Living in a fast-paced world, it may seem the fastest way to travel is the best way to travel. Even on vacation we have a tendency to want to hurry to our destination. The constant rush to be somewhere is what leads us to miss out on what is right in front of us, but what if the journey was our destination? Maybe then we could slow down and appreciate it fully. Traveling by train allows us to do what no other method of transportation allows us to do---enjoy the moment and the journey. Traveling by train means slowing down to take in the sights as legendary trains take you along iconic rail routes through unspoiled natural beauty en route to spectacular destinations. Slow things down and take a breath of fresh air. Here are the top 10 rail tours you'll want to consider:
1. Yellowstone & Glacier Adventure By Rail
An 11-day rail adventure to 3 acclaimed National Parks-Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier-this vacation includes guided tours of the parks as well as overnight stays in both Yellowstone and Glacier. Additional highlights include visits to Salt Lake City and Jackson Hole as well as classic overnight rail travel aboard Amtrak's California Zephyr and Empire Builder trains.
2. America's Great National Parks
This 14-day adventure encompasses visits to 6 amazing National Parks: Glacier, Waterton Lakes, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Arches, and Canyonlands. Your tour begins in Chicago where you board the Empire Builderbound for Glacier National Park, where you will explore the famed Going-to-the-Sun Road aboard vintage red Jammer buses and enjoy a full-day excursion to Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada. Your travels continue with visits to Yellowstone National Park for a two-night stay, Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park, and finally to Utah for visits to Salt Lake City and Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.
3. Canadian Rockies by Rail
The Canadian Rockies span 69,500 square miles. Along this great expanse are quiet alpine towns and breathtaking scenery. When combined with overnight train accommodations aboard VIA Rail's Canadian, it makes for the perfect getaway. This 7-day train vacation begins in the iconic city of Vancouver, where with the help of a sightseeing tour you can experience famous attractions such as Stanley Park, English Bay Beach, and the Robson Street shopping district. Following your day of sightseeing you will board the renowned Canadianbound for Jasper. Along the way, witness the awe-inspiring sights of the Canadian Rockies-a truly spectacular vision.Once in Jasper, there is time to explore the beautiful town including its wooded hiking paths, deep canyons, and glistening lakes. Next, travel by way of the Icefields Parkway to dazzling Lake Louise, where your stay includes overnight accommodations at the famous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Conclude your visit to the Canadian Rockies with a 2-night stay in Banff National Park, renowned for its spectacular hot springs. Your rail journey ends with a transfer to Calgary to make your way home. Well-planned sightseeing and ample time at your leisure complete this itinerary to create a truly memorable vacation by rail.
4. America's Parks & Monuments with Mt. Rushmore
Rugged frontier towns of the Old West and renowned national historic sites are hallmarks of this 11-day escorted tour across America's western frontier. Your Wild West discovery begins in Chicago, where you board the legendary California Zephyr for your journey across the Rocky Mountains to Provo, Utah. From Provo, your travels take you to the cowboy town of Jackson and Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, Little Bighorn Battlefield, Badlands National Park, the Black Hills of South Dakota aboard the Black Hills Central Railroad , Mt. Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, and more!
5. Grand Canyon Rails to the Rim Adventure
One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon, awaits on this spectacular Rails to the Rim vacation. Board Amtrak's Southwest Chief for the overnight journey to Williams Junction, Arizona, where you will catch the historic Grand Canyon Railway for the ride to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Highlights of this vacation include travel aboard two iconic trains, hotel accommodations in Williams and in Grand Canyon National Park, sightseeing at the South Rim of the Canyon and more!
6. Across Canada by Train
Travel across 7 Canadian provinces along 4 storied rail routes for the ultimate cross-Canada rail adventure. Explore the scenery and culture which have made Canada famous, from the coastal city of Vancouver on the Pacific Coast through the Canadian Rockies to the cosmopolitan city of Toronto, on to Montreal and Quebec City in French Canada, ending in Halifax on the Atlantic Coast.
7. Trans Canada by Rail & the Rockies
There is no better way to travel across Canada than by train, and the very best of the country awaits you on this 12-day tour through five of Canada's provinces. Your journey begins in the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver. From here travel east aboard VIA Rail's Canadian, admiring quiet alpine towns, unspoiled natural scenery, and amazing wildlife along your route. As you travel through the heart of the Canadian Rockies, enjoy stops in beautiful Jasper, tranquil Lake Louise, and tony Banff before continuing your journey across Canada to Toronto. Your rail adventure across Canada and through the Canadian Rockies includes first-class train accommodations including access to the Canadian's Skyline and Park Cars, comfortable hotel accommodations, sightseeing, and ample time at your leisure.
8. Berlin, Prague & Vienna
Enjoy the grandeur of the Imperial cities of Berlin, Prague and Vienna in one well-planned rail vacation. Visit the modern Kurfurstendamm, a high-end shopping street in Berlin. Walk the cobblestone streets of Prague, the city of a thousand spires. Immerse yourself in the history of Vienna's St. Stephen's Cathedral. Each city offers a unique blend of the modern and the historical, from palaces and memorials to gastronomy and art.
9. Glacier National Park & Chicago
"The Crown of the Continent" awaits you on this 7-day rail adventure to Glacier National Park. This well-planned itinerary includes roundtrip travel from Chicago aboard Amtrak's famed Empire Builder, accommodations in historic lodges and visits to breathtaking natural attractions within Glacier National Park, often referred to as the "Switzerland of North America."
10. Colorado Rail Adventure
Quite possibly the most "classic" train tour is this in-depth exploration of the Colorado Rockies aboard both standard and narrow gauge railways to summits of more than 14,000 feet. Teddy Roosevelt described a train journey through Colorado as "the trip that bankrupts the English language." Find out for yourself! Beginning and ending in Denver, this extraordinary 8-day itinerary makes a great circle of the Rockies and includes six remarkable train rides that fully justify President Roosevelt's enthusiasm.