Best Trips Across North America

ClickTravelTips 8 Min Read

There are many different ways to visit different famous landmarks and points within North America. One is using the railways which can actually be a fun adventure and cost effective more so than driving across country in a car or an RV. 


Amtrak is a great way for a family to travel together cheaply and see the sights. The cost is around $213 to $429 per person depending on how long you would like to travel and where you would like to sight see. For a 15 day trip through the North American countryside, the cost is $429 per person which is how the blogger, Derek Low, chose to do on his trip. 

Starting Points

When starting the trip across the North American Countryside, the individual can start on either the East or the West coast depending on where the individuals live in the country. If the individual is flying in from another country, the chose can be made whether or not to start on the East or West Coast as well. 

The Miles, History & Scenic tour

Being that it is one of the best values for the time, miles, and sightseeing potential, it is a no brainer to book a train ride next time there is time for a vacation. It has scenic and historical landmarks throughout the 3,400-mile trip from coast to coast. 

Not to mention the trains are a reminder of the history that is shared throughout the United States such as the taming of the Wild West, the Gold Rush era, and essential was the backbone for the Industrial Revolution to occur. During those time, this was how people travel in luxury. Though most of those types of passenger trains have since ceased to exist, AMTRAK, still remains with affordability in mind. 

For those that want to see coast to coast with no stops, it takes about 4 days total. Each leg of the trip, you must have separate tickets if you are going to have stops in different parts of the tour. It departs in Emeryville, California which is minutes away from San Francisco, California. The California Zephyr train tickets are around $130 from San Francisco, California to Chicago, Illinois.

 If the individual would like to see more of the country for another $83 they would transfer to the train called Lake Shore limited which would bring the total to $213 for them. There are possibilities of spending more such as grabbing a 15 day rail pass which is $429 which means the buyer can split up their trip and see more sights. Areas such as Salt Lake City, Chicago and Denver happen to be on this route to explore. In order to see sights in New York City, Midwest, Lake Michigan, Cleveland, Boston, and even Pennsylvania area the buyer would have to hop on the Lake Shore limited train. 

Some more examples of the scenic routes through this type of tour, The San Francisco Bay, Sierra Nevada Mountains, Donner Lake, Books Cliffs, Colorado River, The Great Plains, Kansas Rolling Hills, and the Chicago Skyline. 

The Tour

The passengers must be weary of the time zone changes that happen throughout the duration of the journey throughout the United States Railway system. There are 4 different times zones throughout the journey that one must be aware of when traveling the entirety of the United States through the railway system, Amtrak. There may be feelings of “jet lag” throughout the trip because of this reason. 

The first leg of the journey starts in the San Francisco area traveling to Salt Lake City, Utah which takes about 17 hours to do so. There is a Sightseer Lounge Car that are for the enjoyment of the passengers. These cars are fixed with enormous windows for viewing pleasure of the passengers. Sometimes there are experts that come on board to tell about the areas that are being passed in the train. Donner Lake has some interesting and sordid history to say the least with tales of cannibalism from the infamous Donner Party. 

There are selections for lunch on the train as well of breakfast and dinner options. Sometimes there are seating issues within the trains for meals and passengers just tend to be seated with strangers and strike up conversations throughout the duration of their meals together. The meals on the train are much better than one might think, and an option may include racks of lamb, mashed potatoes and vegetables. 

There are going to be several temperature drops and rises depending on the time of the year that one decides to take the trip. This is especially true in Sierra Nevada and other areas a long the way. The rider will see mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, cityscapes, and even the vast desert in the plains as the train passes through. It is possible throughout the trip that the rider may lose cellphone signal at certain legs of the journey. The sunsets and sunrises are absolutely exquisite throughout the entirety of the trip through the United States.  

There are times that the train may cross into different stops in the dead of night. There are times that the passengers will have to disembark throughout the night and get on in the middle of the night depending on their selected stops as well as their departure and arrival areas in the United States. Passengers are picked up throughout the United States and carried across the states to where they have intended to end. 

Throughout the trip one will cross over many different states including but not limited to Utah, Colorado and others while finally ending on the east coast of the United States. During the trip, the rider might actually see some Amish riding the rails to their destination which is a quite interesting sight in and of itself. Since they tend to avoid cars or airplanes, one is more likely to see them taking a train as the last resort to get to a location that is farther away.

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