America Coast to Coast by Rail
From New York To Washington DC, Chicago, Rocky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Hollywood, San Francisco. - 16 Nights
- Departing from:
- New York
- Washington DC, Chicago, Rocky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Hollywood, San Francisco.
- 16 Nights
- This escorted rail tour has regular departures May to October
- Tour Operator:
- Vacations By Rail
- Reference Code:
Price per person
From the diverse cities of the East Coast to the plains and prairies of the Midwest and the great mountains and canyons of the West, America is a land filled with magnificent scenery to behold. On this once-in-a-lifetime rail journey, spend 17 days soaking in the sights and experiences that only the United States can provide. Your photo album will include many of the country's highlights, including the Statue of Liberty, the White House, the Wild West, the Colorado Rockies, the Grand Canyon, Hollywood Boulevard and the Golden Gate Bridge. Begin your journey with sightseeing in the Big Apple and two days to explore the history and culture of Washington, D.C. From here, enjoy an overnight trip on Amtrak's Capitol Limited to the heart of the Midwest, Chicago. Take a couple of days to immerse yourself in Windy City's vast offerings ahead of boarding Amtrak's California Zephyr for an overnight train ride to Grand Junction. The change in scenery is quite dramatic, with the stunning Rocky Mountains coming into view. Discover Colorado's mining towns and its most scenic heritage train, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The journey continues westward to Arizona, passing through Monument Valley en route to Flagstaff, gateway to the Grand Canyon. Here, we make the short drive to Williams, where we board the Grand Canyon Railway and travel to Grand Canyon National Park, a pinnacle of the tour. Our westward journey continues to Las Vegas and later to Los Angeles, where we board Amtrak's Coast Starlight for a memorable ride up the Pacific coastline to San Francisco, where the tour concludes. Join us for a discovery of America's treasures from coast to coast.
Amtrak is America’s leading intercity passenger line, offering convenient service between nearly 500 destinations spread amongst 46 states, the District of Columbia, and three Canadian provinces. Besides providing daytime transit between cities, the line also includes 15 long-distance routes that traverse through the Midwest, along the East Coast, up the West Coast, and meander through the Southwest. Travelers may even travel across the United States by connecting Amtrak’s unique long-distance routes.
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 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.
Relive the golden age of railroads and discover a Colorado few get to see. Rio Grande Scenic Railroad’s steam engine rides through breathtaking mountain valleys and passes on hundreds of miles of historic rail. The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad begins in Alamosa, CO and travels on historic tracks over La Veta Pass that were completed on June 22, 1878. Passengers can again experience excursion trains on rails that curve and wind through steep rocky grade and mountain meadows with elk, eagles and bears cohabiting the land. Rio Grande Scenic Railroad is now home to passenger cars and locomotives that span the country and the decades. The heavyweight open window cars from the Southern Railroad come from as far back as the roaring 20’s. They include the iconic “Lookout Mountain,” an open-air car giving passengers an unparalleled view of the passing scenery. On the contrast, the “C-1” cars are enclosed and air conditioned and were built for the Long Island Railroad in New York state. The “Cambridge Inn” car is a converted sleeping car from 1949 from the mighty Pennsylvania Railroad and the “Sunset View” built in 1954 is a full-length Vista dome car from Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The legendary “Mardi Gras” was originally built as a coach but was re-built by after World War II into a luxury round end observation club car, bar included. It is believed that Steve Goodman wrote the much-beloved song “City of New Orleans” while aboard this car riding on its namesake train.
The historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad weaves a tale of human ingenuity and natural beauty as it travels on its 45-mile route between Durango and Silverton in Colorado. Aboard fully restored steam trains that are original to the line and open-air gondolas that offer uninhibited views of the surrounding scenery, passengers relive the region’s mining past and marvel at panoramic vistas of the Animas River and its gorge.
Amongst scenery that is seemingly frozen in time, the historic Grand Canyon Railway follows a 65-mile course through the Old West, connecting Williams, Arizona, with one of the world’s great wonders, the Grand Canyon. The train operates daily except Christmas and offers an experience unlike any other. Passengers can look forward to storytelling and old-fashioned entertainment and enjoy spectacular views of the high desert, steep-sided dry creeks, and Ponderosa pine forests. At the end of the journey, one of the last remaining log depots in the country greets guests at the magnificent Grand Canyon.
Arrive in New York City and transfer on your own to our centrally located hotel. Meet your group and Tour Manager with the remainder of the day at leisure. Start exploring on your own or grab a bite to eat at one of the city’s amazing restaurants. Overnight New York.
Today, we enjoy a cruise around Manhattan Harbor, spotting landmarks like Ellis Island and the torch-wielding icon, the Statue of Liberty from our unique vantage point on the water. Later, we take a guided tour of the Big Apple, including sprawling Central Park, expansive green space set against the city’s skyscrapers. This evening is at leisure to feel the energy of Manhattan and experience New York City your way. Overnight New York.
