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America Coast to Coast

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4.5 stars(36 reviews)
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The ultimate USA adventure, from New York to San Francisco

18 days From £4,195 per person

2023 Tour code: USG23

About the tour

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 the USA'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.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - To New York

We fly to New York City, one of the USA's most lively cities. We spend two nights here, enjoying the perfect introduction to the vibrant culture of the United States.

Day 2 - New York

We're introduced to the 'Big Apple' on a sightseeing cruise around iconic Manhattan Harbour, spotting world-famous landmarks from our unique vantage point on the water. We see Ellis Island and the torch-wielding icon, the Statue of Liberty herself. Back on dry land, we take an insightful guided city tour of New York, seeing world-renowned sights including Central Park, the open, leafy space set amongst the city's glittering skyscrapers. After, enjoy free time to explore the city at your own pace. From fascinating art galleries to the dazzling lights of Times Square, there's plenty to occupy yourself with here.

Day 3 - Washington D.C.

Boarding a train south, we travel to the nation's capital and political powerhouse, Washington D.C. We spend two nights here, immersing ourselves in the country's rich and fascinating political history. This afternoon, we head out on a guided tour that takes in many of the city's famous landmarks. We see the White House, the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. We also visit Capitol Hill - the seat of the U.S. government, and Georgetown, a historic cobblestoned neighbourhood.

Day 4 - Washington D.C.

Enjoy a full day free to explore Washington D.C. at your own pace. There are iconic sights around every street corner here, from the poignant Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Junior delivered his famous 'I Have a Dream' speech, to the distinctive Capitol Building. There are also some wonderful museums and galleries to discover, including the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

Day 5 - To the Mid-West

Late this afternoon we leave the capital on Amtrak's Capitol Limited service. The service runs daily between Washington D.C. and the exciting city of Chicago, following the historic B&O line through the Potomac Valley. Our overnight journey takes in the vast and beautiful scenery of the United States, as we pass historic Harpers Ferry and the Allegheny Mountains on the way to Pittsburgh. We cross into Ohio and head north to Cleveland across Indiana as the train continues through the night.

Day 6 - Chicago

We arrive in Chicago after breakfast. Known as the 'Windy City', Chicago is the capital of the state of Illinois and is set on the sea-like shores of the vast Lake Michigan. We take a city tour here that revisits the 'dry and lawless years' of the 1920s and 30s. We take in the site of the St Valentine's Day Massacre as well as Al Capone's headquarters and some of the city's famous landmarks and architecture, including Willis Tower and Millenium Park.

Day 7 - Chicago

You're free to explore Chicago in your own time today. The city boasts a stunning skyline along with many highly rated museums, restaurants and cafés. You could climb the 110-storey Willis Tower, which, upon its completion in 1974, was the world's tallest building. On a clear day, from the observation deck, it's possible to enjoy views over four states - Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana. If you fancy a bite to eat, traditional deep-dish pizza is a must-try in the city. Visit Lou Malnati's for a taste of what many claim to be Chicago's best pie.

Day 8 - The Great Plains

Enjoy a free morning in Chicago. Perhaps head to a diner for a traditional American breakfast of pancakes topped with bacon and maple syrup. In the afternoon, we board the California Zephyr for an overnight journey to Grand Junction, a trip that takes us across the cornfields and plains of Iowa and Nebraska. The Zephyr boasts a great Sightseer Lounge where you can relax and enjoy the views speeding past the window before heading to your roomette for a night on the rails.

Day 9 - Grand Junction

After a night spent winding past dramatic peaks and deep ravines, we arrive in Grand Junction, in the heart of Colorado's wine region. We spend the night here, and the rest of the day is free for you to relax or get acquainted with the town. You could stroll along downtown Main Street, where the atmosphere is distinctly 'small-town America', with pleasant cafés and restaurants and characterful gift shops to explore.

Day 10 - Durango & Silverton Railroad

We make our way to Silverton for a journey on the Durango & Silverton Railroad. This is a wonderfully nostalgic rail journey that seemingly takes us back in time to the bygone 'Wild West' era famous from Hollywood movies. Despite being over 130 years old, the line has been in continuous operation since its inception. Its imposing black coal-fired locomotive pulls the distinctive yellow carriages through the remote tree-lined mountain backdrop of Colorado. We travel through breathtaking canyons, past emerald-green rivers, and across the remote wilderness of the National Forest, finally arriving in Durango, where we spend the night.

Day 11 - Monument Valley and Flagstaff

We leave Durango after breakfast, making our way by coach to Flagstaff. Familiar from a hundred westerns, the rugged landscape of Utah's Monument Valley is one of America's defining images, and we discover it today as we pass through on our way. The red-sand desert region sits on the border of Arizona and Utah and is known for its iconic, towering sandstone structures. In Flagstaff, we check into our hotel for the next two nights.

Day 12 - Grand Canyon

We head out along the legendary Route 66 to the town of Williams, where we join the Grand Canyon Railway. Travelling in carriages hauled by historic locomotives, we wind through the landscapes on our way to 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 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and a mile deep. We arrive at the South Rim and the main viewpoint of the Canyon, where the views across the natural wonder are breathtaking.

