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Short Breaks

Short Rail Tours

A small taste of culture and a sampling of adventure, short breaks are your chance to relax and recharge. These quick getaways, ranging from 2 to 6 days, are ideal for embarking on new travel experiences and soaking in the delights that a change in scenery can bring.

In the United States, short break holidays can take you to stunning protected parklands, including Glacier National Park, or natural wonders of the world, such as the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls. Fans of city breaks appreciate samplers of some of the nation's most extraordinary locales while on getaways that feature New Orleans or Chicago and New York City.

Amtrak's well-connected railway system sets the tone for unforgettable long weekend breaks. Join the California Zephyr in navigating the great American landscape, venturing from Chicago, through the Rockies, to San Francisco. The Coast Starlight's incredible route along the Pacific Seaboard showcases California's beauty while traveling between Seattle and Los Angeles. For one of the more luxurious short breaks by rail, consider joining America's newest luxury train, Rocky Mountaineer, on its epic Rockies to the Red Rocks route from Denver, CO, to Moab, UT.

Imagine discovering Europe's unbelievable history on Euro city breaks. Though it may seem impossible, there are plenty of tour options that introduce the centuries-old architecture, local cuisine, and nuances of regional culture in one charming little package. Venture through the Scottish Highlands, explore Switzerland's charming alpine towns, or visit traditional Christmas Markets along the Rhine. Whether you are looking for short spring break trips or quick retreats into the varied countries that compose the European landscape, the continent's far-reaching railways make it possible. Some of Europe's most luxurious railways also offer a platform for adventure, even on a limited timeline. Consider short holidays that feature the Royal Scotsman or the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for a classic overnight route between Venice and Paris.

Start planning your short break with these imaginative itineraries ideal for a short getaway.

35 results matching: Short Breaks

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Cabin Emerald at Lake Yoho National Park
Independent
NEW
Up to $300 Off
2024MayJunJulAugSepOct
2025MayJunJulAugSepOct
6 days from
$3,452 pp
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Independent
Up to $300 Off
6 days from
$3,452
per person
View Details
tour map
  • AccommodationRail
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
South Rim of the Grand Canyon
Independent
Heritage Tour
4.3 stars(142 reviews)
2024MarAprMayJunJul...
2025JanFebMarAprMay...
6 days from
$1,165 pp
View Details
Independent
6 days from
$1,165
per person
View Details
tour map
  • AccommodationRail, Hotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Kancamagus Highway During Foliage Season
Escorted
Save up to $600
4.3 stars(56 reviews)
2024SepOct
6 days from
$2,595 pp $2,495 pp
View Details
Escorted
Save up to $600
6 days from
$2,595
$2,495
per person
View Details
tour map
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
Map and accommodation
Glacier Express in the Goms Valley
Independent
Most Popular
Up to $300 Off
4.5 stars(22 reviews)
2024MarAprMayJunJul...
2025JanFebMarAprMay...
6 days from
$1,929 pp
View Details
Independent
Up to $300 Off
6 days from
$1,929
per person
View Details
tour map
  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Strathspey Railway
Escorted
4.3 stars(32 reviews)
2024AprMayJunJulSepOct
5 days from
$1,145 pp
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Escorted
5 days from
$1,145
per person
View Details
tour map
  • DestinationScotland
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
California Zephyr
Independent
Heritage Tour
4.3 stars(27 reviews)
2024MarAprMayJunJul...
5 days from
$678 pp
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Independent
5 days from
$678
per person
View Details
tour map
  • AccommodationRail, Hotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Sierra Nevada Mountains
Independent
3.4 stars(8 reviews)
2024MarAprMayJunJul...
6 days from
$823 pp
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Independent
6 days from
$823
per person
View Details
tour map
  • AccommodationRail
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Empire Builder Between Chicago and Seattle
Independent
4.2 stars(20 reviews)
2024MarAprMayJunJul...
5 days from
$706 pp
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Independent
5 days from
$706
per person
View Details
tour map
  • AccommodationRail
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Colorful Sky Over Bow Falls
Independent
Up to $300 Off
4.8 stars(14 reviews)
2024MayJunJulAugSepOct
5 days from
$3,114 pp
View Details
Independent
Up to $300 Off
5 days from
$3,114
per person
View Details
Up to $300 Off
5 days from
$1,713
per person
View Details
tour map
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
5 days from
$1,493
per person
View Details
tour map
  • AccommodationRail, Hotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
5 days from
$929
per person
View Details
tour map
  • AccommodationRail, Hotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
Map and accommodation
Our customers love our Short Breaks tours
Aurora Viewing at Bettles Lodge
21 Feb 2024
CAROLYN MARGARET ERLANSON
5 stars
“Five star staff and meals and accommodations
Collected by Trustpilot
Grand Canyon Railway Rails to the Rim Adventure - Los Angeles
20 Feb 2024
REGINA NELL GREGG
5 stars
“We had such a great time!!! The only thing we would have preferred is if we had the option to stay at El Tovar instead of Moswick. We would have been willing to pay extra for that.
Collected by Trustpilot
Grand Canyon Railway Rails to the Rim Adventure
05 Feb 2024
CONNIE DODSON
5 stars
“Married 33 yrs and our 1st train trip together! We had no idea what to expect and were very happy with all aspects of the vacation by rail. First, Dorian D at vacations by rail is an asset to the company. She answered alllll of my questions kindly and patiently. Had she not been so, i doubt l would have booked as it was a spur of the moment decision to call. Next, the Amtrak meals and service were outstanding! Picture riding along at sunset, enjoying a delicious 3 course meal, prepared and served with a rocking smile! The Grand Canyon Railway hotel, Judy and Lindsey shuttled us safely, the train and robbers were great, as were the musicians and conductors/guides. Maswik staff Beau, Chelsea, and team were welcoming, kind, and helpful. We will travel.this.way again
Collected by Trustpilot
Zermatt & St. Moritz featuring Glacier Express
02 Feb 2024
HELEN DIANE STALLINGS
5 stars
“Visiting these charming sites in Switzerland in winter was delightful! The vistas were beyond description and made all the more glorious with the beautiful snow. The train arrangements and hotel bookings were all well planned and easy to implement.
Collected by Trustpilot
Aurora Viewing at Chena Hot Springs
30 Jan 2024
JEAN ZASKE
5 stars
“A great trip!
Collected by Trustpilot
Winter Escape to the Grand Canyon - Chicago Round-trip
10 Jan 2024
ALLYN RICCI
5 stars
“It was a wonderful quick getaway for me, my husband, and 2 kids. They loved the train and we all experienced the Grand Canyon for the first time together. We will definitely be using Vacations by Rail for another adventure!
Collected by Trustpilot
New England in a Nutshell
21 Oct 2023
Stephanie Koch-Prest
5 stars
“Christine very personable and Vincent very attentive driver.
Collected by Trustpilot
Empire Builder Experience - Chicago to Seattle
20 Oct 2023
JEANINE Philadelphia
5 stars
“It was a fun experience. You get to meet a lot of nice people from all over the country/world. The train staff were friendly and helpful. I would suggest the longer version of this trip where you get a chance to get off and spend the night in some of the stops. That's my only regret!
Collected by Trustpilot
Excursion to the Canadian Rockies
16 Oct 2023
RN
5 stars
“We had a great time! We were one of the youngest couples on the train in our car but the crew made us feel very welcomed. It was nice to sit back and relax and take in the scenery and not have to rush! Our parents loved our pictures and stories from our trip they are planning theirs! Maneli, Ema and Marina were amazing hosts!!!
Collected by Trustpilot