining in a local establishment and settle into the vivid Durango nightlife.
8 Durango to Monument Valley to Williams
We depart Durango with the rising sun and continue onwards to Williams. Along the way, we'll be passing through a staple of American cinema: Monument Valley. These historic buttes have found themselves featured in more than a handful of classic films, including Mission Impossible 2, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Easy Rider. As we continue our travels, there'll be ample opportunity to snap some shots of these awe-inspiring icons of the wild wild west. Onwards and we'll be arriving in Williams in the early evening. This sleepy town finds itself deep in Pine Country Arizona and makes Apple Pie seem unpatriotic. From its rustic saloons to its charming neon-signs, Williams is the quintessential Route 66 pitstop.
9 Grand Canyon
With Williams as our base camp, we head for a truly breath-taking site: the Grand Canyon. This vast, natural phenomenon is 446 kilometres long, up to 29 kilometres wide, almost 2,000 metres deep, and entirely yours for the day. Explore its depths with any number of walking trails or take to the skies to see it all in an optional helicopter ride. Learn all about this incredible marvel, from its Precarious cliff faces to the winding Colorado river coursing through its core. Alternatively, find a cosy cliff-side cafe and absorb the unbeatable views. We'll meet back up this afternoon to watch the sunset over the Grand Canyon. Get a good night's rest because tomorrow we'll be on our way to Sin City!
10 Williams to Las Vegas
Today we leave inhibitions at the door because we're en route to Vegas. Along the way, we'll be soaking up as many of Route 66's top sights as possible. Our first stop is Seligman, a town frozen in time. Pick up some Route 66 souvenirs and photograph the colourful stores. We'll have lunch in Kingman, which features a Route 66 Museum and a classic American diner. This afternoon we will arrive in Vegas and quickly head out to for a drink and a stroll along the Las Vegas strip. We'll look for street entertainment and later, we'll bask in the neon-glow of a city that truly never sleeps from a rooftop bar.
11 Las Vegas
The day is yours to experience Vegas in all its glitz and glamour! Cruise along the strip and hit up the most famous casinos in the world. Lose it all on black in the MGM Grand, or check out the Neon Museum where disused neon signs spend their retirement. Food choices are more than plentiful, but we'd recommend a stop at the Heart Attack Grill on Fremont St for mammoth-sized portions and waiting staff ready to serve punishments to anyone with eyes bigger than their bellies. This afternoon make sure you hit as many of the enormous casinos that you can. Tonight, you can head to see one of the famous Las Vegas shows, ride the world's tallest observation wheel, or just get lost in the lights.
12 Las Vegas to Los Angeles
We'll leave Vegas in the mid-morning. Our last stop on this incredible journey is Los Angeles, but there are a few sights left to see along the way! The Mojave Desert will accompany us, providing views of jutting rocks and an ocean of stoic, Joshua trees. In the late afternoon we'll arrive in Los Angeles, which will mark the official end of our once in a lifetime adventure.