We walk, we drive, we bike, we fly. . . but do we often consider taking a train? If you’re searching for an interesting and unique way to travel on your next adventure, not to mention affordable and fun, then riding the rails may be just what you’re looking for. Taking a train is a traditional yet convenient way to travel, even in modern times. Also, it’s a great option when it comes to bringing your pet along with you for the ride!
One of our nation’s largest railway options is Amtrak, which offers 30+ routes, goes to 500+ locations, and travels across most states. You can take in the scenery and see the sights – many of which can only be seen by rail. Amtrak’s pet policy is simple and accommodating, allowing for small dogs and cats that weigh up to 20 lbs., which includes their weight and their carrier’s weight combined, to travel on railway trips that last up to 7 hours, on most of their routes. Each two-legged customer can bring 1 furry family member, and there’s a $26 travel fee per travel segment. Amtrak makes check-in easy, so taking your pet along is more fun than fretful!
We checked out Amtrak’s complete list of popular destinations, and here are our top picks for sensational and scenic railway routes to take your pet.
Ethan Allen Express
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast who loves viewing nature with your pet, then the Ethan Allen Express is the route for you! The journey takes you from New York to Vermont, traveling by way of Albany. During the trip, you can ride and relax, and take in all the scenic spots in between. You’ll cross over vast areas of natural landscapes, get a view of the Hudson River Valley, venture into wine country, and pass through the awe-inspiring Adirondacks. Any time of year is a great time for this trip – with winter wonderlands, spring skiing spots, bright and colorful summer flowers, and fall foliage to enhance your experience!
Over yonder in the Deep South, the Sunset Limited is waiting to take you and your four-legged sidekick on a tremendous trek! You’ll start at The Paris of the South, New Orleans, and roll through Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, to make your way to sunny Los Angeles. During the trip, you and your pet can take a window-seat tour of the Bayou, the iconic southwestern deserts, the borderland in Mexico, and all of California’s must-see scenery.
Get an up-close view of the natural and nostalgic beauty of the American West when you ride on the Southwest Chief. This route runs all the way from Chicago to Los Angeles, with stops along the way in vibrant cities such as Flagstaff and Albuquerque. You and your pet will gaze at mountains and deserts, marvel at crossing the Mighty Mississippi, and peruse past traditional ranches and southwestern pueblos. Some points along the way include twisting and turning passageways where the rails hug the edge of the natural landscapes.
Those who are well-traveled often say that the California Zephyr is a rail ride that can’t be missed! The route takes passengers through the gorgeous plains of Nebraska, the rugged Rockies, and the snowy Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. Riders receive a clear view of some of our nation’s most memorable scenery, starting in The Windy City of Chicago across to The Golden City of San Francisco.
They say everything is bigger in Texas, and the Texas Eagle is no exception since it offers a bigger and better railway adventure! The travel route goes from Chicago to San Antonio, highlighting some of those big Texas cities such as Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. You’ll also catch glimpses of some of nature’s wonders, including the path from the Ozarks to Little Rock, the majestic Mississippi River, and the woodsy terrain in eastern Texas.
You can embark on another spectacular tour of the west when you ride the rails on the Coast Starlight route. Running from Los Angeles to Seattle, and meandering through wonderful western cities like Santa Barbara, Sacramento, San Francisco’s Bay Area, and Portland. In addition to the grand tour of these fine cities, you and your furry traveler will pass through some of the country’s most breathtaking scenery. You’ll see mountains with snow-capped peaks, lush forests as far as the eye can see, wide and expansive valleys, and the gorgeous shores of the Pacific Ocean that seem to go on forever. What a way to see the west, and all with your furkid by your side!