Is there a more relaxing and scenic way to see a country than from a train?
Along with biking, sailing and walking; train travel tops our list of favorite ways to practice slow-travel and enjoy a destination in a more meaningful manner than simply flying from one corner to the other or even driving a car.
The benefits of train travel are many, you are free to wander around the wagons, meet other travelers, work, have a coffee while checking your email or simply sitting back and letting awe-inspiring landscapes pass by.
Just remember to book your seat in advance as in high season the demand is quite high and you don’t want to miss this train (pun intended!).
If you too are a train lover, here are five epic US railways you should put on your list today.
1. Alaska Railroad Coastal Classic
This iconic train operates daily between south of Anchorage through the mindblowing Turnagain Arm, Kenai Peninsula, and Moose Pass before hitting its final destination: the quaint coastal city of Seward. It takes about 4h to travel the 130 miles one-way and sights as glaciers and wildlife are common. Once in Seward, many tourists head to Kenai Fjords National Park to see Exit Glacier.
2. Grand Canyon Railway
Grand Canyon region needs no introduction. If you want to make your visit one to remember, take the Grand Canyon Railway that departs daily at 9.30 am from Williams, Arizona – 30 miles west of Flagstaff. It will take you to the South Rim of the National Park, arriving around 11:45 am. Nowadays significantly faster than when it first started in 1901, this trip covers 65 miles.
3. Amtrak’s Coast Starlight
This train runs from Seattle, Washington, to Los Angeles in California via the stunning San Francisco Bay Area. It is a mix of the Coast Daylight and the Starlight, two Southern Pacific Railroad trains, and has been running since 1971.
4. Southwest Chief
From Chicago to Los Angeles, the Southwest Chief takes 40 hours through some of USA’s most epic landmarks such as Santa Fe Trail, Sedona’s red cliffs, the Grand Canyon, and the Rocky Mountains. Being that lengthy, traveling in the Southwest Chief makes for a great way to appreciate the differences between some of the most famous American states and how its inhabitants live.
5. Amtrak’s Adirondack
It was never easier to have breakfast in New York and dinner in Montreal than taking the Adirondack rail journey. Especially popular in Fall, as it goes through some colorful deep woods and the always pretty Hudson River Valley, passengers will also enjoy the Palisades, the Adirondack Mountains, the Bannerman’s Castle ruins, and West Point Academy’s riverfront stone battlements during the 10 hours journey.
Would you add any other US railways to the list?