From New York City to the Grand Canyon, see the best of the U.S. by train!
About the Tour
Travel coast to coast aboard four renowned trains as you travel from New York City to Washington, DC, Chicago, the Grand Canyon and Los Angeles on this 14-day cross-country rail adventure. Start in the Big Apple, where you have the opportunity to see the sights at leisure. Taking in a Broadway play or strolling around Central Park are always popular choices.
After New York, board Amtrak's high-speed Acela to Washington D.C. While in the Nation's capital visit historic monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial and the Library of Congress. From Washington D.C, continue your cross-country adventure to the Windy City, Chicago. While in the city, visit classic highlights such as Navy Pier and Millennium Park, or visit one of the city's several museums including the Art Institute and Field Museum.
Following your stay in Chicago, venture west aboard the Southwest Chief to Flagstaff, the gateway to the Grand Canyon. Experience the famous natural wonder in an entirely unique way as you travel aboard the vintage Grand Canyon Railway to the Canyon's South Rim. Finally, complete your rail vacation with a visit to Los Angeles. Spend your last few days taking in the sights, such as Rodeo Drive or the Santa Monica Pier, and a trip to the famous Universal Studios.
This vacation is also available from Los Angeles to New York based on your travel preference.
- Rail travel on Amtrak (3 nights on train)
- Hotel accommodations for 10 nights, including 1 night at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon
- Meals on the train included when upgrading to private sleeping accommodations
- New York City, Chicago and Washington, DC sightseeing tours.
- Grand Canyon Freedom Tour
- Universal Studios theme park pass
Day 1 - Arrive in New York City
Welcome to the Big Apple! Upon arrival in New York City, transfer on your own to your centrally-located hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Visit Times Square, take in a theater performance and enjoy one of New York's many fantastic restaurants. Overnight New York City.
Day 2 - New York Sightseeing
Board a double-decker sightseeing bus for a fantastic tour of the city. Hop on and off at more than 30 different stops including Central Park, Lincoln Center, Fifth Avenue, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Empire State Building, Greenwich Village, and more. Overnight New York City.
Day 3 - Amtrak to the U.S. Capitol
This morning head to bustling Penn Station and board Amtrak for your 10:35 am train trip to Washington, DC. Transfer on your own to your centrally-located hotel with the remainder of the afternoon at your leisure to explore the nation's capitol. Overnight Washington, DC.
Day 4 - DC Sightseeing
See all of Washington, DC’s best sites on today’s tour of the nation’s capital. Highlights include the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, the U.S. Capitol Building and more historic sites and monuments. The remainder of the day is yours to explore this vibrant city at leisure. Overnight Washington, DC.
Day 5 - Capitol Limited to Chicago
The better part of the day is free to visit one of Washington, DC's many important museums and monuments, explore Georgetown, or see where the nation's elected officials conduct business on the Hill. This afternoon, make your way to DC's Union Station to board Amtrak's Capitol Limited for the overnight journey to Chicago. As the train makes its journey through Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana, visit the Sightseer Lounge car for panoramic views of the passing scenery, enjoy a fresh meal selection, and settle into your onboard accommodations for the comfortable trip west. Overnight train. (D Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 6 - Chicago Sightseeing
The Capitol Limited is scheduled to arrive in Chicago this morning. Transfer on your own to your centrally-located hotel, drop off your belongings and hit the town for a full day of sightseeing on a Hop-on Hop-off sightseeing tour. Visit the city's most popular attractions, including Millennium Park, the Art Institute, Navy Pier, Willis Tower, the theater district and more. Overnight Chicago. (B Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 7 - Chicago at Leisure
You have a full day at your leisure in the Windy City. Visit one of the city's amazing museums to view precious works of art, age-old fossils, or the solar system. Shop the fine stores along the Magnificent Mile. Enjoy a cocktail--and the views--from the 95th floor of the John Hancock Building. Visit the Lincoln Park Zoo, situated in the heart of the city. Stroll along the lakefront, see a first-run play and dine in a renowned steak house. Overnight Chicago.
Day 8 - Southwest Chief to Flagstaff
There's no need to rush this morning. Sleep in or finish your souvenir shopping. This afternoon make your way to Chicago's historic Union Station. Board Amtrak's Southwest Chief and settle in for the overnight journey to Williams, Arizona. As the train begins its journey west mid-afternoon, visit the Sightseer Lounge for stunning views of the passing scenery. Overnight train (D Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 9 - En Route to Flagstaff
As you leave the plains of the Midwest behind, the scenery changes to colorful desert. Spend the day relaxing aboard the train. Read a book, chat with other travelers or get lost in thought as you enjoy the unsurpassed scenery from the lounge car or your seat. The train arrives in Flagstaff late this evening. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel in neighboring Williams. Overnight Williams. (B, L, D Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 10 - Grand Canyon Railway to the Grand Canyon
After breakfast at the Fred Harvey Restaurant, make the journey to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon aboard the vintage Grand Canyon Railway, the historic train that once transported the likes of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Doris Day. Once at the Grand Canyon, embark on a Freedom Tour of the South Rim, a narrated tour that visits some of the most prominent lookouts including Mohave Point and Hermits Rest. Overnight Grand Canyon. (B)
Day 11 - The Grand Canyon
The morning is yours to explore Grand Canyon Village and its historic buildings--either on your own or on an optional tour of the area. This afternoon board the Grand Canyon Railway for the return trip to Williams. Upon arrival, enjoy dinner at the Fred Harvey Restaurant. Take the evening to relax at the historic Grand Canyon Railway hotel before transferring to Flagstaff tonight for your train west to Los Angeles. After such a full day, you'll be ready for a good night's rest aboard the Southwest Chief. Overnight train. (D)
Day 12 - Arrive in Los Angeles
The Southwest Chief is scheduled to arrive at Los Angeles' Union Station this morning. Transfer on your own to your hotel with the remainder of the day at your leisure. See Santa Monica Pier, visit the Getty Museum, shop the chic boutiques along Rodeo Drive, or ask your concierge to get your tickets to a local sporting event or concert. Overnight Los Angeles. (B Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 13 - Universal Studios
Your day is steeped in movie magic as you revel in the thrills of amusement park rides and behind-the-scenes tours at Universal Studios. Your front-of-the-line attractions pass gives you priority boarding privileges for all attractions, reserved seating at all Universal Studios show, and behind-the-scenes privileges at select attractions. Overnight Los Angeles.
Day 14 - 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.
Hotels are centrally located 3.5 - 4-star properties such as the Paramount, New York City; Holiday Inn Capitol at the Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.; Palmer House Hilton, Chicago; Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, Williams; Maswik Lodge, Grand Canyon; and Millennium Biltmore, Los Angeles.
Hotel accommodations are based on availability; substitutes will be similar in quality and amenities.
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 featuring two comfortable seats beside a picture window during the day, converting 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 travelers have access to the Sightseer Lounge. Roomette and Bedroom accommodations include all meals aboard the train. Sleeping car passengers aboard the Southwest Chief enjoy meals in the train's Dining car. New contemporary and fresh dining choices replace traditional dining car service on the Capitol 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.
Know before you go
Please be aware Amtrak may experience occasional schedule changes and service disruptions. Vacations By Rail recommends visiting the Amtrak web site prior to your departure for the latest information.
+Vacations By Rail can supply connecting rail from your closest Amtrak Station.
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