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Snow Zephyr - Chicago to San Francisco

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See the best of the American West this winter as you travel from Chicago's winter wonderland to the shores of San Francisco.

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

2022 Tour code: TU-SZEW-22


Day 1 - Chicago's Winter Wonderland

Arrive in Chicago and spend the day exploring the city's most popular attractions, all dressed in their winter finest. Visit the Field Museum, the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium, the Art Institute, Willis Tower, the John Hancock building, Navy Pier, and Water Tower among other famous city attractions. Take time to explore some of the city's unique neighborhoods, ice skate in Daley Plaza, or during the holidays visit the Christmas Markets or see the store windows on State Street decorated for the holidays. Overnight Chicago.

Day 2 - Depart Chicago aboard the California Zephyr

Arrive at Chicago's historic Union Station for your afternoon departure. Once onboard the iconic California Zephyr, settle into your accommodations as you begin your 2,400+ mile journey across the country to San Francisco. As the train slices through the plains of the Midwest, you may wish to visit the Observation Car or head to the Sightseer Lounge to meet some new friends and admire the winter scenes passing before you. Enjoy dinner in the Dining Car as you cross the icy Mississippi River. Overnight train. 

  • Dinner (Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 3 - Westward Ho! California Zephyr and the Snow Covered Rockies

You'll awake this morning to a magnificent view of the snowy peaks of the Colorado Rockies on the horizon. Enjoy your breakfast in the dining car as the Zephyr climbs the front range of the Rockies and heads towards the Continental Divide. Visit the Sightseer Lounge to admire the winter wonderland. Keep an eye out for wildlife, especially when passing through the ski resort town of Winter Park. Overnight train.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 4 - California Zephyr to San Francisco

Watch as the scenery changes from snowy mountains to canyons, lakes and greenery as you enter the final leg of your journey west. By mid-morning, your train arrives in "The Biggest Little City in the World," Reno, Nevada. Cross the border into California, climbing through the legendary Donner Pass, the high point in the northern Sierra Nevada Mountains. Your train is scheduled to arrive in Emeryville late this afternoon. A shuttle will be waiting to transfer you to the Ferry building in downtown San Francisco where you can catch a taxi to your hotel. Overnight San Francisco. 

  • Breakfast, Lunch (Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 5 - Winter Escape in San Francisco

San Francisco is yours to explore today! During the holiday season, make a point of visiting the Dickens Christmas Fair to get you in the holiday spirit. Visit the shops and restaurants at Fisherman's Wharf. Hop on a trolley or enjoy a leisurely walk to others areas of the city. Don't miss Golden Gate Park, Chinatown, Telegraph Hill, and Jackson Square. Your rail adventure ends today; however, you may wish to extend your stay in San Francisco to further explore this vibrant city.