5 More Fun, Affordable Train Trips


Trains are not only a huge part of our history and economy, but they make for relaxing and scenic travel. We last gave you five enjoyable and reasonably priced train trips for the summer. Now, try going on one of these five additional fun, affordable train trips this fall.

1. Cross Country: California Zephyr

Have you always wanted to venture out into what was the wild west of the 1800s without the horrific summer heat? The California Zephyr travels on a 2,438-mile route from Chicago, IL to Emeryville, CA, passing through seven states on a journey made by western settlers during the Gold Rush and other big migrations. The terrain changes from canyons, to rivers, to mountains, to deserts, to valleys with dramatic beauty. Key sights to see: Colorado River, the Donner Pass, the Rockies, and the Painted Desert.

Price: As low as $163 per adult and approximately $80 per child for this 51-hour train trip.

2. New Hampshire: Mount Washington Cog Railway

New Hampshire is beautiful as the leaves turn gold and the air gets crisp. What better way to usher in the season than by riding the Mount Washington Cog Railway, the world's first train to climb a mountain? The historic cars are cute and photo-worthy on their own. This makes for an easy day trip, because the ride is only three hours long, which includes an hour to hang out on the top of Mount Washington and snap pictures of the view. You'll want to try this one before winter settles in, as that's when the schedule is very limited.

Price: $73 per adult, and $39 per child for this three-hour scenic ride.

3. New York: Adirondack Scenic Railroad

Of course, Upstate New York in the fall is quite the stunner, too. The Adirondack Scenic Railroad is definitely not hyperbole: this train weaves from Utica to Lake Placid, through the small hamlets in between. Keep your eyes on the window for the gorgeous scenery of lakes, rivers, and the pretty peaks of the Adirondacks. Additionally, lots of deer, bears, geese and other migrant birds are plentiful and on display through the trip. Fall events on this train include beer and wine tastings and a family Halloween theme.

Price: Adults cost $39.50 and children cost $29.50 for this trip.

4. Washington State: Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad

If you're a fan of mountains and the Pacific Northwest, this is a must-do attraction. The Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad and Museum happens to be the longest running steam train in the region and takes you through the forests and foothills of Mount Rainier. This two-hour train ride includes lots of information on the history of using steam locomotives for logging, the chief industry in the region in the late 19th through early 20th centuries. The MRSR also offers a Civil War package complete with a Civil War reenactment.

Price: This train charges $32 per adult, $72 per child between five to 12 years old, $18 per child under three to four years, and infants under three are free.

5. North Carolina: Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad takes you through a uniquely pretty trail of the South. North Carolina boasts tons of indigenous beauty: 125 types of trees, 1,000 varieties of flora, and over 300 different animal species. You'll also get a chance to look inside the Great Smoky Mountains Train Museum. Like some of our other favorite train rides, this one also has various food and drink tasting voyages. For Halloween, there is a Peanuts Pumpkin Patch Halloween theme for the kids as well as a Halloween Masquerade theme for grown ups.

Price: For the average trip (non-themed and in family cars), adults cost $66 and children cost $38 per round trip ride.

Have you ever taken any of these train rides? How was it?

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