Xanterra Moments Last A Lifetime

One of our favorite things that happens when we share a photo, a destination, or an experience is the stories we hear and the memories you share of these unforgettable places. A postcard perfect childhood summer vacation spent at Yellowstone. A family reunion aboard the Grand Canyon Railway. The feeling you get imagining the past as you walk the historic steps of iconic lodges.

Xanterra destinations not only include some of the most beautiful, unique, and legendary places in the world, but we’ve been operating in them for 150 years and helping preserve them for generations to come. Which means taking you back to visit these special places may also take you back in your mind. We fondly remember places we’ve been before and travels shared with people we love.

Whether you’re recreating your favorite childhood vacation or starting new traditions with your own family, Xanterra destinations will always hold a special place in your heart.

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Then: Grand Canyon Railway

Since 1901 the Grand Canyon Railway has enchanted millions. The $3.95 train ride would allow visitors to gaze upon what Teddy Roosevelt said, “Every American should see.” The 65 miles of track the iron horse traveled became the lifeline to Grand Canyon.

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Now: Grand Canyon Railway

Today, Grand Canyon Railway provides a historic and memorable journey to the canyon with the help of authentic western characters who bring the Old West to life. Sit back, relax, and lose yourself in the majesty, the magnificence that is Grand Canyon National Park.

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Grand Canyon with Kids: 10 Awesome Things to Do

A larger-than-life experience, Grand Canyon draws tens of thousands of families each year who unplug their smartphones, tune out of television, and create lasting memories together. Here are 10 ways the park helps kids replace virtual reality with a real-life experience that will stay with them for a lifetime. Guaranteed.

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Hotel History

Quality lodging for passengers was an important part of the Santa Fe Railway system during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As the railroad expanded west, a chain of hotels and restaurants run by the Fred Harvey Company opened along the Santa Fe rail lines. The hotels and restaurants were known as Harvey Houses, and they became famous for their quality food and service.

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Who Were the Harvey Girls?

Young, single, intelligent women who were also of “good character,” and had the sort of sense of adventure that propelled them to unknown territory in the 1880s to work as waitresses.

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Then: Death Valley

A gradual decline in mining meant that the operators of the Death Valley Railroad needed to find new customers and turned to tourism for the solution. In 1926, local Paiute and Shoshone Indians went to work and construction only lasted a few months before the hotel opened. Then known as the Furnace Creek Inn, the hotel embodied the history of California and the Old West.

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Now: Death Valley

The Inn’s recent multi-million dollar restoration has brought new life and energy to the historic property. What’s more, you can now enjoy this true American Oasis while staying in one of 22 new casitas situated around the famed gardens. Located in the shadow of the Oasis Gardens’ date palms, the Inn’s Casitas offer unparalleled privacy and luxury—get a first glimpse of them below.

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How to Spend A Weekend In Death Valley

Death Valley is often thought of as one of the most rugged locations on Earth, but the truth is quite the opposite. From October through April, the valley offers surprisingly pleasant temperatures for people wishing to escape the winter cold. And visitors will discover an amazing amount of biodiversity made possible by over 600 ponds and streams. What’s more, there are more things you can do for fun in Death Valley than you can possibly do in one weekend.

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Behind the Scenes with the Historian of the Oasis at Death Valley

As an avid hiker and backpacker, working at The Inn gave historian Woodruff and his wife Gayle the chance to get to know the area and also develop an expertise in its history. So in addition to guiding tours and delivering lectures, Woodruff, along with Gayle, eventually authored the book, Magnificent Oasis at Death Valley.

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The Reimagined Ranch at Death Valley: Better Than Ever

Although originally a working ranch that was built in the 1930s, most of its structures date to the 1950s. Set on the valley floor below and a short distance from the Inn, the Ranch has its own identity, history, and atmosphere. With a true western atmosphere, some liken it to a combination of a dude ranch and a national park lodge.

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Then: Sailing the Open Seas

Passenger Cruising can be traced back to the 1800’s, when ships were still mainly used for transporting cargo and mail. In 1897 The British Medical Journal reported that a cruise to the West Indies provided “Opportunities for recovering health” and that “the most delightful days of peace and leisure may be passed doing nothing”—we don’t knows about you, but that sounds pretty good to us!

