“Embark on a Journey of a Lifetime: Discover the Top 10 Most Scenic Train Rides in the United States!”
The majestic Rocky Mountains and the undulating Appalachian hills are just a few of the breathtaking landscapes found in the United States. A picturesque train ride is one of the best ways to appreciate the nation’s natural splendor. Various train tracks provide breathtaking views of mountains, gorges, forests, and more from coast to coast. In this post, we’ll examine the ten most beautiful train journeys in the country and offer you a taste of the breathtaking sights you may look forward to seeing along the way. So take a seat back, unwind, and get ready for an unforgettable voyage.
Grand Canyon Railway
One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon, can be seen in breathtaking detail from the Grand Canyon Railway, a historic train trip. When the railway was first constructed in 1901, it was used to transport ore from the Grand Canyon to the Arizona town of Williams. The 65-mile route from Williams to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is currently offered by the Grand Canyon Railway. Views of the beautiful canyon as well as the surrounding Arizona landscape, including ponderosa pine woods, are available to passengers. There are several classes available on the railway, including first class, coach, and luxury dome, and it has restored antique coaches and a dome car with panoramic views. One of the most spectacular natural wonders on earth may be seen unusually thanks to the Grand Canyon Railway.
- Coach Class: $69 to $82 for adults, $39 to $47 for children (ages 2-15)
- First Class: $219 to $239 for adults, $189 to $209 for children
Hawaiian Railway Society
A nonprofit organization called the Hawaiian Railway Society is committed to preserving Hawaii’s railroad heritage and advancing railroad education. The group, which was established in 1971, runs the Oahu Museum and tourist railway. The Oahu Railway and Land Company, which ran from 1889 to 1947, originally used a historic section of track on which the railway now travels. The Hawaiian Railway Society offers tours of its collection of railroad artifacts and memorabilia, vintage passenger train rides, and lectures about the development of Hawaii’s railway system. The society also provides educational events and activities for kids and adults, such as Santa Claus train trips during the Christmas season. A distinctive and exciting approach to learning about Hawaii’s railway history and culture is through the Hawaiian Railway Society.
- Fares $18 Adults
- $13 Children (2-12)
- $13 Seniors (Over 62)
Amtrak runs the Coast Starlight, a passenger train that runs from Seattle, Washington, to Los Angeles, California, along the country’s west coast. The railway is well-known for its beautiful vistas of many landscapes, including the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Cascade Range, and the Pacific Ocean. The Coast Starlight has facilities such as a lounge car with panoramic views, dining cars, and sleeping quarters. The several service classes available to passengers include coach, business class, and sleeping accommodations. With handy stops in key towns like Portland, Sacramento, and San Francisco, the Coast Starlight is a well-liked mode of transportation throughout the west coast.
- $100-$150 for a coach seat
- $150-$200 for business class seat
The Rocky Mountaineer
The Canadian Rockies are one of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the world, and the Rocky Mountaineer is a luxurious train that offers scenic trips through them. The train travels along several routes, making stops in places like Kamloops and Whistler, including Vancouver to Banff, Vancouver to Jasper, and Vancouver to Seattle. Luxury and roomy seats with panoramic views, fine dining, and knowledgeable onboard hosts who offer commentary on the passing countryside are all highlights of the Rocky Mountaineer. The many service levels, such as GoldLeaf, SilverLeaf, and silverLeaf plus, each with a different level of luxury and facilities, are available to passengers. The Rocky Mountaineer is a special and remarkable way to enjoy the luxury and style of the Canadian Rockies.
- GoldLeaf: 2,995 to 6,849 CAD per person for a 2-day journey
- SilverLeaf: 1864 to 4,449 CAD per person for a 2-day journey
- SilverLeaf plus: 2,059 to 5,597 CAD per person for a 2-day journey
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
Western North Carolina is home to the magnificent Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, which runs several excursions into the stunning Smoky Mountains. The railway offers a variety of train excursions, including trips down the Tuckasegee River, the Nantahala Gorge, and the Polar Express during the holiday season. Additionally, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers a range of service classes, including coach, open-air gondola, and first class, which includes plush seating, refreshments, and drinks. On the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, passengers can take in breathtaking vistas of the mountain range, rivers, woods, historic sites, and small mountain communities.