Today we make the short journey south by train to the nation’s capital, Washington, DC. On arrival, we’re met by our deluxe motorcoach for a transfer to our hotel. En route, enjoy an orientation tour of this historic city and see its important landmarks, such as the White House. After checking into our hotel, the remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight Washington, DC.
The day is free to explore Washington, DC, as you like. You may wish to re-visit some of the sites from yesterday’s tour, like Capitol Hill, explore a new neighborhood, such as historic Georgetown, or visit the world’s largest art, science, and history museum complex, the fantastic Smithsonian. Overnight Washington, DC.
We depart Washington, DC late this afternoon on Amtrak’s Capitol Limited. This train offers a classic overnight rail experience between Washington, DC and Chicago, following the historic B&O line through the Potomac Valley. Our route takes us past historic Harpers Ferry and the Allegheny Mountains into Pittsburgh, before crossing into Ohio and heading north to Cleveland, across Indiana and eventually into the heart of Chicago. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the passing scenery from the comfort of the Sightseer Lounge before moving to the dining car to enjoy dinner – included as part of the journey. Overnight train
We arrive in Chicago after breakfast on board the Capitol Limited. On arrival, we board a coach at the station for a city tour 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 less infamous landmarks. We conclude our sightseeing tour at our hotel, where the remainder of the day is yours after check-in. Overnight Chicago.
Your day is free to explore Chicago on you like. Our hotel is centrally located within walking distance of Chicago’s Navy Pier, the shops of the Magnificent Mile, and the beautiful lakefront. The Willis Tower – Chicago’s equivalent of the Empire State Building – is a must-see and offers superb panoramas over the city, the lake and the landscapes beyond. The nearby Hancock Center boasts similarly terrific views. Alternatively, you could venture down to Lake Michigan and enjoy a harbor cruise; visit the city’s famous art, science, astronomy, and history museums; or, discover a one of the city’s colourful neighbourhoods. Treat yourself to a taste of Chicago and indulge in some delicious cuisine, like a slice of deep-dish pizza or an Italian beef. Overnight Chicago.
After a free morning, we board the legendary California Zephyr for an overnight journey to Grand Junction, which takes us across the cornfields and plains of Iowa and Nebraska. The Zephyr has a Sightseer Lounge where you can relax and enjoy the views while mingling with your fellow travellers. Dinner is served in the train’s dining car. Overnight train.
We arrive in Grand Junction, situated on Colorado’s Western Slope in the heart of its wine region. We are met at the train station by our deluxe motorcoach and transfer to our hotel with the remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight Grand Junction.
Today we travel by coach into the San Juan Mountains to the historic mining town of Silverton. Here, we board one of the most scenic heritage railways in the Southwest, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, for the scenic journey through the Animas River Gorge to Durango, a Wild West town brimming with history. This evening, enjoy the restaurants and unique shops in downtown Durango. Overnight Durango.
Today presents a full day of southwest scenes on our drive from Durango to Flagstaff. We make many stops along the way, but perhaps the most famous is Monument Valley. Familiar from hundreds of Westerns, the rugged landscape of Monument Valley is one of America’s defining images. Overnight Flagstaff.
We drive along legendary Route 66 to the town of Williams this morning, where we join the Grand Canyon Railway. Travel in carriages hauled by historic locomotives to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and see one of the world’s most awe-inspiring sights. 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. There is ample time to see the Canyon from several viewpoints before we return to Flagstaff for the evening. Overnight Flagstaff.
Today, we journey to fabulous Las Vegas, where your afternoon is at leisure to properly enjoy ‘Sin City’ itself. Enjoy some games of chance, lounge poolside, or enjoy some of the city’s top-notch entertainment. Overnight Las Vegas.
We drive to Los Angeles today. After checking into our hotel, we embark on an exploratory sightseeing tour, including a stop at iconic Hollywood Boulevard, dedicated to celebrating the city’s entertainment history. Overnight Los Angeles.
After breakfast at our hotel, we transfer to Los Angeles’ Union Station and board Amtrak’s Coast Starlight for a daytime journey along the dazzling Pacific Coast to San Francisco. Overnight San Francisco.
We begin our explorations of the City by the Bay with a guided tour that includes the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge and the popular Fisherman’s Wharf, home to a much-loved population of sea lions. This evening, we walk to the pier for a sunset cruise featuring spectacular views of the city from the bay’s waters. Overnight San Francisco.
You tour concludes this morning.
Due to changes in Amtrak’s schedule, departure dates reflected below may vary.
- All rail and coach travel throughout
- 2 Heritage rail journeys and 4 Amtrak journeys
- 2 overnight train journeys in two-berth roomette (meals included)
- Hotel accommodations for 14 nights
- EXCURSIONS & ENTERTAINMENT
- Services of a professional tour escort and knowledgeable local guides for touring
- WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Cancellation & Travel Insurance is not included in the price of the tour but can be arranged
- Flights and Airport transfers
- Heritage rail journeys on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and the Grand Canyon Railway
- Cruise Manhattan’s harbor and see the Statue of Liberty
- See the best of Washington, DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco on city orientation tours
- Step back to Colorado’s mining past on an excursion aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
- Stand in awe of one of the Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon