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.
Meet your group and Tour Manager at the Intercontinental Times Square in New York.
On Day 2 we enjoy an authentic American diner breakfast to start our day, before setting out for a guided tour of the 'Big Apple', including Central Park, an open, leafy space set amongst the city's skyscrapers. Later we enjoy a cruise around Manhattan Harbour. We have lunch on board as we spot landmarks including Ellis Island and the torch-wielding icon, the Statue of Liberty.
Today we take Amtrak's Acela Express south to Washington D.C., the nation's seat of government. On arrival we enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city's iconic buildings including the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. Later we transfer to The Mayflower Hotel for a two-night stay. Situated 900 yards away from the White House, The Mayflower Hotel has traditionally been known as 'the hotel of presidents', and indeed, 33rd President Harry S Truman referred to it as the city's 'Second Best Address', the first being the seat of government itself. Our stay here offers luxury with a hint of history, in an establishment that was previously frequented by many of the country's famous political figures since the hotel's opening in 1925.
Day 4 is free. Maybe visit the fantastic Smithsonian Institution - the world's largest museum complex, with 19 museums and even a National Zoo.
We leave Washington on the Capitol Limited sleeper service to Chicago. The journey takes us on the route of the historic Baltimore & Ohio Line, through the Potomac Valley and past the Allegheny Mountains before crossing into Ohio. Relax and enjoy the view from the Sightseer Lounge.
We arrive in Chicago after breakfast on board. Here we enjoy a tour of 'the Windy City', seeing the Levee area and the Little Italy neighbourhood. We then transfer to our hotel. This afternoon we embark on a fascinating cruise exploring Chicago's diverse architecture, before enjoying the superb city views at sunset over a glass of Champagne at 360 Chicago. Day 7 is at leisure, allowing you to explore the city further at your own pace. On Day 8 we join the overnight California Zephyr, travelling through the Great Plains of Nebraska to Denver.
Today we arrive in Denver, nicknamed the 'Mile High City' as it is exactly a mile above sea level. We take an orientation drive of the city centre, overlooked by majestic mountain peaks, before arriving at the Grand Hyatt Denver, where we spend the next two nights.
We travel to Cañon City today, to join the heritage Royal Gorge Route Railroad. Travelling in restored 1950s carriages, we embark on a marvellous journey through the stunning Royal Gorge. Our route also takes us under the Royal Gorge Bridge, the highest suspension bridge in the world.
This morning we join the train for a stunning daytime journey to Grand Junction. We follow more of the route of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad - regarded as one of the USA's most scenic rail journeys - into the Rocky Mountains, past dramatic peaks and deep ravines. We arrive in Grand Junction and overnight at our hotel. This evening we enjoy dinner at the popular Rockslide Brewery.
On Day 12 we transfer to Silverton, to join the narrow-gauge Durango & Silverton Railroad for a journey through the National Forest and the pretty Aminas Valley to Durango. This evening be sure to visit the hotel's famous Diamond Belle Saloon, which recreates the turn of the 20th century with its honky-tonk musicians and 'gunfights'.
Today's journey takes us through Monument Valley into Arizona. The sandstone red buttes and seemingly endless expanse of red sand is not only the typical Wild West image, but is also one of the most legendary sights in the whole of the USA. Later we arrive in Flagstaff, for two nights at the Little America Hotel. Day 14 is free for you to relax in Flagstaff.
We travel by rail to the incredible Grand Canyon today. We transfer to Williams, and join the Grand Canyon Railroad for a wonderful journey in vintage carriages hauled by historic locomotives, to the Grand Canyon, one of the world's most awe-inspiring sights. We arrive at the South Rim and main viewpoint to take in the dramatic vistas, enjoying free time to observe this incredible landmark. Later we make our return journey on the heritage railway, enjoying dinner before we join the Southwest Chief sleeper service to Los Angeles.
Today we discover lively Los Angeles and the 'dream factory' of Hollywood on a guided tour, where we have time to see the footprints of the stars at Mann's Chinese Theatre or to take a stroll along the legendary Hollywood Boulevard. Experience the most luxurious shopping street in the world - Rodeo Drive. This evening, we board the RMS Queen Mary, a former U-boat dodging ocean liner, and a unique base from which to explore Los Angeles from her moorings in Long Beach.
Leaving Los Angeles, we travel on board the Coast Starlight for a journey along the stunning Pacific coast shoreline. On arrival in San Francisco we transfer to the hotel, located in the city's Downtown area. On Day 18 we take a tour of San Francisco, admiring landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge. Your afternoon is free. We then mark our final evening with a farewell dinner during a cruise around San Francisco Bay.
