America's Most Romantic Train Trips

04/02/2015 11:47 am ET | Updated Jun 02, 2015

If you've been thinking about sallying forth with a companion, consider a train trip to discover Wes-Anderson-film-levels of nostalgia and beauty. From the Napa Valley to Maine, riding the rails has never been so romantic.

-- By Max Grinnell

  • Pullman Rail Journeys (Chicago-New Orleans)
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    While in Chicago, ask about the Master Bedroom suite in the Pontchartrain Club car, and take it all the way down to the Big Easy. On select trips, musicians from Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music serenade riders as they snake through the South.

    Photo: © Pullman Rail Journeys
  • Saratoga & North Creek Railway
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    If you’re starting in upstate New York, consider the old-timey Saratoga & North Creek Snow Train, which runs from January to March. As you look out the window across frozen Adirondack landscape, you can think of the lodge that’s waiting for you at the end of the journey in North Creek, New York.

    Photo: © Saratoga & North Creek Railway
  • Napa Valley Wine Train
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    There’s pretty much nothing more romantic than moon glow, which is why the Napa Valley Wine Train’s Moonlight Escape excursion probably beats most regular date nights. As you make your way through Napa Valley, enjoy a meal by executive chief Kelly Macdonald, along with (of course!) two glasses of wine.

    Photo: © The Napa Valley Wine Train
  • Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor
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    On its way from the Connecticut shoreline town of Old Saybrook, the Northeast Corridor train affords couples the opportunity to watch passing sailboats on Long Island Sound, which is particularly beautiful as as the sun sinks below the horizon. For the complete experience, hop off in Mystic and stay at a local B&B to complete the experience.

    Photo: © George H.H. Huey / Alamy
  • Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner
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    It’s really hard to go wrong with a day trip along the coastline of Southern California. Amtrak’s Surfliner takes passengers from San Luis Obispo down to San Diego, offering views of the Channel Islands and Santa Barbara, to name a few.

    Photo: © Lisa Werner / Alamy
  • Grand Canyon Railway
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    This route takes riders across Grand Canyon Country—through the Ponderosa pine forest and expansive prairies, all the way to the South Rim. It’s worth booking tickets in the train’s Luxury Dome car, which provides a more intimate and down-tempo experience.

    Photo: © The Grand Canyon Railway
  • Amtrak Cascades service
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    Grab a ticket for the morning train from Seattle to Vancouver and you’ll be able to watch the sun rise over Puget Sound. As the train travels right next to the water, eagles, blue herons, and possibly an orca will be right outside your window.

    Photo: © Amtrak