Traveling by Amtrak

Travel Forums North America Traveling by Amtrak

1. Posted by Trikc (First Time Poster 1 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Hi, I was wondering if anybody had a suggestion for a good place to travel to somewhere in the Pacific Northwest? I will be traveling by Amtrak from Oregon with my two Grandchildren their ages are 8 and 12. We will have 2 weeks in the month of July 2021 for our travel time. Thank you

2. Posted by 55vineyard (Full Member 133 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Are you looking to travel locally or long distance? Have you looked at the Amtrak site? From Seattle there is the Coast Starlight to Los Angeles or the Empire Builder From Chicago to Seattle (presumably you can board the Starlight in Oregon). There is also a Amtrak Cascades train from Vancouver to Oregon via Washington but right now it is not stopping in Vancouver.

Will the kids be content sitting still that long? Years ago my best friend and I took her Cub Scout troop via train from LA to San Diego for the day and those kids (mostly age 7-10) spent half the trip running up and down the aisles.

3. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1489 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

It depends on what you're interested in seeing and experiencing and whether you're planning to rent a car at your destination for more sightseeing. If the latter is the case, a wonderful trip would be to ride the rails to Seattle, rent a car and travel to Olympic National Park before returning to Seattle to travel back by rail to Salem.

For a day trip you might want to consider traveling to Vancouver, Washington, just over the river from Portland. You'll have more options with Amtrak after May 24, when the Coast Starlight resumes daily service, instead of three times a week. From Salem, where you are based, there's also Amtrak Cascades service.

(Please note there is a Vancouver, Washington, and a Vancouver, British Columbia. Amtrak does not currently serve Vancouver, B.C., but it does serve Vancouver, Washington.)

Last year I took the Empire Builder from Milwaukee to Portland. It's one of the most scenic rail trips in the U.S. For example, it passes through Glacier National Park; and in Spokane, Washington, the train separates, with one segment continuing to Seattle and the other to Portland, along the Columbia River Gorge. I went to Portland.

After traveling around Oregon and northern California (Mt. Shasta) I returned my rental car at the Portland airport, flew to Sacramento, California, to board the California Zephyr to Denver, Colorado. That train goes though both the Sierra Nevada and the Rocky Mountains. Many rail buffs consider that segment to be the most scenic Amtrak ride in the U.S. It's two days and one night on the train. On both trips I had a roomette, which is somewhat tight for two adults. A larger room is available that can accommodate both you and the kids comfortably. Those larger accommodations have their own bathroom facilities. Roomette passengers share toilets and shower. Meals are included for roomette and room passengers. Meals are not included for those in coach.

You can travel from Salem to Sacramento and change trains there to catch the California Zephyr to Denver. See this link: https://www.amtrak.com/home.html

I leave this week for Chicago to board Amtrak's Southwest Chief to Los Angeles, where I'll pick up a rental car to drive around the Southwest, including Death Valley, the five national parks in southern Utah as well as Dead Horse Point State Park; the South Rim of the Grand Canyon (the East Entrance to the national park has just reopened); and Joshua Tree National Park before returning to LA for the flight home.