Discover the iconic sights of America's west coast
Awe-inspiring scenery at the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park contrasts with the glamour of Las Vegas on this holiday. Discover the scenery of the Golden State, enjoy scenic railway journeys and visit Hollywood for an unforgettable experience.
We depart London Heathrow on our flight to Los Angeles, where we transfer to Burbank. On Day 2, we enjoy a tour of Los Angeles, an iconic American city, taking in Hollywood and the Chinese Mann Theatre, which plays host to the annual Oscars ceremony. After some time for lunch, we transfer to the Burbank Studios for a short guided tour, ahead of an evening at leisure.
This morning we travel on board the iconic Coast Starlight for a daytime journey along the stunning Pacific Coast shoreline. We reach the Pacific Coast at Ventura, at which point the Coast Starlight begins to head north, hugging the coastline and following the Pacific Coast Highway.
Relax in the sightseer lounge and enjoy spectacular views through floor-toceiling windows of vast stretches of pristine beaches as the train hugs the rugged coast north of Santa Barbara. Entering the Salinas Valley we pass the Santa Lucia and Diablo mountain ranges en route to Salinas, from where we make a short coach transfer to Monterey for two nights at the Casa Munras Hotel & Spa.
Our coach collects us this morning as we head to Carmel, where Clint Eastwood was once mayor, a charming town that has attracted artists for decades. On our way, we explore the wonderful Californian coastline, including the exclusive residences of 17 Mile Drive and the attractive waterfront of Cannery Row.
We head to San Francisco today, taking the beautiful Pacific Highway and enjoying the gorgeous coast on our way. Your evening is at leisure to settle in.
We enjoy a sightseeing tour on Day 6, visiting some of the cosmopolitan city's most famous sights, including the Golden Gate Bridge and popular Fisherman's Wharf. This afternoon we have some time at leisure. You may like to board a ferry at Pier 33 and cross San Francisco Bay to the infamous island of Alcatraz, which once held the gangster Al Capone.
This morning we depart from Oakland by train on the San Joaquin route through California's Central Valley, bordered on the west by coastal mountain ranges and on the east by Yosemite National Park.
At Turlock we transfer by coach into Yosemite proper for a tour of the Valley Floor, taking in spectacular views of Half Dome at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley, which peaks at 4,000 feet, the 3,000 foot El Capitan and the thundering Bridalveil Falls. We spend tonight in the Hampton Inn Turlock.
We rejoin the San Joaquin line today as we travel to Bakersfield. From here we continue by coach across the Mojave Desert, passing small, isolated villages and abandoned ghost towns. Eventually, the tall buildings and bright lights of Las Vegas appear on the horizon. You are at leisure in Las Vegas on Day 9.
Located in Utah, Zion National Park is a spectacular sight for those who travel through it, which we do this afternoon. The intense, cliff like mountains rise completely vertically from a verdant valley floor, through which a gorgeous blue river flows.
On the morning of Day 11, our first destination is Bryce Canyon. Far less well known than the world-famous Grand Canyon, but no less spectacular, Bryce Canyon is an incredible selection of enormous natural amphitheatres and 'hoodoos', thin spires of umber-coloured rocks. After some free time to explore and perhaps enjoy lunch, we head on to Monument Valley, passing Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell on our way. Instantly recognisable for being the setting for countless cowboy films in the 'Golden Age of Westerns' era, there is time to take photos and admire the scenery before heading to our hotel for the night.
After breakfast this morning, we drive to the railroad town of Williams, where we spend the night at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. Our journey takes us along the incredible Monument Valley loop drive, where you can spot many sites made famous by old Western movies.
On Day 13, we travel by rail to the incredible Grand Canyon on board the Grand Canyon Railway. We journey in vintage carriages hauled by historic locomotives to see one of the world's most awe inspiring sights, the Grand Canyon. We arrive at the South Rim, the Canyon's main viewpoint and an ideal base to experience the dramatic vistas. We return to Williams on the Grand Canyon Railway, and our evening is at leisure.
We begin our day by heading to Sedona, by way of Oak Creek Canyon. This is a truly lovely drive, as the warm colours of the mountains mix with the verdant green of the forests that cover them. We visit Montezuma Castle National Monument, a fascinating structure built into the cliffside by the Sinagua people between 1100 and 1425 AD. We continue to Camp Verde State Historical Park to enjoy lunch. From here, we head to Phoenix.
Later this afternoon, we head to the airport in Phoenix to catch our flight back to London. On arrival on Day 15, our tour comes to an end.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
An escorted experience with all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Enhancing your tour
Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 11 verified reviews
A very well-planned holiday taking in all the must-see sites yet allowing time for our own activities. An enjoyable group of people, good weather, and an excellent tour manager!
A very comprehensive itinerary covering lots of different experience Would have liked some meals included particularly breakfast as it was often difficult to plan or predict when and where you would be able to eat and we ended up doing a lot of snacking
Every experience during the holiday exceeded expectations
Fabulous and so well organised. Every day was great and we like that there is thought given to including enough free time in each place. We like Great Rail Journeys very much having done two this year! We had Peter as our Tour Manager and he looked after us all brilliantly! He certainly made all the travel very smooth and easy. Thanks go to him. Great area to enjoy. Thoroughly recommended.
Excellent throughout and great tour manager
Thought the tour was well put together . Our tour manager was outstanding .
The holiday took us everywhere that was promised. What was not made clear was the very stressful schedule, three very early starts and several long days. The overnight train experience was even more unpleasant than we had feared. The American attitude to tipping was also a very unpleasant surprise.
Generally a good well organised holiday but not having any food included (not even breakfast) added a lot of extra expense and a lot of stress and hassle due to having to worry where to eat - and when to eat. Often arriving late at hotels and having to leave early in the morning made eating out even more difficult.
holiday of a life time finished to soon
Fantastically varied trip, some excellent accommodation, some quite average. Virgin flights a nightmare - either late or cancelled.
Discover the iconic sights of America's west coast