Ride the train: rail vacations for 2013

If you’re looking for a different kind of vacation experience, consider riding the rails. Train trips offer no driving, no airport hassles—just great scenery. Specialty travel company Vacations By Rail has added 29 new rail tours across North America to its collection of train vacations. New tours range from 3 to 21 days and visit popular destinations and take in must-experience annual events.

Beautiful fall foliage

Beautiful fall foliage

  • The fiery reds, burnt oranges and golden yellows of New England’s fall foliage are the backdrop of the new 8-day Autumn in New England escorted tour, taking travelers through the region’s autumn scenery to quintessential New England sights and attractions like the Farnsworth Museum of Art, L.L. Bean, Franconia Notch State Park, Mystic Seaport, and the Kennedy Museum in Hyannis. Highlights include scenic rail excursions aboard the Maine Eastern Railroad, Conway Scenic Railroad, and Cape Cod Central Railroad.
  • Discover America’s musical heritage on the 7-day Sights & Sounds rail vacation featuring two nights each in Chicago, Memphis and New Orleans, the cities that played important roles in the jazz, blues and rock ‘n roll scenes and America’s cultural development.
  • Experience the flavor of the southwest on the 10-day Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta escorted train tour. Traveling roundtrip from Chicago, travel to Colorado aboard the legendary California Zephyr for visits to Colorado National Monument, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and an excursion aboard the iconic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway. Continuing into New Mexico, visit Taos; Santa Fe, the cultural and artistic capital of the southwest; and, Albuquerque for a visit to one of the nation’s best-loved events—the annual International Balloon Fiesta—before returning to Chicago aboard the Southwest Chief.

    Old Faithful erupts in Yellowstone National Park

    Old Faithful erupts in Yellowstone National Park

  • Visit Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons and Mt. Rushmore on the re-mastered America’s Parks and Monuments with Mt. Rushmore 11-day escorted tour. Highlights include one-way travel from Chicago aboard the California Zephyr; visits to Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Badlands National Parks as well as Little Bighorn Battlefield, Mt. Rushmore, and the Crazy Horse Memorial; and a scenic rail excursion aboard the Black Hills Central Railroad.
  • New and noteworthy in Canada is the addition of the new Churchill Town and Tundra Experience, a 7-day adventure roundtrip from Winnipeg to Churchill. Combine days on the tundra in a Tundra Buggy viewing polar bears in their natural environment with classically Canadian activities in and around town.
  • Further west, connect the Canadian Rockies and Seattle with new Coastal Passage packages. Select from two: Western Explorer & Coastal Passage and Canadian Rockies & Coastal Passage. Both include travel aboard Rocky Mountaineertrains in GoldLeaf service from Seattle to Vancouver and from Vancouver into the Canadian Rockies.

    Morning reflections on Lake Louise in Canadian Rockies

    Morning reflections on Lake Louise in Canadian Rockies

Vacations By Rail’s train tours include outstanding rail experiences, hotel accommodations, select meals and comprehensive sightseeing. Detailed itineraries for all tours can be found at www.vacationsbyrail.com or by calling 877-929-7245.

Information courtesy of Lynn Bobak, Vacations by Rail.

Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier

Read more travel stories at Going on Adventures and Austin Adventure Travel



  1. steven says:

    I just want to add travelling by train is very nostalgic and has been the most romantic way
    to travel for my Wife & me… that is,if you love the countryside.
    If you love ocean – thats a different vacation….

    The video link is to the Wine Dine Train…

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