Grand Canyon & the West Coast
Nature's wonders abound on this 12-day rail vacation to the western US Highlights.
Book a pre- or post-night hotel in conjunction with any USA or Canada train vacation or rail-cruise package from the Vacations By Rail 2015 brochure, and receive a free city sightseeing tour!
Book by December 31, 2014 to take advantage of this special offer on 2015 travel!
Nature's wonders abound on this 12-day rail vacation to the western US Highlights. Travel aboard three renowned trains--the Southwest Chief, Grand Canyon Railway and Coast Starlight—to visit the Grand Canyon, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sausalito and Muir Woods.
Begin your adventure in the Windy City, where you will have time at leisure to sightsee and explore popular locations such as Navy Pier, “The Bean” in Millennium Park and the observation deck at the famous Willis Tower. Then, venture to Chicago's famous Union Station to begin your rail-journey southwest to the Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon has a rich rail history, which can be experienced on a ride to the Canyon's South Rim aboard the famous Grand Canyon Railway. Your breath will be taken away by the gorgeous profound canyons and spectacular sunset. Concluding your time at the Grand Canyon, and journey west to the star studded Los Angeles. Keep your cameras close for a possible celebrity sighting, and get ready to have your heart drop as you ride the petrifying rides at Universal Studios.
Following your stay in Hollywood, head north aboard the Coast Starlight to your next destination, San Francisco. This gorgeous city is settled right next to the bay, and is filled with a variation of delicious food and lively entertainment. Conclude your rail vacation with an excursion to the Muir Woods, one of the last remaining groves of the virgin Coastal Redwoods. Take some time to shop in the quaint shops or dine in one of the several waterfront restaurants. Spend the night in San Francisco before journeying back home the following day.
Vacations By Rail can provide connecting rail from your nearest Amtrak Station.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Transportation aboard Amtrak (2 nights on train)
- Hotel accommodations for 9 nights including 2 nights at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon
- Select meals (meals onboard train when upgrading to a roomette or bedroom)
- Chicago Hop On/Hop Off trolley tour
- Roundtrip travel aboard the Grand Canyon Railway
- Universal Studios theme park pass
- Muir Woods and Sausalito excursion
Day 1 - Welcome to Chicago
Arrive in Chicago and spend the day exploring the city at your leisure. Overnight Chicago.
Day 2 - Explore Chicago
Spend the day discovering the city's top attractions with a hop on/hop off trolley tour. Stops include Millennium Park, the Art Institute, Navy Pier, and Willis Tower among other popular landmarks. Take time to shop along the Magnificent Mile and enjoy a delicious meal at one of the city's fine restaurants. Overnight Chicago.
Day 3 - Journey to the Southwest
Take the morning to stroll along the lakefront or finish some last minute shopping. This afternoon transfer on your own to Chicago's historic Union Station, where you board Amtrak's Southwest Chief for your 3:00 pm departure. As the train begins its journey southwest, visit the Sightseer Lounge for panoramic views of the passing scenery. Overnight train. (D Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 4 - Southwest Chief En Route to Williams Junction
Relax aboard the train and drink in the stunning scenery as the plains of the Midwest give way to desert scenes as you travel into New Mexico and Arizona. The Southwest Chief is scheduled to arrive in Williams Junction at 9:30 pm this evening. A shuttle is waiting to take you from the rail station to your hotel. Get a good night's sleep in preparation of your full day tomorrow! Overnight Williams. (B, L, D Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 5 - Grand Canyon Railway to the South Rim
After an early breakfast at the Grand Depot Café, board the historic Grand Canyon Railway for the journey to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, traveling the same route once taken by former U.S. presidents and Hollywood stars. Upon arrival, embark on a Freedom Tour featuring visits to scenic overlooks of the canyon including Mohave Point and Hermits Rest. The remainder of the day is yours to explore the South Rim at your leisure. Overnight Grand Canyon. (B)
Day 6 - Grand Canyon: A Natural Wonder of the World
The South Rim of the Canyon is brimming with history. Make time to visit Desert View Watchtower, which offers views of the bottom of the Canyon and the Colorado River, and Bright Angel Lodge and its museum dedicated to Fred Harvey. Spend the morning exploring the South Rim on your own, or you may wish to take an optional guided tour. Overnight Grand Canyon.
