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A Pacific Northwest train ride

04.14.2014
Topic U.S. Travel

A Pacific Northwest train ride - Image

It's true, travel by train isn't as popular as it was during the Industrial Revolution. Many people either fly, drive or take a cramped bus to their destinations in today's world. Nevertheless, train travel provides a unique experience you can't get from any other forms of transportation.

If you're concerned more about the journey than the speed, there are countless short train trips you can take whenever you want if you're interested in United States travel, such as from Vancouver to San Francisco. It's a great way to catch the rich diversity of the North American west coast with the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Cascade mountain range on the other.

Stops along the way
This trip allows you to glimpse an array of scenery ranging from mountains, marshes, volcanoes, farms, vineyards and spirited coastal cities and suburbs. From Vancouver, the southward journey brings you through stops at the contrasting, but unique cities of Seattle, Wa., Portland, Ore., and Sacramento, Calif., before finally arriving in San Francisco.

Seattle is dominated by rain most of the year, but there are plenty of places you can head to if the weather outside isn't to your liking. With a brewing industry on the rise, there's no shortage of pubs and restaurants to test out where you can get some drinks specific to the region. Make sure to take the ride up to the top of the Seattle Space Needle to see the metropolis from a view unlike any other at 605 feet in the air, according to the attraction's official website.

Portland has defined itself as a place unlike the rest of the world with a progressive attitude that prides itself on being different and eco-friendly. There are all kinds of vintage shops and eateries offering one-of-a-kind products and meals to check out.

When you finally reach San Francisco, you'll have already seen infinitely more than you could have from atop of the clouds in a plane or by staring at the pavement behind the wheel of your car. You'll have as much time as you want to see sites like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, the San Francisco Zoo and the redwood forests. Instead of merely going from one place to another, you would have witnessed the glory or an entire region firsthand.

Benefits of train travel
If you've never gone anywhere by train, there are a number of factors that set it apart from other means of travel that might make you change your mind. There are benefits to consider next time before you book a flight or rent a car for your next vacation. Besides the smaller things like less waiting times at the train station than the airport, freedom to move whenever you'd like and outlets, there are larger factors that could impact your decision.

  • Price - Ticket prices for trains are frequently cheaper than airplanes. You also don't have to pay for gas along the way as you would if you drove.
  • View - When you're actually travelling through vast stretches of land, you have the opportunity to take in the landscape as a whole.
  • Environmentally Friendly - One person on the train is one less one on the road. Less cars driving around means not as many carbon emissions pumped into the air.
  • Comfort - Train seats are more spacious and can often recline, making it a much more comfortable alternative to the cramped quarters of cars, buses and planes. Some trains even have dedicated cars for sleeping, dining or just for observing.

The next time you're thinking of taking a trip somewhere, consider what you can get from the adventure by travelling via rail. With some travel insurance, you can get the most out of this corner of the world with a chance to see its people, culture, history and beauty up close.