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.
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”
You completely skipped Alaska. Loved riding Alaska Rail. Gorgeous sightseeing and lots of wildlife.
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!
We took the Grand Canyon train back in February. So much fun and coming back we were stopped by train robbers!
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.
I have never been on a train ride, would love to go some day to some place as a getaway!
My husband would love this idea!! We haven’t done any train trips so this would be a great way to travel for a change.
My grandparents once did a train trip out west. My family, sadly, has not taken one but I would love to one day!
I’ve never been any of these places but I would love do to the Grand Canyon trip one day!
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.
My daughter is obsessed with trains. I keep
Promising her a real train trip after we took a local one not too long ago
We have never flown before so I think a train trip would be best for us. The Grand Canyon one sounds amazing!
Train rides are so relaxing. I can definitely seem myself taking the California trip.
These look great! My son is obsessed with trains right now so a train trip would be a blast!
when my kids were younger they would have loved these types of vacations. thanks for sharing these great ideas.
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!
We may take the train to Chicago to go to the American Girl store… mostly because I want to go there and fear parking!
we were recently in Missouri near Union Station and it was really exciting. My good friend is a lover of all things trains and has rode on several trips. I look forward to doing that myself
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Well since I’m a California girl myself, I would DEFINITELY do the California trip :)