4 Most Scenic Train Rides

4 Most Scenic Train Rides

There’s nothing like scenic train rides to get all your Instagram followers excited! While we think all of our routes are special, there are a few that really take our breath away. Here are the four most beautiful Amtrak trips in the U.S.!

Coast Starlight
The Coast Starlight connects Los Angeles and Seattle and goes through some pretty amazing terrain (this Instavideo proves it!). When you travel on it, you’ll see the snow on the Cascade Range and Mount Shasta and some of the West Coast’s coolest cities (Portland, Seattle, Bay Area). Did we mention this awesome photo opp just north of San Luis Obispo, Calif.?

Maybe the coolest part about the Coast Starlight is the Pacific Parlour Car. Trust us, this ain’t your grandma’s parlour.  It’s got WiFi, comfy couches, tables for games or laptops and it’s own cafe.

Donner Lake CaliforniaCalifornia Zephyr
The California Zephyr is one of our most popular trains even in the summer heat! It runs daily between Chicago and San Francisco, making its way through the plains of Nebraska all the way to Denver, across the Rockies to Salt Lake City, and then through Reno and Sacramento into Emeryville/San Francisco. It’s pretty much the trip of a lifetime.

While onboard, you can see Donner Lake, a 300-foot-deep fresh-water lake just inside the California state line where summer temperatures are a beautiful 75 degrees! Sounds refreshing, huh?

Pacific Surfliner
Beach views accompany every ride on the Pacific Surfliner. Amtrak’s scenic Pacific Surfliner route runs right along the beautiful beaches of Southern California between San Luis Obispo and San Diego, where the average temp is a perfect 68 degrees this month.

To get better views than the ones this train offers, you’d have to be on a surfboard, which, believe it or not, you’re welcome to bring onboard, since the Pacific Surfliner has special racks to accommodate the bikes and boards of our more adventurous customers.

CascadesCascades
From Vancouver, British Columbia to Seattle, Portland and Eugene, Ore., past Mount St. Helens and across the Columbia River Gorge, you’ll witness some of our continent’s most distinctive cities and most spectacular natural attractions.

To truly experience the luxury of travel on Amtrak Cascades, book a seat in the Business Class. You’ll enjoy priority boarding and deboarding, wider seats with more legroom, a quieter car with fewer passengers, complimentary newspapers and (of course) wonderful views!

 

What scenic train ride do you think is the prettiest? Tell us in the comments below!

 

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13 comments
Jared0921
Jared0921

Has anyone ever done the Amtrak train from Trenton New Jersey to Montana? My wife and I are considering it but not sure what kind of a trip it is as far as scenery? We take the auto train to Florida once a year and we really enjoy that but it's a much shorter trip ha! Figured it wouldn't be a bad trip if there was plenty of things to look at along the way.

amoyal
amoyal

Well it depends how you get to Chicago and what time of year you go There isn't much to see after Minneapolis though

MeFeFelix
MeFeFelix

I would like to do a round trip from lafayette to Florida just to ride there and back. Would I have to get on a different train to come back and how much for 2 people

amoyal
amoyal

@MeFeFelix Sadly yes. Since Katrina, the Sunset Limit no longer goes goes past New Orleans so you'd have to take the train to NOLA, stay overnight then change trains in Washington DC

desire3160
desire3160

Hi..would like to take a trip from San Francisco to Vancouver.  Is there a train that does this? 

thank you

S10
S10

i am trying to find out  if i can take a train from Calif  up north into Wash. and then return to the Redding area round trip.


HugTrainUSA
HugTrainUSA

@S10 You can take the Coast Starlight from Redding to Seattle

HugTrainUSA
HugTrainUSA

Aside from the ones mentioned above my votes are for the Adirondack for views of the Hudson River Valley and the Adirondack Mountains, the Empire Builder between Seattle and Spokane as well as between Minneapolis and Milwaukee, the Southwest Chief for views of New Mexico and the Painted Desert, the Crescent for the wonderful swamps of the South, the Texas Eagle for stunning views of the wide open spaces of Northern and Central and West Texas and to catch glimpses of the St Louis Arch and the Capitol Limited has some beautiful views through Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia. Oh and the Pennsylvanian has some good views as well.

CarrieClark1
CarrieClark1

I have been on the Cascade run several times and I love it. 

bettyroman2
bettyroman2

All beautiful but I wonder if one can get to Boise Idaho from Los Angeles via Amtrak?   How many changes of trains would there have to be?  My niece moved there and considering a trip


HugTrainUSA
HugTrainUSA

@bettyroman2 You would either have to get to Oregon (Portland/Eugene/Chelmut) or Salt Lake City by bus first - from Oregon, it's just one train down to LA but from Salt Lake you'd have to change trains in San Francisco (Emeryville) 

HSpyke
HSpyke

One that's missing: the service on New York's Empire Service.  The views of the Hudson, the Palisades, the Highlands and the Catskill mountains are awe-inspiring.  If on the Adirondack, there's the added views of Lake Champlain that are incredible.  Sadly, all these routes are west of the Mississippi.  There are a number of beautiful train rides east of the Mississippi that are as beautiful if not more so, in this train fans humble opinion.