USA By Rail: An Amazing Scenic Adventure

Traveling the United States by rail is the ultimate scenic adventure. With such a diverse landscape filled with a wide variety of spectacular scenery, how do you choose which trip to take?

Here is a look at some of the most amazing rail journeys in the U.S.A.:

The Best of the West

Amtrak offers this amazing 14-day rail tour through five of the most magnificent national parks in the American West, including Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Arches and Canyonlands.

You can begin the journey in the cities of Seattle, Portland or Chicago, spending the first night at magical Glacier National Park at a historic lodge.

Enjoy a breathtaking side trip to the famed Going-to-the-Sun Road that runs across the Continental Divide in the morning, followed by a sunset cruise across dazzling Lake McDonald, the setting for the film “What Dreams May Come.”

Ride the rails through stunning landscapes, viewing some of the most iconic scenes on earth, including Old Faithful at Yellowstone as well as an abundance of other geysers, hot springs and the colorful Artist Paint Pots.

A two-night stay in the park provides the opportunity to glimpse a wide range of wildlife, including bison, grizzly bears, wolves, elk and more.

Tour Grand Teton National Park with its jagged rocky peaks, pristine lakes and incredible array of wildlife such as elk, moose and antelope. Then travel through Utah’s legendary parks, Canyonlands and Arches, to view a colorful landscape filled with unique rock formations, canyons and buttes.

Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

If you’ve been dreaming of a trip through the majestic Rocky Mountains but are short on time or cash, consider riding the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in Colorado.

This round-trip trek features the best of Rocky Mountain scenery along a narrow-gauge railway. It climbs from Durango to Silverton, rising nearly 3,000 feet in elevation and providing views of 14,000-foot peaks and unforgettable scenery.

The old-fashioned steam train features passenger rail cars from the 1880s that ride across 3-foot-wide tracks that were built specifically to handle narrow mountain routes for the purpose of carrying gold and silver ore.

You’ll find seating options that range from the very basic to luxury. Add-on adventure options include horseback riding, white-water rafting, zipline rides and more.

Pennsylvania Dutch Country

The Pennsylvanian train connecting Pittsburgh with New York takes passengers through the rolling pastureland of the tranquil Amish countryside. It gives you a unique vantage point for seeing Amish farmers working in the fields and children playing nearby.

The 444-mile, 9.5-hour rail journey passes through a blend of urban and rural landscapes, including historic covered bridges, horse-drawn buggies, quaint red barns and mossy mountains.

Music Cities

The ride on the rails between Chicago and New Orleans was made famous by musician Steve Goodman in the song “City of New Orleans.” The 926-mile trek takes passengers on a journey through the heart of U.S. musical heritage, linking three of its most famous music cities.

Begin in Chicago by experiencing the world-class Chicago Symphony Orchestra and its vibrant blues scene, riding cross-country with a stop at Beale Street in Memphis. In the spring, pink and white azaleas create a bright, colorful landscape along the way.

Crossing into bayou country, keep an eye out for alligators soaking in the sun on the riverbank as well as slender, elegant egrets. Upon arrival in New Orleans, enjoy the birthplace of jazz and dine on a fantastic array of culinary delights.

Let the good times roll in the laid-back atmosphere of the city by taking a stroll down Bourbon Street, enjoying a hot Dixieland band and eating sizzling Cajun fare.

West Coast Adventure on the Coast Starlight

Amtrak’s Coast Starlight takes passengers from Seattle to Los Angeles, linking some of the best cities on the West Coast on this 36-hour journey. The Coast Starlight is noted for its remodeled 1950 Parlour Car that evokes the era.

Pass through numerous cascading waterfalls in the Pacific Northwest, as well as lush forests, towering mountains with snow-covered peaks, crystalline rivers, fertile valleys and the wild, rugged Pacific Ocean shoreline.

You’ll hug the central coast of California as you pass first through Santa Barbara, then through San Luis Obispo with its picturesque vineyards, rolling hills and turquoise waves.

This trip also features exclusive amenities and two-level sleeping cars. In the dining car you’ll find fresh, tasty fare served on real china in an elegant atmosphere. Sleeping car passengers receive complimentary meals, a welcome gift and a personal care kit with items like shampoo, soap and lotion.

All passengers have the opportunity to sample a daily tasting of local wines and artisan cheeses, and to take advantage of the onboard theater for an unforgettable rail experience.

If you fancy an overnight stay in any of the places you visit along the railway, avoid breaking the bank by getting 5% cash back on all hotel bookings through Go there now and see what incredible deals you can get!


Looking for more excellent rail journeys? Northern Mexico has one of the best in the world!