You are free to make your way to the airport for our flight back home.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
For this tour, we recommend you fly in to New York Airport (airport code JFK), which is approximately 17 miles from your first hotel. Our recommended departure airport is San Francisco Airport (SFO), which is approximately 13 miles from your final hotel in San Francisco.
All prices are per person and assume full occupancy of the room.
Please always refer to the website for up-to-date prices and availability.
Amtrak trains provide the passenger rail services in the USA, and relaxing on board one of its comfortable long distance trains is simply the best way to discover this vast country, its great cities and ever-changing landscape.
On overnight journeys, accommodation is in a Roomette Cabin, which are comfortable but compact. Inside you have two comfortable reclining seats beside a large window, which convert to upper and lower berths at night. Each cabin has individual climate control, a fold down table, fresh towels and complimentary bottled water. WC, shower and washroom facilities are located at the end of each carriage. Roomettes are located on both the upper and lower levels of the double-deck carriages.
On some Amtrak trains a limited number of bedrooms are available at a supplement. These cabins have a daytime sofa that converts to a wide lower berth and a comfortable upper berth at night, and the added benefit of their own en suite shower, washbasin and WC. During daytime journeys we travel in comfortable seats with plenty of legroom. On tours involving journeys on overnight sleeper services, passengers enjoy a meal in the restaurant car if they are travelling during a mealtime. Passengers travelling during the day may purchase meals from the restaurant car where this service is provided. Many Amtrak trains also have Lounge, Dinette and Café cars where passengers can buy snacks, meals and beverages and take advantage of the comfy seating.
Washington to the Allegheny Mountains
Our overnight journey on board the Capitol Limited takes us 764 miles (1,230km) from Washington DC to Chicago. We begin at Washington's beautifully restored Union Station and as we leave the city we catch glimpses of landmarks such as the blue and gold dome of the largest Catholic cathedral in the US. The train soon enters the state of Maryland and we begin our climb through the Appalachians, which offers us wonderful views of the Allegheny Mountains along the way.
The full route of the California Zephyr runs from Chicago in the east to Emeryville, California in the west. During our overnight sleeper journey on the California Zephyr as part of our USA Coast to Coast holiday, we travel on just a section of this route - from Chicago to the 'mile high' city of Denver, a 17-hour 1,038 mile (1670 km) trip.
The full journey of the Southwest Chief stretches 2,256 miles (3,631km) from Chicago to Los Angeles, taking passengers on a historic route well-trodden by American Indians, Spanish conquistadors and fur trappers. We travel on just a short section of the route from Flagstaff in Arizona to Los Angeles overnight; we board the train in the evening and arrive at our destination the following morning.
The Coast Starlight runs on the 1,390-mile (2,237km) route from Los Angeles to Seattle, taking its passengers along the shores of the Pacific Ocean, through lush, green valleys and impressive mountain ranges. On our USA Coast to Coast holiday we travel just a short section of this journey from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
Trek across the dramatic peaks and deep ravines of the Rocky Mountains to Grand Junction, in the heart of the Colorado wine region. The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad allows us to step back into the heyday of the American West and explore one of the most imposing and inspiring landscapes on the planet.
The Durango & Silverton Railroad has been in continuous operation since 1882 - now 133 years ago. It still operates steam engines and vintage rolling stock, and, perhaps most impressively, they are all indigenous to the line. The locomotives in use today made their first appearance there between 1923 and 1925.
The line climbs from Durango into the San Juan Mountains at Silverton, on a journey lasting 3 ½ hours. This allows plenty of time to enjoy the magnificent scenery.
Opened in 1901, the Grand Canyon Railway carried passengers and supplies over the sixty-five mile journey from the Arizona town of Williams to Grand Canyon Village at the canyon's South Rim.
A convenient means of visiting one of the USA's greatest natural phenomena, the Grand Canyon Railway remained popular with tourists until the irresistible rise of America's car industry. As the popularity of road travel boomed, the railway's passengers declined and the line became freight-only in 1968 before closing altogether in 1974. Realising that such an iconic line could not be lost, entrepreneurs Max and Thelma Biegert bought the Grand Canyon Railway in 1989, just as its rusting assets were being salvaged for scrap. Its track and rolling stock lovingly restored to its original glory, the railway re-opened in 1990.
Today, although the magnificent steam locomotives that once hauled carriages to and from the Grand Canyon only appear very rarely, the two-hours and fifteen-minute trip to and from Williams remains an unforgettable and nostalgic journey through one of the USA's most spectacular landscapes.
The Royal Gorge Railroad was built to capitalize on the mining industry that had developed in Colorado on the discovery of silver in the area. Constructed by the famous Denver & Rio Grande Railway, it is now generally considered to be the best-known section of their line.
