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5 Vacations That Will Make You Love Overnight Train Travel

By Amtrak Vacations Monday, January 11, 2021 Read time: 4 minutes

Imagine traveling with no roads, no traffic, and no stress.

Just miles and miles of natural scenery, and you’re right in the middle of it.  Take a comfortable, front-row seat to relax onboard the train!

For many riders, the views are the best part of the train experience and why they keep coming back for more. But the views wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable without the relaxed pace and friendly vibe onboard, especially on a long-distance, overnight rail journey. The food, the accommodations, the people onboard, and the friendly staff all contribute to a one of a kind travel experience, quite unlike any other. And if the journey is longer than one overnight on the train, upgrade to a roomette or a bedroom and enjoy the privacy and added comfort of having your own room onboard the train.

The following 5 rail experiences are as much about the train journey as they are about the amazing destinations they take you to. Each vacation features one or more overnights on the train, so you get to experience life onboard the train. And each journey can start and end from the train station nearest to your hometown, so you don't have to make a separate trip just to get to the train!


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. 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” onboard one of the most beautiful train trips in all of North America. This journey goes through arguably the most scenic routes Amtrak can offer; through the forests of Montana, the coast of the Pacific, and through the incredible Rocky Mountains!

CLICK HERE to learn more about this vacation.


zion national park river at sunset

Experience spectacular landscapes and scenery on this 9-Day adventure to the Grand Canyon and the Parks of the Southwest! Discover the beauty of the most untamed landscapes of the American Southwest. Immerse yourself in the mysterious and soul-stirring geography of Grand Junction, Arches, CanyonlandsCapitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Lake Powell, and the Grand Canyon—with plenty of leisure time to lounge and take it easy along the way. Featuring dazzling views everywhere you look, you could spend a lifetime exploring these regions and still discover something new and exciting each time.

CLICK HERE to learn more about this vacation.


Prepare for a journey to three of the nation's greatest national parks! Experience the best of the American West as you travel across the Great Plains and through the Rocky Mountains on board Amtrak. Stop to explore all the sites and wonders of timeless Yellowstone National Park. Yosemite also awaits where your tour takes in all the natural glory to be found in this astounding national park. Grand Canyon National Park is home to unique combinations of geological colors and shapes carved out over millions of years of history. There’s plenty to do, including taking a hike around the canyon rim or into the canyon itself, embarking on a river trip, or taking in the breathtaking aerial views of the canyon on a helicopter tour. This is a vacation you will never forget!

CLICK HERE to learn more about this vacation.


Explore two of America’s grandest national parks on this fabulous rail vacation! Travel through the wide-open landscape of the Heartland of America by rail before reaching Salt Lake City. Continue on to Jackson Hole for an exploration of Grand Teton National Park and its spectacular wildlife. From there, the journey north continues to Yellowstone National Park, where you can take in the amazing scenery that has made this destination a must-see for decades.

CLICK HERE to learn more about this vacation.


Sit back, relax, and enjoy some of North America's best landscapes by rail on this USA Rail Experience! Begin your journey on Amtrak's Empire Builder traveling from Chicago to the Pacific Northwest passing through Glacier National Park. Explore Seattle's most popular sites including the iconic Space Needle observatory and the culinary landmark Pike Place Market. Ride along the Pacific Coast until you arrive in the "City of Angels". You will continue on your journey to then experience New Orleans which is filled with a variety of activities, from numerous art galleries and museums to the Audubon Zoo and Aquarium and history and heritage tours. Following will be an incredible stop at Washington, DC which is home to numerous museums, including the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo, historic homes, and gardens, the sightseeing options are endless.

CLICK HERE to learn more about this vacation.

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