Riding the rails on a cross country train trip had been on our Bucket List for a long time. So when Amtrak offered to take us from Chicago to Los Angeles aboard the Southwest Chief, we jumped at the chance! It was an adventure of a lifetime that included eating Chicago style pizza in Chicago, going to the top of Willis Tower, watching the sunset over the Mississippi River, riding in a hot air balloon in Albuquerque, and exploring beautiful Sedona, Arizona.

Though getting around on a train is much slower than flying in an airplane, it certainly has its advantages. We did not hear any announcements telling us to put away our laptops and cell phones and to return our seats and tray tables to their full, upright, locked positions. We didn’t have to check our bags. I was able to keep my luggage in my roomette and Sandi was able to keep hers in her private room that included her own private bathroom. Instead of pretzels and cookies, we were able to order entire meals from a menu. And best of all, we enjoyed incredible ever-changing views as we rode across America’s heartland. Traveling by rail is something that we would absolutely love to do again and something that should definitely be on your bucket list if it’s not already.

Here’s a short video we made for USA Today from our experience.

Where would you like to travel by rail?

You can read more about our journey on Expedia’s viewfinder blog



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