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Essential Grand Canyon Discovery

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Trip Overview

The Grand Canyon and the surrounding landscapes offer some of the most unforgettable experiences in the world. On this seven-day Essential Grand Canyon Discovery rail journey from Chicago, you’ll get to discover the wonder and magic of both the Grand Canyon’s South Rim and the red rocks of Sedona. Beginning in Chicago, you’ll have more than enough time to enjoy some authentic cuisine and popular attractions, like Skydeck Chicago. On Day 2, you’ll board the Southwest Chief and depart Chicago for your overnight rail journey to Williams, Arizona, the Gateway to the Grand Canyon. From there, you’ll take the legendary Grand Canyon Railway straight to the park’s South Rim, where breathtaking vistas are yours to behold. Spend the night in Grand Canyon Village and then travel to Flagstaff, which is nestled in the world’s largest Ponderosa Pine forest. Visit some ancient national monuments or stargaze at the Lowell Observatory on your own. Before wrapping up your Essential Grand Canyon Discovery rail journey, take an adventure through the breathtaking landscapes of Sedona on a Red Rock Jeep Tour—the best way to experience the desert off the beaten path.

Highlights

  • Admission to Skydeck Chicago
  • One-way service in Coach accommodations on the Grand Canyon Railway
  • Sightseeing tour of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon
  • Sightseeing tour of Sedona

PACKAGE ALSO INCLUDES:

  • One-way Amtrak® in Coach accommodations from Chicago to Williams on the Southwest Chief®
  • One-way shuttle transfer from Maswik Lodge in the Grand Canyon to Flagstaff hotel
  • Roundtrip transfer from Flagstaff to Sedona
  • 5 nights' hotel accommodations
  • 1 meal included (1 breakfast)
Trip Map

Disclaimer:

Package prices are per person, double occupancy, tax included. Prices do not include rail from your hometown. Please call for pricing. Package prices are subject to change without notice, and all reservations are based upon availability at the time of booking. Amtrak travel is for Coach accommodations unless otherwise noted. Upgrades to Roomette or Bedroom accommodations on board Amtrak are available. Call for pricing. Other restrictions may apply. Activities referenced in the itinerary during free time are for suggested purposes only and are not included. Seasonal activity (if applicable): During the off-season, some tours may not be available. In this case, a similar tour will be substituted. Passports (if applicable): Passports are required when crossing the Canadian border. Amtrak and Amtrak Vacations are registered service marks of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation.

DAY 1             YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS IN CHICAGO
Welcome to Chicago! The Windy City will captivate you with its gorgeous architecture, stunning skyline, art scene and, of course, its food. Grab a bite to eat in Fulton Market, maybe a signature deep-dish pizza? Or a hot dog at Portillo's? Visit the Shedd Aquarium (one of the world's largest indoors aquariums), walk the Magnificent Mile, explore the ‘burbs, snap a photo next to the Bean in Millennium Park, and if you're visiting during baseball season, head to Wrigley Field to catch a game! (Overnight in Chicago)

DAY 2             OVERNIGHT ONBOARD AMTRAK
In the morning, head 103 floors up the Willis Tower for your included admission to Chicago's Skydeck, which offers incredible panoramic view of the city. If you're feeling brave, walk out onto The Ledge, the Skydeck's glass floor balcony for a perfect photo opportunity. In the early afternoon, board the Southwest Chief and depart Chicago for your overnight rail journey to Williams, Arizona. (Overnight onboard Amtrak)

DAY 3             WILLIAMS
Welcome to the Gateway to the Grand Canyon! When you arrive, check into your hotel for an overnight stay and start exploring. Located on the famous Route 66, the quaint mountain town of Williams, Arizona, serves as the perfect jumping off point for your journey to the South Rim. It is also just steps away from the beauty of the outdoors: hiking, fishing, and camping. Visit the Williams Visitor Center and Museum to learn about this town's past and present, stop at Pete's Route 66 Gas Station Museum (a time capsule full of gift shop treasures), or take a horse and buggy ride on your own through the city. (Overnight in Williams)

DAY 4             WILLIAMS TO GRAND CANYON
Have breakfast at Grand Canyon Railway Hotel and then board the Grand Canyon Railway in Williams for your two-hour ride straight to the national park's South Rim. Seeing the Grand Canyon on a postcard or during a travel documentary will never compare to seeing it in person. This special place is truly a sight to behold. Along the South Rim, there are around 50 incredible viewpoints—each with something magical to offer—and 20 of which are easily accessible by vehicle. Some of the greatest viewpoints include Mather Point, Yavapai Point, Desert View, Grandview Point, and Hermit's Rest. Enjoy your included tour narrated by a knowledgeable guide and see all the picturesque landscapes you wouldn't have time to walk to. (Overnight in Grand Canyon Village) B

