How to Plan Your Trip
If your kids are under age 7, consider an organized tour that’s broken up by overnights at hotels. Look for escorted rides that specify “family,” include lodging at prescreened hotels, and have experts on board to bring the view out the window to life. Check out Vacationsbyrail.com or Amtrakvacations.com for options.
Two Grand Journeys
Two days aboard the California Zephyr (Amtrak.com) will remind all of you how beautiful this country is. During the 2,400-mile trek, which runs daily between Chicago and San Francisco, you’ll pass through the Sierra Nevada and the Rockies. Taking just one leg of the multiday route is a good option, too. You can hop on in San Francisco and head into Truckee, CA, a six-hour trip with stellar cliffside views.
Or ride from Toronto to Vancouver, passing through forests, prairies, and the Canadian Rockies on Canada’s Via Rail (Viarail.ca).