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5 Train Journeys You Must Experience in Your Lifetime

By Amtrak Vacations Sunday, April 7, 2019 Read time: 4 minutes


Many train vacationers will tell you that the best part of their trip was their onboard experience. Sitting back and taking in the views from the Observation car, enjoying a meal with other passengers in the Dining Car, and letting the train rock them to sleep in their bedroom or roomette are just some of the positive experiences our customers have shared. And that's before even arriving at their destination. The best part - any of our rail vacations can be started from the train station closest to your hometown, or from any of the 500+ Amtrak stations across the U.S. The options are endless to have the train vacation experience of your dreams. The only question is, where to? Here are five top train experiences that you're going to want to add to your travel bucket list. Or let one of our Rail Vacation Specialists help you customize your own!

1. Northern Rail Experience

Venture from the breathtaking great plains of the Midwest to the serene waters of the Pacific Coast on this scenic rail journey from Chicago to San Francisco, with a stop in Seattle. Enjoy the landscape as you travel along major portions of the Lewis and Clark trail on Amtrak's iconic Empire Builder train. Explore Seattle on a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour. Discover the sights of San Francisco. Spend some quality time in two majestic parts of Northern California: Muir Woods and Sausalito. And, then you’ll head back to the “Windy City” on board one of most beautiful train trips in all of North America. >> LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS RAIL EXPERIENCE

2. Grand Rail Experience

Starting off in Chicago, the Grand Rail Experience is customized for anyone who wants to get the full cross-country Amtrak experience! Connecting Amtrak's top train routes across the top of the country, down the Pacific Coast, Amtrak's southern route, and up through our nation's capital; this around-the-country journey is sure to please any train buff or adventurous sightseer! Take Amtraks's Empire Builder®, Coast Starlight®, Sunset Limited®, Crescent® and Capitol Limited®, respectively, and spend time in Washington, DC, Seattle, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. A not-to-be-missed train journey indeed! >> LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS RAIL EXPERIENCE

3. Washington, New York, and Niagara Falls

View of Niagara Falls in a sunny day

Journey from America’s capital to the breathtaking majesty of Niagara Falls. In Washington, D.C., visit a Smithsonian Museum, take a picture in front of the White House, and stop by the many monuments around the city. Then head up to New York City where you will visit the Empire State Building, Times Square, the 9/11 Museum and Memorial, and Central Park. You will also take in a classic show on Broadway! From there it is up and across the border to the majestic Niagara Falls. There you can take in the beauty of the Falls. It’s truly an unforgettable sight! >> LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS RAIL EXPERIENCE

4. Rails to the Grand Canyon

Why take a car to the Grand Canyon when you can ride a train, especially one like the Grand Canyon Railway? You’ll have a memorable experience traveling to the Grand Canyon and coming back. Starting in Williams, Arizona, the final Route 66 town bypassed by Interstate 40, you’ll venture 65 miles through Ponderosa pine forests and high desert plains to the South Rim. When you do arrive, you’ll quickly realize that the Grand Canyon is a place that you cannot truly appreciate until you see it with your own eyes. Photographs just don’t do it justice. >> LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS RAIL EXPERIENCE

5. Grand National Parks with Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Glacier National Park

Row Boat at Lower Two Medicine Lake, Glacier National Park

Ready to take in all the exquisite natural beauty of three of America’s most beloved national parks, including the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Glacier National Park! Explore all these amazing landscapes as well as the beautiful scenic journey by train along the way. Grand National Parks is an unforgettable adventure to the best of the American outdoors. One thing’s for sure: You’re guaranteed to make memories that will last for years to come! >> LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS RAIL EXPERIENCE

6. USA and Canada Rail Experience

Take three of Amtrak’s iconic routes—Empire Builder, Cascades and Lake Shore Limited—and VIA Rail’s The Canadian on this 11-day train vacation. Your journey begins on Amtrak’s Empire Builder where you’ll be traveling from Chicago to the Pacific Northwest after passing through Glacier National Park. Explore Vancouver’s most popular attractions and landmarks, including Granville Island and Stanley Park. Experience all of the city’s beauty from one of the best vantage points, like the Vancouver Lookout. Then, you’ll board VIA Rail to embark on your cross-Canada rail train ride to Toronto as it passes through the Canadian Rockies and countryside. >> LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS RAIL EXPERIENCE VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ALL OF OUR TRAIN VACATIONS!

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