10 of the Most Scenic Train Trips in America

There is something magical about train rides, particularly if it’s through a scenic landscape. All you do is just gaze through the window and marvel at the beauty of nature, while taking pictures occasionally. Here are 10 top scenic train rides in the US.

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, North Carolina

1: Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, North Carolina

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Address: 226 Everett St, Bryson City, NC 28713
Website: www.gsmr.com

The western mountains of North Carolina is home to 1000 types of flowering plants, 125 tree varieties, and as many as 300 species of animals. You will pass through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and enjoy one of the most beautiful national parks in the United States. It’s a spectacular ride, among the best, particularly during the fall when the colors are in full bloom. You can visit the Smoky Mountains Trains Museum later. There are many food-themed journeys and one for the Halloween too.

Mount Washington Cog Railway, New Hampshire

2: Mount Washington Cog Railway, New Hampshire

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Address: Base Station Rd, Bretton Woods, NH 03575
Website: www.thecog.com

This is the first cog railway in the world that goes to the top of a mountain. Get on board for the three mile journey to reach the highest peak in the Northeast. This is certainly going to be an experience you will remember. The trip is for three and half hours, including an hour’s stay at the top to take in the stunning views. The Cog Railway stays open for visitors between April and November. There are many events and specials to enjoy as well. It’s best to book your ticket in advance.

Read Further: New Hampshire Top 10 Attractions

The Grand Canyon Railway, Arizona
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Drew Jacksich

3: The Grand Canyon Railway, Arizona

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Address: Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

It’s a pity that most visitors to the Grand Canyon miss out the fantastic railway trip. They do the skywalk, pull their car over at the viewpoints, and even stay for a night at one of the classic lodges such as the El Tovar, but traveling the Grand Canyon by rail is an entirely different experience. Many cars of the railway have glass-domed ceilings offering amazing panoramas. The journey starts from Williams and passes through prairies and pine forests. You will reach the South Rim in 2 hours and 15 minutes. You are sure to remember this journey for a really long time.

Amtrak’s Coast Starlight from Los Angeles to Seattle
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Bruce Fingerhood

4: Amtrak’s Coast Starlight from Los Angeles to Seattle

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Address: Union Station, 800 North Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Website: www.amtrak.com

This is a wonderful alternative to the classic left-coast road trip, and you will get many more photo opportunities as well. The 1,377 mile Starlight takes you to the best places in the west coast – San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Portland, Sacramento, and others. You will pass through the Cascade Mountains, blooming orchards and some of the most scenic small towns. Enjoy panoramic views from your floor-to-ceiling windows in this 36 hour journey. The dining car serves yummy delicacies including the signature steak with peppercorn sauce.

Read Further: Los Angeles Top 10 Attractions

Napa Valley Wine Train, California
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/bigd2112

5: Napa Valley Wine Train, California

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Address: 1275 McKinstry St, Napa, CA 94559

Want to experience the most popular wine trail in America? Come to the Napa Valley in California. Try the Wine Train to catch the most stunning valley views and enjoy the best wines too. Kelly Macdonald, the award-winning chef prepares your dinner and lunch. This is a three hour trip, but you can opt for a special event. One such is the “Murder on the Wine Train Express” much like the Agatha Christie classic. There are special evening trips if it is a full moon night, and during Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Read Further: California Top 10 Attractions

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