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using gift cert but want scenic train experience

using gift cert but want scenic train experience

Old May 8, 19, 1:01 pm
  #1  
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using gift cert but want scenic train experience

Have a gift certificate for Amtrak but not sure where to travel. Have been on the coast starlight from Santa Barbara to Emeryville and then went on to Chicago which was very scenic. Was considering going East from Chicago to Boston or New York, or going back to the coast from San Francisco up the coast to Oregon or Washington. Have been to Vancouver. Trying to find a scenic route but going west from Chicago to Portland is not very scenic. Have family in Bay Area so traveling there is always good. Any suggestions for Eastern scenery? And this is a very generous gift certificate! Have to make a decision and start planning soon!
Thanks
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Old May 9, 19, 8:37 am
  #2  
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The route from Chicago to Portland does have some interesting scenery, especially in the spring and summer when the passage through Glacier National Park is in the daylight. For a scenic ride from Chicago to the East, I recommend the Cardinal, which traverses the New River Gorge. The Capitol Limited also has nice scenery.
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Old May 11, 19, 6:00 pm
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The scenery is very nice on the Coast Starlight to Portland or Seattle. I also agree with the Cardinal suggestion. I've taken several LD trains and my favorites for scenery are (in order)
CA Zephyr
Coast Starlight
Cardinal
Southwest Chief
Lakeshore Limited
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Old May 13, 19, 9:49 am
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Weíre planning a trip from LA to Chicago via the Coast Starlight to Emeryville and the California Zephyr - Iíve always heard the views along the coast and through the Rockies are among the most scenic in Amtrakís network. This is the route youíve already done, correct?

I wouldnít mind seeing Mt. Shasta and the Crater Lake area from the train, but this segment is at night. The Empire Builder through the Columbia River gorge and the mountains of northern Idaho and western Montana is overnight as well - the sun comes up around Whitefish, so youíll go through the mountains south of Glacier National Park in the daylight, which is a nice ride. (The route follows US-2.) After that itís mostly plains the rest of the way, but thatís still probably the way Iíd go if Iíd already seen the Zephyr through the Rockies.
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Old Jul 7, 19, 6:38 am
  #5  
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Trying to decide between the coaststarlight or the cascades train to Portland? Suggestions please! Have done coast starlight from Santa Barbara to Emeryville previously. Do we need a roomette or bedroom or is it not worth it? Leaving from Bay Area.
Thanks

Last edited by tatmtr7; Jul 7, 19 at 6:39 am Reason: Forgot
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Old Jul 7, 19, 6:56 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by tatmtr7 View Post
Trying to decide between the coaststarlight or the cascades train to Portland? Suggestions please! Have done coast starlight from Santa Barbara to Emeryville previously. Do we need a roomette or bedroom or is it not worth it? Leaving from Bay Area.
Thanks
From what I can tell, these follow the same rails where they overlap (Eugene to Seattle); the only difference is the schedule. Cascades doesnít go as far south as the Bay Area.

Iíve had both a roomette and a full bedroom, and Iíd say if itís just 2 of you, the bedroom isnít worth it - the bathroom is too small to really be usable, so I ended up going to the communal bathrooms anyway. The roomette has two seats facing each other; the full bedroom has a bench seat on one side and essentially a jumpseat on the other, which wasnít terribly comfortable. (I was stuck in that seat since the Mrs. needed the space to get some work done.)
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Old Jul 7, 19, 7:55 am
  #7  
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Thanks for your quick reply. I thought one train hugged the coast and the other more interior. Guess I need to look more closely!
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