Chicago to Golden Gate

Chicago to Golden Gate

14 Days From



Chicago to Golden Gate

14 Days Starting in Chicago, IL, USA and ending in San Francisco, CA, USA

Visiting: USA

Tour operator:

Travel Talk Tours

Tour code:


Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 55

Physical rating:

Low, Easy

Age range:


Special diets catered:


Tour operated in:



Sightseeing, Walking

From: $5902 $3157 Operator discount: -$2656 Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$89 -47%

NB: Prices correct on 18-Jun-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

Witness the flair and beauty of America’s gems from the Midwest to the South Coast with a road-trip adventure in 14 jam-packed days. As you travel from Chicago to the west, you will uncover the natural treasures around the Mississippi and the charms of pastoral life in rural Wyoming. Pay a visit to Yellowstone here to have a glimpse of the earth in full motion. You will cover plenty of iconic spots with your local guide. Teton Mountains and the Mormon state of Utah await, where you will experience memorable moments learning about the local mountain culture. Passing through a series of fascinating national parks including the Grand Canyon, make a stop at the Route 66 highlight Seligman. Get into the city vibes in Las Vegas, because a night of boundless gaming and partying will captivate you. Hit Santa Barbara and finally the fashionable San Francisco before you say goodbye.


  • See the best of the western half of the United States with this 14-day trip with our experienced local guides.

  • Take advantage of your free afternoon in Chicago and explore the international cuisine in the city’s top-notch restaurants and famous architectural scene.

  • Check off Badlands and Mount Rushmore from your list of natural—and partially human-made—wonders in the midwest USA.

  • Seek out the quintessential views, tastes, and culture of the Midwest as you spend nights in serene towns like Rapid City and Cody, with the dazzling mountains of Wyoming as the backdrop.

  • Let the flaming hoodoos of the Bryce Canyon give you goosebumps and embrace the spectacular sceneries with your camera ready in your hand.

  • Become a part of the long and colorful history of Route 66 as you ride towards the city of neon lights and endless entertainment: Las Vegas.

  • Spanish Colonial heritage, soothing beachy vibes, and some Hollywood luxury are only a few things that you will enjoy as you ride up the West Coast from Los Angeles to the Golden City of San Francisco.


Day 1: Chicago
Welcome to Chicago! Meet your group and tour leader in the evening for an informal welcome at the hotel. Until then, feel free to roam the famous downtown of Chicago like a local or rest up for our great adventure ahead!


Hampton Inn Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile - 3 Star (or similar)

Day 2: Chicago
Start the day with a short tour of the city’s highlights including Lake Shore Drive, the Magnificent Mile and Navy Pier. Enjoy your personal leisure time for the rest of the day to explore the 'Windy City' Chicago on your own terms. Freely marvel at the fascinatingly bold architecture of downtown Chicago or the inspiring artworks in one of the famous museums in town.


Hampton Inn Chicago Downtown - 3 Star (or similar)

Meals Included


Included Activities

Sightseeing of Lake Shore Drive

Sightseeing of the Magnificent Mile

Sightseeing of Navy Pier

Day 3: Chicago - Mississippi River Crossing - Sioux Falls
Travel through the Midwest along farms abundant in corn and wheat fields and dairy farms. Crossing the mighty Mississippi River, we ride into the state of Iowa to arrive just as Lewis & Clark Expedition did two centuries ago on the banks of the Missouri River. We make our way to Sioux Falls for a refreshing rest.


Comfort Suites (or similar)

Included Activities

Sightseeing of Mississippi River

Day 4: Sioux Falls - Badlands National Park - Mt. Rushmore - Rapid City
Travel westward through the vast and lush grasslands of South Dakota and onwards to Badlands National Park. This natural wonderland, once home to the buffalo and antelope, is filled with amazing colorful natural rock formations. Then we continue on to the Black Hills, sacred to the Native Indians and home to the famous Mount Rushmore. After we finish soaking in the unforgettable views, we depart for Rapid City to spend the night.


