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Escorted Rail Tours to San Francisco

The Golden Gate and bohemian streets

Until the late 18th century the area now known as San Francisco was inhabited by the Ohlone Indians. But they vanished almost immediately when, in 1776, Spanish missionaries began a mission in the region in an effort to introduce Catholicism. They named it for St Francis of Assisi - hence 'San Francisco'. The village passed, along with the rest of California, into the possession of Mexico in 1821, and in 1846 it finally became part of the United States.

The California Gold Rush began just two years later, and within another year fifty-thousand people had moved there to seek their fortune, transforming the village and its surrounding wasteland of sand dunes into a prosperous town. San Francisco, by now a city, entered a golden age at around the turn of the 20th century, though this was sadly cut short by the devastating 1906 earthquake - in which about 80% of the city was levelled. However, it was quickly rebuilt and a new, magnificent city arose.

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There are 7 holidays in this category
Showing 1 to 7 of 7 holidays
USA Coast to Coast

Experience a once-in-a-lifetime coast to coast rail journey across the most diverse country in the world! Your photo album will include many of America's highlights including the Statue of Liberty, the White House, the Wild West, the Rockies, the Grand Canyon, Hollywood Boulevard and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Departs from April 2017 to October 2017.
21 days from £4,095per personView tour details
The Trans-American Rail Tour

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.

Departs from April 2017 to September 2017.
21 days from £3,995per personView tour details
Las Vegas & the Golden West

Awe-inspiring scenery at the Grand Canyon and Yosemite contrasts with the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas on this truly sparkling holiday. Combine that with the charming towns and pretty scenery of the Golden State, stunning scenic daytime railway journeys, the Grand Canyon and the magic of Hollywood for a truly unforgettable experience.

Departs from April 2017 to October 2017.
15 days from £2,745per personView tour details
Premium USA Coast to Coast

Experience the USA in style on this enhanced version of our successful USA Coast to Coast tour, staying in many unique hotels entangled with key moments in American history. Sample Waldorf salad in the hotel where it was invented, enjoy a dinner cruise around the San Francisco Bay and view the Grand Canyon by air.

Departs from April 2017 to September 2017.
21 days from £6,095per personView tour details
Around the World in 51 Days

Beginning and ending in London, we travel just under 23,000 miles across the globe on this incredible worldwide adventure. Starting in the iconic 'Big Apple', we chart a course across the heartland of America, to the West Coast. From there, we cross the Pacific into Asia and immerse ourselves in the rich legacies of China, before boarding the iconic Tsar's Gold Train for the journey across Russia. For the final leg of the journey, we head into central Europe, south through the imperial cities to Venice, boarding the luxurious Simplon-Orient- Express for the journey home.

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Departs in August 2017.
51 days from £24,245per personView tour details
USA Coast to Coast - Departing Manchester

Experience a once in a lifetime rail journey across the most diverse country in the world! Your photo album will include the Statue of Liberty, the White House, the Wild West, the Rockies, the Grand Canyon, Hollywood Boulevard and the Golden Gate Bridge.

21 days from Please call for detailsView tour details
Pacific Coast - Canada to California

Journey along North America's Pacific coastline, travelling from the Canadian seaport of Vancouver, to bohemian San Francisco aboard some of the most iconic railways on the continent. Along the way discover some of the western seaboard's hidden gems such as the popular cities of Seattle and Portland, and the rolling vineyards of California.

14 days from Please call for detailsView tour details
Showing 1 to 7 of 7 holidays

More about San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge
Opened to traffic on May 28, 1937 after a construction period of four years, San Francisco's most recognisable sight is known across the world as an iconic American landmark. The 4,200-feet (1,280-metre) toll bridge connects the City of San Francisco and the County of Marin to the north, and gained its name from the three-mile-long and one-mile-wide Golden Gate Strait that it spans. Painted in the warm International Orange colour to prevent erosion of the steel it is constructed from, the bridge has featured in movies ranging from 'The Maltese Falcon' (1941) to 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' (2011). Around 2,000,000,000 vehicles have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, which has been closed to traffic only five times.

Fisherman's Wharf
Home to stands serving crab and gourmet seafood restaurants, Fisherman's Wharf has plenty to treat your tastebuds. Animal-lovers can watch the activities of hundreds of sea lions that gather on docks next to Pier 39.

Alcatraz
Popularly known as "The Rock", the island of Alcatraz functioned as a federal prison from 1934 until 1963. From November 1969, the island was occupied for 19 months by a Native American protest. The island was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986 and is open to visitors. Alcatraz can be reached by ferry from Pier 33 at Fisherman's Wharf.

Chinatown
With a history dating back to the 1840s, the Chinese quarter in San Francisco is now the largest outside of Asia. The architecture, cuisine and shops celebrate the community's heritage.

Haight-Ashbury
Famed for its 1960s hippie culture, experiencing 'The Haight' can range from shopping in vintage clothing and vinyl record stores to catching a cult movie at the Red Vic Movie House.

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