The route opened in 1880 and both passenger and freight services commenced successfully. Owing to declining numbers, the passenger trains were withdrawn in 1967, but the line was still used for freight for another 30 years. In 1998, the railway was purchased by a local company, and heritage passenger services began the following year. For a heritage railway, the Royal Gorge Railroad is slightly unusual in that it has preserved 1950s diesel vehicles, rather than steam locomotives. But this has not stopped it from being tremendously popular ever since its re-opening.
Located in Lower Downtown in Denver, and close to some of Denver's trendiest bars and restaurants, is our hotel, the 4-Star Grand Hyatt Denver. This high-rise hotel offers some excellent facilities, including a café, a bar that is well stocked with microbrews native to Denver, as well as a swimming pool and a fitness centre. The rooms are comfortable, and rooms higher up in the hotel have excellent views of the surrounding area. Available in the rooms are a television, an en-suite bathroom, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Conveniently located in downtown Durango, the esteemed Strater Hotel lays its claim to fame as the inspiration for a number of popular Wild West films. This is due in no small part to its classically decorated interior, with sophisticated Victorian charm. The historic Room 222, where Louis L'Amour penned some of his famous novels, is a designated National Literary Landmark. The hotel boasts a traditional fine Western dining restaurant. Guests can unwind with live music and a selection of cocktails in its two esteemed bars, or in the hotel's theatre. All rooms are well-appointed with authentic Victorian furnishings and are equipped with typical modern amenities expected of a hotel of this standard. A dry cleaning/laundry service is available at this hotel.
The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff stands in 500 acres of ponderosa pine forests at the base of the majestic San Francisco Peaks and offers a perfect base from which to explore the natural wonders of Northern Arizona. The hotel benefits from a full-service restaurant and a lounge bar. Leisure facilities include a fully-equipped gym, a heated outdoor swimming pool (open seasonally) and a hot tub, plus a selection of sports and activities are available on request. The Little America Hotel also has a gift shop selling a wide selection of clothing, books, jewellery, art work and souvenirs. The well-appointed rooms at the Little America Hotel are situated in four two-storey lodges within the grounds. Each room is both comfortable and spacious, featuring two queen-sized beds and a sitting area. Facilities within the room include two telephones, a flat screen television, mini refrigerator, coffee maker, hair dryer, iron and ironing board and a safe. Overnight laundry and dry cleaning services are available at this hotel, as well as a coin-operated laundry.
The 3-Star SpringHill Suites Grand Junction Downtown is our base whilst we stay in Grand Junction. Situated in Historic Downtown, our hotel is ideal for exploring the nearby shops and restaurants. The hotel itself also offers entertainment in the form of live music in the lounge. As well as this, Grand Junction Springhill Suites also contains a fitness suite and an indoor swimming pool. The rooms are air-conditioned throughout, and also include a minifridge, a hairdryer, complimentary Wi-Fi, a television, and tea & coffee-making facilities.
A member of the internationally acclaimed InterContinental family of hotels, the 4-Star InterContinental Hotel Times Square is found in the very heart of the city that never sleeps, New York. Providing an oasis from the busy bustle of the Manhattan streets below, this hotel is tasteful and elegant offering all the necessary amenities for an excellent stay in America's favourite city. Facilities included a cocktail bar with a kitchen, a sculpture garden, a fitness centre and a ballroom. Rooms include a hairdryer and a minibar.
Situated a short walk away from Union Square and many of San Francisco's trendy shops and restaurants is our base during our time here, the 4-Star Palace Hotel. This beautiful and historic hotel was established in 1875 and rebuilt in 1909 after the 1906 earthquake, and still retains its old world charm that is delightfully mixes with some wonderful modern amenities. These include an array of dining options, including elegant afternoon tea in The Garden Court and delicious cuisine in the restaurant, The Pied Piper. There is also a swimming pool and a well-stocked fitness centre that is open 24 hours a day. The comfortable rooms are decorated in neutral tones for maximum relaxation. They are also air-conditioned throughout, and come with an in-room safe, a television, a hairdryer, a minifridge, and internet access (payable locally).
An iconic Washington landmark, and one of the city's most famous and long-serving hotels, the 4-Star Mayflower Hotel is a sophisticated affair. This hotel has played host to innumerable civil servants including several presidents, and has been the site of a number of important meetings between diplomatic parties. It has also seen celebrities, minor and major pass through its white walls. Amenities in the Mayflower include a bar with a kitchen, a fitness centre and an ATM. Rooms feature a hairdryer, bathrobes and an in-room safe.
We offer a selection of upgrades and 'add-ons' designed to help you make the most of your holiday - and make it even easier!