The beauty of lower Alaska is immense and varied. Rugged coastlines border deep blue waters, and soaring mountains, dotted with glaciers and snow, plunge into dramatic valleys, all wide-open spaces and evergreen groves. All of this and more is presented on the Alaska Railroad's Coastal Classic, a summertime train that departs daily from Anchorage. Just over 110 miles of track lie between Anchorage and its final destination, Seward, on the beautiful Kenai Peninsula.
Each morning beginning in May, the train departs the Anchorage Depot at 6:45 and begins its nearly 4-hour course south. The train first travels through downtown Anchorage, presenting a stark contrast against what is to come later in the journey. As the skyline fades into the distance, the Coastal Classic hugs the coastline and offers over 50 miles of uninhibited views of the Cook Inlet and Turnagain Arm as the train travels toward Girdwood, the only stop between the book-end destinations. It comes with little wonder why this portion of the journey is renowned for its scenery. As the Coastal Classic arrives in Seward, views of Resurrection Bay come into sight. Seward is an ideal platform for adventures, including cruises through the bay or into Kenai Fjords National Park. On the land, Seward offers access to Exit Glacier, the Alaska SeaLife Center, and the hidden gems of downtown. The final seasonal run for the Coastal Classic takes place in September each year.