These 4 Train Rides Will Take You to Some of the Best Wildflower Blooms in the U.S.
Here's how you can see America in full bloom with Amtrak.
We’re a couple of days away from the official start of spring on March 20, but that hasn’t stopped Mother Nature from bursting back to life with a few unbelievable displays of beautiful wildflower blooms. But, rather than trekking all the way to super blooms across the nation on your own, Amtrak has an easier solution: Hop aboard one of its trains offering wildflower views instead.
Though these rides aren’t specifically for the flowers, they do traverse some of the most gorgeous landscapes in America that are often blanketed by wildflowers throughout the season. Here are four tickets to buy so you can sit back, relax, and let the scenery come to you this spring.
Texas Eagle: Chicago to San Antonio
Though the Texas Eagle begins in Chicago, the real star here is the Lone Star state. The ride travels to major cities like Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio, and even has the option of connecting to Los Angeles. But the power of this ride isn’t in the destinations, but rather the journey along the way. On the route, guests can stare out the windows to check out the fields of bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, pink evening primroses, and Mexican hats sprinkled across the landscape. Amtrak even offers daily service through the more popular wildflower viewing areas in the state. Try and plan a trip around early to mid-April for optimal viewing.
Empire Builder: Chicago to the Pacific Northwest
The Empire Builder takes travelers on a ride from Chicago all the way to Seattle if they wish, riding alongside much of the Lewis and Clark Trail. As a representative for Amtrak shared with Travel + Leisure via email, the train offers awe-inspiring views along the Mississippi River, Big Sky in Montana, Glacier National Park, and the Columbia River Gorge. On the route, guests can spot violet lupines, purple asters, glacier lilies, and beargrass.
Ethan Allen Express: New York to Vermont
Take a ride from New York City through the countryside to Burlington, Vermont on the Ethan Allen Express. The train takes passengers through the Hudson River Valley and Adirondacks, offering endless verdant vistas along the route. After the snow melts away from the mountains, passengers can spot trout lilies, purple spring beauties, and red trillium. Just make sure to time your visit right between the snow and the summer heat as these blooms tend to disappear fast.
Coast Starlight: Los Angeles to Seattle
Travel the length of the West Coast, hugging the seashore before cutting through to fairytale woodland landscapes in northern California through Oregon and Washington state on the Coast Starlight. On the ride, Amtrak shared, travelers can see an abundance of varied blooms, including fields of California poppies, wild irises, and tiger lilies.
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