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Classic Coast to Coast by Rail

6 days From $872 per person
3.3 stars(10 reviews)

Get ready for an amazing coast-to-coast adventure, starting in New York City and ending in the "City by the Bay," San Francisco.

Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary

2024 Tour code: TU-CCRW-24

About the tour

Begin by exploring the Big Apple at leisure. Make sure to visit popular sites such as the Empire State Building, Central Park, Times Square, just to name a few. After spending time in New York, board Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited towards Chicago. There's no better way to see this great country than by looking out the dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows of the train. After boarding the California Zephyr at Chicago's historic Union Station, begin your journey to San Francisco. San Francisco is full of classic highlights like the Golden Gate Bridge and Chinatown.

This vacation is available from San Francisco to New York City based on your travel preference.


What’s included


Day 1 - New York City

Your tour starts in sophisticated New York City where you'll check into your hotel, near the heart of Times Square. Catch a Broadway play, see what's happening at Madison Square Garden or take a carriage ride through Central Park. Enjoy dinner at one of New York's fabulous restaurants and be dazzled by Times Square, all lit up at night. Overnight New York City.

Day 2 - New York City at Leisure / Board the Lake Shore Limited

The morning is yours to explore New York City. Take time to visit some of the city's most renowned and important sights including the famous Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Wall Street, Central Park, and Ground Zero. Then board the Lake Shore Limited at Penn Station. Read, listen to music or chat with your fellow travelers. Check out a map of your journey in the Lounge Car as you gaze out at the passing scenery and enjoy a meal. As you head west, you'll pass some historic points of interest such as West Point Academy, Bannerman's Castle and FDR's National Historic Site. You'll then travel 130 miles along the Hudson River, also known as "America's Rhine" for its natural beauty, passing by Albany, the NY state capitol. Continue west through Ohio and Indiana as you make your way to historic Union Station in Chicago. Overnight train.

  • Dinner
Day 3 - Arrive in Chicago, transfer to the California Zephyr

Your train pulls into Chicago around 10:00 am and you'll have time to explore the "Windy City" before your train leaves this afternoon. Enjoy a taste of Chicago-style pizza, go to the top of nearby Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) observatory, and see "The Bean" in Millennium Park. Then board the legendary California Zephyr for your 2:00 pm departure. Follow the train's route in the dining car or Sightseeing Lounge with its floor to ceiling windows as you head west. Overnight train.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Enroute to San Francisco via America the beautiful

You'll awake this morning as sweeping vistas of the glorious Rocky Mountains come into view. Enjoy a delicious hot breakfast in the dining car. But keep your camera handy. You won't want a miss a second of the spectacular scenery that greets you at every turn. Just west of Denver, the Zephyr will begin its momentous climb towards the Continental Divide, winding around sharp mountain curves and through the "Tunnel District." On your way to Moffat Tunnel, you'll reach our highest elevation, more than 9,000 feet above sea level. Other highlights include Glenwood and Ruby Canyons and Grand Junction, the gateway to Mesa Verde National Park. Pass through Salt City around 11:00 pm this evening. Overnight train.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - Arrive in San Francisco

Running across the glorious snow-capped Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Zephyr travels through the Truckee River, Donner Pass, onto Reno and Sacramento, then into Emeryville/San Francisco. Once in San Francisco, you'll connect by a motorcoach to the Ferry Building. Check in to your hotel for the evening. San Francisco is a cultural and culinary wonderland, so head to Fisherman's Wharf for a seaside dinner, Ghirardelli Square or Chinatown for a great night on the town. Overnight San Francisco.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6 - Tour Ends

Spend the day exploring San Francisco independently, where the spirit of the Gold Rush continues to fill the air. See Alcatraz, one of the most famous prisons in the country, Union Square, Golden Gate Park, the world's most crooked street, Haight-Ashbury, beautiful Pacific Heights and more. Ride the cable cars and take a cruise around San Francisco Bay. Perhaps extend your visit with a day trip to Wine Country, Sausalito and Muir Woods, home of the California Redwoods.

Additional information

Hotel Accommodations

Hotels are centrally located, 3.5 to 4-star properties, selected based on quality and availability.  Amtrak accommodations are available in Coach class, Roomette and Bedroom. 

Pricing Plans

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. 

Sleeping car passengers aboard the California Zephyr enjoy meals in the train's Dining car. New contemporary and fresh dining choices replace traditional dining car service on the Lake Shore Limited. Sleeping car passengers may elect to have a chilled prepared meal selection delivered to your Roomette or Bedroom or enjoy meals in a private cafe or lounge car. 

Please Note

Arrival and Departure times are subject to change. Please be advised that passengers traveling on Lake Shore Limited Trains or California Zephyr Trains may encounter delays of approximately three to six hours due to heavy congestion, speed restrictions and other operating conditions.

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Amtrak's California Zephyr
Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited

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3.3 stars3.3 / 5 · 10 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star


1 stars

Submitted 21/Jun

The bathroom's not clean throughout trip, AC went out on the 3rd day we went to sleep on observation car, everyone was complaining, conductors hard to find,

Collected by Trustpilot


5 stars

Submitted 16/Apr

This can be expensive for some people. Maybe you should offer discounts to older travelers.

Collected by Trustpilot


1 stars

Submitted 07 Oct 2023

My husband and I were surprisingly drastically disappointed with this rail vacation. We have traveled with Amtrak in the past with only great memories of pleasurable times together. During this trip actual moments of fear penetrated our thoughts with visions of the train derailing. The ride was incomprehensibly uncomfortable, it took much effort to exhaustion to counter the constant jolting and radical swaying of the train. At night our mattress shifted off of the bed platform requiring us multiple times to get up and reposition the mattress. Ultimately, we ended up disembarking the train early and booking a flight home. After excitedly months long awaiting what we anticipated was going to be an awesome, memorable vacation, there was no enjoyment to be had on this trip.

Collected by Trustpilot


3 stars

Submitted 10 Jan 2023

The train was rickety and tiny but beautiful scenery food was ok

Collected by Trustpilot


2 stars

Submitted 10 Nov 2022

The train was old (about 40 years), rooms with shower extremely small ( even attendant stated so) end unit. The toilet smelled and they only put bleach down it to Camouflage the problem but the next day ALL the toilets stopped working in our car……1-2 days. Food and serve was good and HOT. NEEDED deep cleaning ….found stuff UNDER our seat/bed.

Collected by Trustpilot


3 stars

Submitted 27 Jul 2022

The Conductors and Dining Car Staff were excellent! We were very happy with them. The rolling stock and track were another matter. Delays for freight trains always put us behind schedule. Our engine broke down, which added to our delays. Eventually causing us to arrive 9 1/2 hours date for are arrival in to San Francisco. A bus took us from Emery Station to Amtrak office downtown, San Francisco at 3 AM. Expecting us to walk to our hotel 2 1/2 miles away. It was very difficult to get a taxi at 3 AM. We finally got a taxi at 3:30 AM, got to our hotel at 4:00 AM. It was very scary waiting around with homeless people begging for money from time to time.

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