Best Western Ramkota Hotel - 3 Star (or similar)

Included Activities

Sightseeing of Badlands National Park

Sightseeing of Mt. Rushmore National Memorial

Day 5: Rapid City - Bighorn Mountains - Cody
We continue our journey towards the wondrous lands of Wyoming, also known as "Equality State", home to twelve mountain ranges intermixed with vast deserts and rolling grasslands. We will be resting for a big day tomorrow in Cody. In case overnight in Cody is not possible due to poor weather or adverse road conditions in Yellowstone, we will be spending the night in Billings Livingston, Montana.


Buffalo Bill Village (or similar)

Day 6: Cody – Yellowstone National Park
Drive past the mountains of Wyoming to Yellowstone, America’s first National Park! Tag along your expert guide to on a tour of this immense geothermal wonderland which includes waterfalls, geysers, canyons, colourful wildlife and more! Some of the incredible highlights will be Yellowstone Lake, Old Faithful, Yellowstone Canyon’s majestic falls, and the beautiful Hayden Valley.


Kelly Inn West Yellowstone (or similar)

Included Activities

Sightseeing of Yellowstone National Park

Day 7: Yellowstone – Grand Teton National Park – Salt Lake City
Today we travel through Grand Teton National Park, as long as the weather permits, to witness magnificent mountain peaks towering over 4,000 metres and the local wildlife. Visit the Snake River Outlook and try your eye at capturing the stunning landscape made famous by Ansel Adam’s iconic shot in black and white. Arriving in Utah, known for its Mormon Community, embark on a short tour of its capital, Salt Lake City. See how Mormon followers of Brigham Young built one of the best-planned cities in the country. We visit the State Capital building, famed Temple Square and the Tabernacle before arriving at our hotel for the evening. May we suggest an optional dinner at the Rooftop Restaurant for panoramic views of Temple Square?


Crystal Inn Hotel & Suites - 3 Star (or similar)

Included Activities

Panoramic Sightseeing of Grand Teton National Park

Sightseeing of Snake River

Sightseeing of State Capital Building & Temple Square & the Tabernacle

Day 8: Salt Lake City – Bryce Canyon National Park
Embark for a journey to the spectacular Bryce Canyon and follow your guide on a tour through a multi-coloured world of sandstone spires and pinnacles, also known as “hoodoos”, that dazzle the eye. This evening, weather permitting, make sure to gaze upon the enchanting night-sky with sparkling stars & breath-taking constellations.


Bryce View Lodge (or similar)

Meals Included


Included Activities

Sightseeing of Bryce Canyon

Day 9: Bryce Canyon – Lake Powell – Grand Canyon – Flagstaff
Departing Bryce Canyon, we ride onwards to the stunning Lake Powell, where canyon walls of red-rock tower over crystal blue waters. Lake Powell is the second-largest man-made lake in America, part of a series of lakes formed after the damming of the Colorado River. Our next stop will be the world-famous Grand Canyon National Park, one of the seven great natural wonders and most impressive sceneries of the world! Pause at the rim of the Canyon to fully experience and appreciate this mile-deep canyon and all its plunging gorges, rising spires, extinct volcanoes, and the snaking Colorado River. Riding on the Historic Route 66, Flagstaff will be where we dream of the sights of the day.


Days Flagstaff (or similar)

Meals Included


Included Activities

Sightseeing of Lake Powell

Grand Canyon National Park Visit

Sightseeing of Route 66

Day 10: Flagstaff – Seligman/Route 66 – Las Vegas
Viva Las Vegas! In the morning, we hit the road for Las Vegas, the dazzling “Entertainment Capital of the World”. On the way, we will pass through the authentic town of Seligman on the famed Route 66, which looks as if it froze in time sixty years ago. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure exploring the world-renowned Las Vegas Strip.


Luxor Las Vegas - 4 Star (or similar)

Included Activities

Panoramic tour of Seligman Town

Day 11: Las Vegas – Mojave Desert – Beverly Hills – Los Angeles
Riding towards the western coast to Los Angeles, enjoy views of the scenic Mojave Desert with characteristic Joshua trees clustered on the mountainous backdrop. Arriving in L.A., join your guide for a tour through the “City of Angels” including famed spots as Hollywood, Sunset Strip and parts of Beverly Hills, before reaching our hotel.


