America’s Beautiful West
America's legendary West beckons with the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park's breathtaking scenery.
America's legendary West beckons with the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park's breathtaking scenery. Get in on all the non-stop action in Las Vegas. Experience history as it comes alive in Sacramento, the majesty of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and Salt Lake's Mormon Temple and Tabernacle. Join us for unforgettable journey aboard Amtrak's Southwest Chief, California Zephyr and comfortable motorcoaches as you explore America's vast, wondrous terrain through panoramic windows. Returning to Chicago, climb through Donner Pass, the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Rockies before you cross the Great Plains. Join us as wheat fields, ranches, cacti, mountains and deserts appear before your eyes, creating indelible memories that will stay with you forever.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Roundtrip rail transportation on Amtrak (2 nights on train)
- Hotel accommodations for 11 nights including a 2-night stay in Fisherman's Wharf and 2-nights on the Las Vegas Strip
- 22 meals
- Grand Canyon National Park
- Yosemite National Park
- Muir Woods
- San Francisco City Tour
- Salt Lake City Tour
- Transportation by deluxe motorocoach
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Baggage handling
Day 1 - En Route - Welcome Aboard!
Meet your tour director in the Metropolitan Lounge of Chicago's Union Station. Board the Southwest Chief at 2:45 pm for a departure time of 3:15 pm and start dreaming about your "Wild West" adventure. Overnight train. (D)
Day 2 - Scenic Wonders En Route to Flagstaff
As you pass through eight states enroute to Flagstaff, you'll feel the same excitement the pioneers felt as they headed west. Follow the Santa Fe Trail through New Mexico and Arizona with huge windows offering panoramic views of the spectacular landscape. Enjoy a brief, trainside walk in Albuquerque at mid afternoon. Continue on the train to Flagstaff, Arizona, scheduled to arrive just before 9:00 pm. Upon arrival, transfer to the nearby hotel for a two-night stay. Overnight Flagstaff. (B, L, D)
Day 3 - The Grand Canyon - A Powerful and Inspiring Landscape along the Colorado River
Today, experience one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Enjoy a continental breakfast at your hotel, then travel by deluxe motor coach to the Grand Canyon. Immense in size, America's most famous natural attraction stirs the soul with colorful strata of rock as well as showcases a powerful record of history. You'll get a chance to view the Canyon from several observation areas with a knowledgeable guide. At the Watchtower, see vistas of the Colorado River, the Canyon, the Painted Desert and Kaibab National Forest. Overnight Flagstaff. (B, L, D)
Day 4 - En Route/Las Vegas, Entertainment Capital of the World
Board your deluxe motor coach and travel northwest 250 miles to fabulous Las Vegas. Late this afternoon, you'll arrive in Las Vegas, the magnificent oasis in the desert. Your home for the next two nights will be at the Tropicana Casino, centrally-located on the Strip. Enjoy the evening on your own. Will you take in a world-renowned show, hit the jackpot in the casino or dine in the restaurant of an award-winning chef? Overnight Las Vegas. (B)
Day 5 - Las Vegas - The Pulsating Strip and Fremont Street
Join us for a tour of three spectacular hotels in Las Vegas. With the afternoon at leisure, you can shop, relax by the pool or continue hotel-hopping. Tonight, you'll experience the original Las Vegas, now known as "downtown," which still rivals the strip as a popular destination. The Fremont Street Experience features an impressive $70-million canopy of light and sound that envelopes the historic hotels and casinos along four city blocks. Then, have free time to explore the fabulous downtown casinos and restaurants. Overnight Las Vegas. (B)
Day 6 - En Route/Merced - California, Here We Come!
