Seattle/San Francisco Express - 10 Day Tour
Set your own pace on this exciting rail tour to two of the Pacific Coast’s most exciting cities, Seattle and San Francisco! Beginning in Chicago, board Amtrak’s Empire Builder for the 2,206-mile journey to the Emerald City, Seattle. Enjoy two days exploring the city on your own before traveling south along the Pacific Coast by Amtrak’s Coast Starlight train to the City by the Bay, San Francisco. Your stay is filled with time at leisure to see and do what you like. Return to Chicago aboard the legendary California Zephyr.
Day 1 – Depart Chicago aboard the Empire Builder
This afternoon, arrive at Chicago’s Union Station and board Amtrak’s Empire Builder for the 2,200-mile journey to Seattle, Washington. Relax in your private sleeping accommodations or enjoy the passing scenery from the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge car. Overnight train. (D)
Day 2 – En Route to Seattle
During the day we will roll across the remote flat lands of North Dakota and eastern Montana. A wine and cheese party will be held this afternoon. Around 5:00 pm, a dramatic panorama of rocky mountain peaks will begin to rise above the horizon. The scenery is striking as we wind past waterfalls, river gorges, and other sights. The glass-walled lounge and the dining car are excellent vantage points. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 3 – Arrive in Seattle
Rise early to watch the sun come up over breathtaking scenery. Around 7:00 am, the Empire Builder will enter the 7.8-mile long Cascade Tunnel. Over the next several hours we’ll wind through the scenic Cascade Mountains, Finally, we roll south along the Puget Sound area and ease into Seattle mid-morning.
Upon arrival, we’ll transfer to our centrally-located boutique hotel, within walking distance of restaurants, shops, Pike Place Market and the Paramount Theatre. There will be free time for you to explore the city including the Space Needle and Pioneer Square. You may wish to take a tour of the Boeing plant, a hop on/hop off tour of the city, or a Puget Sound dinner cruise. Overnight Roosevelt Hotel. (B)
Day 4 – Seattle at Leisure
You have another full day to enjoy the sights in fabulous Seattle! Overnight Roosevelt Hotel.
Day 5 – Coast Starlight to San Francisco
At 9:45 am, we’ll board the famous Coast Starlight, the heart of which is the Pacific Parlour Car*. For exclusive use by sleeping car passengers, this double-decker “living room on rails” features three types of luxurious seating, a full bar, food serving area, and a movie theater. Overnight train. (L, D)
Day 6 – San Francisco
You can elect to have a full breakfast in the dining car or a continental breakfast in the Pacific Parlour Car. The train is scheduled to arrive in Emeryville at 8:15 am. Transfer by deluxe motorcoach to San Francisco and check into the hotel, located in the heart of the shopping, theater and restaurant district. Many famous San Francisco attractions are located nearby, including the world-famous cable car right at the corner. Your sightseeing options in San Francisco are endless! In addition to a hop on/hop off double-decker bus, there is Alcatraz, Muir Woods, Sausalito, North Beach and Chinatown. Overnight Handlery Hotel. (B)
Day 7 – San Francisco at Leisure
Today brings more time at your leisure to see and do what you like in the City by the Bay. Overnight Handlery Hotel.
Day 8 – California Zephyr Bound for Chicago
Board the famous California Zephyr for the return journey across five states to Chicago. This is the most scenic long-distance journey in the U.S.! After settling into your onboard accommodations, you may wish to set off to explore the train, taking time to linger in the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge, a great place to view the passing scenery. As we travel eastward, we leave the lush green landscape and palm trees of California behind and enter the rugged terrain of the high Sierra Nevada Mountains. Overnight train. (L, D)
Day 9 – En Route
This morning the California Zephyr passes through eastern Utah and western Colorado. Following your delicious dining car breakfast, you’ll want to view the spectacular scenery from the Sightseer Lounge car. When we leave Glenwood Springs at 12:50 pm, we’ll travel through the towering Glen Canyon and climb through the awesome Rockies toward the Continental Divide. The mountain vistas will continue throughout the afternoon, arriving in the Denver area after 7:00 pm. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 10 – Arrive in Chicago
During the night, the train travels across the Great Plains. The California Zephyr rolls across Iowa and Illinois before a late afternoon arrival in Chicago. (B, L)
*The Pacific Parlour Car occasionally requires being pulled for maintenance without notice.
Prices are land-only, per person. Prices are correct at the time of this web page going live; however are subject to confirmation at time of booking.