Sonesta Los Angeles Airport - 4 Star (or similar)

Included Activities

Panoramic tour of the Mojave Desert

Sightseeing of Hollywood & Sunset Strip & Beverly Hills

Day 12: Los Angeles
The day is yours is to shape to your wishes! We would recommend an optional full-day tour to Universal Studios, the world’s largest theme park and movie studio! Capture an inside look at the movie sets and reveal behind-the-scene secrets of iconic films, or enjoy some of the Studios’ thrilling feature rides.


Sonesta Los Angeles Airport - 4 Star (or similar)

Optional Activities

Universal Studios Tour

Day 13: Los Angeles – Santa Barbara – Central Coast
Leaving Los Angeles in the morning, we ride north through one of California’s favorite vacation spots, Santa Barbara. Soak in views of palm-lined streets bordering vast white sandy beaches. The city is known for its mission and Spanish heritage. Along the way, we will make a stop at an iconic California lifeguard tower, particularly made famous by the TV series “Baywatch”. We continue to Santa Maria along the Central Coast for a rejuvenating night's rest.


Radisson Santa Maria - 3 Star (or similar)

Included Activities

Sightseeing of California Lifeguard Tower

Day 14: Central Coast – Carmel/Monterey – San Francisco
We continue our journey further north to Carmel, boasting fairytale-like cottages and galleries, and home of the world-famous actor/director Clint Eastwood. Freely browse the shops and galleries of the acclaimed artists’ colony. Traveling further north, we make a stop at Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf. Stroll along the Pier to Cannery Row, well-known thanks to John Steinbeck’s timeless novel. Passing lush valleys of Castroville and Santa Clara, we arrive in San Francisco, the “Golden City.” Our trip will end here after we bid farewell to newly-made friends.

Included Activities

Old Fisherman’s Wharf visit

Sightseeing of Cannery Row

What's Included

  • Accommodation

    4 and 3 star hotels & inns, superior lodges

  • Meals

    5 Breakfasts

  • Transportation

    A/C coach or mini-bus

  • Tour Guiding

    Services of experienced tour leaders

  • Orientation Walks

    Organised orientation walks at some of the towns visited

  • Free Wi-Fi

    Complimentary hotel and coach Wi-Fi ( where available )

What's Not Included

  • Any flights not mentioned above

  • Travel Insurance

  • Meals not stated above

  • Items of a personal nature

  • Tips and gestures

  • Entrance fees to the sights and museums

  • Optional activities

  • Other services not stated in the itinerary

Add Ons

Local Payment: £0

Check out our Q&As

  • What is the maximum group size?

    Maximum group size is 55

  • Are all entrance fees included in the price?


  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    No passenger under the age of 21

  • Will I know the names and details of all the accommodation before I depart?


  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?


  • Are flights included in this tour?


  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?


  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    There are always single travellers on our tours. If you don't mind being roomed with another single traveller of the same gender, then you do not need to pay a single supplement, however, this excludes all of our North American tours where the sharing option for a solo traveller is not available, and the single supplement must be applied if you are travelling alone. The single supplement is for travellers who would like to stay in a private room for the duration of the tour. PLEASE NOTE: The single private option is not always available, especially for sailing tours and camping.

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    Our tours are suitable for any traveller above 18 years old. The majority of Travel Talkers are from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada or Europe, however we always have travellers from all over the world. What brings them together is a passion for travel, discovering authentic cultures and experiencing unique adventures with like-minded travellers.

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    At Travel Talk, we believe that travel is a force for good and show our support through various initiatives and charity organizations, as well as keeping the principals of responsible and sustainable travel at the core of our ethos. These values are engrained in our business culture and the design of our trips just the same. Together with our guests, we strive to make a positive impact on local p

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Over 20 years

Reviews of this operator

Jessie Mae Sia  

My travel talk experience was great and memorable


My travel talk experience was awesome and fantastic. Me and my husband was on their Morocco and Turkey tours in 2019, they operated their tours in a culturally fun manner and the tour guides were very nice and very approachable. It exceeded our expection, we love to come back with them in our future travel. Thank you travel talk you made our 2019 as one of our memorable year!

