Where to travel to?
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Apr 3, 2012 2:47 PM Last Post By: moongoddess
Mar 28, 2012 8:06 AM
Where to travel to?Hello!
I'll be going for a work and travel stint in Chicago this summer! And i'm unsure as to what to do/where to go for the 'travel' bit. I have approx 3 weeks. As it is just going to be me and another girl friend travelling during these 3 weeks,plus we both can't drive, i think it is better and safer for us to take tours. We are interested in city tours and national parks tours (not much preference for any exact places). Any recommendations?
It'll be great if it wasn't too expensive either :)
It was suggested that we take the Southwestern chief down to LA from chicago OR the California zephyr to San franscisco.
And then maybe take a tour to the national parks from SF/LA.
Any thoughts or recommendations? (e.g. should we stop at any stations along the way?)
FYI : our place of departure after the 3 weeks is going to be San Franscisco.
Thanks in advance!
Mar 28, 2012 8:12 AM
1xYosemite and the xGrand Canyon are reachable by transit. Outside that, don't get your hopes up.
See FAQ 271.
You may be interested in tours offered by xGreen Tortoise. I cannot say whether they'll go exactly where you want or conform to your dates.
Mar 28, 2012 8:14 AM
2By taking the SW Chief...AMTRAK trains & buses will Get you to Santa Fe, Flagstaff/Grand Canyon, Las Vegas,Yosemite NP. and on to San Francisco...Perhaps book additional tours on the California coast...carracar
Mar 28, 2012 8:33 AM
3Most Green Tortoise trips depart from San Francisco, but some depart from LA. They cater to a younger, more backpacker-y crowd.
A company with similar style is Incredible Adventures. They do trips out of San Francisco and Las Vegas. Most of their tours, however, are day trips, which are not the best forYosemite or the Grand Canyon.
Intrepid Travel does a lot of cross country trips, but has some called "short breaks" that might interest you.
Mar 28, 2012 5:17 PM
4The problem with going all the way out to California, is that the train trip is more than 40 hours each way. That means you will burn nearly two full days each way, for a total of 4 days out of your 21, or nearly one-fifth of your trip sitting on a train. And that doesn't include the driving time to get to the national parks. Another challenge is that getting to/from national parks is a real challenge without a car.
If it were me, I would probably stay in the Midwest or central part of the country. There are many cool places to visit that are much closer. Those things include: Badlands/Mount Rushmore, Great Smoky Mountains, and the Great Lakes (many parks, towns, etc around the region), just to name three, but again the challenge is that it will be difficult to get to/from these sites without a car.
You also have pretty easy access to some nice cities like Nashville, Kansas City, St. Louis, Memphis, Milwaukee, Madison, the Twin Cities, Duluth, etc.
Apr 3, 2012 2:47 PM
5Consider checking out Glacier National Park as well. You can get to the park from Chicago via Amtrak's Empire Builder train, and the park service has a shuttle during the summer tourist season (July to September) so you don't have to have a car to get around once you're there. And if you're into hiking, Glacier Guides offers a variety of dayhikes, rafting trips, and guided backpacking trips.
San FranciscoBook now
(0 star Hotel)
From US$21.40 per night
St LouisBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$117.49 per night
San FranciscoBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$204.00 per night