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Grand Tour of America

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You are viewing the 2025 itinerary. Select your departure year
202420252026
18 days From £5,495 per person
4.4 stars(27 reviews)
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Uncover the USA’s most iconic sights by rail

Mobility Rating 2

2025 Tour code: SUG25

About the tour

Discover the vibrant, varied United States on a once in a lifetime journey that takes you to some of America's most famous sights including Alcatraz, the Las Vegas strip, the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls and Yosemite National Park.

Unforgettable experiences

California Zephyr, Amtrak
California Zephyr, Amtrak
Ride on some of the most scenic rail routes aboard world-famous trains including Amtrak, and the Grand Canyon Railway
New York
New York
Enjoy guided city tours of New York and Chicago, including a Chicago Architecture Cruise.
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Immerse yourself in the surreal world of Las Vegas, and the seemingly endless range of entertainment.
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
Experience the natural wonders of the breathtaking Grand Canyon and the stunning Colorado River.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London and San Francisco

We fly from London Heathrow to the vibrant city of San Francisco, where we spend two nights. With its harbourside charms and laid-back culture, bohemian San Francisco is one of America's most-loved cities.

Day 2 - San Francisco

We're introduced to the city during a sightseeing tour. We see the inspiring Golden Gate Bridge, which was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it was built in the 1930s. Continuing, we see popular Fisherman's Wharf before cruising to the famous island of Alcatraz. Once an 'escape-proof' maximum security prison housing notorious criminals such as Al Capone and the fascinating 'Birdman of Alcatraz', today Alcatraz is a fascinating public museum.

Day 3 - Yosemite National Park

We board an Amtrak train today for a journey inland, to Merced. From here, we take a coach to nearby Yosemite National Park, one of the most stunning areas of natural beauty in the United States, known for its deep valleys, tumbling waterfalls and ancient, towering trees. We enjoy a tour of the valley floor, taking in views of Half Dome, a well-known rock formation with a unique shape. We also see the 3,000-foot El Capitan, a huge rock face popular with rock climbers, and the spectacular Bridalveil Falls. We return to Merced, where we spend the night.

Day 4 - To Las Vegas

We board our Amtrak service to Bakersfield today, continuing across the desert to Las Vegas by coach. On arrival, we check into the famous Park MGM hotel for two nights, staying on the bustling Las Vegas Strip.

Day 5 - Las Vegas

You're free to explore incredible Las Vegas at your own pace today, and there's plenty to occupy yourself with here. The Las Vegas monorail is a great way to discover the fantastic sights and spectacles of the Las Vegas Strip and its variety of resorts, with top-class shows, excellent restaurants, and an extraordinary selection of entertainment to choose from.

Day 6 - The Hoover Dam and Flagstaff

Today, we head across Nevada to Arizona, via the Hoover Dam. Entering Arizona, we take the legendary Route 66, following this famous road until Flagstaff, where we spend two nights at the Little America Hotel, set amidst 500 acres of ponderosa pine forest.

Day 7 - The Grand Canyon

Today, we enjoy a scenic journey on the Grand Canyon Railway. Travelling in vintage carriages hauled by historic locomotives, we wind our way towards one of the world's most awe-inspiring sights, the Grand Canyon. The canyon, created by the Colorado River over a period of 6 million years, is up to 18 miles wide, a mile deep, and is one of the most visited sites in the US. We arrive at the South Rim and the main viewpoint of the canyon, where we enjoy some time to take in the dramatic vistas, before returning to our hotel by coach.

Day 8 - Monument Valley

Today we drive through Navajo country and Utah's Monument Valley - a stunning yet familiar landscape, the backdrop of so many American Western movies. The entire region has the feeling of a bygone era, where cowboys still spend lonely months herding cattle across miles of untouched hills and Native Americans perform age-old rituals. Enjoy excellent views of the vast and wild scenery as we make our way to Durango, where we spend the night.

Day 9 - Durango and Silverton Railroad

We board the Durango and Silverton Railroad today for a journey through breathtaking canyons, past emerald-green rivers and dense forests. The line connects Durango with the mining town of Silverton and incredibly, has been in continuous use since its inception more than 130 years ago. We continue by coach to Grand Junction, nestled in Colorado's fruit growing area, where we spend the night.

*During the early part of the season the Durango & Silverton Railroad operates a winter timetable. During this period we enjoy a journey from Durango to Cascade Canyon by rail.

Day 10 - California Zephyr

Leaving Grand Junction, we set out on one of the USA's most scenic rail journeys, travelling aboard the California Zephyr. Our journey takes us up into the Rocky Mountains, through the heart of Colorado's wine region towards Chicago.

