Did you know that there are some AMAZING TRAIN TRIPS all over the United States?! That’s right! Trains aren’t just for European travelers. These trips include transportation, hotels and sightseeing (like entrances to national parks, or city passes and museum admissions in cities). SO GREAT, right?!
If you are wondering about cleanliness, or are afraid to book something you may have to cancel due to unknown circumstances, don’t worry. Train travel may be one of the cleanest, most sanitized locations you can think of; the employees are super vigilant about keeping surfaces sanitized. And the pre-travel change policy is really amazing: you can change or cancel your rail vacation up until 5 days prior to traveling without incurring any fees. Plus, your future trip credit is good for 24 months. Super great.
Although I’ve picked one rail trip to spotlight, know that there are trips all over the United States. National parks? Check. Alaska? Check. Southern states? Check. Eastern cities? Check. There are several cross-country trips as well, which highlight different cities or national parks.
The trip I’m spotlighting today is called “Route 66 by Rail.” From Chicago to Los Angeles, this is such a fun itinerary!
Day 1-2 – Welcome to Chicago! You’ll begin your journey with a multi-day hop-on, hop-off sightseeing city tour. You can visit the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier and many more destinations. Of course, you’ll want to take a picture at the famous Route 66 sign! Spend 2 nights in Chicago.
Day 3 & 4 – Board your train and head to St. Louis. Enjoy the amazing views only possible from a train! Once here, you’ll spend the day visiting the 630-feet tall Gateway Arch (did you know it’s the tallest man-made national monument in the U.S.?) and do more sightseeing. Spend 2 nights in St. Louis.
Day 5 – Relax for the next day, night, and part of the next day on the beautiful Southwest Chief train heading for Albuquerque. Travel past wheat fields and ranches, missions and pueblos as you journey west. Carving through canyon passages only a few feet wider than the train itself, you'll see spectacular landscapes and pristine vistas not visible from interstate highways. Spend the night on board.
Day 6 & 7 – Arrive in Albuquerque this afternoon. Check in at your hotel and explore the sights and sounds of this city with rich Spanish roots. On day 7, explore historic Old Town Albuquerque and learn about Route 66 on a private walking tour. Spend 2 nights in Albuquerque.
Day 8 – Travel on the Southwest Chief to Williams, Arizona. Stay at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel one night.
Day 9-10 – Experience a morning shootout before boarding the Grand Canyon Railway into the Grand Canyon National Park. Explore the South Rim and many other locations for the next two days. Spend 2 nights in the park.
Day 11 – Finish up at the Grand Canyon, and head back to Williams. Change trains, and sleep on board as you head to beautiful Los Angeles. Spend the night on board.
Day 12-13 – Arrive in Los Angeles in the morning and check into the hotel. Spend the first day exploring Hollywood, and the second day taking a guided sightseeing tour of Los Angeles. Visit Ventura and Santa Monica Beach. At the Santa Monica Pier, be sure to take a picture marking the end of Route 66. Spend 2 nights in Los Angeles.
Day 14 – Last day of your trip! Head home from Los Angeles.
Additional tips for the health or fitness-conscious on this trip (since I’d want to know about this stuff):
· Most hotels include a gym or fitness center.
· The Palmer House in Chicago includes a spa, so you can begin your trip with a luxurious spa treatment.
· Meals are self-serve or restaurant of your choice, to accommodate dietary restrictions and preferences.
· This trip can be as active as you would like, with opportunities for walking tours and hiking throughout, if desired.
What a great non-driving vacation! Want to talk to me about a train trip? Or something else? I’m here & would love to chat!