Depart Las Vegas on your deluxe motorcoach, stopping in Barstow, California, for lunch on your own. Arrive in Bakersfield in time to catch a 3:45 p.m. San Joaquin train to Merced, California, a modern, double-decker train. Early evening, you'll arrive in Merced, gateway to Yosemite and transfer to your hotel for this evening. Join us for dinner at the Branding Iron. Overnight Merced. (B,D)
Day 7 - Yosemite National Park - Massive Granite Monoliths and Giant Sequoias
Enjoy continental breakfast in your hotel and then board your motorcoach for what is destined to be a spectacular day. Ride the scenic 82-mile journey into the park and experience El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite Falls and Half Dome, the park's most visited attractions. This afternoon, take a two-hour narrated sightseeing tour of this World Heritage Site as the Yosemite experience comes alive with natural beauty and a strong sense of American history. Later this afternoon, we'll continue on to Sacramento, California's capital city with a stop for dinner on your own. Overnight Sacramento. (B)
Day 8 - Sacramento - Gateway to Gold Country
Have the day to explore one of Sacramento's many delightful attractions. Relive the California Gold Rush in historic Old Sacramento or shop to your heart's content in the mega-shopping mall, both within walking distance. History and train buffs will want to visit the fascinating California State Railroad Museum with its 21 restored locomotives and train cars or the majestic State Capitol Building. Overnight Sacramento. (B,D)
Day 9 - En Route/San Francisco - The Golden City by the Bay
This morning you depart Sacramento via motor coach for San Francisco. Stopping for lunch on your own, we'll arrive into the world-famous "City by the Bay" at noon. This afternoon, you're sure to leave your heart in San Francisco with a 3 1/2 hour sightseeing tour, including Chinatown, Golden Gate Park, Jackson Square, Telegraph Hill, the Presidio and Fisherman's Wharf. The afternoon tour will end at Fisherman's Wharf, where you can enjoy dinner at one of its famous seafood restaurants on the water. Overnight Fisherman's Wharf. (B)
Day 10 - San Francisco - Muir Woods
Today we cross the famous Golden Gate Bridge on our way to Muir Woods and its magnificent 800 year old, 250 foot tall redwood trees. Before returning to San Francisco, we will stop in the village of Sausalito with its Mediterranean style. Enjoy dinner on your own in San Francisco this evening. Overnight Fisherman's Wharf. (B)
Day 11 - En Route/Elko, Nevada - Site of the Ruby Mountains
This morning, you have an early departure for the Amtrak station in Emeryville to board the California Zephyr. A comfortable reclining coach seat with leg rest is included. Have lunch and dinner in the dining car today or lighter fare is available in the Sightseer Lounge car. Be sure to visit the Sightseer Lounge for spectacular views of the changing scenery. Traveling eastward, we leave the lush green landscape and palm trees of California and enter the rugged terrain, dotted with pine trees of the high Sierra Nevada Mountains. Pass through the famous Donner Pass this afternoon and arrive in Elko, Nevada. Overnight Elko.
Day 12 - En Route/Price, Utah via Salt Lake City
After a hot breakfast in your hotel, board your motorcoach for the trip to Price, Utah. On the way, we'll tour Salt Lake City, Utah to see the Mormon Temple, Tabernacle, Brigham Young's Monument and private burial ground, Beehive House, Lion House, Eagle Gate, University of Utah, Fort Douglas and Trolley Square. Enjoy lunch and dinner on your own at one of Salt Lake's many ethnic restaurants. Arrive in Price, Utah, in the early evening. Overnight Price. (B)
Day 13 - En Route/Colorado Rockies
After breakfast, you'll board Amtrak's California Zephyr in Helper, Utah for your return trip to Chicago. The train departs at 7:57 a.m. and a comfortable, reclining coach seat with leg rest is included. Private Roomette Bedroom and upgraded Bedrooms are available at an additional cost. Snacks, beverages, and sandwiches are available in the Lounge car throughout the day. Make sure you view the spectacular scenery from the Sightseer Lounge car as we make our way toward Denver, climbing through the awesome Rockies toward the Continental Divide. We'll encounter the famous, five-mile long Moffat Tunnel and, literally, go under the Continental Divide, before passing through Denver. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 14 - En Route to Chicago
The California Zephyr will roll across Iowa and Illinois and arrive in Chicago at mid afternoon. You'll return to Chicago filled with wonderful memories of your golden adventure out West! Post night stays in Chicago are strongly recommended to prevent missed connections. (B, L)
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Hotels include the DoubleTree (Flagstaff), Tropicana (Las Vegas), Hampton Inn (Merced), Holiday Inn (Sacramento), Holiday Inn Fisherman's Wharf, The Red Lion (Elko), and Holiday Inn (Price).
Amtrak accommodations are available in Coach class, Roomette and Bedroom. Coach accommodations include a reclining seat with leg rest. Roomette accommodations include a private cabin that features two comfortable seats beside a picture window during the day, which converts to an upper and lower berth at night. Bedroom accommodations feature a sofa and chair by day and upper and lower berth by night. Bedroom accommodations also include a sink and self-enclosed toilet and shower. All train accommodations include all meals aboard the train and access to the Sightseer Lounge car.
*Vacations By Rail can supply connecting rail from your closest Amtrak Station.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|3rd September 2014||$2,895||Book Now|
|10th September 2014||$2,895||Book Now|
|3rd September 2014||$3,485||Book Now|
|10th September 2014||$3,485||Book Now|
|3rd September 2014||$4,270||Book Now|
|10th September 2014||$4,270||Book Now|
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Pre and Post night hotel stays are recommended in Chicago.
Vacations By Rail can supply connecting rail from your closest Amtrak Station.