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Amtrak train Instagram: Amtrak

While trying to fit everything into a small suitcase to fit the overhead compartment on the airplane may be our generation’s current description of travel, the joy, and excitement of visiting somewhere new is slowing dying. Vacations are fast––we are always connected and watching what’s on the screen on the seat in front of us. And while it sounds old-fashioned, I believe more people should slow down and enjoy their entire vacations, including the parts that are designed to get you from point A to B.

Airplanes are cramped, expensive, and are a breeding ground for germs. It takes hours of stumbling through security lines to finally get to your 17-inch seat where you will sit perched, hoping that the baby two rows behind you will finally quiet down.

If that doesn’t sound like your ideal vacation, let me introduce you to the future (and past) of leisurely travel: the all American railroad.

Amtrak has been around since 1971 with more than 500 destinations in 46 states and 3 Canadian provinces. As the leading passenger railroad service in the United States, Amtrak is providing the ultimate vacation for Americans without the worries of air travel.

With numerous vacation options (one vacation lets you ride to Vancouver then take a 7-day Alaskan cruise), train travel is a hidden world that is often overlooked. But wait until you take a look at Amtrak’s Coast Starlight train, it’ll put train travel at the front of your mind every time you start to feel an itch of wanderlust.

Beginning at Los Angeles Union Station the Pacific Ocean train ride is absolutely breathtaking, including stops in California, Oregon, and Washington. Here are some the cities on the Coast Starlight route:

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Santa Barbara, CA
  • San Jose, CA
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Klamath Falls, OR
  • Eugene, OR
  • Salem, OR
  • Portland, OR
  • Vancouver, WA
  • Olympia, WA
  • Seattle, WA

Named “one of America’s most beautiful train rides” passengers can marvel at the west coast through floor to ceiling windows in the observation car. Take a peek at the towering Cascade mountain range while sitting in comfortable seats and indulge in exquisite food in the dining car. But wait, we haven’t gotten to the best part yet; this train trip only costs $97.

The price will get you a coach seat on the 35+ hour journey, however, if you want a little bit more room, a Superliner Roomette ticket includes a bed and private windows to enjoy the view. A ticket in Business class includes amenities such as onboard wine and cheese tastings.

Book your trip here. 

Watch: Take a Scenic Train Ride Across the U.S. for $213.

Lyndsay Burginger is a food and lifestyle writer as well as the Managing Editor of Wide Open Eats. Lyndsay has worked for companies such as America's Test Kitchen and Disney, and holds degrees in Creative Writing and Culinary Arts. When she's not writing or cooking you can find Lyndsay traveling ...Read more
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