Hands down when it comes to planes, trains, and automobiles, trains are definitely the most laid back style of travel. It allows you to sit back and just relax and really enjoy the view.
Fortunately there are some of the world’s most stunning destinations along these scenic train rides that range from a couple of hours to over a week. From dramatic snow-capped peaks to the wondrous Pacific Ocean, here are 5 of the most scenic train journeys you can take right here in the States.
#1 Amtrak Coast Starlight
The Coast starlight will link you to two of the coolest cities on the West Coast, Los Angeles and Seattle. On this ultra scenic ride you get the best of both worlds, water and mountains. In Santa Barbara for over 100 miles the train traverses along bluffs right above the Pacific Ocean, and for part of the ride the beautiful Pacific Ocean is to one side, and the majestic Santa Ynez Mountains on the other.
#2 Jefferson Railway
This 50-year-old runaway freight train runs right through the astonishing and haunted Big Cypress Bayou in East Texas. Riders will get views of alligators roaming the swamps all while learning about the history of both the bayou and the Jefferson Railway. Along this train ride you will also get the scoop about all the ghosts that were said to live in the area once upon a time, and how they got there in the first place. On top of all that, the train also navigates through sites that are packed with striking local wildlife and 19th-century ruins that are just breathtaking.
#3 Essex Stream Train
Enjoy the Essex Steam train ride anytime of the year as it scoots through the beautiful Connecticut Rive Valley. In autumn you get the rustic scenery of leaves falling off the tress and foliage, and during winter the Essex has a one-of-a-kind daytime holiday experience that includes picturesque winter wonderland views. For all the foodies out there, there's a wonderful dinning experience as you take in the incredible sights aboard the Essex Clipper Dinner train.
#4 Revolution Railway: Ethan Allen Express
This train, which is named after a Revolutionary War hero departs from Penn Station in New York City will take you away from all the hustle and bustle of the city. As the Ethan Allen Express winds its way along the Hudson River and through the rural serenity of the Catskill Mountains you will feel nothing but tranquility as you take in all the scenery before finally hitting the regal views of Southern Vermont’s Green Mountains.
#5 White Pass And Yukon Trail Route Railway
This 40 mile round ride offers mind blowing panoramic views of glaciers, waterfalls, mountains, trestles, and historic sites in the beautiful state of Alaska. Along the journey you will see sights of the trails that were traveled by gold seekers as the train climbs from tidewater at Skagway to the Summit of the White Pass. You don’t have to worry about taking pictures of all the amazing views and having seat glare in the background, because the train offers viewing platforms at the back of every carriage so you can go outside and take your photos.