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
America is a land of diversity, from its cultures and traditions to its countryside and cities. Thousands of miles of Atlantic coastline in the east and the sunny beaches of California's west coast, while in between lies a vast landmass divided into 6 time zones. Huge landscapes are perfect for rail exploration; what better way to see the wild west scenery of Monument Valley or the rugged plateaus of Colorado? National parks of astonishing beauty and cities whose reputations precede them, the USA encompasses them all.
Explore this land of endless possibilities from sea to shining sea. The USA offers some of the most exciting and wide-ranging experiences, so get ready to lose yourself amidst the iconic skyline of New York City, see the dazzling lights of Las Vegas, marvel at the dream factory of Hollywood, and witness some of the world's most awesome natural wonders; every one of our USA rail tours is designed to make your holiday as enjoyable as possible.
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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 infrastructure that connects the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States is one of train travel's greatest achievements, and our escorted America tours are set up to take advantage of this heritage. Our trains have lounge chairs positioned to provide the best views, all in air-conditioned comfort.
For long distance travel, our USA train tours use the legendary Amtrak trains, including the Coast Starlight and the California Zephyr. On our themed railway excursions, nostalgic carriages and uniformed staff evoke the same elegant atmosphere of the golden age of rail travel.
The cabins on our American routes are comfortable and practical with two reclining seats by day and double bunks by night. Upgrading provides a larger room and an extremely generous lower bunk. Overnight journeys through North America are in Superliner roomettes.
On-board dining is provided in the buffet carriage. A range of snacks and sandwiches is also available on our trains. The American predilection for caffeine means that customers on our America rail holidays can always enjoy a cup of quality coffee on their journey.
In addition, fresh towels and complimentary water are available to travellers on our USA holidays, with a shower and W.C in the carriage.
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