An old school way to travel long distances, trains still connect all of our country’s greatest destinations, and make for a stress-free arrival—no traffic, no security lines, no parking.
Here are some of the coolest train rides in the US.
San Luis Obispo to San Diego, CA
This Amtrak favorite follows the Pacific Coast, offering brilliant views from destinations like Santa Barbara and San Clemente. An alternative to the highly touted drive up the Pacific Coast Highway comes with the added benefit of being able to enjoy a glass of wine while leisurely cruising alongside a vibrant ocean sunset.
Pullman Rail Journeys
Chicago to New Orleans, LA
Pullman Rail Journeys invites travelers to enjoy multi-day trips with old-school amenities like fold down sinks, on-call porters and Pullman beds. Pass the time in dome-view observation cars or dining rooms with white tablecloths. For extra fun, go on one of the specialty trips, timed with events like the Kentucky Derby and Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.
Ethan Allen Express
New York City to Rutland, Vermont
The scenery from this Amtrak train changes from the mayhem of New York City to the lush Green Mountains of Vermont. In addition to the views (at their most spectacular when the leaves change in autumn) it also is a hassle-free way to get from Manhattan to a weekend ski or hiking trip.
The Mount Washington Cog Railway
Marshfield Station to Mt. Washington, New Hampshire
Just three hours north of Boston, climb to the top of New England’s highest mountain from the comfort of a train car. The Mount Washington railway’s vintage steam and innovative biodiesel engines go back and forth from Marshfield Station, offering \sprawling views of the New Hampshire wilderness. Learn the history of the world’s first cog railway and its many technological achievements like solar-powered track switches as you keep an eye out for bald eagles.
Alaska Railroad Denali Star Route
Anchorage to Fairbanks, Alaska
Experience the 49th state’s remote natural beauty in style by riding the Alaska Railroad through Denali National Park. The 6 million-acre preserve is home to spruce forests, glaciers, and Mount McKinley—North America’s tallest peak. Upgrade to the GoldStar Dome Service, and enjoy the ride in a car with curved glass windows offering panoramic views of the park.