You can travel between many popular cities in the U.S. UU. And to Canada, with many more to come. Stefanie Waldek is a freelance space, travel and design journalist who loves aviation, storm chasing and The X-Files.
It's happiest when sailing at 36,000 feet or at sea level in polar regions. His favorite spots in the world are Antarctica and Oklahoma City, and his travel list includes eating hot dogs in all 30 major league baseball stadiums. But when the planes arrived on the scene, the train trips languished. These days, slow journeys are returning, and travelers revel in the romantic nostalgia of elegantly furnished train cars, complemented by excellent food.
I admit that it has been quite slow to recover luxury rail travel, particularly compared to the rest of the world, there are a growing number of elegant rail experiences that can be found across the country. Here are five of the best luxury rail travel experiences in the U.S. The Grand Canyon is a must-see destination, so why not arrive in style? Instead of sitting in traffic to enter the national park, take the Grand Canyon Railroad for a laid-back adventure. The train departs from Williams Depot in Williams, Arizona, about 60 miles south of the canyon, and then travels for two and a half hours through the desert to reach Grand Canyon Village, right next to the South Rim.
For the most luxurious experience, be sure to book the Luxury Parlor or Luxury Dome class of service; adult-only cars have private bars and outdoor platforms. Since 1864, the Napa Valley Wine Train has been taking oenophiles through the California wine region of the same name. Although originally traveling between Vallejo and Calistoga, the train now makes a three-hour round trip between downtown Napa and St. Although there are different itineraries, most include a multi-course gourmet meal served in the sophisticated and historic train cars, and some tours include stops and tastings at various wineries.
The most popular car on the train is the Vista Dome, a 1952 Pullman, where you'll dine in a glass-domed car with almost uninterrupted views of the vineyards. It may not be as efficient or accessible as Europe, but in terms of luxury, it's not limited by the continent. With rail travel companies all over the country, there are plenty of epic train trips in the U.S. From traversing the Alaskan wilderness aboard the Denali Star to exploring the rugged west on the Colorado %26 Southern Railroad.
Train travel in the United States may not be cheap, but it's worth the splurge. This post will explore the 7 best luxury rail trips in the U.S. Every train trip in the United States incorporates iconic rail travel into a well-planned itinerary that also includes visits to popular destinations, full sightseeing tours, incredible routes, and more. Choose between train trips in Alaska, popular US coast-to-coast vacations, autumn foliage tours, or visits to U.S.
national parks by train. You can select holidays with luxury train accommodation in sleeper cars or from a variety of one-way trips. With more than 100 vacations in the United States alone, you're sure to find the perfect itinerary. On the day when the ceremonial golden spike connected the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads in 1869 in Promontory, Utah, life in the country changed forever.
The 1,912-mile Transcontinental Railroad facilitated travel and freight to the west, revolutionizing the young nation and fueling the economy. The golden age of rail travel may have been replaced by the speed of airplanes, but the romance of traveling by train remains. Ride historic Grand Canyon Railroad cars to one of the country's greatest national parks on a Grand Canyon rail adventure tour. The railway line opened in 1901 and now runs on recycled waste vegetable oil from restaurants in Williams, Arizona and South Rim.
The train offers six classes of service, including First, Coach, Pullman, Observation Dome, Luxury Dome and Luxury Parlor. Pullman is reminiscent of 1923 trail travel, with sidewalk seating and windows that open outdoors. Travel along the stunning Pacific coast and visit the urban centers of the west on the legendary Amtrak Coast Starlight. The Starlight, equipped with Superliner cars for sleeping, tourist lounging and dining, takes you on a 36-hour walk from Seattle to Los Angeles.
