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Travel Gifts for Mom: The Best Mother-Daughter Trips for 2023

10 May 2023

If there is one thing moms want above all others, it is time. Time to marvel at the person you have become and time to continue experiencing the world with you by her side. This year,  consider a "thank you" that gives the special woman in your life all the things she wants and more by booking a rail vacation. These travel gifts for mom can look like memorable tours through scenic regions, rail and cruise vacations in enchanting destinations, or just about anything in between. Because travel professionals carefully curate each package, you and your mom are free to spend quality time together without the stress of planning and decision-making. Revel in the comfort of each other's company while making memories you both will treasure for years to come when you select one of these mother-daughter trips.

Redwood Forest Steam Train

1. California’s Redwoods, Rails & Wineries

Enjoy wine tastings in Napa Valley and adventures through prehistoric Redwood trees on this California adventure. Of all the trip ideas on the list, this one is perhaps the most unique for a mother-and-daughter vacation, pairing time in eclectic San Francisco with three rail journeys, wilderness explorations, and the ambiance of one of the world's best wine regions. Each portion of the trip brings a new thrill, the perfect recipe for a wonderful getaway with Mom.

Tour San Francisco and experience all its most remarkable sights, from Lombard Street to Alcatraz. The journey then turns to nature, stopping in the Santa Cruz Mountains to ride Roaring Camp Railroad's Redwood Forest Steam Train and continuing into Yosemite National Park, where you ride the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad and tour the park. Step back into gold-mining history at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park before continuing on a scenic drive through western California to wine country. Wrap up your trip immersed in a world of fabulous wine and incredible cuisine while traveling through Napa and surrounding towns on the Napa Wine Train. Whether your mother enjoys gastronomic delights or deep history, California has much to offer.

Grand Canyon From The Helicopter

2. Canyons & Deserts Featuring Sedona

If colorful landscapes and worldly wonders pique your mom's interest, look no further than this Wild West journey. Perfect for the adventurous mother-daughter duo, this escape features endless deserts, ghost towns, route 66 history, and some of the world's most impressive canyons.

Kick off your nine-day western expedition in fabulous Las Vegas. Maybe catch a show or try your luck in the casinos before taking to the road for Death Valley National Park. Memorable experiences abound while exploring this arid landscape and visiting highlights of the park and the surrounding area, including Badwater Basin, the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Manzanar National Monument, and eerie ghost towns like Rhyolite and Randsburg. Enjoy quintessential Americana while traveling Route 66 to Williams, AZ, and the romance of yesteryear while riding the Grand Canyon Railway to Grand Canyon National Park. A jeep adventure through Red Rocks and Oak Creek Canyon, a ride into Verde Canyon aboard the Verde Canyon Railroad, and an overnight ranch experience round out the offerings of this tour and ensure you and your mom are fully immersed in the beauty and culture of the West.

Savannah Georgia

3. Charms of the South: Savannah & Charleston

Travel gifts for mom can also take you to the South, where mamas are treasured, and charm is abundant. Old buildings and Spanish moss set a beautiful background for mother-daughter photo ops, and the deep history provides terrific opportunities to explore together. The pretty cities of Savannah, GA, and Charleston, SC, host this laid-back journey and are connected by transport on Amtrak's Palmetto train.

In Savannah, join a guide in touring the city's most notable attractions, including its famous squares, historic sites, and breathtaking mansions and cathedrals, and time to explore on your own. An excursion to beautiful Jekyll Island presents another side of this region, presenting the beach town's glamour, culminating with a fantastic lunch at Jekyll Island Club Resort. Moving to Charleston, marvel at the remains of Colonial America while touring Middleton Plantation and wandering through the city's cobbled streets independently. Whether your mother-daughter trip goals look like ghost tours, fantastic soul food, boutique shopping, or waterside relaxation, there is plenty to enjoy in these Southern gems.

Chateau Frontenac Hotel

4. Montreal & Quebec City by Rail

When looking for mother-daughter trips outside the boundaries of the United States, look no further than this week-long showcase of two fantastic Canadian cities: Montreal and Quebec City. This independent vacation offers an enticing mixture of guided sightseeing and independent exploration time, allowing you and your mom to bond while exploring each other's interests - something there is not always time for in daily life.

The trip begins in Montreal, Canada's second-largest city and Cultural Capital. Montreal offers an exciting mix of old and new that is presented on a sightseeing tour of more than 200 of its most enticing attractions. VIA Rail's Corridor Service then whisks you to Quebec City, known for its old-world European ambiance and rich history. Your mom will love the diverse sites - ranging from the Plains of Abraham and the Fortifications to the Place Royale and National Assembly - presented on a guided tour and an optional excursion to the Hotel de Glace during winter departures. Of course, winding through the narrow streets of Old Quebec together, surrounded by charming architecture, and enjoying each other's company makes this trip one you will cherish forever.

Ms Amadeus Provence river cruise

5. Mont Blanc Express & Rhone Cruise

A story of central Europe's beauty lies ahead on this rail and cruise journey through France and Switzerland. All-inclusive mother-daughter trips like this offer hands-off travel and the opportunity to sit back and relax, marveling at the changing landscape while someone else makes the decisions for you -- bliss for any mom.

Begin on land surrounded by the beauty of the Swiss Alps. Explore the beauty of the Lake Geneva region with a chateau visit, a cruise across the lake, and a scenic train ride through the Trient and Chamonix Valleys aboard the Mont Blanc Express. Moving on to France, join the luxurious MS Amadeus Provence in Lyon for a seven-night cruise on the Rhône. As the river cruiser navigates this picturesque waterway, you and your mom are introduced to world-class destinations, remarkable history, and impeccable wine and cuisine. Guided and optional excursions in the ports of call and sightseeing opportunities while aboard the ship ensure your 11-day European vacation is filled with wonder.

Keep the spirit of Mother's Day alive a little longer this year with the gift of travel. In addition to these memorable itineraries, Vacations By Rail offers idyllic extended weekend getaways for mom and daughter and a selection of mother-daughter trips on a budget. Contact a Rail Specialist to find the perfect itinerary for some R&R - or adventure - with your favorite gal.