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Discover America on your own terms

Explore the USA
Explore the USA

As travellers we are often faced with the choice of either independent travel or pre-planned itinerary’s. Rarely do the two combine, unless you’re looking to travel throughout America and take advantage of the Independent Amtrak Rail Vacations that is!

Combining the best of both worlds, Independent Amtrak Rail Vacations offer bespoke travel itineraries that let you relax and enjoy all the highlights of America's iconic travel destinations, whilst still having the freedom to wander and explore on your own terms.

Whilst there are a range of itineraries available, here are our top 3 recommendations for independent, pre-planned travel in America


Jazz, Blues & Rock n Roll 

New Orleans
New Orleans

Chicago > Memphis > New Orleans - 9 days/8 nights



This nine-day rail journey is perfect for music lovers! Launch your vacation in Chicago and explore its famous blues scene and all the popular sites. Then, enjoy a relaxing train ride as you head to Memphis, birthplace of Rock ‘N' Roll. Don’t forget to soak in the lovely landscape along the way. See all Memphis has to offer, including Elvis’s famous mansion, Graceland. Your last stop is New Orleans, birthplace of Jazz. Treat your ears and palate with a jazz brunch at the famous Court of Two Sisters restaurant. Take in the picturesque sights of New Orleans and the French Quarter from the deck of an old-fashioned paddlewheel boat. This trip is a truly music lover’s dream come true!


  • Multi-day hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour
  • Sightseeing city tour of Memphis with admission to Graceland
  • Battlefield Cruise in New Orleans aboard a paddlewheel boat
  • Sightseeing city tour of New Orleans

 Package Also Includes:

  • One-way Amtrak in Coach accommodations from Chicago to Memphis and Memphis to New Orleans onboard the City of New Orleans®
  • 7 nights’ hotel accommodations; 1 night onboard Amtrak
  • 3 meals (2 dinner, 1 brunch*)
  • Jazz brunch at the Court of Two Sisters

* Dinner at a popular restaurant substituted when brunch in New Orleans is unavailable.



The streets of LA

California Coast

San Francisco > Paso Robles > Los Angeles > San Diego - 9 days/8 nights



Travel down the gorgeous California Coast as you venture from San Francisco to San Diego, with stops in Paso Robles and Los Angeles, on board Amtrak®. Enjoy an entertaining day of sightseeing in San Francisco on board a double-decker bus and hop off at your leisure. Tour the award-winning wineries of California's Central Coast in the amazing Paso Robles. Discover the beautiful and vast metropolis of the “City of Angels” while on hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour. And, last, but certainly not least, get to know San Diego with a relaxing narrated harbor cruise of the beautiful bay.


  • Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour of San Francisco
  • Sightseeing winery tour of Paso Robles
  • Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour of Los Angeles
  • Multi-day hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour of San Diego
  • Sightseeing harbour cruise of San Diego

Package Also Includes:

  • One-way Amtrak in Coach accommodations from San Francisco to Paso Robles; Paso Robles to Los Angeles on the Coast Starlight®; Los Angeles to San Diego on the Pacific Surfliner and Coast Starlight
  • 8 nights’ hotel accommodations
  • 2 meals (1 lunch, 1 dinner)



Grand National Parks with Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Glacier National Park 

San Francisco
San Francisco

Chicago > Williams > Grand Canyon > San Francisco >Yosemite > Seattle > Glacier National Park > Chicago - 14 Days/13 Nights



Prepare to take in all the grand natural beauty of three of America’s most beloved national parks!  Visit the Grand Canyon and view one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World.  Take in the green pine forests and stony mountains during your visit to Yosemite National Park.  Head north and visit the “Crown of the Continent” high in the mountains at Glacier National Park.  Explore all these amazing landscapes as well as the beautiful scenic journey by train along the way.  Grand National Parks is an unforgettable adventure to the best of the American outdoors!


  • Roundtrip service in Coach accommodations on the Grand Canyon Railway
  • Motorcoach Freedom Tour of the Grand Canyon’s South Rim
  • Sightseeing tour of Yosemite National Park
  • Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour of San Francisco
  • Space Needle Observation Deck Admission
  • Big Sky Circle Tour of Glacier National Park
  • Two Medicine Valley Boat Cruise of Glacier National Park

Package Also Includes:

  • One-way Amtrak in Coach accommodations from Chicago to Williams; Williams to San Francisco; San Francisco to Seattle; Seattle to Glacier National Park; Glacier National Park to Chicago in Coach accommodations on the Southwest Chief, Coast Starlight, and Empire Builder
  • 8 nights’ hotel accommodations; 5 nights onboard Amtrak
  • 5 meals included (4 breakfasts, 1 dinner)


These are just three of the incredible U.S. travel experiences waiting to be had when you ride the rails across this amazing continent. Discover more of Amtrak's amazing American rail routes on our  Independent USA Rail Packages page or contact our friendly team for expert advice on train travel in North America. 

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