DAY 5             GRAND CANYON TO FLAGSTAFF
Today, board your included transfer from the Grand Canyon to Flagstaff. When you arrive, check into your hotel and begin exploring this laid-back Arizonan landscape. Nestled in the world's largest Ponderosa Pine forest, Flagstaff features a pedestrian-friendly downtown, craft breweries, relaxing coffee houses, and street performers playing blues on the street corners. On your own, pay a visit to Walnut Canyon National Monument to see ancient pueblos built into the base of a natural canyon wall or the Wupatki National Monument, featuring stunning red rock pueblo ruins. Stop by the Lowell Observatory and do some stargazing or stroll through the arboretum public gardens. (Overnight in Flagstaff)

DAY 6             FLAGSTAFF
Take your included roundtrip transfer from Flagstaff to Sedona, where you'll go on a spectacular tour of this gorgeous, magical place. One of Sedona's main attractions is its stunning array of red sandstone formations, known as the Red Rocks, the kaleidoscope of wildlife, twisted juniper trees, and the many buttes and mesas scattered across the landscape. This tour is the best way to see, experience, and learn about parts of the desert you wouldn't have the opportunity to otherwise. The greatest adventures are often experienced off the beaten path. (Overnight in Flagstaff)

DAY 7             YOUR JOURNEY ENDS IN FLAGSTAFF

LEGEND FOR MEALS: B - Breakfast, BR - Brunch, L - Lunch, D -Dinner

Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza

Located in the center of downtown Chicago’s exciting River North area and minutes from the Loop and Michigan Ave the contemporary Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza offers exceptional views of the Chicago River and the Chicago skyline. Our recent $20 million redesign is apparent in every aspect of the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, from our stunning atrium lobby to our 521 comfortable and contemporary guest rooms and suites.

Palmer House Hilton

Welcome to The Palmer House®: a Hilton Hotel - an iconic, world-class downtown Chicago hotel and gateway to Chicago's rejuvenated Loop scene. A modern Chicago grand hotel, the Palmer House is a lively destination within walking distance of the best attractions the city of Chicago has to offer like Millennium Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the theater district. The guest rooms and suites match the hotel's French Baroque styling with metropolitan flair.

Little America Hotel

Set in 500 acres of Ponderosa Pine forest, Little America Flagstaff is a haven from the mundane. Inviting hospitality combined with the natural beauty and serenity of Northern Arizona will instill a passion to return to this distinctive resort.

Bright Angel Lodge

Bright Angel Lodge, designed in 1935, has a natural, rustic character, and is a Registered National Historic Landmark. Designed by famed architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter (Mary E. J. Colter), it has always been a popular place to stay and the center of South Rim activity. Located just a few feet from the Canyon rim, Bright Angel Lodge is the check-in point for the world famous Grand Canyon Mule Rides.

El Tovar

El Tovar Hotel, the premier lodging facility at the Grand Canyon, opened its doors in 1905 and was most recently renovated in 2005. In the past, the Hotel has hosted such luminaries as Theodore Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Western author Zane Grey, and many others. Today, El Tovar retains its elegant charm. Located on the Canyon rim, it features a fine dining room (open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner), lounge and curio shop with newsstand.

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway Hotel is nestled amongst the Ponderosa pine forest in Williams, Arizona - "Gateway to the Grand Canyon." Owned and operated by Grand Canyon Railway, this hotel is one of the finest in the Grand Canyon -Flagstaff - Williams area.

Kachina Lodge

Located directly on the rim of the Grand Canyon, the Kachina Lodge is a great hotel for all guests visiting the South Rim.

Maswik Lodge

Maswik Lodge is a modern facility spread over several acres of ponderosa pine forest, located just 1/4 mile from the Canyon's edge. Maswik Lodge features a cafeteria that is open from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. Here you will also find a sports bar with a wide screen TV, a curio shop stocked with handicrafts and gifts, and a transportation/activities desk.

Thunderbird Lodge

Conveniently located between El Tovar and Bright Angel Lodge, Thunderbird is a contemporary lodge located at the South Rim.

Yavapai Lodge

Yavapai Lodge is Grand Canyon National Park Lodges' largest facility and is surrounded by pinyon and juniper woodlands, about 1/2 mile from the rim. With modern rooms and many services within a few steps, this is a convenient choice for families. Yavapai East rooms feature in-room air conditioning and Yavapai West rooms have vaulted ceilings with ceiling fans. The Lodge is located next to the Market Plaza, which includes a general store, bank, and U.S. Post Office.

Select Your Departure Date

For more information or to make a reservation,
call our train vacation experts at: 1-800-AMTRAK-2

Disclaimer:

Package prices are per person, double occupancy, tax included. Prices do not include rail from your hometown. Please call for pricing. Package prices are subject to change without notice, and all reservations are based upon availability at the time of booking. Amtrak travel is for Coach accommodations unless otherwise noted. Upgrades to Roomette or Bedroom accommodations on board Amtrak are available. Call for pricing. Other restrictions may apply. Activities referenced in the itinerary during free time are for suggested purposes only and are not included. Seasonal activity (if applicable): During the off-season, some tours may not be available. In this case, a similar tour will be substituted. Passports (if applicable): Passports are required when crossing the Canadian border. Amtrak and Amtrak Vacations are registered service marks of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation.

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