California Zephyr

Duration: 14 nights rail journey tour

Price from: £2299pp

Chicago 3 nights
Amtrak train 1 night
Denver 3 nights
Salt Lake City 3 nights
Amtrak train 1 night
San Francisco 3 nights

Day 1: Fly to Chicago. On arrival transfer to your hotel.

Days 2-3 Chicago: A hop-on-hop-off tour is included so all the great city sights can be explored easily. Stops include Navy Pier and the Willis Tower. We've also included an Odyssey dinner cruise for soaking up the skyline views from Lake Michigan.

Day 4 Chicago/Amtrak train: Make your way to Union Station to board the California Zephyr train. Sit back and enjoy the midwest scenery as you begin your epic journey. The Sightseer Lounge/Cafe is ideal for viewing the spectacular vistas along the way and sells a variety of snacks and beverages. Alternatively, hot meals are offered in the Dining Car.

Day 5 Amtrak train/Denver: Early this morning, the train reaches Denver in Colorado where you disembark and make your way to your hotel. This former cowboy town is a cosmopolitan delight with a growing culinary and arts scene, plus plenty of brewpubs, great parks and cycling trails.

Days 6-7 Denver: Attractions you may want to see include Denver Botanic Gardens, a variety of museums, Colorado State Capitol and the US Mint. Also not to be missed are Larimer Square, with restored Civil War buildings, art galleries, shops and restaurants; or 16th Street Mall, a European-style pedestrian precinct with stores, boutiques and restaurants. In addition, the city has around 50 microbreweries.

Day 8 Denver/Salt Lake City: Return to Union Station this morning to reboard the California Zephyr. The next 300 miles are incredibly scenic as the train makes its passage over the Rockies and along the Colorado River. The train continues into Utah and towards Salt Lake City, where it arrives late this evening. Disembark and make your way to your hotel.

Days 9-10 Salt Lake City: Nestled at the foot of the rugged Wasatch Mountains, Salt Lake City is a small, navigable city and the religious centre of the Mormons. Temple Square, which is the holy place of the Mormons, is a great starting point with the Mormon Temple among the principal sights. Nearby you'll find the State Capitol, Place Heritage Park, Liberty Park, Beehive House along with theatres and shopping.

Day 11 Salt Lake City/Amtrak train: A full day to continue sightseeing or shopping, before returning to the station for a late evening departure and overnight on the California Zephyr train.

Day 12 Amtrak Train/San Francisco: This morning the train reaches Reno in Nevada then heads on to California passings through Colfax, Roseville and Sacramento before arriving into Emeryville. Board an Amtrak bus for San Francisco and on arrival make your way to your hotel.

Days 13-14 San Francisco: Two full days to explore. Once again, to make sightseeing easier, we've included a 72 hour All Loop hop-on-hop-off tour, which allows you to see the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, Union Square, Chinatown and, not forgetting, infamous Alcatraz Island where a fascinating self-guided tour is offered.

Day 15 San Francisco: Transfer to the airport for your onward journey.

Departures: Daily.

Accommodation: 4* Silversmith, Chicago; 4* DoubleTree by Hilton, Denver; 3*  Little America Hotel, Salt Lake City & 3*  Cartwright Hotel, San Francisco.

Meals: Room only.

Tour Price: The price shown is based on the best value travel dates in low season and includes international flights, overnight Amtrak rail travel in a superliner roomette from Chicago to Denver, daytime travel on Amtrak (economy seat) between Denver and Salt Lake City, overnight Amtrak rail travel in a superliner roomette from Salt Lake City to San Francisco, accommodation as shown and sightseeing in Chicago and San Francisco as outlined.

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