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Grand Canyon & the West Coast

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Nature's wonders abound on this 12-day rail vacation to the western US Highlights.

This tour is no longer on sale as an independent tour. Alternative similar tours are listed below.

Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary

2023 Tour code: WC-GCWW-23

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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 excellent 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.

  • Dinner (Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 4 - Southwest Chief En Route to Flagstaff

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 Flagstaff at 8:50 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 for your full day tomorrow! Overnight Williams.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 5 - Grand Canyon Railway to the South Rim

After an early breakfast at the Fred Harvey Restaurant, 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.

  • Breakfast
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 Fred Harvey Restaurant before boarding the Southwest Chief for your overnight journey en route to Los Angeles. Overnight train.

  • Dinner
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.

  • Breakfast (Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 9 – Explore Los Angeles

Get acquainted with Los Angeles on today's sightseeing tour. See all of the city's popular sights as you travel from downtown LA to Hollywood, the Sunset Strip, Rodeo Drive, and Beverly Hills. 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.