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Just imagine being able to travel the western United States without having to worry about driving, yet still getting to see the many breathtaking views — all while kicking back and relaxing and spending just around $100.
Sounds almost too good to be true, right? Well luckily, this scenario can be a reality if you book a trip on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight train.
Starting at $101 for coach tickets, you can travel by train from Seattle through Portland, the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento and Santa Barbara before landing in Los Angeles.
The 35-hour train ride offers fabulous views of some of the West Coast’s most iconic sights and passes through 30 destinations. It has even been deemed “one of America’s most beautiful train rides” and has held that prestigious title since the 1940s.
Scenery along the Coast Starlight route varies, offering views of everything from the dramatic snow-covered peaks of the Cascade Range and Mount Shasta to lush forests, fertile valleys and long stretches of Pacific Ocean shoreline.
If comfort is a concern, you’ll be delighted to know that a coach ticket includes a roomy seat, plenty of legroom and Amtrak’s “Just-for-You” express meal service, which allows you to choose your meal from the menu and have it conveniently delivered right to your seat.
There’s also an observation car, which provides a spot to relax in swivel chairs so you can be comfortable while taking in all of that gorgeous scenery outside the floor-to-ceiling windows.
If you’d like to spend a little more money, you can upgrade to one of the Superliner Roomettes, which pretty much means you’ll have your own room on the train. The rooms include big picture windows, your own private bathroom, two beds and of course, meals.
Or you could ride business class, meaning you’ll have the opportunity to sit in the dedicated business class car and enjoy additional legroom and footrests.
And if you’re really considering hitting the rails or already have taken this route but are sold on the idea of seeing the entire country by train, there are multiple train rides that run clear across the country.