Discover America's most famous sights by rail
Wake up in the city that never sleeps at the end of this epic adventure. This once in a lifetime journey takes you to some of America's most famous sights including Alcatraz, the Las Vegas strip, the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls, and travels on some spectacular railroad excursions, including the Grand Canyon Railroad.
Meet your Tour Manager and group today at the Westin St Francis in San Francisco. Our sightseeing tour on Day 2 includes the inspiring Golden Gate Bridge and the popular Fisherman's Wharf. We also visit the infamous island of Alcatraz, once a federal penitentiary housing notorious criminals such as Al Capone and the 'Birdman of Alcatraz'.
We travel by train on the San Joaquin route through California's Central Valley, bordered by the coastal mountain ranges and Yosemite National Park. At Merced we transfer by coach to Yosemite itself to enjoy a tour of the Valley Floor, taking in views of Half Dome, the 3,000 ft El Capitan and the spectacular Bridalveil Falls. Heading back to Merced, we spend the night at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel.
Our journey on the San Joaquin continues southwards on Day 4. Arriving in Bakersfield, we transfer by coach across the Mojave Desert into Nevada, with the terrain getting progressively more mountainous towards the Nevada border. We spend two nights at the Tropicana Hotel, close to the Las Vegas Strip. On Day 5 you are free to explore wonderful Las Vegas at leisure. The Las Vegas monorail is a great way to explore the amazing sights and spectacles of the Las Vegas Strip and its variety of resorts, with top class shows and an extraordinary selection of entertainment choices on your doorstep including the world-famous casinos.
Today we head across Nevada to Arizona, via the Hoover Dam. Entering Arizona we arrive on the legendary Route 66 and Flagstaff, where we spend two nights at the Little America Hotel, set amidst 500 acres of ponderosa pine forest.
We travel in vintage carriages hauled by historic locomotives on the Grand Canyon Railway to see one of the world's most awe-inspiring sights, the Grand Canyon. The canyon, created by the Colorado River over a period of 6 million years, is up to 18 miles wide, and a mile deep. We arrive at the South Rim and main viewpoint of the Canyon to take in the dramatic vistas. You have the option of taking a spectacular flight over the Canyon (payable locally).
Today we drive through Navajo country and Utah's Monument Valley - familiar as the rugged setting of America's Western movies. The whole region has the imagery and feel of a bygone age, where cowboys still spend lonely months herding cattle across miles of untouched hills and Native Americans still perform rituals passed down through the ages. We reach Durango and stay at the Hampton Inn Durango.
On Day 9 we board the Durango and Silverton Railroad* for a journey across the remote wilderness of the National Forest through breathtaking canyons, past emerald-green rivers, to Silverton. We continue by coach to Grand Junction and stay at the Hampton Inn. On Day 10 we travel on one of the USA's most scenic rail journeys along the route of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. Our journey takes us up into the Rocky region, through Colorado's wine region. Our destination is Denver, where we spend two nights at the Hampton Inn Downtown Convention Centre.
*During the early part of the season the Durango and Silverton Railroad operates a winter timetable. During this period we enjoy a journey from Durango to Cascade Canyon.
You have a free day to explore Denver's sights. The city boasts a mile-long promenade lined with cafés and shops and a mountain view down every street. On Day 12 we explore the natural attractions of the Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park, with a wide array of wildlife including elk, bighorn sheep, black bears, coyotes, eagles and hawks. Tonight we join the California Zephyr sleeper train.
On Day 13 we complete the journey to Chicago, arriving this afternoon for an introductory sightseeing tour, spending tonight at the MileNorth Hotel. Day 14 is free to explore Chicago. We board the Lake Shore Limited this evening for the overnight journey to Buffalo on the cusp of Niagara Falls.
We arrive in Buffalo and transfer to Niagara Falls. We overnight at the Sheraton at the Falls, located within walking distance of the attractions on the US side of the spectacular falls. You have the opportunity to explore the falls from the water on a river tour. At lunchtime on Day 16, we travel on the Maple Leaf service to New York City, where our hotel for two nights is the Le Parker Meridien, perfectly located to explore all New York has to offer.
We wake up in 'the city that never sleeps' today and enjoy a harbour cruise around Manhattan past the Statue of Liberty, before enjoying a guided tour including Central Park and glamorous Fifth Avenue. You also have free time to explore this exciting city; perhaps visit bustling Grand Central Station, poignant 'Ground Zero', or see a show on Broadway.
Today you are free to make your way to the airport at your own pace, for your flight back home.
For this tour, we recommend you fly in to San Francisco International (airport code SFO), which is approximately 15 miles from your first hotel. Our recommended departure airport is John F. Kennedy International (JFK), which is approximately 17 miles from your final hotel in New York.
You may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; this is where you will meet your Tour Manager.
An escorted experience and travel during your tour
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Discover America's most famous sights by rail