The Most Scenic Train Rides from Around California


Next to boats, trains are probably one of the most relaxing ways to get around through most parts of the world. You can sit back, relax and enjoy the countryside speeding past your window as you speed toward your vacation. The best news is that travelling to some of these destinations is just as beautiful as the trip itself. California is fortunate enough to have almost every kind of region you can imagine, so naturally there are quite a few beautiful and scenic train rides to take through the state.

Coast Starlight

Connecting Los Angeles to Seattle, the Coast Starlight train takes its passengers through some incredible vistas. The snowy Cascade Range and Mount Shasta are both breathtaking to behold, but the train has a number of modern amenities too. The Pacific Parlour Car, for instance, includes free Wi-Fi and games you can play from your seat.

California Zephyr

Taking passengers daily from Chicago to San Francisco, the Zephyr is one of the most popular train lines that Amtrak runs. You’ll travel through the great plains of Nebraska, over and through the Rockies, and then ending your trip through Sacramento and into San Francisco.

The true sight to behold is  Donner Lake, which is 300 feet deep and the temperature is almost always a cool 75 degrees all year long.

Dinner Trains

A number of dinner trains, such as the Sierra Railroad, offer a getaway for the evening and take passengers to secluded areas. The fine dining fair is just as good as the views too. It’s unconventional, maybe, but it brings to mind the wonders that people first felt riding America’s railways in those early days.

Bio: Archbishop James Provence retired from the Church and now lives in Vacaville. James Provence is a volunteer docent at the California State Railroad Museum.