Four Cities Celebrating Christmas a Train Ride Away
If you’re looking for a way to get in the spirit of the season, let Amtrak take you to the heart of holiday hotspots across America — without the traffic and parking hassles. You can even deck the halls of your private room however you'd like to maximally bookend the seasonal journey. Every Amtrak train will feel like the Polar Express when you visit one of these four festive cities that spare no expense for Christmas travelers.
1. New York City, New York
The minute you step outside of Amtrak’s Moynihan Train Hall in New York City, the Big Apple’s most cherished holiday traditions await you. Get a kick out of the high-kicking Radio City Rockettes. Check out the bright lights of Rockefeller Center’s Christmas Tree and watch the ice skaters on the rink below. Do some shopping — or just window shopping — on 5th Avenue. Then head over to the Bryant Park Christmas Market where the flavors, festivities and aroma of roasting chestnuts will create merry memories that will stay with you long after you return home.
2. Chicago, Illinois
The weather may be a bit frightful, but Chicago is absolutely delightful during the holidays. Amtrak's Chicago Union Station is your gateway to 12 days and more of Christmas joy. Bundle up and head to Daley Plaza where the Christkindlmarket (Christmas Market) fills the winter air with the sights, sounds and tastes of the holidays. Or if you prefer a warmer outing, lunch under the towering Christmas tree in the Walnut Room at Macy’s (formerly Marshall Fields) or sample the sparkle of the Museum of Science and Industry’s Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Lights. Bring your skates and take a spin around the Millennium Park rink or just sip some hot chocolate while the skaters glide by.
3. Leavenworth, Washington
When Amtrak’s Empire Builder pulls into Icicle Station (yes, that’s really the name) in Leavenworth, Washington, you might think you’ve been transported to a winter wonderland in the Bavarian Alps. Stroll streets lined with alpine chalets or don your woolies and take a horse-drawn sleigh ride across snow-covered mountain valleys. Enjoy free holiday entertainment at the town gazebo and take a look around to enjoy the thousands of holiday lights that have earned Leavenworth the title of the “Village of Lights.”
4. San Antonio, Texas
But who says it has to be cold and snowy to feel like the holidays? Amtrak’s Texas Eagle rolls into San Antonio where the iconic River Walk is awash in seasonal festivities. Under trees dripping with colored lights, take in the Holiday River Parade and the Caroling Boats that feature live performances of Christmas Carols by school, church and civic choral groups. And don’t forget to sip the sweet heat of Mexican hot chocolate like the locals do.
Why not start a new holiday tradition and let Amtrak take the reins to some unforgettable Memory (and Candy Cane) Lanes? If you still need more convincing, check out the YouTube video below and Amtrak's Instagram page where there's no shortage of seasonally inspiring imagery.