Best Places to Travel to by Train

March 5, 2019 0 0

What are the best trips and places to travel by train, e.g. via Amtrak and others? Riding the rails is a surprisingly robust way to see the nation, and you may surprised at just how far you can get. Wondering what the best spots are to take a weekend trip, or head out to on a longer vacation? Below, you’ll find a guide to 10 of the best trips and places to travel to by train, and some of the best train rides to take in all of the USA to boot.




Amtrak’s Adirondack

Saratoga Springs, NY to Westport, NY

Croton-Harmon, NY to Hudson, NY

New York, NY to Albany/Rensselaer, NY to Montreal

Part of its Trails & Rails program, Amtrak’s Adirondack line has three different tracks that will let you explore various public parks throughout New York State. Participating parks include National Parks at New York Harbor, Saratoga National Historical Park and the Roosevelt and Vanderbilt Mansions. As you travel, program guides will point out things in the area you’re visiting. This route runs from May 20 to October 29 on Saturdays and Sundays.

Grand Canyon Railway

Williams, AZ

For a unique glimpse at the Grand Canyon, hop on the Grand Canyon Railway — a 65-mile trip that will take you up, down and all around the famous park. The first trip on the railway was in 1901, and the train only leaves the depot once per day, except during “peak demand periods,” when a second train will leave. So if you plan on taking in this adventure, plan ahead.

White Pass & Yukon Route

Skagway, AK


Fraser, British Columbia

Technically, this ride isn’t exactly contained within the United States — it actually takes you up to British Columbia. But it is one of the best trips to take by train and places to travel via the rails. You’ll need your passport to ride, and can catch a trip from May through September for gorgeous views you’ll be taking in on one of the railroad’s three routes.

Metro North

New York, NY to

Poughkeepsie, NY

Metro North’s Hudson line starts from Grand Central Terminal in New York, so take a few minutes to walk around the space and soak in its architectural wonders before boarding. As you make your way upstate, you’ll have a breathtaking view of the Hudson River. Hop off at Cold Spring or Beacon to explore the small, artsy areas of the Hudson Valley. Or, take the train to Breakneck Ridge for some hiking. 

Amtrak’s Coast Starlight

Seattle, WA to Portland, OR

Santa Barbara, CA

to San Luis Obispo, CA

Santa Barbara, CA to San Jose, CA

Running from the spring through summer, you can choose one of Amtrak’s three Coast Starlight routes along the West Coast. You can ride through places like San Francisco or Portland, all while taking in views such as the Cascade Range. Trains provide dining and sleeping accommodations for your convenience as well.

Amtrak’s Texas Eagle

Chicago, IL to Springfield, IL

San Antonio, TX to Ft. Worth, TX

On the Texas Eagle trip, you can hit spots like the Lincoln Home National Historical Site or the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, depending on which route you choose. The train doesn’t run all year long, though, so check out the schedule online before making plans.

Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad

Antonito, CO to

Chama, NM

Osier, CO

Running from May through October, the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad line gives you the opportunity to take a ride from Colorado to New Mexico—complete with liquor service and lunch in Osier, Colorado.

Cape Cod Central Railroad

Hyannis, MA to the Cape Cod Canal

Who knew that some parts of the Cape could only be seen via railroad? An excursion on the Cape Cod Central Railroad will afford you the opportunity to take in all the marshes, dunes and cranberry bogs your heart desires.

Amtrak’s Northeast Regional

Washington, DC to New York, NY

Hit up two of the most popular areas on the East Coast on this Amtrak trip. You can go from exploring the National Mall to the National Parks of New York Harbor. The best part? It runs on Saturdays all year long.

NJ Transit Shore Express

Multiple Locations Along the Jersey Shore

If you’re traveling from New York, this trip may be long, but not having to deal with driving and traffic is worth it. NJ Transit offers “Beach Packages” for shore-goers during the summer. Service runs on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as holidays, from June through September. Stops on the Shore Express include Long Branch, Point Pleasant Beach and Bay Head.


Ready to ride the rails? Here are more places to visit by train and best trips to take via Amtrak to read up on:

Tags: Culture, Top 10 Guides, Travel Categories: Culture, Top 10 Guides, Travel
Suzanne Ciechalski

Suzanne is a journalist in Queens, New York. She’s interned at Rolling Stone, NBC local media, Mashable and the Queens Chronicle. Though she’s from upstate New York, she considers herself a Queens girl. If she’s not writing or editing, she’s probably scrolling through goat Instagrams.

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