Western Flower Tour
Visit the most extraordinary floral sites in the western United States and Canada on this spectacular escorted tour.
Visit the most extraordinary floral sites in the western United States and Canada on this spectacular escorted tour. Beginning in Chicago, travel by train to Los Angeles, where your visits include the Descanso Gardens and Carlsbad Flower Fields. Continue aboard the Coast Starlight to Portland for a visit to the Lan Su Chinese Gardens and the International Rose Test Garden. Continue by train and coach through Seattle and into Vancouver for visits to Queen Elizabeth Park and Victoria’s Butchart Gardens.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Roundtrip transportation by Amtrak rail and deluxe motorcoach
- First-class hotel accommodations for six nights
- Private Roomette sleeping accommodations on the trains for five nights
- Sightseeing at Yosemite and admission to all included activities
- Baggage handling, taxes & tips
- 16 meals
- Services of a professional Tour Director
Day 1 - Depart Chicago
Western Flower Tour members will meet the Tour Director in Chicago's Union Station. The Willis Tower is close by. Other Chicago attractions are a brief cab ride away. We'll board the Southwest Chief this afternoon. The Chief features double-decker Superliner equipment. Relax in your comfortable private Roomette sleeping accommodations. Bedrooms are available at an additional cost. After settling in, you may want to go to the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge car. Coffee, juice, and water are available in your sleeping car. All meals on the trains are included beginning with a full-course dinner in the diner tonight. (D)
Day 2 - En Route
During the night we traveled across the state of Kansas. We will be near the Colorado border when you awake. Today you will begin to relive the excitement of the Santa Fe Trail as we cross New Mexico and Arizona. The huge train windows offer a panoramic view of the spectacular scenery. You will have time for a trainside walk when we arrive in Albuquerque mid afternoon. Spend time in the Sightseer Lounge car. All three delicious dining car meals are included today. (B, L & D)
Day 3 - Descanso Gardens
You'll want to have an early breakfast (included) since we're scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles' Union Station at 8:15 a.m. Upon arrival, we'll board our deluxe motorcoach and travel for about an hour to La Canada Flintridge, home of the Descanso Gardens. Today Descanso Gardens is home to North America's largest camellia collection - more than 34,000 plants and more than 700 camellia taxa, which includes species, varieties, cultivars and hybrids, growing on 20 acres. Many of these camellias are more than 20 feet in height. The Camellia Forest boasts rare and familiar camellias and has been designated an International Camellia Garden of Excellence by the International Camellia Society. Camellias at Descanso bloom from early autumn to spring. A boxed lunch is included.
Following our visit to the Descanso Gardens, we'll continue on to Universal City where we'll enjoy the hospitality of the Hilton Universal City hotel for the next two nights. Count on a variety of fun activities during your two nights in Universal City. Universal CityWalk Hollywood is a three-block entertainment, dining and shopping promenade. Options include more than 30 great places to eat, a 19-screen movie theatre featuring an eight-story-high IMAX®, seven hot night spots including the new Jon Lovitz Comedy Club and Samba Brazilian Steakhouse & Lounge, indoor skydiving, and more than 30 stores. (B & L)
Day 4 - Carlsbad Flower Fields
This morning we'll board a deluxe motorcoach and travel south along the Pacific Ocean coastline to Carlsbad, home of the Flower Fields. Take yourself out of the ordinary and spend a few hours in one of nature's wonders - the Fields of Dreams, the Fields of Color. 50 acres of extraordinary color in bloom on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with a special nursery, garden, and gift shop.You'll want to visit the Miniature Rose Garden. The American Rose Society's highest award for miniature roses, The Award of Excellence, is presented to cultivars that have proved to be outstanding in designated test gardens throughout the United States over the two year period. Our visit will continue into the afternoon. An “on-your-own” lunch is available. A tractor-pulled cart will carry us around the fields. We'll return to Los Angeles and Universal City. Enjoy another fabulous evening on the CityWalk.
