Across America by Train


Sample Itinerary from New York to San Francisco

Highlights and Inclusions

  • Transportation aboard the train (4 days)
  • Times Square
  • Hudson River
  • Millennium Park
  • Rocky Mountains
  • Moffat Tunnel
  • Sierra Nevada Mountains
  • Fisherman's Wharf


Day 1 - New York City
Your tour starts in sophisticated New York City. Catch a Broadway play, see what's happening at Madison Square Garden or take a carriage ride through Central Park. Enjoy dinner at one of New York's fabulous restaurants and be dazzled by Times Square, all lit up at night.

Day 2 - New York City at Leisure / Board the Lake Shore Limited
The morning is yours to explore New York City. Take time to visit some of the city's most renowned and important sights including the famous Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Wall Street, Central Park, and Ground Zero. Then board the Lake Shore Limited at Penn Station. Read, listen to music or chat with your fellow travelers. Check out a map of your journey in the Dining Car or Lounge Car as you gaze out at the passing scenery. As you head west, you'll pass some historic points of interest such as West Point Academy, Bannerman's Castle and FDR's National Historic Site. You'll then travel 130 miles along the Hudson River, also known as "America's Rhine" for its natural beauty, passing by Albany, the NY state capitol. Continue west through Ohio and Indiana as you make your way to historic Union Station in Chicago. Overnight train.

Day 3 - Arrive in Chicago, transfer to the California Zephyr
Your train pulls into Chicago around 10:00 am and you'll have time to explore the "Windy City" before your train leaves this afternoon. Enjoy a taste of Chicago-style pizza, go to the top of nearby Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) observatory, and see "The Bean" in Millennium Park. Then board the legendary California Zephyr for your 2:00 pm departure. Follow the train's route in the dining car or Sightseeing Lounge with its floor to ceiling windows as you head west. Overnight train.

Day 4 - Enroute to San Francisco via America the beautiful
You'll awake this morning as sweeping vistas of the glorious Rocky Mountains come into view. Enjoy a delicious hot breakfast in the dining car. But keep your camera handy. You won't want a miss a second of the spectacular scenery that greets you at every turn. Just west of Denver, the Zephyr will begin its momentous climb towards the Continental Divide, winding around sharp mountain curves and through the "Tunnel District." On your way to Moffat Tunnel, you'll reach our highest elevation, more than 9,000 feet above sea level. Other highlights include Glenwood and Ruby Canyons and Grand Junction, the gateway to Mesa Verde National Park. Pass through Salt City around 11:00 pm this evening. Overnight train.

Day 5 - Arrive in San Francisco
Running across the glorious snow-capped Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Zephyr travels through the Truckee River, Donner Pass, onto Reno and Sacramento, then into Emeryville/San Francisco. San Francisco is a cultural and culinary wonderland, so head to Fisherman's Wharf for a seaside dinner, Ghirardelli Square or Chinatown for a great night on the town. See Alcatraz, one of the most famous prisons in the country, Union Square, Golden Gate Park, the world's most crooked street, Haight-Ashbury, beautiful Pacific Heights and more. Ride the cable cars and take a cruise around San Francisco Bay.

Pre and Post-Trip Options
Many of our guests choose to spend additional nights in New York and San Francisco. I would be happy to make hotel and sightseeing arrangements for you.

Extend your visit with a day trip to Wine Country, Sausalito and Muir Woods, home of the California Redwoods. Take an Amtrak train back to your city of origin or transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

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Derek is an adventure traveler and entrepreneur. He created the Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dorm (BRAD), a viral YouTube hit which actually has fewer views than 10 Cutest Cat Moments. He has been featured in TIME, Forbes, CNN, BBC, The Guardian, and TechCrunch. He knows how stupid writing a third-person bio of himself can be.

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