Where to go when - Autumn
14/05/2020 · By Sukie Chapman
'Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness' begins the famous ode, 'To Autumn' by John Keats, in which he extolls the virtues of finding beauty in unexpected places.Read more
Larger than life and bursting with diverse cultures and traditions, there's nowhere quite like the grand old USA. This is a destination that demands to be both seen and heard. Experience the soundtrack of the south as historic railways take you through the heartland of great American music, discover the russet tones of New England in the fall, or immerse yourself in the vintage glamour of Hollywood. Live the American dream for yourself as you experience a rich tapestry of colour across its natural wonders, from the endless greens of Yosemite National Park to the burnt orange of the Grand Canyon.
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At the heart of each of our escorted USA tours is a programme of excursions chosen for their particular social, historical, or cultural interest. These short expeditions range from journeys on heritage railways to steamboat cruises along the mighty Mississippi. For example, some of our American tours include visits to Mount Washington Cog Railway in New Hampshire and Martha's Vineyard in New England.
When exploring the USA by train, you will be joined on your journey by one of our experienced Tour Managers, who will answer any questions you may have. Our professional staff are very familiar with the places you will visit and know all the essential details, from must-see places to the best eateries in town.
Tour Managers understand the traditions of the American people and can help unravel the social idiosyncrasies of any location on your route, such as tipping in restaurants - in many cases, the gratuity - usually 10% - will be paid for you by the Tour Manager, leaving you to enjoy your holiday.
Local guides are used on a variety of activities to share their knowledge of the immediate area and its attractions. Guests also have plenty of free time for exploring independently on our USA rail holidays, or to enjoy the amenities of their hotel.
Accommodation, flights, rail travel, and excursions are all included in the price of your holiday. The comprehensive nature of our great value itineraries means that our customers have little extra to pay whilst they are travelling through the USA.
Flights to North America depart from London but there may be the option to fly from Manchester, and seats are provided in Economy Class with the possibility of upgrading to Business Class or First Class for an extra supplement. However, you should discuss this with your agent when booking one of our USA rail tours.
Accommodation is chosen because it offers value for money, excellent service, and a good location. Whenever possible we pick hotels that are locally run so guests can enjoy a more personal atmosphere. Often, accommodation can be a highlight itself; for example, selected tours of the USA by rail include a night aboard the RMS Queen Mary.
The United States is one of the most environmentally diverse places on earth; the dry climate of the Deep South - Texas, Georgia, Alabama, etc. - stands in stark contrast to the serene, snowy landscape of Alaska and the tropical wetlands of the Everglades in southern Florida.
As part of our brochure of USA holiday packages, Great Rail Journeys offer you the chance to explore as little or as much of North America as you would like.
In the northeast, our escorted tours in New England introduce the passenger to the most incredible sights at times when they are at their most extraordinary; in this case, the autumn, when the local forests are aflame with colour. Visits to Boston, Cape Cod, and the stunning White Mountains are also included on some of our tours of the north-eastern USA.
The Midwest, inclusive of Illinois, Indiana, and the rolling plains of Kansas, is home to an array of awe-inspiring monuments and natural attractions. Chicago and Detroit are arguably the most well-known settlements in the region, and passengers on our USA tours can experience the 'Windy City' for themselves with a trip up the 103-floor Willis Tower.
The West Coast of America is the location of such memorable places as Seattle, Santa Barbara, and the Napa Valley. The latter destination benefits from a Mediterranean climate, and is famous throughout the United States for its wine. The granite cliffs of Yosemite National Park can also be found here on the West Coast, close to Sacramento.
Moving south, the city of New Orleans in Louisiana is regarded by many music fans as the home of jazz. Equally, Nashville in Tennessee has a rich history in country music, and lays claim to the world's largest music museum - as well as the world-famous Jack Daniel's Distillery, a popular destination with USA rail travel enthusiasts.
Visits to Elvis Presley's Graceland and the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway - the world's steepest passenger railway, climbing to an incline of 72.2 percent - also feature in some of our USA rail holidays.
Standing apart from the mainland United States, Alaska is the country's largest state but the least densely populated. Towering fjords and unspoilt scenery, as well as wildlife such as bears, beluga whales, and bald eagles, combine to ensure our USA rail holidays are a memorable experience for guests.
Helping you plan your holiday to USA