Amtrak Vacations

I am interested in possibly trying Amtrak to see some east coast cities. I don't mind driving but thought I would enjoy the scenery more taking the train. Thinking Boston, Vermont, NY state (not all in on trip). I know absolutely nothing about train service, how to read a schedule, getting on the right train, safe to leave my car at the station, Wondering if anyone has any input , tips, pros, cons. Also are train stations near car rental facilities? How do I get around once I am at my destination?

happycamper happycamper
Feb '19

Getting around Boston can be done with public transport. Out of the three places you mentioned, it's the one I think you could effectively use Amtrak. Both Vermont and New York state you're going to need a car. The stops aren't specific to car rentals although one or two stations might have that. But even if they did, the driving to NY or VT is not that far away. Taking a train and then having to rent a car is more of a pain than just driving in the first place.

Besides Boston, Montreal would be the other place that's doable by Amtrak with good public transport available at the other end.

If you want any suggestions about NY or VT there are a bunch of people, myself included, that have lived in those areas as well as traveled there. Just ask any questions you might have and I'd bet someone on the forum has been there.

I believe the rail trips are much more picturesque out West. That being said my opinion was that these rail trips were mostly taken by NYC folks with no car and maybe no license. I know someone who took it up North a couple hours and just Ubered from the train station to B&B. BTW, I doubt you can leave your car overnight at any train station.

We parked overnight at 30th St in Phila. I think they had a long-term parking garage for those that needed it. If your’re using NJ transit only it’s probably no overnight parking.

3wbdwnj 3wbdwnj
Feb '19

Also if you are traveling overnight on the train I would recommend a sleeping car.

3wbdwnj 3wbdwnj
Feb '19

It's not going to be cheap to park in Philly, just check the prices first.

The New England Amtrak "vacations" are centered around a fall foliage tour and include hotel stays and transportation to/from when necessary. At least that's what I've been able to glean from some rudimentary investigation online.

I agree with GC that you would probably be better off renting a car... you can always parallel the railroad tracks if you really wanted to (-;

ianimal ianimal
Feb '19

I’ve taken Amtrack from NYC south all the way to South Carolina: few non-industrial and many rusty-post-industrial views, making for existential reflections on the future of our country/world...

On the other hand, I’ve taken Amtrack countless times to/from Boston/Providence RI to NYC. The vistas, while not magnificent, are lovely along the CT/RI coast. You could stop at Westerly, RI and/or at the Breakers in Newport, RI to walk magnificent paths aside rocky ocean coast. Providence, RI boasts outdoor gardens and music in the summer, and a really magical outdoor ice skating rink in winter. There are some fabulous restaurants there, as well as museums and Brown University lose to downtown. In the summer there is the outdoor Water-Fire-Providence event each weekend featuring music and other cultural events along a firelit river that winds through downtown. It’s quite walkable, but taxis are plentiful.

Can you buy a ticket that would allow for getting off and on, so you could spend a night or two at stops like this as you journey?

I’ve also traveled Amtrack north along the Hudson River where the vast width and strong currents of the Hudson ultimately peter out to a small stream far north. It is majestical to watch the changing face of the River. I think that same train line goes north to Montreal where you could spend time on-foot exploring the old city.

Trains are an amazing way to travel, both domestically and abroad. The vistas are only one aspect of the journey; meeting and chatting with fellow passengers is often more interesting than a new view out the window. Keep us posted!

Robin Robin
Feb '19

My sister and her husband took Amtrak from NY to California to attend my daughter's wedding there. They said that although it was a few days longer traveling (we flew)...they got to see so much by traveling there by Amtrak and the scenery going out was just beautiful. They also met so many nice people on the trip and would definitely do it again.

joyful joyful
Feb '19

You could also consider Washington D.C.
If you stay within D.C., you can catch the Acela Express from Newark or New York Penn and arrive right in Union Station. There would be no need for a car and best thing about it is that you can basically walk there by taking the train from Hackettstown so long as you schedule it on a weekday.

Best of luck, enjoy

Why is nobody suggesting metro park for the Acela

Skippy Skippy
Feb '19

Amtrak COSTS!!! One time I took a train to Georgia to give my kids that "scenery" experience (sleeper car w/ food on the train) to see family, BUT that's our LAST, since it not only TAKES MUCH LONGER than a flight, COSTS MUCH MORE than a flight. {When you'd figure taking a train would be cheaper than flying} Anyhow,

We wound up going to Niagara Falls, and later went to WashingtonDC & Philly (for a "US Govt" trip/tour incl. WhiteHouse/all Memorials/LibertyBell/etc.) via these *Bus Tours* instead:

Much economical, leisurely toured, seeing many east cost sights (incl. Boston, where you can also visit Harvard/MIT & etc. +++ Vermont's Ben and Jerry's, Teddy Bear Factory, & etc.) --- Most pickup/dropoff places are around NYC & Bklyn, but also Jersey City&Parsippany.

Have a great trip!
Feb '19

Thank you everyone! I really want to do the Hudson River @Robin and I will checkout the bus @ftcda

happycamper happycamper
Feb '19

This won't help you, but if you ever want to go to Florida, we took the Auto Train from Lorton Virginia. The car was packed to the gills. We had everything we needed including some food for once we got there. The car is loaded onto the train and we avoided the need for a rental which would have had to also include two car seats. It included a dinner meal and breakfast in the morning. We brought a couple of bottles of wine instead of buying it from the bar car. Obviously more expensive than driving, but not by that much considering gas, tolls and the mileage put on the car. I recommend it highly. And we met the nicest people while traveling.

Parental Unit Parental Unit
Feb '19

Does Metropark have secure, weekly parking? I'm heading to Va.

Botheredbyuu2 Botheredbyuu2
April 2nd

Look on the Amtrack site

Dr.Benway Dr.Benway
April 5th

I'm thinking the Amtrak Vacations and Root Canal threads should be combined due to redundancy considerations...

ianimal ianimal
April 5th

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