The route stops in Portland, Sacramento, the san francisco Bay Area and Santa Barbara, passing dramatic coastal cliffs, Mount Rainier, the Cascade Mountains and Puget Sound. If long train odysseys across the country are within reach, then the Amtrak Empire Builder follows in Lewis %26 Clark's footsteps through the heart, from Chicago to the Pacific Northwest. The 46-hour roundtrip offers majestic views of the Great Plains, the Mississippi River, Glacier National Park, the Gassman Coulee Easel and Montana's Big Sky Country. The other unique aspect of these train tours is the overnight accommodations and the opportunity to explore the sights along the way.
Unlike passenger trains that go from one stop to another on a tight schedule, the Rocky Mountaineer stops in a city each night, where passengers disembark and spend the night in a hotel. In addition to being a much more comfortable option, it means that all train trips take place during the day, so passengers don't miss a thing. Using a combination of Transcontinental Railroad routes and new tracks, Amtrak's California Zephyr transports passengers across the United States on an extraordinary two-day expedition. The 2,300-mile, 51-hour ride, touted as the most picturesque in the country, starts in Chicago and ends in Emeryville, California, located just outside of San Francisco in California.
The train rises to a height of 2,885 feet through tunnels, past high cliffs and waterfalls. Breathe in the fresh Alaskan air as you photograph panoramic views of snow-capped mountains, lush gorges and glaciers. Enjoy spectacular fall foliage in New York's Hudson River Valley on the Amtrak Adirondack. This high-speed train takes you upstate New York on a 10- to 12-hour journey along the Hudson River and Lake Champlain, past mansions, forests and fields, to Gare Centrale Station in Montreal, Canada.
Stops along the way include the towns of Poughkeepsie, Saratoga Springs, Whitehall and Ticonderoga. Passengers can also book a hybrid package that includes one-way train travel and a return luxury coach tour, allowing tourists to see the scenery from different perspectives. The bus is only 1.5 hours away by car. Families and train enthusiasts love the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, which offers excursions to experience the remote countryside of western North Carolina and segments of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The train journey, which spans 53 miles with 25 bridges and two tunnels, crosses valleys, through tunnels and carved mountains overlooking picturesque meadows and river gorges. The train departs Bryson City and trips take anywhere from three and a half hours to a full day. Book the 44-mile Nantahala Gorge tours for a round trip to Nantahala Gorge, passing the Little Tennessee and Nantahala Rivers. The 32-mile Tuckasegee River tour winds along the river of the same name and passes through lush valleys and ancient cities.
Services onboard the 12-hour train include two classes (GoldStar service with food, drinks and basic Adventure class), a dining car, dome cars, non-smoking cars and luggage service. Guests can also ride in privately managed Wilderness Express dome cars at the end of the train with guides, separate restaurants and outdoor platforms. During the 19 hours onboard, travelers in private rooms can enjoy spacious Superliner rooms that include food and drinks, or purchase meals if they are in Coach Class. Amenities include showers, tourist lounges on the upper level, and a coffee car, which serves dinner and breakfast to the north and all three meals when traveling south.
Travelers often include the Grand Canyon on their must-see lists, but it's not usually associated with train travel. The train includes a dining room, a tourist lounge and Sleepliner cars that come with rooms and dorms (some can accommodate up to six people). When traveling aboard Amtrak trains, enjoy routes that take you from Chicago to the East Coast or West, travel cross-country to explore the best of U.S. And on the Acela train, where a first-class ticket includes a full meal, the upgraded menu includes items such as lobster and crab cakes, cheese soufflé and tandoori chicken.
The route passes through one charming Northeast village after another, all of which can be adorned through the large windows of the Vermonter, as the train snakes from St. As you ride the old railroad cars of the Grand Canyon, you'll see the national park from its most picturesque vantage point. A Traveling Writer Explores the Historical Charm and Complicated Cultural Perception of French Polynesia. The train has a sleeper car, a rested car and a dining car to make your journey as comfortable as possible.
This train route will allow you to get to know California's redwood forests and wineries on the same trip. During the warmer months, a National Park Service volunteer through the Trails %26 Rails program boards the train between Shelby, Montana and Seattle, providing information on landscapes, habitats and history. . .