Pacific Northwest-California Tours in 1961

Here’s another example of a la carte tours as opposed to table d’hôte. Great Northern advertises “a grand circle tour of the Pacific Northwest and California,” but it really isn’t a tour so much as a design-your-own-vacation package listing rail fares, sample hotel fares, and a list of things to see and do (some of them with prices).


Click image to download a 3.3-MB PDF of this 4-page brochure.

The brochure, of course, encourages vacationers to take the Empire Builder or (if they want to stop at Glacier Park) Western Star to the Northwest. From Portland they can take either the Shasta Daylight or Cascade to Oakland, where they can take tours of the Bay Area, Redwoods, or Yosemite Park.

Between San Francisco and Los Angeles, they can see Yosemite, Sequoia-Kings Canyon, or coastal missions. Once in L.A., they can see Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm and/or go on to San Diego. For the return trip, they can take the Super Chief, City of Los Angeles, El Capitan, Challenger, Golden State, Chief, or Grand Canyon, optionally stopping at Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Utah Parks, or Denver and Rocky Mountain National Park on the way home.

In short, GN printed this brochure in the hope of getting people’s one-way fares from the Midwest to the Northwest. Did it work? I can’t help but feel that the market for people wanting to go to California via Seattle or Portland was pretty small, but this is only one of many GN (not to mention a few NP) brochures promoting that routing. Maybe it made more sense for people living in or west of the Twin Cities, but the fares quoted in the brochure are from Chicago.


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