Pacific Coast Explorer
A coastal rail adventure through cultural San Francisco to redwood forests, Japanese gardens, Hearst Castle and Napa Valley wine country . . .
Los Angeles · San Simeon · San Francisco · Napa Valley · Portland · Seattle
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Day 1 - Los Angeles, California
We meet at the posh Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey this evening for our private welcome reception and dinner, and overnight at the hotel.
Day 2 - Los Angeles / Board the American Orient Express
This morning, we enjoy the comforts of our hotel before taking a highlights tour of the area en route to historic Union Station. Once on board, we begin the journey north along California's bold and breathtaking coastline where the Pacific Ocean meets windswept cliffs and endless white sandy beaches.
Day 3 - San Simeon / Hearst Castle
Gaviota State Park sets the scene today, and we often spot sea lions and other marine life from the train. One of Southern California's largest stretches of protected coastline, the natural environment here takes us over trestles and through tunnels - en route to Paso Robles. This afternoon, we tour Hearst Castle, a 165-room, 127-acre estate built by newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst. Atop a mountain that overlooks the Pacific, the extravagant San Simeon abode harbors an extensive collection of antiques and fine art.
Day 4 - San Francisco
Culturally rich and diverse, San Francisco is our focus today. A morning tour guides us through this spectacular and historic city, with stops at Union Square, Fisherman's Wharf and the Golden Gate Overlook. Lunch at a trendy downtown restaurant, then spend the afternoon at your leisure - shopping or sightseeing - or meander through the towering redwood trees at Muir Woods. San Francisco boasts some of the finest restaurants in the country, and new cuisines are created in its world-class kitchens. Dinner this evening is on your own; choose from superb possibilities at Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown and throughout the city. We overnight at the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco.
Day 5 - Napa Valley
The endless rows of grape arbors passing by our windows leave no doubt - we're in wine country. Napa Valley supports about 250 vineyards and wineries in a 25-mile-long area. The lush rolling countryside invites us to indulge in its fruits, and we abide with a tour of Domaine Carneros, sampling their sparkling wines. Then we stop in at the Merryvale Winery for a private, specially catered candlelight lunch in the Cask Room cellar, followed by guided exploration of the property.
Day 6 - Rail to Portland, Oregon
Awake this morning to the breathtaking vista of Northern California. We spend a leisurely day on board enjoying the amenities of the train. Participate in the lecture series and partake of afternoon tea as views of the mountains, including Mount Shasta and Mount Lassen, rise above the pine forests.
Day 7 - Portland
The Columbia and Willamette rivers converge in Portland, a well-planned community known for cultural richness, microbreweries and gardens. This morning, we stop at Crown Point and tour the spectacular Multnomah Falls. Then, we explore Portland, with a guided tour that includes the exquisite Japanese and Rose Test gardens. Our farewell cocktail reception is tonight.
Day 8 - Seattle, Washington
On clear mornings, Mount Saint Helens and Mount Ranier treat us to stunning views as the train rolls toward our final destination - King Street Station in Seattle where we detrain late morning.