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Coast Starlight

Last updated: 21 March, 2024

This 1,377-mile, overnight journey along the Pacific Ocean between Seattle and Los Angeles is a dramatic journey of almost unsurpassed scenery.

South of Tacoma the coastal scenery has views across Puget Sound of the Olympic Mountains, while inland rises the volcanic peak of Mount Helens. The frequent rattle of carriage wheels over iron bridges testifies to the many river crossings before they meet the sea.

Landscapes range from soft-fruit farms to buttes, before the train winds into the Cascade Mountains, clothed in Douglas firs and streaked with waterfalls. White pelicans may be seen in the vast Upper Klamath Lake as the train drops towards the Californian border with views of the highest peak, Mount Shasta, at 14,1600 feet.


Price from: £75
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: 35 hours

Getting there & doing it

The Coast Starlight leaves from Seattle’s magnificently restored King Street station, ending at Union in Los Angeles.

Besides chair cars, there are roomettes for one or two people, larger bedrooms for two or three at a pinch and family bedrooms. A dining car serves all meals.

Some passengers break for a stop in the green-minded, foodie city of Portland, with its delightful parks, world-famous food trucks, bike infrastructure and an impressive fine art museum.

When to do it

The train runs daily in each direction. The best time to visit California is during the spring in April and autumn during September and October.