Amy Merrick’s Amtrak ‘Grams From the Rails

Amy Merrick’s Amtrak ‘Grams From the Rails

We asked world traveler, Instagram extraordinaire and floral designer Amy Merrick to travel with us on the Coast Starlight, Empire Builder and Lake Shore Limited. Whether it was the coasts of California, the forests of Oregon or the snowy landscapes of Montana, Amy captured the majesty of America along with some sweet #AmtrakPerks.

Click through the slideshow above to see her trip, and read on to hear why Amy thinks your next adventure should be on a train:

What got you inspired to check out Amtrak for a long-distance adventure?
I’ve always dreamed of taking a long-distance train trip across America and after doing some extensive overseas travel, the timing felt right to rediscover my own country.  It seemed like the most rewarding vacation — not just a means of transportation but an actual adventure in its own right.

What were your favorite parts of the trip?
I loved taking the Coast Starlight from LA to Seattle,  the views were unparalleled! A bit unexpectedly, I loved that the dining car is communal. I talked with so many different types of people from all walks of life. I had envisioned myself embarking on this five day train trip as almost a solo vision quest, but I ended up being very social and making new friends at every turn.

Do you have any tips for first time long distance train travelers?
Bring slippers! So necessary for getting cozy. Also, don’t expect to get a lot of work or reading done — you will be glued to the windows in the observation car. Ask the conductors for their favorite scenic spots, they know the route like the back of their hands and you don’t want to miss something especially beautiful. Follow along with the GPS on your phone! Take photos, day dream and get lost in the passing landscape. Also, get the cheeseburger.

Why should people consider trains for their next vacation?
In a fast moving world, it feels pretty rebellious and indulgent to take the scenic route. The momentum of the train really connects you to the landscape in such a tangible way, you get to see this little slice of America that you could never see from a car. I really loved slowing down and falling in love with my own country again.

Inspired? Book your very own Amtrak adventure today!