Leigh Anaru (Google Reviewer)  

Just finished the 10 day...


Just finished the 10 day ANZAC tour in Türkiye. Wow what an experience! The tour although busy was jam packed with amazing experiences made all the more richer by our highly knowledgable and very funny guide Aykut. The bus was full of 44 Aussies and Kiwis which would've been no easy feat to control. Aykut and our drivers Naci and Sevki were kind and patient making our long drives enjoyable. Gallipoli was a bucket list of mine, and what a beautiful humbling experience it was, especially the following day tour of the cemeteries. Other than that highlight, the early morning hot air balloon and all the other sites the Kapadokya offers was pretty special too. I will be using Travel Talk again. 5 stars!

Bec Wood (Google Reviewer)  

We did the 11 Day...


We did the 11 Day Anzac Tour of Turkey. It. Was. Phenomenal. My husband and I absolutely love Turkey and were excited to explore the country. Highlights were definitely the Hot Air Balloons in Cappadocia and the privilege of attending the Dawn Service at Anzac Cove. A bucket list item ticked off. This was my second Travel Talk in 2024 and I would absolutely do another one in the future. The tour was organised and our guide, Mustafa, was fantastic.

Scarlett Lily  

One of the best holidays I’ve had


We went on a tour of the Balkans and it was above our expectations. Bojan was the best tour leader gave us so much information about the places we were visiting but also a great laugh! The tour ran so smoothly and was the perfect way to see the area in a little amount of time. It was one of the best holidays I have been on, I loved every minute of it and I can’t wait to book another tour with travel talk. They are great value for money!

James Wilkins (Google Reviewer)  

Just completed the exotic Morocco...


Just completed the exotic Morocco tour with our excellent guide Abdul! He was one of the best tour guides I have met, he brought so much energy and knowledge on the tour and could not imagine doing the tour without him. The tour itself was so diverse, seeing so many different landscapes. It has been one of the best trips I have done. Would highly recommend!

Danica Dee (Google Reviewer)  

I would 100% recommend the...


I would 100% recommend the ANZAC Travel Talks tour, just finishing the 11 day tour here in Istanbul with our guide Mustafa. I travel alone and have done multiple tours with other well known and popular travel companies and this has hands down been the best!!! INFORMATION! Haha So much engaging history and knowledge from our guide, I found the tours of the palace and ruins with Mustafa very enjoyable. The freedom to skip a museum or tour to explore the city was encouraged. Meet back points and day plans were clearly communicated making it easy to have autonomy in a group setting. I felt like I was in charge of my own holiday and tour experience, which as a solo traveller who loves to do her own thing was perfect! We visited such amazing places on this tour that were bucket list items and once in a life time experiences! A hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia, walking the ruins in Ephesus & Troy. The dawn service at ANZAC Cove and Lone Pine Gallipoli. I am still in awe of the amazing things we have done and seen in these last 11days! The country of Turkey itself is absolutely beautiful and the people here even more so. Very generous and kind, I always felt safe as a female travelling alone. The food AMAZING! Baklava, doner kababs, rice stuffed muscles and Turkish delights to name a few, will make you fall in love! Accommodation was big beautiful mostly 4-5 star hotels in great locations on the beach, in the city! Comfortable beds, ample space and an abundance of food! Most of our accomodation provided buffet breakfast and dinner. Not having to worry about where to eat at the end of a long day or before an early start was very convenient. The work placed into the ANZAC service, security and protection was hands down phenomenal. Multiple check points for security, Turkish workers handing out water, offering first aid, and clearly communicating and directing crowds for the services. All my anxieties for the day were put at ease seeing the work and dedication put in by the Turkish people and government. I honestly cannot fault this tour and want everyone to experience Turkey the way I have gotten to experience this beautiful country. This ANZAC tour will forever be in my memories and my heart as one of the best trips I have ever done! Truely, thank you, teşekkür ederim, Travel Talks Tours.

