Romancing the Rails: A Trip on the Empire Builder
The other couple sharing our booth, Tom and Lynn Hollstein of Amherst, Ohio, first toured by train 40 years ago and only now have found time to repeat the experience. We will love this trip, they promise.
"It's extreme relaxation," Lynn says.
We toast to that. This 46-hour, two-night journey isn't just about getting from Chicago to Seattle. We're hoping for the ultimate scenic drive, long days of great views without the chore of driving -- a sort of land cruise. Three of the Amtrak routes venturing west from Chicago offer this experience; they are equipped with special observation cars and travel through compelling landscapes on timetables calculated to make the most of the views.
Pictured: The Empire Builder's route threads between Minnesota bluffs and the Mississippi River.