7 Great US Cities to Discover by Train
Been thinking about taking an exciting city getaway? Maybe a fun, long weekend with friends or a romantic escape with that special someone? The train can take you there without the lines and the traffic, and allow you to enjoy the journey along the way. Just sit back, watch the world go by and admire the views as you head toward your destination!
Each of these iconic US city destinations has a historic train station right in the heart of the city, so you can start discovering what makes these cities so great as soon as you step off the train. And the best part might be that you can get there round trip from any of the 500+ Amtrak stations across the country, including the one nearest to your hometown.
Your city adventure – by train – awaits!
As a major Amtrak hub, Chicago is a great city to begin or end a rail journey, but it’s also an epic destination in and of itself. As soon you arrive in The Windy City’s iconic, Beaux Arts Union Station, you know you’re in for a classy city experience. The station is within walking distance of hotels, fine dining and major city landmarks, like Navy Pier and Millennium Park, providing easy access to all the best of the city. The adventure begins the moment you step of the train in Chicago!
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From the moment your train pulls into Seattle’s King Street Station, you’ll know you’ve arrived in the Emerald City. The fresh, Pacific Northwest sea air has a distinct coffee aroma, and world-famous Pike Place Market overlooking picturesque Elliott Bay is only about a mile away. Take a leisurely stroll along Seattle’s charming waterfront and see the entire city from the 520 ft tall Space Needle observation deck – experience stunning views of Mt. Rainier, the surrounding greenery and the sparkling lights of downtown Seattle in the evening.
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There’s no place on earth quite like New York City, and the train takes you right into the historic and world-famous Grand Central Terminal or Penn Station for the start of a city experience like no other. As soon as you step off the train, you get a sense of the size and sophistication of the Big Apple, and you don’t have walk far to experience all the best of the city! From iconic landmarks, such as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, to the bright lights of Broadway and Times Square, New York is truly one of the world’s greatest cities. Browse the Modern Museum of Art; take a walk or boat ride in Central Park; board a ferry to Ellis Island; and delight in the endless selection of fine dining and entertainment options.
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Taking the train to Boston is a fun experience for history buffs, and anyone who can appreciate traveling at a different pace. Boston’s historic South Station opened for service way back on New Year’s Day 1899. With its Neoclassical architecture and signature clock on top of the main head house facing Atlantic Avenue, the train station is a major city landmark and the second busiest transportation center in New England. It’s also your gateway to all the major sights and sounds of this vibrant city, including the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum and the Freedom Trail.
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Immerse yourself in rich culture and heritage rooted in centuries of history in sunny Albuquerque. Explore the surrounding desert, shop for authentic Native American jewelry, try hot air ballooning, or visit a living history museum. The centrally located train station in Downtown Albuquerque at the Alvarado Transportation Center anchors development on the eastern end of downtown and along historic Route 66, and provides easy access to the city’s many cultural attractions, shopping and entertainment venues.
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The beautifully restored Union Station in Washington, DC is one of the country’s first great railroad terminals, completed in 1908, as well as Amtrak’s headquarters. With tons of shopping and dining, you may not want to leave the station, but there is so much more to see and do in this great city, with many major landmarks within walking distance of the station. Stroll through one or more of the many Smithsonian museums, visit the nearby Capital Building, and make sure to stop for picture-taking at the White House.
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Arrive on the train into Los Angeles’ Union Station and you’ll immediately get a sense of the history and glamour of this sprawling city. Opened in 1939, the station is known for its colorful times, its fountains, and of course, the Palm Trees. Once you’ve arrived, see the stars along the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame and the celebrity handprints at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, or tour the neighborhoods of movie stars of yesterday and today. Enjoy elegant and casual dining, shopping, live music and comedy clubs. And any time of year is a good time to relax and unwind on the sandy beaches of Malibu, Santa Monica and Venice.
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