The Jazz of the railway world
By Jack Stacey
26 April 2018
The world of rail travel has had a long connection with the hallowed halls of jazz.Read more
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.
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.… see more
20 days from £3,995 ppView tour details >
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.… see more
19 days from £4,295 ppView tour details >
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.… see more
14 days from £2,995 ppView tour details >
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. Take in the Rockies by rail, enjoy a dinner cruise around the San Francisco Bay and view the Grand Canyon on a heritage rail journey.… see more
20 days from £6,595 ppView tour details >
Explore the USA from New York to San Francisco, on a 15-day Stateside adventure by rail. Travel on iconic Amtrak trains and visit incredible American cities en-route, from bustling Washington D.C. to Chicago, Denver and Salt Lake City, for a comprehensive tour of the United States.… see more
15 days from £3,195 ppView tour details >
Journey from the seaport of Seattle to bohemian San Francisco aboard some of the most iconic railways on the continent. Marvel at the expansive Crater Lake, walk amongst the giant redwood trees of Muir Woods and discover the bustling metropolis of San Francisco.… see more
12 daysView tour details >
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.