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Now: Windstar Cruises

Any cruise ship lets you see the world. Windstar brings it close enough so you can fully live it. With just 148 to 342 guests per voyage, you will feel like you are on your own private yacht. See, hear, smell, taste, and feel what it’s like to sail into a small port, explore a hidden beach, see a parade of penguins, taste a spicy Norwegian Bacalao stew, and altogether lose yourself in a wondrous culture.

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Cruise Secrets Of Long-Time Cruisers

There’s a reason many first-time travelers become lifelong cruisers — cruise vacations combine all the best parts of the land and sea for an unforgettable journey through different cultures and experiences. Between packing, embarkation day, shore excursions, bucket list tours and cultural considerations, planning your cruise can seem overwhelming — but it doesn’t have to be.

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Ultimate Cruise Bucket List Ideas

What’s on your bucket list? Do you dream of ancient ruins or some of the world’s most beautiful beaches? Maybe your list is brimming with dazzling cities buzzing with culture and art. Or, perhaps you still need to uncover your travel dreams. When you’re ready to check off your top choices, let us know at Windstar Cruises. We’ll be thrilled to show you extraordinary destinations, including must-see cities, traditional villages and secret harbors where only small ships can go.

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Big Cruise Ship Vs. Small Cruise Ship – How Do They Differ?

Cruise ships are not all alike, and size is very much a factor in finding the ocean cruise experience that is right for you. The size of the ship influences the style of cruising and whom you cruise with. It also influences where you can go.

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Then: Yellowstone

Yellowstone came into being on March 1, 1872—making it the world’s first national park. When President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act into law, it protected more than 2 million acres of mountain wilderness, erupting geysers, and stunning landscapes for future generations to enjoy.

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Now: Yellowstone

Yellowstone continues to provide inspiration for the people of the world and is a reflection of American values and ideals. From lodging, camping and dining to things to do and wildlife watching, find the information you need for planning a memorable visit to this extraordinary destination.

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A First Timer’s Guide to Visiting Yellowstone [Infographic]

Visiting Yellowstone for the first time? Here are some infographics to help guide you on all of the fun things to do, see, and eat within the Park. Our first-timer’s guides show you what to do, what to see, and some dos and don’ts for visiting Yellowstone.

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The History of Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Inn

The Inn’s foundation is the creative genius of architect Robert C. Reamer, combined with the business savvy of hotelier Harry W. Child. Constructed between June 1903 and June 1904, the builders used raw materials harvested from the local area. Adapting sixteenth-century technology they produced a modern wilderness log cabin with electricity, steam heat, and indoor plumbing.

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3 Ideal Days for Families in Yellowstone Itinerary

Most people know about Yellowstone’s geysers; Old Faithful, the most famous, shoots steaming spray 100 to 180 feet into the air with regularity. But within Yellowstone’s nearly 3,500 square miles, you can hike forests, take a boat trip, admire a canyon, ride horseback, travel by covered wagon and stagecoach plus look out your car window to see bison, moose, elk, and bighorn sheep. That makes it a perfect family destination.

Here are three ideal days in the park for families:

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Discover More Unforgettable Xanterra Moments

Holiday Vacations | Classical Greece Tour

Cruise the Aegean Sea, tour fascinating cities, and explore world-famous ancient architecture.

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Country Walkers | Peru: Cusco, Machu Picchu & the Sacred Valley

In this walking tour of Peru through bustling markets and mountaintop ruins, Andean culture endures as surely as stone walls.

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VBT Bicycling Vacations | France: Normandy & Brittany

Bike France through Normandy’s hedgerow-lined pastures and timeless villages and Brittany’s medieval enclaves, with views of shimmering sea during this fascinating journey.

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Zion National Park

Zion National Park is Utah’s oldest and most visited national park. Its massive sandstone walls, some as high as 3,800 feet, offer an opportunity for serenity and reflection for all who visit.

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Glacier National Park

Known for its seemingly endless acres of rugged and breathtaking landscapes, Glacier National Park was established in 1910 and stands today as a monument to wild natural places.

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Grand Canyon | Historic Village

Though the beauty of Grand Canyon is ultimately the main attraction, picturesque Grand Canyon Historic Village is a must see to truly experience Grand Canyon and its history.

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