In the age of faster, lighter and more compact, train travel is now among the slowest modes of transportation, and yet people flock to fill the cabins of trains all around the world. Here are six of our favorite places you can travel to by train in North America.
Denali Star with Alaska Railroad
Photo credit: Frank Kovalchek via Flickr
Linking Anchorage to Fairbanks through some of the wildest terrain in the world, the Denali Star from Alaska Railroad huffs through America’s largest state, crossing near Denali National Park and Mount McKinley before rolling into one of Alaska’s main hubs.
Coast Starlight with Amtrak
Photo credit: Loco Steve via Flickr
California, Oregon and Washington are best seen by road, or rail in this case. Amtrak’s Coast Starlight train links some of the greatest cities on the West Coast, including Santa Barbara, San Francisco and Portland, with starting and ending points in Los Angeles and Seattle. Meander along the coast with panoramas of the Pacific coastline and mountain peaks of Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams. What’s more, according to Amtrak’s California Twitter, @Amtrack_CA, not only can traveling by rail be more convenient (especially with gas and parking prices), it is also more efficient than traveling by car. Who knew?
First Passage to the West with Rocky Mountaineer
Photo credit: Rocky Mountaineer
Traverse the Continental Divide in style with the First Passage to the West route by Rocky Mountaineer. The rail rolls through the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia to the beautiful Banff scenery in Alberta. Passengers can opt for a two-day ride from Vancouver to Banff, Lake Louise or Calgary and still have time to marvel at the Great White North.
Grand Canyon Railway
Photo credit: Al_HikesAZ via Flickr
As one of the natural wonders of the world, and for good reason, the Grand Canyon proudly displays the grandeur of nature. Nowadays, visitors can gaze in awe at the Canyon via helicopter, jeep tours, donkey rides, hiking — and rail. The Grand Canyon Railway allows passengers young and old to experience transportation in the days of the Wild West, while reveling in the luxuries of spacious cabins and — if you want to splurge — plush first-class seating with dome windows.
Photo credit: Bradley O’Brien via Flickr
During the months in spring and fall, central New York comes to life with new and old foliage, colors ranging from the bright yellows and greens to the deep reds. Slip into a nostalgic state of mind as the Adirondack Railroad whisks you from Utica to Lake Placid, with options for overnight stops to extend your weekend wanderlust.
Toronto to Vancouver with Via Rail Canada
Photo credit: Hobolens via Flickr
Coast to coast is a long way to travel by rail, but luckily for passengers on the Via Rail Canada rail, it’s smooth sailing thanks to the impeccable rail cars, staff and, of course, picture-perfect scenery. Guests can board in Toronto or Vancouver and marvel at the sights from start to finish. What’s more, with a recent $22 million upgrade in equipment, train-goers young and old will have no problem staying occupied from day to night.