- Adult : $29
- Children (2-12): $18
Amtrak’s scenic train service, the California Zephyr, travels between Chicago and San Francisco. It takes around 51 hours to go 2,438 miles by train, a distance that is covered in this manner.The Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and the Colorado River Valley are just a few of the breathtaking landscapes that the California Zephyr travels through. Passengers can take in breathtaking vistas of snow-capped mountains, vast valleys, roaring rivers, and charming tiny towns as they go. The train has spacious seating, sleeping quarters, a dining car, and an observation car with sweeping views of the passing countryside. Denver, Salt Lake City, Reno, and Sacramento are a few of the famous destinations that may be found along the route.You can board and exit the train at any stop, but you must purchase tickets for each leg, and in most cases, you must spend at least one night in the city where you disembark.
- $150-$300 for a coach seat
- $700-$1,000 for a roomette
The Empire Builder
Amtrak’s The Empire Builder is a picturesque train journey that travels across the northern United States between Chicago and Seattle. The train travels a distance of about 2,206 miles, taking a total of about 46 hours to finish.The Rocky Mountains, Glacier National Park, and the Cascade Mountains are just a few of the breathtaking landscapes that The Empire Builder travels through. Passengers can take in breathtaking vistas of snow-capped mountains, dense woods, roaring rivers, and charming tiny towns as they go.The train has spacious seating, sleeping quarters, a dining car, and an observation car with sweeping views of the passing countryside. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Spokane, and Portland are some of the notable stops on the route.The Empire Builder’s journey through Glacier National Park, regarded as one of the country’s most picturesque national parks, is one of its highlights. On its route to Seattle, the train travels through the park, providing passengers with breathtaking vistas of the region’s snow-capped peaks, glacial lakes, and variety of species.
- Coach class: $150
- Sleeper cars: $651
Strasburg Rail Road
In Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the United States, there is a vintage steam-powered railway called the Strasburg Rail Road. The railway was initially constructed in 1832 and has been running continuously ever since, making it the oldest railway in the country to do so.The normal excursion train, the “Paradise” dining car train, and special events like the “Day Out With Thomas” train ride for kids are just a few of the train rides that the Strasburg Rail Road offers. A 45-minute voyage on the normal excursion train through Lancaster County’s scenic farmland provides travelers with breathtaking views of rolling hills, Amish farms, and quaint tiny towns.Travellers can have a nostalgic and real experience on the train, which has passenger cars and gorgeously restored vintage steam locomotives. Passengers can take in the sights and sounds of the steam locomotive, the aroma of coal smoke, and the steady rumble of the wheels on the tracks as they travel.The Strasburg Rail Road offers train rides as well as a museum that explores the region’s railroading history, a gift store, and a café. Visitors can also enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the train yard to learn how the engines and cars are maintained and restored.
- Springtime pass : $79 (ages 2+)
- Fun pass: $99 (ages 2+)
- Harvest Pass: $119 (ages 2+)
Napa Valley Wine Train
In the center of California’s wine region, there is a picturesque train ride and dining experience called the Napa Valley Wine Train. A 36-mile distance is covered by the train during the trip, which lasts about three hours.Lunch, supper, and brunch are just a few of the food options available on the Napa Valley Wine Train. Passengers can partake in a gourmet dinner made with locally sourced products while traveling, as well as some of the best Napa Valley wines.The train’s vintage Pullman coaches have been expertly refurbished, offering passengers a posh and elegant ride. Passengers can take in breathtaking views of the Napa Valley’s wineries, rolling hills, and charming towns while traveling.Napa Valley Wine Train also provides a variety of special events throughout the year, such as winery tours, holiday-themed journeys, and murder mystery dinners, in addition to eating experiences.
