The Best Train Ride in America Costs Only $97

Train travel may seem like a slow-motion way to travel, now that you can fly coast to coast in a matter of hours. Many train travelers in this country are looking for a less-expensive way to travel. Others know that the slow pace of of rail travel is one of the best ways to take in the sights.

Amtrak’s Coast Starlight, often called “one of America’s most beautiful train rides” has been running for close to eight decades.

“Starting in Seattle and ending in Los Angeles,” Popular Mechanics writes, “the Coast Starlight train trip takes passengers through Washington, Oregon, and California, allowing them to see stunning views of the West Coast’s mountains, forests, valleys, and the Pacific Ocean. Passengers can take in the sights from the observation car, which is decked out in floor-to-ceiling windows and comfortable swivel chairs. And here’s the best part—tickets for the spectacular journey start at just $97.”

The west coast journey is a value at $97. And it isn’t high-speed-rail travel. The journey takes 35 hours, as it runs through “Olympia-Lacey, Portland, Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay area, and Santa Barbara.”

While much of the journey traverses an area that is packed with people, there are plenty of sights along the way. The train cuts through the Cascade Range, passes Mount Shasta, and hugs the Santa Barbara Channel.

The train passes several national parks, cuts through forests and skirts the picturesque Pacific coastline.

The trip is popular with those who want to slow down and take it easy. While most of the scenery can be seen by car, the train offers special viewing cars for taking in the sights.

“When booking your trip,” PM notes, “you’ll want to consider all the options. Travelers can opt for the $325 ‘Superliner Roomette’ tickets, which come with a bed for overnight travels and your very own sightseeing window in your cabin. Business-class tickets also come with amenities like on-board wine and cheese tastings.”