You Can Take a Scenic Train Ride Across the U.S. For $213

Have you ever wanted to take a scenic train ride from one side of the USA to the other? Now you can do your cross-country scenic train ride round trip, and for a bargain.

The United States definitely packs a punch when it comes to spectacular scenery. The west coast boasts beautiful scenery like the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. There is lovely greenery in the Pacific Northwest in cities like Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. The colorful fall foliage is stunning up through Vancouver, Canada and along the west coast. The Pacific coast is a super sought after area to visit, namely the San Francisco Bay area. And for good reason. Blogger Derek Low decided to take in all that majestic beauty by traveling via Amtrak from San Francisco to New York City by scenic railway. And he did it for only a few hundred dollars. 

Surprisingly, the 3,400-mile trip only costs $213 and takes about four days of non-stop travel to complete. During his travels, Low created a photo blog that illustrates the expanse between the two coastal cities. Since it was published, his post has been shared over 2.5 million times.

Low didn't want to skip over some of the country's most cherished and beautiful sites along the way (except Alaska, he couldn't make that one), so he opted for a slightly more expensive journey. It ended up costing $429, and allowed him stop and sightsee in Salt Lake City, Denver, and Chicago. However, that price doesn't include a sleeper car, which is important to consider if you like a good night's sleep and prefer a more first class travel experience.

To travel from San Francisco to New York City, you can hop on two of the most famous train routes in the country, the California Zephyr and the Lakeshore Limited.

"Traveling by train gives you a glimpse into the soul of America," Low says. "The experience rewards you with far more stories and experiences and sights than you could ever witness alone in a car, eyes fixed to the road, or on a five-hour flight across the country."

Low has since started a travel planning service due to the high demand for his secrets to frugal train travel. However, travel buffs in search of the most scenic train rides may only be able to take advantage of these bargains for a limited time. While you could copy this exact trip, feel free to find your own coast to coast American adventure. Ever want to travel to Arizona on the grand canyon railway for a glimpse of the stunning rock formations or visit glacier national park in Montana? Maybe go through the hills and mountains of West Virginia and North Carolina? There is probably a scenic train ride for you.

According to Popular Mechanics, part of President Trump's preliminary budget included an array of cuts to the Department of Transportation. If put into the final budget, these cuts would eliminate funding to lines like the California Zephyr and the Lakeshore Limited.

So if you'd like to plan your own cross-country adventure while you still can, check out Low's travel tips and tricks here.

Amazing Train Journeys (Hardcover)

This post was originally published on April 4, 2017.

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