If you’ve ever encountered the old adage “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey,” then you’ve probably heard it aboard one of the great North American train routes. While others are jetting off to their summer vacations on planes and automobiles, we’re going old school by filling our wanderlust Pinterest boards with a few breathtakingly scenic North American train routes that are *definitely* worth the hype. All aboard, ladies!
1. Amtrak’s California Zephyr ($167): There’s a reason this amazing train journey is often voted one of the most breathtaking voyages in all of the United States. Traveling from Chicago to San Francisco, passengers will get to experience once-in-a-lifetime views of the grand Rockies and stunning Glenwood Canyons on their journey through the plains of Nebraska, Reno, and Sacramento into beautiful San Francisco. (Photo via Amtrak)
2. Grand Canyon Railway ($65): Looking to experience Grand Canyon National Park without the traffic headache? Head about 30 miles west of Flagstaff to Williams, Arizona and hop aboard the Grand Canyon Railway. This historic route has entertained millions of people since it was first run in 1901, and it now tickles train-goers with exciting Wild West characters en route to their final destination. But this train ride isn’t just about dusty landscapes — whether it’s the Ponderosa pine forest, the wide-open prairie, or the jaw-dropping Grand Canyon, you’ll be stunned by the variety of landscapes you’ll discover during this Instagram-perfect adventure. (Photo via Xanterra Parks and Resorts)
3. White Pass and Yukon Route ($122+): Built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush, this stunning train route was literally blasted through coastal mountains. Now passengers get to experience some of the most scenic views in all of North America with stunning panoramas of mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls. We know it’s a cliché, but you really do have to see it with your own two eyes to comprehend just how beautiful it is. (Photo via Philip Wormald)
4. Amtrak’s Coast Starlight Train ($120): This old-school route departs daily and runs between Los Angeles and Seattle, passing through amazing pit stops like Santa Barbara, the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, and Portland. It’s got lush forests, long stretches of ocean shoreline, and stunning mountain views aplenty, so we wouldn’t be surprised if you wanted to ride this route more than once. (Photo via Amtrak)
5. Napa Valley Wine Train ($329): Calling all wine lovers! Hop on board the Legacy Tour to experience the crème de la crème of Napa Valley decadence. After a short welcome and a glass of sparkling wine on board the luxe train, guests will arrive at Robert Mondavi for a tour and tasting. Throughout the day, guests will also travel to Charles Krug and V. Sattui wineries, and aboard the train, they’ll find delicious appetizers, entrees, and desserts between stops. (Photo via Napa Valley Wine Train)
6. Cape Cod Central Railroad ($22): This picturesque journey lets riders get intimately familiar with the stunning beauty of the Cape, from the vast woodlands to the breathtaking sand dunes, cranberry bogs, salt marshes, and the Cape Cod Canal. Plus, if you’re looking for a romantic date hotspot, check out the Cape Cod Dinner Train as the train travels through quaint villages with romantic music, a divine atmosphere, and tasty grub. (Photo via John Kittredge)
7. Amtrak’s Southwest Chief ($141): Running daily between Chicago and Los Angeles, this cross-country train takes adventurous travelers through eight states over the course of just two days. Mountains, vistas, deserts, ranches… you name it and you’ll see it on this amazing journey. (Photo via Amtrak and Martin Matlack)
Would you consider taking a train trip for your summer vacation? Tweet us by mentioning @BritandCo.