- Starting price is $165 per person.
The Alaska Denali Star
Between Anchorage and Fairbanks in Alaska, there is a beautiful train journey called the Alaska Denali Star. The trip, which is around 356 miles long and takes 12 hours to complete, is traveled by rail. A range of seating options is available on the Alaska Denali Star, including coach class, Adventure class, GoldStar class, and exclusive luxury domes.The GoldStar class offers a more opulent experience with glass-dome ceilings, full-service dining, and an outdoor viewing platform, while the Adventure class offers additional amenities like complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and snacks. The coach class features comfortable seating with large picture windows.Passengers can take in breathtaking views of Alaskan nature throughout the route, including glaciers, mountains, and other animals including moose, bears, and caribou. A unique perspective on Alaska’s culture and history can be obtained via the train’s passage through several historic settlements.The Alaska Denali Star provides a variety of trip packages that include sightseeing, outdoor activities, and lodging in addition to the standard train rides. The beauty and culture of Alaska are thoroughly and completely experienced through these packages.
- Coastal classic fares start from $119
- Glacier Discovery fares are $98
- Denali Star fares $187
In conclusion, there are many different scenic train trips available in the US, each of which offers a distinctive view of the country’s natural splendor, culture, and history. There is something for everyone, from the Pacific Northwest’s coastline views to Alaska’s untamed mountains and the rolling hills of the Napa Valley. The Empire Builder, the Strasburg Rail Road, the Napa Valley Wine Train, and the Alaska Denali Star are a few of the most well-known and highly regarded scenic train journeys in the United States. With varying degrees of luxury and amenities, as well as different sightseeing opportunities, each of these train rides delivers a distinctive experience.
Questions Tourist might ask about the Most beautiful/Scenic Train Rides in the USA
How much do scenic train rides in the United States typically cost?
Depending on the service and package chosen, the price of scenic train rides in the US can change. Coach class normally costs about $90, while luxury choices like GoldStar class cost $400 to $1,200. The cost of tour packages can vary based on the itinerary and number of days.
What is the best time of year to take a scenic train ride in the United States?
The location and particular train journey determine the optimum time of year to take a scenic train ride in the United States. Typically, the summer months of June through August are the busiest times for most scenic train journeys. However, some train excursions, like the tours to see the autumn foliage, could be best experienced in the autumn, from September to November. For more details on the ideal time to come, it is advised to visit the webpage for the particular train ride.
What are the unique features of the California Zephyr scenic train ride?
The California Zephyr scenic train journey offers several distinctive features, such as breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains, roomy, comfortable seating with large windows, and onboard amenities like dining cars, observation lounges, and sleeping quarters. The Moffat Tunnel, the Colorado River, and the Great Salt Lake are just a few of the historic towns and locations that the railroad travels through. The California Zephyr is renowned for its picturesque surroundings and distinct views of the American West.
What are the best sightseeing opportunities on the Empire Builder scenic train ride?
One of the greatest ways to see the country is to take a scenic train trip like the Empire Builder, which provides sweeping views of the Rocky Mountains, the Mississippi River, and Glacier National Park. Additionally, the train travels through several significant cities, including Chicago, St. Paul, and Seattle, offering a fascinating perspective on American history and culture. The ride is comfortable and enjoyable because of the train’s onboard amenities, which also include observation lounges, eating cars, and sleeping quarters.
How do I book tickets for a scenic train ride in the United States?
You can often visit the website of the particular train ride or the rail service provider to purchase tickets for a scenic train ride in the United States. The majority of train trips allow you to book online, allowing you to choose your preferred travel dates, seating class, and any extra packages or amenities. Tickets can also be available for purchase over the phone or in person at the train station. It is advised to purchase tickets in advance, especially during the busiest times of the year when some rail routes may quickly sell out.
Featured Image: Tripadvisor.in