Four of Amtrak’s Best Beach Destinations
If you're looking for cozy beach destinations that are conveniently located next to Amtrak train stations, you're in luck. With over 500 destinations, Amtrak can take you anywhere from the biggest waves in California to the chill shorelines of Maine. Here are four beach destinations you won’t want to miss:
1. San Clemente, California
Located halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, the Pacific Surfliner stops at the stunning Spanish-inspired beach town of San Clemente. As the train pulls into the station, passengers are greeted with the sight of the pier just steps away. The train journey itself is breathtaking, winding along the Southern California coastline, offering mesmerizing views of the Pacific Ocean. Unlike the clustered California highways notorious for traffic, the train ride allows you to unwind and savor the scenery without the stress of driving, so you can start your rejuvenating vacation before you even reach the beach. San Clemente is renowned for its vibrant surfing culture that ranks it among the top surf spots in Southern California. Surfers from around the globe flock here to catch the waves and revel in the consistent swells. For those seeking outdoor adventures, the San Clemente Beach Trail is a popular choice. This scenic path traces along the coastline and is perfect for leisurely walks, invigorating jogs and peaceful cycling.
2. Miami, Florida
From The City That Never Sleeps to The Magic City, the Silver Service train route spans across the East Coast until your sizzling final destination, Miami – a perfect blend of beach chill and city thrill. Explore the lively atmosphere of Ocean Drive, or indulge in shopping, dining, and people-watching at the trendy Lincoln Road Mall. To experience the city's diverse culture, head to Little Havana, where you can savor authentic Cuban cuisine, dance to live salsa music and witness the art of cigar rolling. Don't forget to visit the renowned Wynwood Walls, an outdoor street art museum featuring murals by local and international artists. As the sun sets, Miami Beach comes alive with a bustling nightlife, offering trendy clubs, bars and restaurants with a variety of entertainment options.
3. Charleston, South Carolina
South Carolina, known as the Palmetto State, proudly boasts its very own Amtrak route — The Palmetto, of course. Sullivan's Island, Isle of Palms and Folly Beach are popular beach destinations. They offer soft sands and picturesque ocean views, perfect for sunbathing, swimming and beach games. Beyond the beaches, Charleston has a rich history and is famous for its well-preserved architecture. Explore the historic district with its cobblestone streets, colorful homes, and landmarks like Rainbow Row and the City Market. Food lovers will find Charleston to be a culinary paradise. Savor southern-style cuisine in local restaurants, indulge in fresh seafood, and try classic dishes like shrimp and grits. Take a stroll along Waterfront Park to enjoy scenic views of the harbor and the iconic Pineapple Fountain.
4. Portland, Maine
Leaving from North Boston, the Downeaster travels up the coast of New England, stopping in Portland, Maine. Arriving passengers experience an industrial coastal city with iconic beaches just moments away. One mustn't miss exploring the historic Old Port district, where cobbled streets are lined with boutiques, art galleries and local eateries. Wander around the waterfront, taking in the stunning views of Casco Bay. The bustling harbors are filled with fishermen and sailboats. Old Orchard Beach is a popular destination with its lively pier, amusement park and long stretches of sandy shoreline. For a more secluded destination, Scarborough Beach State Park provides an ideal setting for intimate picnics while enjoying the calming sound of the ocean waves. Nature enthusiasts can explore the surrounding dunes, which are home to various plant and animal species, providing an opportunity for peaceful hikes and birdwatching.
No matter the beach destination and its surrounding city life, a mix of coastal beauty, relaxation and accessibility via Amtrak are the ingredients you can expect to find in a refreshing summertime getaway by train. Check out Amtrak's routes and water ski baggage policy to plan your trip accordingly.