10 Best Places to Visit in 2014

Make 2014 the year we retire the term "staycation." Be bold with your family vacations this year. Get out there and see all that this big country has to offer!

Here are our top 10 picks for places to visit in 2014.

Boston State House (c) Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau

10. Boston, Massachusetts
In 2014, you can get your fill of American history when you visit Boston sights like the Freedom Walk. It consists of 16 historically significant sights along a 2.5-mile brick walk. Then head over to where Everyone Knows Your Name, a little hole in the wall called Cheers. That’s right, the 1990s prime-time bar that was once the Bull & Finch pub is now a tourist destination in Beacon Hill. Lastly, the most obvious. Make 2014, the year you catch a fly ball at Fenway! (unless you’re a Yankees fan, of course.)
Routes: Acela ExpressDowneaster, Northeast Regional

Amtrak train approaching Union Station in Chicago9. Chicago, Illinois
When you arrive in the Windy City by train, you’re greeted by one of the nation’s best architectural achievements—Union Station’s Great Hall. Outside the station, there’s lots to see from the Cubs’ Wrigleyville to the Bean in Millennium Park. For an added bonus, check out Sue at the Field Museum of Natural History, she's the most complete T-Rex skeleton ever discovered. You can’t miss her! Chicago is also the hub for many of our long-distance trains, there are 11 different routes that can get you Chi-Town!
Routes: Capitol LimitedMichigan Services, and California Zephyr, just to name a few!

8. Austin, Texas
Everything is bigger in Texas, and that even goes for the fun you'll have in Austin! As the capital of the Lone Star State, Austin doesn't hold back. There's segway tours practically anytime of the year thanks to the mild weather. And in the early spring the city transforms into an arts and tech hub when South by Southwest (SXSW) takes over. Is your iPhone ready?
Route: Texas Eagle

7. Grand Rapids, Michigan
As the country's No. 3 Fun & Recreation Destination, Grand Rapids is a hidden Midwest gem that only serious travelers know about. From concerts by Keith Urban to miles of bike trails (in and outside of the city), this 2014 destination has more to offer visitors than snow this year. While you're there, keep an eye out for the art all around you. There's a famous fish ladder and a 42-ton Alexander Calder statue that symbolizes the spirit of the city!
Routes: Michigan Services

6. Albuquerque, New Mexico
Head west to clear your head this year and experience true wide open spaces like never before! As the most populous city in New Mexico, Albuquerque offers visitors the beauty of the great Southwest with city amenities and entertainment right nearby. When you visit, make sure to see Old Town where every first Friday and Saturday night there's special song and dance performances as part of the Historic Old Town Festival Series.
Route: Southwest Chief

Kansas City5. Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City has the second awesome Union Stations on our list. The city even just named the attraction its favorite monument. Beyond the station, though, you’ll find a ton of other sights to take in. For history buffs, there’s a comprehensive World War I museum and the Nelson-Atkins Museum, known for its Asian art collection. For music lovers, there’s jazz joints (and barbecue!) plus the Kansas City Symphony to see. If you travel with little ones in 2014, don’t forget to check out the zoo!
Routes: Missouri River RunnerSouthwest Chief

PIedmont4. Charlotte, NC
As the busiest train destination in North Carolina, Charlotte's got a lot. From a winning NFL team to the headquarters of some of the nation’s largest companies, the Queen City is great for both business and pleasure. When you head South, don’t forget to check out sights like the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Historic Duke Mansion and the bright lights of Uptown! Did we mention you can save 15% on travel there?
Routes: Carolinian/Piedmont, Crescent

3. New York, New York
Don’t let the classic sights of the Big Apple distract you. In 2014, you want to see more than Broadway and the Empire State Building. There’s Cronuts for the foodies and Yankees games for the sports fans. In the busiest city in the U.S., there’s something for everyone. And in February all eyes will be on New York as it hosts Super Bowl XLVIII. (psstt, we can even get you to that, too!)
Routes: Acela, Northeast Regional and 12 others

2. Portland, Oregon
Three words: Urban. Brewery. Tour. Yep, Portland is dotted with tons of breweries (big and small) that are even within walking distance from the train station! There’s also hiking at Cedar Flats, book browsing at Powell’s and a cup o’ Joe at Caffee Spella. When you go, just make sure to pack an extra flannel shirt. You’ll fit right in.
Routes: Amtrak CascadesCoast Starlight, Empire Builder

1. Santa Barbara, California
Taking the train to Santa Barbara means you can pack everything but bad weather! This heaven on Earth has wind, waves and even horses. Clear skies, sunshine and year-round mild weather put smiles on the faces of visitors who love to explore a destination inside and out, with the emphasis on "out." Be sure to check out the Carpinteria Bluffs hike along the beautiful coastline with your smartphone ready to take some awesome pics!
Routes: Coast StarlightPacific Surfliner

Santa Barbara (c) Jay Sinclair

Where will you be visiting by train in 2014? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter with the special hashtag #Amtrak2014!

From June 17 to June 26, Amtrak is offering special fares between some of your favorite cities. Amtrak travels to more than 500 destinations in 46 states. and now you can go to some of our most popular destinations for cheap. Go here to find out more details or buy your tickets on Amtrak.com!

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