Caroline Barrett (Google Reviewer)  

My partner and I thoroughly...


My partner and I thoroughly enjoyed our 9 Day Essential Turkey tour with Mustafa as our guide. His attentiveness to the group's needs was amazing, going above and beyond to ensure an stress-free experience. Mustafa provided valuable local insights, guiding us on the best areas to visit and helping us find good local deals. Overall, we found the tour to be excellent value for money, and we were particularly impressed with traveltalks accommodation choices—clean, spacious, and offering great meal options. Additionally, the inclusion of two drivers for our safety during long journeys added an extra layer of reassurance to our memorable trip. Thank you to Mustafa!

Tegan Bull (Google Reviewer)  

Unforgettable Turkey Essentials: A Journey...


Unforgettable Turkey Essentials: A Journey with Travel Talk I recently had the pleasure of embarking on the Turkey Essentials tour with Travel Talk, and let me tell you, it was an adventure like no other! From the bustling streets of Istanbul to the ancient wonders of Ephesus, this tour was a perfect blend of culture, history, and pure fun. Travel Talk ensured that every aspect of our trip was well-planned. The accommodations were comfortable, the transportation was smooth, and the itinerary was perfectly curated to showcase the best of Turkey's rich history and vibrant culture. If you're looking for an incredible adventure in Turkey, I wholeheartedly recommend Travel Talk. Their attention to detail, knowledgeable guides (Mustafa), ensure a seamless and unforgettable journey. Whether you're a history buff, a culture enthusiast, or simply seeking a thrilling travel experience, Travel Talk has got you covered. Thank you, Travel Talk for an extraordinary tour that surpassed all expectations. I'll cherish the memories and stories from this adventure for a lifetime.

Diane Horsman  

Fantastic tour, personable experiences


My first tour with Traveltalk to Jordan was fantastic. Everything was very well planned, the itinerary was timed to perfection and jam packed with amazing experiences. The tour guide Issa went above and beyond to make everyone happy and have the best experience possible, taking us to local restaurants and telling us the best things to eat. Our bus broke down on the way to the Dead Sea and he dealt with it really quickly, and a replacement bus arrived in less than an hour. He treated us all like his friend rather than just a job which make the tour even more special. The hotels were fab and had everything that we needed, all I great locations to local attractions. I booked another tour but had to cancel due to Covid and Traveltalk have placed my deposit aside ready to use on the next trip. I can’t wait to book again with them.

Eric Gunther (Google Reviewer)  

We did the 12 day...


We did the 12 day Turkey tour with the Gullet option, and loved it! The price was super reasonable, Travel Talk was always extremely responsive whenever I reached out. Most importantly, we visited an amazing array of impressive historical sites, saw the profound and varied natural beauty of Turkey and enjoyed incredible experiences like hot air ballooning and paragliding. Mustafa was the best tour guide we have ever had. His knowledge and organizational skills were top notch, he helped with everything (even with arranging laundry services) and was hilarious as well. The food was tasty, the hotels were good and the boat trip was fun and relaxing with beautiful scenery and a lot of swimming. The cabins on the boat weren’t air conditioned and were pretty hot at night, so some people slept on deck where there were plenty of places with cushions where you could stretch out and get a good nights rest. I highly recommend this tour!!

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Wednesday - Tuesday

Jul 10, 2024 - Jul 23, 2024
$5902 $3157

Operator discount: -$2656

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$89

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Wednesday - Tuesday

Jul 24, 2024 - Aug 06, 2024
$5902 $3157

Operator discount: -$2656

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$89

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Wednesday - Tuesday

Aug 14, 2024 - Aug 27, 2024
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Operator discount: -$2656

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$89

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Wednesday - Tuesday

Sep 11, 2024 - Sep 24, 2024
$5902 $3157

Operator discount: -$2656

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$89

Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Travel Talk Tours allows you to make 2 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 61 days before the start of the tour.

  • Low Deposit

    Travel Talk Tours requires a minimum deposit of 100 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of travel talk tours charges.

    Up to 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 59 days before tour starts: Forfeit 70% of booking price.

    At 29 days before tour starts: Forfeit 85% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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