If you have yet to tick off some of the top destinations on your West Coast bucket list, skip airfare flash sales—a little-known scenic train ride might be a better option. Crowned "the most beautiful train ride in the U.S." by Travel+Leisure, Amtrak's Coast Starlight covers some of the most beautiful cities and towns on the West Coast. The best part? It costs just $97 one-way.
The train ride starts in Los Angeles, California, and traces the Pacific Coast making about 30 stops before disembarking in Seattle, Washington. "On this route, you'll ride through unsurpassed mountains and rolling hills, including Mt. Shasta, Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Rainier," the Amtrak website explains. "[You] will also be able to listen to National Park Service guides narrate details of the passing terrain as part of our Rails and Trails program."
Travel+Leisure points out that the under-$100 super-saver option doesn't include a sleeping arrangement, so if you're planning to do the full trip, it might be worth upgrading. Premium tickets include a "Superliner Roomette" with two fold-down beds, meals, and a private window so you can watch the scenery from your own room.
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Next up: These bucket list train trips prove it's all about the journey.