1. Amtrak’s Coast Starlight
America’s West Coast is known for its sandy beaches and palm-tree-lined boardwalks. One of the best train rides in the US and Canada is through Amtrack’s Coast Starlight. The Coast Starlight starts in Los Angeles, California, and ends in Seattle, Washington. Along the way, you’ll travel up the Pacific Coast until San Luis Obispo, California, before going inland through the Cascade Mountains that wind through Northern California, Oregon, and Washington. Whether you’re looking to get a glimpse of giant Redwood’s or take in the vistas of iconic beaches like Santa Barbara, the Coast Starlight offers it all.
2. Alaska Railroad’s Coastal Classic
Explore The Last Frontier on Alaska Railroad’s Coastal Classic. Alaska is home to magnificent wildlife like elk and grizzly bears, massive glaciers, and breathtaking mountains. On the Coastal Classic, you’ll be able to take in the sights between Anchorage and Seward, and explore Alaska’s landscape all in one day.
3. Amtrak’s California Zephyr
Another one of the best train trips in North America is on Amtrak’s California Zephyr, which takes passengers from San Francisco, California, to Chicago, Illinois. What makes the California Zephyr train ride so popular is the breathtaking views you get along the way. With a total time of 11 hours, this train ride brings you from the Pacific Coast through the snow-capped Sierra Mountains.
From there, you’ll ride through the deserts of Utah and the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Passengers also have the option to make stops along the way, such as in Salt Lake City, Utah, or Denver, Colorado, if they’re looking to make an extended trip out of their voyage from California to Illinois.
4. Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer
Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer is dubbed one of the best train trips in the US and Canada, and for good reason. Passengers can start their journey in Vancouver and travel through the Canadian Rockies, which are even more imposing than the American side of the range. A highlight is Banff National Park, known for its icy blue waters, dense forests, and alpine mountains.
5. Amtrak’s City of New Orleans
The American Midwest is known for its culture, most notably its impact on music. Urban centers throughout the Midwest have been heavily influenced by African Americans who introduced music forms like jazz, gospel, and blues. If you’re looking to learn more about America’s Heartland, hop aboard Amtrak’s City of New Orleans train ride.
The City of New Orleans train brings you from Chicago to New Orleans, with a stop along the way in Memphis, Tennessee. Through this experience, you can enjoy a night at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, walk down Beale Street in Memphis to visit various venues, and learn the history of music giants like Louis Armstrong and Elvis Presley in Louisiana and Mississippi.
6. Grand Canyon Railway
The Grand Canyon is one of America’s most famous National Parks, and its reputation holds up. Venture on a National Park tourby booking a trip on the Grand Canyon Railway. Start in Williams, Arizona, and end in the Grand Canyon while traveling on restored rail cars. Once you arrive, you’ll be able to take in the stunning vistas of the red and orange cliffs that make up the Grand Canyon. Even better, this train ride can be completed in a day, making it the perfect adventure for those looking for an adventurous day trip.