NYC to Seattle with Amtrak

Travel Forums North America NYC to Seattle with Amtrak

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1. Posted by monkeytennis (Budding Member 2 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

Hi everyone

I’m a new user and have been having a look through and there’s loads of great posts.

I was considering driving from NYC up to Niagra Falls and then to Seattle stopping off at Chicago / Detroit etc etc and some smaller towns tourists ordinarily won’t get to see.

I noticed Amtrak do a train and I was wondering if it’s possible todo that trip over say a week and get off the train and stop along the way?

Thanks

2. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 1054 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

Quoting monkeytennis

I noticed Amtrak do a train and I was wondering if it’s possible todo that trip over say a week and get off the train and stop along the way?

Thanks

Here's a link for multi-ride and rail pass info - see if the details of these suit your needs.

Amtrak rail passes and multi-ride tickets.

As for stopping along the way: This could be a bit of challenge depending on where you wish to stop off, what you wish to see and if you need further transport - be warned that intercity bus service in the U.S. is very infrequent and, even worse, totally lacking in routes throughout a very large part of the land. It's also quite expensive if not booked well in advance. Again, depending on where you wish to stop off, even a rental car may not be possible...

Quoting monkeytennis

...and some smaller towns tourists ordinarily won’t get to see.

What smaller towns do you have in mind?

3. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1508 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

I took Amtrak's Empire Builder from Milwaukee (the train originates in Chicago) all the way to Portland, Ore., last summer. The train separates in Spokane, Washington, with one segment continuing to Seattle and the other to Portland. I took the Portland branch because it travels along the spectacular Columbia River Gorge. The trip took four days and three nights, although the schedule has since changed somewhat. There are stops along the way but I decided to buy a through ticket since I wanted to get the overall experience, much like the Trans-Mongolian that I took from Beijing to Moscow. At several stops, you can get off to stretch your legs, then reboard. If you decide to get off, say in Glacier, Montana, for the national park, you'll have to pay for each stop that you decide to make. It's cheaper to buy a coach ticket but I decided to pay for a private roomette. It comes with a shared toilet and hot shower. Meals are included (either in the dining car or served in your roomette). Masks are required while on the train (all time time in coach, but not in a roomette or a larger-size room with private toilet and shower). Meals are not included with coach and while there is access to a lounge and the observation car, there is no access to the dining car. The lounge has packaged food and drinks for purchase. I had an enjoyable experience with spectacular views. The train was not crowded.

See this link: https://www.amtrak.com/empire-builder-train

After arriving in Portland I rented a car and drove around Oregon and northern California to hike. I returned to Portland to fly to Sacramento, California, to catch Amtrak's California Zephyr to Denver, Colorado, crossing the Sierra Nevada and the Rocky Mountains. This is touted as the most scenic train ride in the U.S. and it did not disappoint. It's a two-day, one night trip. I also had a roomette and the train wasn't crowded. You can see the current occupancy rate for each train on the Amtrak Web site. From Denver, the California Zephyr continues to Chicago over much of the U.S. prairie. I got off in Denver to spend time with family on a ranch in eastern Colorado before flying home to Atlanta.

When I traveled last summer, the Empire Builder, California Zephyr and other Amtrak long-distance trains, departed daily. Now it's three times a week, reflecting lower demand.

I'm told the California Zephyr is especially scenic during winter with the mountains covered with snow. But summer was magnificent, too. I'd do it again.

[ Edit: Edited on 24 Jan 2021, 20:10 GMT by berner256 ]

4. Posted by monkeytennis (Budding Member 2 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

Thank you both for your replies - they are really informative and a help.

At the moment my plans are fairly open and I am just trying to decide what to do, so this is a good help in letting me look into things a bit further.

Cars I’ve had some prices on and it’s not too bad - it’s just driving 4/5 hours each day and working out if my time would be better off doing other things.

Eventually I would love to say I’ve visited all states!!

5. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1508 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

If you're planning to rent a vehicle, please be aware that a reservation only guarantees a rate, not availability. I only discovered this last summer, when I went to pick up the car and there was none available. Six other people with reservations were in the same predicament. Luckily I had reserved the vehicle via Costco Travel, which has dedicated phone lines with the four major rental companies that it deals with. One of the agents called around to eventually find a car. The agents at the rental office that didn't have vehicles only shrugged their shoulders and were of no help. After that episode I decided to buy a car. I now have a Subaru Forester that I plan to drive throughout the U.S., leaving my 18-year-old Honda Element at home.

It's not necessary to drive for many hours at a time. I recently completed two 16-day trips. One averaged 116 miles per day, the other 88 miles. There was plenty of time for sightseeing and stops along the way. I keep detailed records of every trip I take for future reference. See this Travellerspoint map:

https://www.travellerspoint.com/map/#/trip/1224046

I plot a proposed itinerary with the help of Google Maps. That way, I get a good idea of how long a journey is likely to take, and where I probably should stop for the night.

Last year I completed my goal of visiting all 50 states. The last two were Arkansas and North Dakota. I also completed all of Nomad Mania's regions in the United States. The last one was western Pennsylvania.

[ Edit: Edited on 24 Jan 2021, 21:38 GMT by berner256 ]

Post 6 was removed by a moderator