MNN Galleries

Best train journeys in North America

Coast Starlight in the Sierra Foothills on California/Nevada border

Photo: Alex Mayes/Amtrak

4 of 12

Coast Starlight

One of the most attractive train routes in the U.S. runs the length of the West Coast, from Seattle to Los Angeles. Riders in search of legendary scenery will find more than they could hope for along this line, dubbed the Coast Starlight. It passes through the rugged but famously beautiful Pacific Northwest, the mountains and forest landscapes of Northern California, the scenic Central Coast and the dry hills of Southern California. Running for more than 1,300 miles, the Starlight also passes through many of the West Coast's urban headliners: Portland, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Jose. Sleeper cars and dining cars can turn this journey from a sightseeing trip into a classic railway experience.