Day 13 - Las Vegas

Travelling further along iconic Route 66 today, we make our way to Las Vegas, where we spend the night. The city is synonymous with indulgence, glitz and glamour and famed for its neon lights, famous casinos and lively shows. With free time in 'Sin City', head to the iconic Las Vegas Strip where you'll find incredible live shows performed every night, decadent buffets and world-class restaurants, as well as imaginatively themed hotels that mean you can easily visit the likes of Paris, Venice and Egypt all in the same day.

Day 14 - Los Angeles

We continue across the desert to Los Angeles, another of the USA's most iconic destinations. As the home of America's movie industry, the city is home to many of the world's most rich and famous, a fact reflected in its sophisticated modern homes, chic restaurants and exclusive boutiques. Our guided tour introduces us to some of the most well-known spots, including Hollywood Boulevard, where golden stars set into the pavement honour Hollywood's famous names on the renowned Walk of Fame. We check into our hotel where you could enjoy a relaxed evening or head out into LA to explore further.

Day 15 - San Francisco

Leaving the bright lights of Los Angeles behind, we head along the coast to bohemian San Francisco on board the Amtrak Coast Starlight service. On arrival, we check into our hotel for the next two nights. San Francisco is one of America's most-loved destinations, and a place filled with charms and laid-back culture. The city's a visual treat too, with streets lined with colourful Victorian buildings that lead down towards the attractive harbour area, making it a delight to explore.

Day 16 - San Francisco

We begin the day with a transfer to Pier 39, a popular shopping district filled with arcades and restaurants. Here, we meet our tour guide who introduces us to the impressive sights of the city. We see the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman's Wharf, an area famous for its sea lions, on our sightseeing tour. Later, we board a ship for a memorable sunset cruise, taking in the sights of the city as darkness begins to fall - the perfect way to bid farewell to San Francisco.

Day 17 - San Francisco and home

Bidding farewell to the USA, we transfer to the airport today for the overnight flight home.

Day 18 - Home

You arrive back in the UK today 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.

Visa requirements
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

Hilton Garden Inn Burbank Downtown, Burbank

Hilton Garden Inn Burbank Downtown, Burbank

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Hampton Inn Chicago Magnificent Mile, Chicago

Hampton Inn Chicago Magnificent Mile, Chicago

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Holiday Inn & Suites Durango Central, Durango

Holiday Inn & Suites Durango Central, 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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New York Marriott Marquis

New York Marriott Marquis, New York

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Le Meridien Hotel

Le Meridien Hotel, San Francisco

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Courtyard Washington D.C./ US Capitol, Washington D.C.

Courtyard Washington D.C./ US Capitol, Washington D.C.

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Trains

Amtrak Trains
Durango & Silverton Railroad
Grand Canyon Railway

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

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

Extend your holiday

San Francisco
Simply New York

Reviews

4.5 stars4.5 / 5 · 36 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (21)
  2. 4 stars
    (12)
  3. 3 stars
    (2)
  4. 2 stars
    (1)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Paul D

5 stars

Submitted 30/Oct

It was our first visit to America, and it was great. Steve Pritchard our tour guide was brilliant from start to finish, the hotel and tour in New York was great, Washington tour very good hotel could have been better. Chicago was amazing hotel great, we will not be doing a overnight train again but the rest of the train trips were lovely, even the 12hr trip from L A to San Francisco. We loved the trip and will do one again.

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A Stuart

5 stars

Submitted 29/Oct

A great way to see a lot of the USA in short order, in a manner very difficult to organise personally, at modest cost. Our tour guide, Steve Pritchard, was superb and could not have been bettered.

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T Lawson

4 stars

Submitted 14/Oct

Great holiday if a bit frenetic

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D Ellis

3 stars

Submitted 8/Oct

Too rushed too many hours on coaches some poor hotels no real space for rest because of the rush too many hrs looking for food particularly when on one rail journey we had to supermarket shop for breakfast lunch and dinner sandwiches for lunch and dinner not what you would call aholiday

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Patsy Lynch

4 stars

Submitted 26/Sep

The trip was very scenic and tour manager Ed did a good job . We had a lovely group who got on well together . Just a shame we had no welcome drinks or leaving do. The lack of food not included in the trip adds a big cost to the trip.

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Eev

2 stars

Submitted 22/Sep

We enjoyed the itinerary, loved the places we went and I can now tick of monument valley from my bucket list, it did not disappoint. That’s were the good ends I am afraid. The hotels were at best, adequate, most 3 star and in the wrong place making affordable food difficult to obtain. You will need $100 -$150 a day to feed yourself. Being diabetic it was difficult to balance sugar levels as a lot of the time we had to survive on “snacks” When we initially booked the trip it was two days longer with a stop in Denver. This would have broken up the 29 hr train journey which was way to long and I challenge anyone to get any sleep in a Roomette. There was to much free time in Washington & Chicago when the rest of the tour could be a bit rushed This was our 5th trip with Gt Rail and I would not consider another one that did not have all (or at least most) of the meals included I think that better hotels are needed even though this may mean a price increase.

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America Coast to Coast

The ultimate USA adventure, from New York to San Francisco

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