Watching Hallmark Christmas movies transports you to another world. But did you know you can bring those dreams to life on a coast-to-coast train ride?
Keep reading to learn about scenic coast-to-coast train rides and which are best for Christmas magic. We start by revealing which Amtrak train is the most scenic — all aboard!
Which Amtrak Train Is the Most Scenic?
Amtrak’s Coast Starlight gets high praise as one of North America’s most scenic train rides. It travels along the Pacific Ocean from Vancouver to San Diego. You’ll be mesmerized by the coast, mountains, dunes, and other sweeping landscapes and cities on this trip.
People also consider coast-to-coast routes the most scenic in the Amtrak system. Imagine traveling across the hillsides of Canada or through Glacier National Park in the U.S. The scenes from your train car window are epic every day on a coast-to-coast ride.
Can Trains Ride in the Snow?
Trains can ride through snow to some extent. They must remove the snow if it is too deep on the tracks. Ice can also be a hindrance.
Amtrak monitors the weather 24 hours a day on its routes. They use equipment like switch heaters, tree trimming crews, and other mechanics and technology to keep the train tracks safe.
Is There a Christmas Train in the USA?
Several cities across the U.S. have Christmas trains. They vary in distance and features.
A popular family-friendly option is The Polar Express train in numerous cities. You can find locations across North America.
Round up the grandkids, Santa’s Workshop is in Colorado Springs!
Live Out Your Hallmark Christmas Dreams With These Coast-to-Coast Train Rides
A winter coast-to-coast train ride is sure to have Hallmark Christmas magic. The scenery will be memorable, from snow-capped mountains to icy lakes and crisp flowing rivers.
Let’s look at two coast-to-coast routes that will inspire you any time of year.
USA Coast to Coast
About: Amtrak’s Scenic America by Rail with Glacier National Park route is 13 days long and includes four destinations. This is a dream trip from New York City’s festive atmosphere to Seattle, Washington, and everything in between.
The highlight of the route is Glacier National Park. You’ll get off the train here to explore the glaciers.
Depending on when you go, you can also see snow. The park offers a Hallmark Christmas movie feel with sweeping landscapes and quiet natural strolls.
The trip includes one-way Amtrak coach accommodations from New York City to Chicago and East Glacier. From East Glacier to Seattle, you’ll be on the Lake Shore Limited and Empire Builder trains. There are nine nights of hotel accommodations at the cost of the trip.
Amenities: Amenities onboard include private sleeping rooms, meals, and dining options. A train is an excellent option for someone with mobility issues, as there are accessible accommodations.
Stops: There are four stops: New York City, Chicago, Glacier National Park, and Seattle. You’ll spend the first day in New York City before traveling to Chicago, Illinois, for two days.
Next is Glacier National Park, where you’ll have three days to enjoy the park. The last two days of the route bring you to Seattle.
Number of Days: 13 days
Cost: Starting at $3,049 per person
Canada Coast to Coast
About: Amtrak’s Canada Coast to Coast is 17 days long with eight destinations. It’s the ultimate Hallmark Christmas experience, especially during the late fall or winter months. The likelihood of journeying through the snow from December through March is very high.
You’ll stop in epic places like Niagara Falls and Banff. You’ll also take in the hill country, prairies, ice fields, and mountains of Canada’s stunning landscape.
The trip includes one-way VIA Rail economy accommodations. The package comprises 12 nights of accommodations and five nights on the VIA Rail, including on the iconic Canadian Line. There are also three meals, two lunches, and one dinner.
Amenities: Onboard, you’ll have access to private sleeping rooms, meals, and dining options. There are accessible rooms, bathrooms, and services.
Stops: There are eight stops: Halifax, Quebec City, Montreal, Niagara Falls, Toronto, Banff, Jasper, and Vancouver. The itinerary allows for two days in Quebec City, a full day in Montreal, a day in Toronto, and at Niagara Falls.
After traveling across the country from Toronto, you’ll spend a day in Jasper and Banff. Your trip concludes with two days in Vancouver.
Number of Days: 17 days
Cost: Starting at $4,149 per person
Where Was the Hallmark Movie ‘The Christmas Train’ Filmed?
Filmmakers shot the 2017 Hallmark movie ‘The Christmas Train’ in British Columbia, Canada, mainly in Vancouver. They filmed the train station scenes at Pacific Central Station, 1150 Station Street, Vancouver, BC.
Is a Coast-to-Coast Train Ride Worth It?
A coast-to-coast train ride is worth it! You can see so much countryside, mountains, and quaint towns that you usually wouldn’t see when driving by on a highway.
Being on a train allows you to slow down and take it all in without worrying about directions or driving. Your hotel room travels with you, making it a relaxed and easy trip.
Are you ready to book your coast-to-coast train ride? We’d love to hear about your experience if you take one of the routes on our list.
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