Day 7 - Grand Canyon Railway to Williams
The morning is yours to snap your last pictures of the Grand Canyon as you revisit your favorite overlooks and historic buildings. This afternoon, return to Williams aboard the Grand Canyon Railway. Enjoy dinner this evening at the Grand Depot Café before boarding the Southwest Chief for your overnight journey en route to Los Angeles. Overnight train. (D)
Day 8 - Welcome to Hollywood
The Southwest Chief arrives in Los Angeles this morning. Transfer on your own to your hotel with the remainder of the day at your leisure. Los Angeles is brimming with things to see and do. Visit Santa Monica Pier, shop like the stars along Rodeo Drive, or stroll the Venice Beach Boardwalk. Overnight Los Angeles. (B Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 9 - Universal Studios
Spend the day at Universal Studios Hollywood! Your pass gives you full-day access to this movie-based theme park featuring thrilling attractions and behind-the-scenes studio tours. Overnight Los Angeles.
Day 10 - Coast Starlight to San Francisco
This morning transfer on your own to Los Angeles' Union Station. Board Amtrak's Coast Starlight and travel along the dazzling Pacific coastline to Emeryville. This is undoubtedly one of the most scenic rail journeys! Arrive in Emeryville and transfer by shuttle to the San Francisco Ferry building, where you can take a taxi for the short ride to your hotel. Overnight San Francisco.
Day 11 - Excursion to Muir Woods
Today travel north across the Golden Gate Bridge for a visit to Muir Woods, one of the few remaining groves of virgin Coastal Redwoods, the tallest and oldest trees in existence! Next, visit Sausalito, a village of art galleries, quaint shops and waterfront restaurants offering views of San Francisco across the bay. The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy all that San Francisco has to offer including Chinatown, Golden Gate Park, and Ghirardelli Square. Overnight San Francisco.
Day 12 - Return Home
Your vacation comes to an end this morning. Transfer on your own to the airport or railway station for your return trip home.
Rail Your Way
Add more flexibility to your rail vacation by choosing when and where to begin and end your vacation. Whether you want to go east to west, west to east, north to south, south to north, start at the beginning, travel the reverse itinerary or begin in the middle, Rail Your Way allows you to tailor make your rail vacation so you can have the experience you want.
Look for the Rail Your Way icon to identify those vacations that offer customized rail connections or joining points. Ask your rail specialist how you can have Rail Your Way!
Add a Cruise
Many of our rail vacations begin and end in popular port cities. Spice up your vacation by adding an ocean or river cruise aboard your preferred cruise line to your itinerary and experience the best of both worlds. Popular cruises include Alaska’s Inside Passage, the Panama Canal, New England and Eastern Canada, and historic river towns along the Mississippi River.
Look for the Add a Cruise icon to identify those vacations that offer pre- or post-cruises. Ask your rail specialist how you can Add a Cruise!
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Hotels include the Palmer House Hilton, Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, Maswik Lodge, Millennium Biltmore Hotel, and Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf. 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
Hotel accommodations are based on availability; substitutes will be similar in quality and amenities.
+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.
|Departs Daily between 1st May 2015 and 20th October 2015||$2230||
|Departs Daily between 1st May 2015 and 20th October 2015||$2904||
|Departs Daily between 1st May 2015 and 20th October 2015||$3592||
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Amtrak Coach: Departs daily between 1st May 2015 and 20th October 2015 from $2230
Amtrak Roomette: Departs daily between 1st May 2015 and 20th October 2015 from $2904
Amtrak Bedroom: Departs daily between 1st May 2015 and 20th October 2015 from $3592