The Best Vacation Is This $97, 30-Stop Train Trip And Don’t Let Anyone Tell You Different

You know that feeling you get when you walk into a Target on a warm August day and are confronted — I use this word because it is particularly aggressive — by a sea of signs proclaiming that school will be back in session before you know it? Even if you haven’t been in school for years, decades, you can’t help but feel your heart sink and wish there was just a little more summer vacation to enjoy.

Your first impulse may be to shake the feeling off (it’ll come back, at least once; maybe at the cash register, maybe when you’re trying to fall asleep), but stop and think for a second: How great would it be if you had just a little more summer? How amazing to take a trip, see stunning valleys and vistas (if that’s what you’re into) and end your adventure with a story to tell. And you don’t even have to drop your life savings or take two weeks off of work. For $97, you could spend 35 hours chugging through some of the most picturesque landscapes the US has to offer on an Amtrak.

I know, I know, who wants to view the country via train? But check this out: It’s not just a train ride. It’s a train ride that’s been consistently lauded as one of the most beautiful in America since well before World War II ended. And you can’t deny its charms.

From Cosmopolitan:

Starting in Seattle and ending in Los Angeles, the Coast Starlight train trip takes passengers through Washington, Oregon, and California, allowing them to see stunning views of the West Coast’s mountains, forests, valleys, and Pacific Ocean. Passengers can take in the sights from the observation car, which is decked out in floor to ceiling windows and comfortable swivel chairs. And here’s the best part—tickets for the spectacular journey start at just $97.

You’ll see the “dramatic snow-covered peaks of the Cascade Range and Mount Shasta,” verdant forests, and long spans of shoreline, just perfect for picture-taking. Meals are delivered to your seat and if you upgrade to business class you get a bed, fancier food, and even an invite to a wine-and-cheese event in the evening (although this isn’t like being on a plane; even the coach seats have plenty of legroom, footrests, and even privacy curtains so no one has to know you drool as you sleep).

Don’t let summer be over! Take that trip, friend! Take that trip!