Explore the USA from New York to San Francisco
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. This tour is operated by our sister company Great Rail Journeys.
Our American adventure begins with a flight to New York. Arriving in the evening, we transfer to our hotel, the Holiday Inn Manhattan Financial District. On Day 2 we take a tour of the 'City that Never Sleeps', taking in iconic sights including leafy Central Park and bustling Fifth Avenue.
Following our tour, the rest of your day is then free for you to discover the attractions of the Big Apple under your own steam. You could head to one of the many museums or art galleries or indulge in some retail therapy on prestigious Fifth Avenue. Perhaps hop on the subway and venture down to Chelsea - here you will find the incredible Chelsea Market, as well as a gorgeous park on a disused subway line, called the High Line.
We leave New York behind on today, travelling by rail to Washington District Capital. On arrival, we take a guided coach tour of this capital city, absorbing the famous sights that D.C. is known for the world over, including the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. We spend this evening across the Potomac River from the District Capital in nearby Arlington.
Day 4 begins with a free morning; perhaps take the opportunity to visit Arlington National Cemetery, where more than 400,000 military veterans are interred, as well as famous figures such as John F Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Alternatively, you could visit the fantastic Smithsonian Institution - the world's largest museum complex, with 19 museums and even a National Zoo.
This afternoon, we board the Capitol Limited, for the 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. Dinner is served on board the train this evening.
After breakfast on board this morning, we pull into the 'Windy City.' We take a tour of the city, revisiting the 'dry and lawless years' of the 1920s and 30s that established Chicago's historic reputation as a city of bootleggers. Modern Chicago is glorious, its architecture a key highlight for many visitors. This afternoon is free for you to explore at your own pace; perhaps take this opportunity to discover some of the unique buildings that the city is known for, or delve further in to Chicago's history.
Your morning is free to continue your discovery of Chicago; perhaps take this chance to stroll along the Magnificent Mile. This afternoon we board the California Zephyr, travelling overnight through the Great Plains of Nebraska to Denver.
We arrive into Denver this morning, where we are met by a coach for a tour of the incredible features surrounding the 'Mile High City.' Colorado is famed for its natural beauty, and during our tour we see a slice of it, including the spectacular Red Rocks Park, and of course, the stunning Rocky Mountains that line the Continental Divide. We also enjoy a photo stop at Echo Lake, where crystalline waters are surrounded by the sweeping landscapes of rural Colorado - one of the most scenic spots in a region famed for its attractive vistas.
Later, we drive through the stunning landscapes to Golden, an authentic mountain mining town, famous for the start of the 1859 Gold Rush and still vibrant today. Here you have some free time to arrange lunch, and to explore the range of local cafés and shops that are sprinkled around the town. Later, we continue to Lookout Mountain, for glorious views over the evergreen wilderness below. This is also the final resting place of the larger-thanlife frontiersman William Frederick Cody, better known as 'Buffalo Bill', who earned his reputation and crust hunting buffalo in Colorado. We also visit the Buffalo Bill Museum, dedicated to the life of this colourful character. Early on Day 8, we leave Denver behind, travelling through the Rockies by rail en-route to Grand Junction. On arrival, we check in to the Hampton Inn.
This morning we visit Colorado National Monument, a stunning canyon park that is home to Grand Mesa - the largest flat-topped mountain in the world. Late this afternoon we reboard the California Zephyr, travelling to Salt Lake City.
Day 10 begins with a free morning, ahead of a tour of Temple Square and Brigham Young's Beehive House. One of the official residences of Brigham Young, an early leader of the Mormon movement (also known as the Church of Latter-Day Saints), the Beehive House was built in 1854, and was designed as a grand structure with enough room to accommodate his large, polygamous family. Although it served a number of purposes following Young's death in 1877, today it is used as a historic house museum, its carefullyrestored interiors and period furnishings demonstrating the standards in which Young and his family lived in the early 19th century.
Day 11 is free to explore Salt Lake City. Set on stunning Salt Lake, Utah's capital is startlingly quiet, given that it plays home to 1.2 million people. As the home of the Mormon Church, the city is littered with temples, which you might enjoy seeing on a stroll. Alternatively, settle in to a local coffee-house to watch the world walk by. This evening we catch the overnight train to San Francisco.
We arrive into San Francisco this afternoon, and you are free to settle in. On Day 13 we take a sightseeing tour of the city, including the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman's Wharf, home to a famous population of sea lions. After the tour, you are free; you may wish to visit the infamous island of Alcatraz, most famous for its time as a prison. Known also as 'The Rock', from where there are no known escape survivors, the island's notable former residents include Al Capone and the 'Birdman of Alcatraz'. Alternatively, you could explore the vibrant streets of Chinatown, or ascend the Coit Tower of Telegraph Hill, for captivating views of the city.
After a free morning, we fly to London, arriving on Day 15.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Enhancing your tour
This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
Explore the USA from New York to San Francisco