The country itself might cover almost
3,800,000 square miles but It's only when you visit the USA that
you can get a true sense of its huge scale. It's so large, in fact,
that there are four separate time zones so when Californians are
enjoying their evening meal many New Yorkers are getting ready to
go to bed.
It's this sheer size that means there
is no one element that you could say is quintessentially American.
Rather, it is a huge melting pot of races, cultures, landscapes and
customs. For a relatively young country it is also extraordinarily
rich in history ranging from the day that the Mayflower brought
some of the earliest British settlers to the brave new world to the
2009 inauguration of Barack Obama as its first ever Black
Then there are the enormous cultural
influences that America has had on the world. Jazz and the Blues,
the movies, artists like Andy Warhol and writers like Mark Twain
have all gone to form parts of the kaleidoscopic mental picture all
of us have of the country.
Then there are the cities that have
come to stand for so much as well as carving out identities all of
their own. The fast-moving, hard-working wealth-creating New York,
the mid-west splendour of Chicago, the New England refinement of
Boston are just three examples.
Impressive undoubtedly, but maybe
overshadowed by the stunning scenery and landscapes that surround
them. For example, at least once in every lifetime everyone should
experience New England in
the Fall. And until you have enjoyed a tour like our Yellowstone
and Rocky Mountains in Winter you won't have a proper
appreciation of what breath-taking scenery really looks like.
The USA is also somewhere that is
still home to some of the world's most incredible wildernesses and
the perfect way to visit one of these is on our Fjords and
National Parks of Alaska. This ten-day tour will show you
exactly why Alaska so richly deserves its title as "The Last
But the very last thing we want you to
feel is alone. This is why you can be sure that your travelling
companions on any of our tours will share many of your interests
and will be equally keen to explore this amazing country.
At Great Rail Journeys, we also want
to ensure that you enjoy a truly relaxing travel experience, that
is also very good value for money. We achieve this by taking care
of all the arrangements necessary while also giving you the time to
go off and explore by yourself, with your travelling partner and
even with new-found friends.
For times when we feel we can add
insight and context to your trip, a number of expertly
escorted visits and sightseeing tours are included in the trip. You
will also have the freedom to book your own excursions, whether
it's a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon or a visit to that
magnificent feat of civil engineering, Nevada's Hoover Dam.
Eating well is another element of a
good holiday so we make sure that fine food is always on the menu.
On some days this will include fine dining prepared by chefs on
board the train. On others it will be enjoying restaurant meals in
places like San Francisco's Zephyr Hotel whose Bistro Boudin looks
out over Fisherman's Wharf to the legendary Alcatraz.
At other times you will be left at
leisure to choose your own restaurant, café or bar and to sample
some genuine US hospitality and service.
To make sure that everything is just
perfect, every holiday is overseen by and experienced Tour Manager.
They will be as helpful or as unobtrusive as you like - their role
is to meet travellers' need precisely, not to stick to some rigid
formula of service.
You can also rest assured that we have
taken great care to select the ideal accommodation for tours using
three main criteria: location, value and facilities. While we do
use certain big names such as Holiday Inn and Marriott, we also
favour independent hotels which in many cases are also family-run.
That's because we believe that they are more likely to share our
ethos of providing a more caring and personal service.