5 Best U.S. Train Trips to Take With Your Family This Summer

Flying is so over-rated, don’t you think? If you’re looking for amazing travel destinations, you can’t beat a train trip! Check out these train-based vacation ideas!

While it is true that flying in an airplane will get you to your destination faster, nothing beats taking train trip!. It may not be the quickest route, but it is definitely one of the most scenic ways to travel for your family vacation! Plus think about it, what kid doesn’t want to ride on a train? Here are some of the best summer United States train trips.

Related: 5 Family Vacations Your Teen Will Actually Enjoy

Best Summer U.S. Train Trips

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Amtrak California Zephyr

Take the Amtrak California Zephyr from Chicago, Illinois to Emeryville, California! It’s the longest of the train trips on this list with a trip duration of 51 hours and 20 minutes, but you’ll see some fantastic views! This route takes you through 2,438 miles and seven states, featuring some of the best scenery in the United States. This train trip passes through the Rocky Mountains, Moffat Tunnel, Glenwood Canyons and San Pablo Bay, just to name a few. Because it is such a long journey, you have the option of reserving a room in one of their Superliner Sleeping Cars.

Amtrak Cascades

Hop aboard the Amtrak Cascades for a trip from Eugene, Oregon to Vancouver, Canada. The trip lasts 11 hours, 30 minutes. This scenic train trip goes by Mount St. Helens and across the Columbia River Gorge, as well as many other scenic beauties. The Amtrak Cascades Bistro Car features regional dishes, Seattle coffees, along with wine and microbrews.

Grand Canyon Railway

Take the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams, Arizona to Grand Canyon, Arizona on an 8-hour trip (give or take). The Canyon Railway boarded its first passengers on September 17, 1901. This train ride allows for a 4-hour stopover to take in the sites of the beautiful Grand Canyon. Along the ride, you can take in sights like the San Francisco Peaks, the Coconino Canyon, along with an array of wildlife such as mule deer, mountain lions, elk, pronghorn and bald eagles.

Amtrak Ethan Allen Express

 The Amtrak Ethan Allen Express runs form New York City, New York to Rutland, Vermont with a trip Duration of 5 hours, 30 minutes. Along this train trip, you can experience the beauty of summer wildflowers along the Hudson River Valley. Also, the 241-mile train ride takes you through the New York Catskills, the Vermont Green Mountains and the southern part of the Adirondack Mountains.

Local train trips

Not planning on taking an extended family vacation this summer? You can still take a few fun train trips! Many areas still have trains running from town to town. Some even have historical trains with round-trip touristy-type outings. Check with your local visitor’s bureau to find out if any are available in your area.

Have you taken any really cool train trips with your family? Share in the comments!


18 thoughts on “5 Best U.S. Train Trips to Take With Your Family This Summer”

  1. I love traveling by train! I wanted to take the Amtrak Car Train, but didn’t hear back from them… and can’t afford it. sadly the car train was more expensive than a flight, which was more expensive than driving. So we are driving 1,300 miles to Florida with the kids!

  2. I grew up on trains, my Dad worked for the railroad so I have great memories. I’ve taken the train all over the northeast and mid-Atlantic, in fact I’m off to NYC next week – on the train.

  3. I would love to take our son on a train trip one day. We were thinking when the kiddos were a bit older doing a euro rail trip through Europe but we will see if that ever happens.

  4. My daughter is obsessed with trains. I keep
    Promising her a real train trip after we took a local one not too long ago

  5. My boys love trains! We will have to do these when they get older! Our town has train days every summer. We didn’t go this year but plan to next year. We live right next to train tracks so we see and hear trains every day!

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