From some of the best cities on the West Coast to stunning national parks, America’s beautiful West awaits on this amazing journey.
About the Tour
Your adventure begins with an unforgettable ride aboard the Southwest Chief, a train that takes you through the night to Flagstaff. And it is here that your true expedition takes off. See the amazing colors of the Grand Canyon; try your luck on the Las Vegas Strip; get an up-close look at the most scenic sites in Yosemite National Park; watch history come to life in Sacramento; lose your heart in the City by the Bay and gain perspective as you relax alongside the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America and a favorite destination of travelers. By train, deluxe coach and even boat, take in all that America’s vast, wondrous terrain has to offer, and then some, as you make memories to last a lifetime.
- You don’t mind spending the day on your feet. You enjoy sightseeing that includes walking, standing or stair climbing. You’re okay with longer days that are more active, such as multiple sightseeing stops, longer motorcoach journeys and getting on and off ships and trains.
- Rail travel on Amtrak (1 night on train)
- Scenic rail excursion on the Virginia & Truckee Railroad
- Hotel accommodations for 11 nights, including 2 nights in Lake Tahoe
- 13 meals
- Meals on the train included when upgrading to private sleeping accommodations
- Grand Canyon National Park tour
- Yosemite National Park tour
- California State Railroad Museum
- San Francisco city tour
- Alcatraz excursion
- Zephyr Cove Dinner Cruise on Lake Tahoe
- National park entrance fees
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional tour manager
Activity Level View Details
Day 1 - Depart Chicago aboard the Southwest Chief
Arrive at Chicago Union Station to meet your tour manager and fellow travelers. Board the legendary Southwest Chief, settle into your onboard accommodations and prepare for your overnight rail journey. Travelers may elect to travel from Los Angeles or points in-between and meet your tour manager in Flagstaff. Overnight train.
Day 2 - En Route to Flagstaff
As you travel into the scenic Southwest, you will feel the same excitement the pioneers felt as they headed west. Admire the changing scenery from the train's glass-walled Sightseer Lounge and enjoy chatting with your fellow travelers about the adventure that awaits. Upon arrival in Flagstaff this evening, transfer to the nearby hotel for a two-night stay. Overnight Flagstaff, AZ.
Day 3 - The Grand Canyon
Today, experience one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, then travel by deluxe motorcoach to the Grand Canyon. Immense in size, America's most famous natural attraction stirs the soul with colorful strata of rock as well as showcases an excellent record of history. You'll get a chance to view the Canyon from several observation areas. At the Watchtower, see vistas of the Colorado River, the Canyon, the Painted Desert and Kaibab National Forest. Overnight Flagstaff, AZ. (B, D)
Day 4 - Las Vegas
Board your deluxe motorcoach and travel northwest 250 miles to fabulous Las Vegas. Late this afternoon, you'll arrive in Las Vegas, the magnificent oasis in the desert. Your home for the next two nights is a centrally-located hotel on the Strip. Enjoy the evening on your own. Will you take in a world-renowned show, hit the jackpot in the casino or dine in the restaurant of an award-winning chef? Overnight Las Vegas, NV. (B)
Day 5 - Las Vegas
Join us for a tour of Las Vegas' most famous sights including an inside tour of one of the fabulous Strip hotels. Tonight, you'll experience the original Las Vegas, now known as "downtown," which still rivals the strip as a favorite destination. The Fremont Street Experience features an impressive $70-million canopy of light and sound that envelopes the historic hotels and casinos along four city blocks. Then, have free time to explore the fabulous downtown casinos and restaurants. Overnight Las Vegas, NV. (B)
Day 6 - En Route/Fresno
Depart Las Vegas on your deluxe motorcoach, stopping in Barstow, California, for lunch on your own. Arrive in Bakersfield in time to catch the San Joaquin train to Fresno, California. Early this evening you'll arrive in Fresno, gateway to Yosemite, and transfer to your hotel for the night. Overnight Fresno, CA. (B)
Day 7 - Yosemite National Park
Enjoy a continental breakfast in your hotel before boarding your motorcoach for what is destined to be a spectacular day. Ride the scenic journey into the park and experience El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite Falls and Half Dome, the park's most visited attractions. This afternoon, take a two-hour narrated sightseeing tour of this World Heritage Site as the Yosemite experience comes alive with natural beauty and a strong sense of American history. Later this afternoon, we'll continue to Sacramento, California's capital city. Overnight Sacramento, CA. (B)
Day 8 - Sacramento
Start the morning with a tour of the California State Railroad Museum featuring a collection of lovingly restored train engines and vintage rail cars. The remainder of the day is free to explore one of Sacramento's many delightful attractions. Relive the California Gold Rush in historic Old Sacramento or shop to your heart's content in the mega-shopping mall, both within walking distance. Overnight Sacramento, CA. (B)
Day 9 - En Route/San Francisco
This morning you depart Sacramento via motorcoach for San Francisco. Stopping for lunch on your own, we'll arrive in the world-famous "City by the Bay" at noon. This afternoon, you are sure to leave your heart in San Francisco with a 3 1/2 hour sightseeing tour, including Golden Gate Park, Jackson Square, Telegraph Hill, the Presidio and Fisherman's Wharf. The afternoon tour will end at Fisherman's Wharf, where you can enjoy dinner at one of its famous seafood restaurants on the water. Overnight San Francisco, CA. (B)
Day 10 – Alcatraz Excursion
Board a ferry bound for Alcatraz Island and tour the infamous prison. See the Cellhouse and explore the island and its historic exhibits. Overnight San Francisco, CA. (B)
Day 11 - Truckee - Lake Tahoe
Enjoy one last breakfast by the bay this morning before continuing to your next destination. From your hotel, you will transfer to Emeryville, where the California Zephyr is waiting to whisk you away. Your destination is Truckee, CA, which is situated right on the border of Nevada and is your gateway to beautiful Lake Tahoe. Upon arrival, continue by motorcoach to Lake Tahoe for the night. Overnight Lake Tahoe, CA. (B)
Day 12 - Virginia & Truckee Railroad
More beautiful sights lie ahead this morning with your excursion aboard the Virginia & Truckee Railroad through the rugged landscape of Nevada. As you twist and turn through the hills of the Comstock along the route, relive the days of silver and gold mining. This evening we will embark on one final excursion: a Zephyr Cove Sunset Dinner Cruise. As the sun goes down, you will enjoy marvelous views over Emerald Bay and a delectable menu aboard an authentic paddle boat. Overnight Lake Tahoe, CA. (B, D)
Day 13 - Tour Conclusion
Our journey concludes this morning. After breakfast, we will make our way to Reno, NV. Transfers to Reno-Tahoe International Airport and Reno Amtrak station for planes and trains departing after 1:00 p.m. (B)
Hotels include the DoubleTree by Hilton (Flagstaff), Tropicana (Las Vegas), Holiday Inn Express & Suites (Fresno), Embassy Suites Riverboat Promenade (Sacramento), Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf (San Francisco), and Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel.
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. Roomette and Bedroom accommodations include all meals aboard the train.