Day 11 - Chicago

We arrive in Chicago's Union Station this afternoon, and you're free for the rest of the day to start exploring the city. Set on the shores of vast Lake Michigan, the 'Windy City' is home to a wealth of fantastic things to see and do. A must-try for visitors is Chicago-style deep dish pizza. By no means your traditional Italian-style pizza, this delicious pie-like dish is made with layered cheese and chunky tomato sauce encased in a high crust and is served in many iconic eateries across the city.

Day 12 - Chicago

Today, we enjoy a Chicago Architecture Cruise, seeing some of the city's great buildings from the river - including skyscrapers, hotels and homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The city has a stunning skyline and many renowned museums, restaurants and cafés - which you're free to explore after our cruise. You could climb the 110-storey Willis Tower, which, upon its completion in 1974, was the world's tallest building.

Day 13 - Chicago

We explore Chicago further today on a guided sightseeing tour, seeing many of the incredible sights of the city. This evening, we board the Lake Shore Limited for the overnight rail journey to Buffalo, on the cusp of Niagara Falls.

Day 14 - Niagara Falls

We arrive in Buffalo today and transfer to our hotel, located close to the spectacular Niagara Falls. The waterfall is a distinct emerald colour, and has a thundering force which produces a mist - seeing it is an unforgettable experience.

Day 15 - New York

We take the train to cosmopolitan New York, an adrenaline-charged metropolis bursting with some of the world's greatest art, culture, cuisine and history. The route sees us head east from Buffalo to New York State's capital, Albany. From here we follow the course of the Hudson River straight into New York City. Our impressive hotel for two nights is located on Times Square, meaning there is always something to see and do in the heart of the Broadway theatre district.

Day 16 - New York, New York

Today we set out on a guided tour that includes some of New York's most spectacular sights. We take a harbour cruise around Manhattan, which takes us past the world-famous Statue of Liberty. We continue with a visit to leafy Central Park, a green oasis of calm set against a backdrop of towering skyscrapers, and glamorous Fifth Avenue, the city's most famous shopping street. Later, you have some free time to explore this exciting city; there are numerous museums and galleries to visit, or maybe catch a show on Broadway.

Day 17 - To London

Bidding a fond farewell to New York and the US, we transfer to the airport for our flight to London Heathrow.

Day 18 - London

We arrive back in London and your holiday comes to an end.

Additional information

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

Departure times

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.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Hampton Inn Chicago Magnificent Mile, Chicago

Hampton Inn Chicago Magnificent Mile, Chicago

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Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn, Durango

Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn, Durango

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Little America Hotel, Flagstaff

Little America Hotel, Flagstaff

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Hampton Inn, Grand Junction

Hampton Inn, Grand Junction

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MGM Park Hotel

MGM Park Hotel, Las Vegas

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El Capitan Hotel, Merced

El Capitan Hotel, Merced

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New York Marriott Marquis

New York Marriott Marquis, New York

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Hyatt Place, Niagara Falls

Hyatt Place, Niagara Falls

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Zephyr Hotel, San Francisco

Zephyr Hotel, San Francisco

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Trains

Amtrak Trains
Durango & Silverton Railroad
Grand Canyon Railway

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Overnight Train Upgrade
Upgrade your flight to Premium Economy
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Extend your holiday

San Francisco
Simply New York

Reviews

4.4 stars4.4 / 5 · 27 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (15)
  2. 4 stars
    (10)
  3. 3 stars
    (1)
  4. 2 stars
    (1)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Mr Richard Wheeler

5 stars

Submitted 28 Sep 2023

A brilliant tour

Collected by Trustpilot

PamW

4 stars

Submitted 18 Jul 2023

The tour was everything we hoped for and more and Adrian, our tour guide was fantastic. It was tiring but we expected that and what we saw and experienced more than made up for it. The only problem we faced was breakfast early on in the tour. I recommend anyone going on this tour take some food of your own to keep you going. Also, non meat-eaters beware, finding suitable food can be tricky at times (but that's a probem with the USA not GRJ!)

Collected by Trustpilot

Theresa

4 stars

Submitted 13 Jun 2023

An excellent tour let down by an annoying tour manager who was patronising, talked incessantly, didn't listen, seemed to think she was the only one entitled to speak and at times even gave wrong information.

Collected by Trustpilot

Sheila

5 stars

Submitted 09 Jun 2023

The Grand Tour of America was everything we had hoped it would be, and more. We'd never been to America and so having a Tour Manager (Julia) with us the whole time gave us the confidence to embark upon this tour knowing that there would be someone there to guide us and help us to make the most of everything that we were hoping to see during the time there. It certainly worked for us and we wouldn't hesitate to book another holiday of this type with Great Rail Journeys again.

Collected by Trustpilot

C Heriegel

2 stars

Submitted 24 Nov 2022

such a wonderful experience, lots to see, enjoyed every minute

Collected by Trustpilot

Gillian Thornhill

5 stars

Submitted 28 Oct 2022

An amazing adventure expertly led across the USA

Collected by Trustpilot

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