Day 5 - Coast Starlight
This morning we'll transfer by motorcoach to Los Angeles' Union Station. At 10:10 a.m. we'll depart on the famous Coast Starlight. We'll travel 1190 miles from Los Angeles to Portland. Relax in your comfortable private Superliner sleeping accommodations. After settling in, you may want to go to the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge car. Coffee, juice, and water are available in your car. The scenic highlights of the day will be the traversing of a number of mountain ranges and about 100 miles of the awesome Pacific Ocean coastline. (L & D)
Day 6 - Coast Starlight / Portland
Set your own leisurely schedule today as you continue to enjoy all of the activities aboard this train. You won't want to miss the spectacular scenery of the towering, snow-covered Cascade Mountains (with its 22 tunnels and innumerable hairpin turns) that is just outside your wide train window this morning. We will continue to roll northward this afternoon through the Willamette Valley. Our arrival into Portland is scheduled for 3:32 p.m. We'll transfer to the Courtyard by Marriott Portland City Center. There are restaurant options nearby. (B & L)
Day 7 - Lan Su Chinese Garden
This morning we'll visit the Lan Su Chinese Garden. The mission of the Lan Su Chinese Garden is to cultivate an oasis of tranquil beauty and harmony to inspire, engage, and educate the global community in the appreciation of a richly authentic Chinese culture. The living collection at the Lan Su Chinese Garden presents hundreds ofnative Chinese plant species and forms. Following an “on-your-own” lunch, we'll transfer to the Portland Amtrak station where we'll board a Cascade Service train for Vancouver, British Columbia. The Talgo train features comfortable reclining coach seats and a Lounge/ Bistro car where sandwiches, snacks and beverages are available. Arrival into Vancouver is scheduled for 10:50 p.m.. Upon arrival, we'll transfer to the Blue Horizon hotel, our home for the next three nights.
Day 8 - Butchart Gardens
This morning we'll board a British Columbia ferry for Vancouver Island. If there were a highlight for this magnificent floral adventure, it would probably be Butchart Gardens. You'll find a 35-acre tapestry of brilliant colors in a former limestone quarry. An “on-your-own” lunch is available at several on-site spots. We will return to our hotel this evening.
Day 9 - Queen Elizabeth Park
This morning we'll transfer the short distance to Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver's horticultural jewel. Queen Elizabeth Park holds within its perimeters some of the most beautiful public gardens anywhere. The main Quarry Garden offers a moment of high drama when first approached and viewed from the park's rim. We will return to our hotel for our final evening in Vancouver
Day 10 - En Route
You are free this morning to relax or take in more of Vancouver's sights before we board a deluxe motorcoach for Seattle. This afternoon we'll board Amtrak's Empire Builder and travel 2200 miles to Chicago. Relax in your private Roomette sleeping accommodations. Bedrooms are available at an additional cost. All full course dining car meals are included. The Empire Builder is one of Amtrak's premier trains. The gourmet side of riding the Empire Builder will begin at dinner and continue through tomorrow's three meals and breakfast and lunch the following day. After settling in, you may want to go to the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge to enjoy the beautiful Puget Sound scenery between Seattle and Everett. (D)
Day 11 - En Route
Enjoy a delicious dining car breakfast and then head for the Sightseer Lounge car. About 8:00 a.m., a dramatic panorama of snow-covered Rocky Mountain peaks will begin to rise above the horizon, becoming increasingly dynamic as we approach Glacier National Park. The scenery is striking as we wind past waterfalls, river gorges and other sights. The rest of the day we'll cross the remote flatlands of eastern Montana and western North Dakota. (B, L & D)
Day 12 - En Route to Chicago
Breakfast and lunch on the train are included. The train makes a brief stop in Minneapolis - St. Paul this morning and heads south along the west bank of the Mississippi River. The train travels between the river bank and high bluffs. Later we pass through the picturesque Dells Country of Wisconsin. The Empire Builder is scheduled to arrive in Chicago's Union Station late this afternoon. Upon arrival some travelers will continue to home destinations. Others will spend the night in Chicago and continue home tomorrow. (B & L)
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|14th April 2016||$3,495||Book Now|
|14th April 2016||$4,790||Book Now|
|Departs Daily between 1st April 2017 and 30th April 2017||$0||
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Roomette: Departs 14th April 2016 ($3,495)
Bedroom: Departs 14th April 2016 ($4,790)
Register for free notification of 2017 dates & rates: Departs daily between 1st April 2017 and 30th April 2017 from $0