Skip to main content

Back to Blog

5 Train Vacation Types to Fit Your Unique Travel Style

By Amtrak Vacations Sunday, July 12, 2020 Read time: 5 minutes

Amtrak travels to 46 of the 48 contiguous United States along with Canada and has over 500 train stations across the country, meaning there’s no limit to where you can go by train. But when it comes to taking a train vacation, it helps to understand the different options to find something that best fits your unique travel style. Do you want the full train experience, complete with multiple stops and overnights on board, or are you looking for a quick ride to a favorite city for the weekend? Read on to find the train vacation type that’s a perfect match for the experience you’re looking for!

1. Most Scenic Rail Journeys

Description: Independent Rail Journeys are multi-city/multi-destination train vacations that let you take in the scenery of North America’s most iconic settings, all from the comfort of your seat on the train and with the freedom and flexibility to explore and enjoy activities throughout your trip at your own pace. With a specific start and end point, Scenic Rail Journeys are carefully crafted based on favorite routes and destinations along those routes, like national parks and coast to coast journeys. Your hotels, sightseeing, activities and various meals are included, freeing you from the stress of having to plan and coordinate everything yourself. And your train travel between cities is included, so you don’t have to think about how you’re going to get from Point A to Point B. Popular Rail Journeys include Glacier National Park Express and Peaks to Pacific Journey.

Why it’s perfect for you: An Independent Rail Journey is an inclusive rail vacation, taking the hassle out of planning travel, hotel, meals and activities at each destination. If you are looking a fun and immersive multi-stop train vacation with a well mapped-out itinerary, this option is the way to go.

Explore Scenic Rail Journeys  



Description:  As the name implies, rail getaways are quick, single-city train escapes designed to be as activity-packed or as relaxed as you want them to be. Inclusive of hotel accommodations, sightseeing and entertainment, these fun and flexible getaways let you explore a destination at your own pace without sweating the details. Getaways are popular because they’re probably the easiest way to experience a major city or national park in a two- to four-day time span. With the option to depart from over 500 Amtrak train stations around the country, there’s almost always an easy and direct way to get to and from your destination of choice. And once you’re there, you can quickly settle into your hotel and start exploring with included hop-on, hop-off passes and popular sightseeing tours. Top Rail Getaways include New York City, Washington, DC, the Grand Canyon, New Orleans and Glacier National Park.

Why it’s perfect for you:  You’ve been wanting to discover a new city or maybe revisit an iconic destination you love, but you don’t want the stress of planning where to stay and what to do while you're there. You don’t have the time to take a multi-day, multi-stop vacation but you still want to get away for a few days. If you’re nodding your head right now, then a Rail Getaway is the way to go!

Explore Rail Getaways




Description: America’s national parks are truly amazing sights to behold, and taking the train is the perfect way to get up close and personal with these national treasures. Some of the most scenic train routes wind through and to the national parks, providing unprecedented access to views not accessible by car. Because of the historic connection between the national parks and the train, many travelers consider the train the most authentic way to experience the parks. Popular National Park Vacations include Grand National Parks with Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, and Rails to the Grand Canyon.

Why it’s perfect for you: You’ve been wanting to visit a national park but you don’t want the hassle and stress of driving or flying there. You want the full national park experience, complete with accommodations, tours and activities. You want a national park experience of a lifetime!

Explore National Parks



Description: With a roundtrip rail vacation, you start and finish your rail journey in the same place with a return trip by rail, adding convenience and doubling the sights you’ll see along the way! You can travel roundtrip from any Amtrak station, and many train vacation packages are built around roundtrip rail travel. Popular Roundtrip Rail Vacations include Grand Canyon Getaway Roundtrip from Chicago and Niagara Falls Ultimate Getaway Roundtrip from New York.

Why it’s perfect for you: Roundtrip Rail Vacations offer convenience, especially if the Amtrak station is close to home. It’s also nice to begin and end your train vacation in a dynamic hub like Chicago, New York City, or Washington, DC – a destination in and of itself. With included roundtrip rail, you can relax, enjoy the ride and know what to expect for your return journey.

Explore Roundtrip Rail Vacations




Description: Rail Experiences are all about the journey AND the destination. Enjoy the spirit of America and travel along iconic Amtrak train routes to some of the country’s most popular destinations. Learn more about traveling by train and get the full experience of riding the rails on these packages, many which include overnights on the train. Rail Experience packages let you relax, unwind and really absorb the charm and history of the long-distance train journey. Popular Rail Experiences include Northern Rail Experience and Grand Rail Experience.

Why it’s perfect for you: Is a train vacation ‘experience’ on your bucket list? Rail Experience packages truly offer that one-of-a-kind train experience, and many travelers make the most of it by arranging sleeping accommodations onboard the train complete with a personal attendant, dining car meals and other special amenities that create a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime journey.

Explore Rail Experiences

If these 5 train vacation types aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, remember you can customize any trip to create your very own perfect fit. Mix and match destinations, hotel accommodations, sightseeing tours, and much more to truly fit your own personal travel style. And any trip can start right from your hometown - give us a call and let one of our Rail Vacation Experts help you create your perfect train vacation!  

Back to Blog

More Articles