This Bucket List Train Ride Is Back—Here’s What to See en Route
The Amtrak Cascades passes through some of the most stunning vistas and waterways in the Pacific Northwest.
One of the West’s most spectacular train routes, known as the Amtrak Cascades, which runs from Seattle up to Vancouver, was sadly suspended during the pandemic due to border-crossing restrictions. But, much to travelers’ delight it reopened service on Sept. 26, 2022. The first train to Vancouver departed Seattle at 7:45 a.m., stopping at five cities along the way, and arrived in Vancouver at 11:45 a.m.
Amtrak offers relatively seamless service from Eugene to Seattle, meaning the green glories of the PNW are yours to be had without the mayhem that is air travel these days. There are three daily round trips between Portland and Seattle, two daily round trips between Eugene and Portland, two daily buses between Seattle and Bellingham, and four daily buses between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. When linked together, the route runs through river and mountain vistas in Washington and Oregon, offering customers views of some of the country’s most distinctive cities and spectacular natural attractions.
Tickets for Seattle to Vancouver start at $34 for coach, with premium starting at $108. The Amtrak Cascade route will start with one daily round trip.
To get you excited for the journey, we’ve mapped out the best ways to navigate these gorgeous sites in the Pacific Northwest here.
Thanks to its health-conscious hippie past, Eugene is a hotbed for natural food stores and quirky green shops. Check out our guide here.
Known for its culinary diversity, incredible craft coffee scene, and proximity to the Willamette Valley, Portland is one of our favorite cities. Check out what to see and do while you’re in town here.
It’s hard to miss the city’s artistic attractions, including the Tacoma Art Museum, the Third Thursday Artwalk, and the Dale Chihuly glass exhibition in Union Station worth peeping for art and train lovers alike. Read our guide here.
Fresh openings and timeless classics mean eating, drinking, and shopping have never been better. From Capitol Hill to Beacon Hill and beyond, restaurants, shops, and hotels are dishing up new takes on the city’s longtime traditions. Check out our rundown on the perfect weekend here.
ALPINE LAKES WILDERNESS, WA
Alpine Lakes is peak Pacific Northwest nature. Just outside Leavenworth, you’ll find 394,000 acres of climbing and mountaineering, and the chance to see outstanding wildlife like black bear, elk, white-tailed deer, and cougars. You can find more info on how to book your trip here.
MT. BAKER-SNOQUALAMIE NATIONAL FOREST, WA
Washington state’s Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie has been designated as a Treasured Landscape by the congressionally-chartered National Forest Foundation as part of a joint four-year effort to improve and restore the oft-visited region near Seattle. The 1.7 million-acre national forest on the western edge of the Cascades is highlighted by rainforests, mountain meadows, glaciers, and the ever-popular Big Four Ice Caves, stunning attractions that draw nearly 3 million visitors each year. Learn more about it here.
If anyone knows Vancouver’s dining and shopping scene, it’s hospitality branding pro Phoebe Glasfurd, half of prolific design firm Glasfurd and Walker. Originally from Australia, Glasfurd has spent the past decade helping restaurants and retailers with everything from interior decor to menu design. Check out her picks here. And if you’re a lover of Chinese cuisine like we are, Vancouver’s scene is an absolute must. Look into chef Mei Lin’s favorite spots here.