10 Most Scenic Train Rides in Minnesota USA
Most Scenic Train Rides in Minnesota USA – The train is economical, convenient, and one of the world’s most preferred modes of transportation.
Additionally, trains in parts like Minnesota have become a significant recreational activity that continues attracting thousands of local and foreign tourists.
Train tours in Minnesota take you through beautiful landscapes that boast various fascinating features, including streams, rivers, wetlands, lakes, nature parks, wilderness areas, and more.
While some of these excursions are seasonal, others are perennial. So, read this article on the most scenic train rides in Minnesota, USA, to identify a tour that matches your vacation plans.
- North Coast Scenic Railroad
The North Shore Scenic Railroad offers exciting rail excursions between Two Harbors and historic Duluth every summer and fall.
The distance between the destinations is 42 km (26 miles), which is enough for a half-day trip, as there are countless attractions along the route to fill your time.
The tour takes you through Canal Park on the shores of one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes, Lake Superior, and through the beautiful northern forests.
Along the way, expect to see unique architecture, large lakes, pristine rivers, and lush forests teeming with different species of wildlife. (Train Rides in Minnesota USA)
- Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad
Discover the history of the railroad industry and magnificent scenery in one of the best places to live, Duluth. Enjoy the two-hour scenic train ride through the beautiful countryside, which is packed with various things to see and do.
The trail is famous for many things, including the beautiful fall colors of the maple trees, picturesque Mud Lake, and a variety of wildlife, including birds, geese, and turtles that have learned to co-exist with humans and can be seen wandering around the railway in search of food and water.
For a better experience, the last car on the train has an open-top to give passengers the best views. You must record videos and take many photos of this route’s incredible scenery. (Train Rides in Minnesota USA)
- North Coast Scenic Railroad: Train with Music and Pizza
Another excellent train excursion for families on the North Shore Scenic Railroad is their memorable train ride with music and pizza.
The Music and Pizza train run from the famous Union Depot to Lake Superior’s picturesque north shore during summer weekends.
This fun-filled North Shore adventure is unique because passengers are served light meals, including an 8-inch pizza, sodas, candy, chips, beer, and wine, among other snacks and beverages.
The cost of some of these gifts is included in the ticket; therefore, little or no additional charge is imposed throughout travel. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the North Shore. (Train Rides in Minnesota USA)
- Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railroad
Create an unforgettable experience with the Osceola and St. Croix Valley Rail Tour. Osceola & St. Croix Valley Railway offers two trips: one to Dresser, WI, and one to Marine in St. Croix, MN.
If you’re looking for adventure and insight into the area’s history, the one heading to Marine in St. Croix, MN, would be ideal for you, considering the variety of attractions along the way and those that await you at the destination.
Under this light, passengers can observe the beautiful landscapes of deciduous trees that exhibit different shades of colors during the fall while enjoying a wine or juice served on board. Train Rides in Minnesota USA)
- North Coast Scenic Railway: Two Harbor Turn
In addition to trips to and around Canal Park, the North Shore Scenic Railway offers another exciting train excursion from Duluth to Two Harbors Turn.
This six-hour trip is the longest and probably the most exciting on the North Shore Scenic Railway.
Along the way, the train stops at some of the North Shore’s most notable recreation spots, including the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, which contains crucial information and exhibits about locomotives and other rolling stock.
Also, at Two Harbors, the train will stop for a while to give passengers ample time to shop, eat, and explore the lakeside town. (Train Rides in Minnesota USA)
- Excelsior Streetcar Line
The Excelsior Streetcar Line offers tourists a unique opportunity to relive the days when streetcars used to transport people from hot urban centers to the beautiful shores of Lake Minnetonka.
Today, the Excelsior Streetcar line offers 1-mile (1.6 km) round trips via the former Minneapolis and Saint Louis Railroad.
Along the way, the car will stop at the carbon for visitors to see the beautiful display of paddlewheel boards, historic hotels, monuments, and trains dating back to the 19th century.
The train also makes another stop at the Lake Minnetonka Historical Society for guests to view the beautiful artifacts and many exhibits detailing the rich heritage of the South. (Train Rides in Minnesota USA)
- Friends of 261
Join Friends of the 261 for an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ride a vintage train, the Milwaukee Road 261.
The steam locomotive offers several scenic rides, including the Fall Color Tour, which operates from St. Paul in Minnesota to Lacrescent through Winona and back.
The route presents a beautiful landscape of extensive plantations, grasslands, and leafy canopies inhabited by different species of birds.
The views can’t be beaten with 261’s Skytop Lounge and open lobbies. In addition, the guides are very knowledgeable and take pride in explaining the history of railroads and steam locomotives in Minnesota. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the evolution of trains. (Train Rides in Minnesota USA)
- The Zephyr
You can explore Duluth, one of the best places to visit in Minnesota, this summer aboard the famous tourist train called the Zephyr.
With window seating, the Zephyr guarantees some of the best views of different attractions in downtown Duluth, along the shores of Lake Superior and the picturesque Congdon Estate.
Depending on your preferences, you can move back and forth on the train, admiring the mansions, forests, and other beautiful features along the route.
Fortunately, Zephyr passengers are not assigned specific seats so you can sit anywhere you like.
The trip is suitable for all ages, so it would be a good idea to bring your children to enjoy this fun and adventure. (Train Rides in Minnesota USA)
- Amtrak Empire Builder
In addition to transporting passengers through three major cities, namely Chicago, Seattle, and Portland, Amtrak’s Empire Builder offers six-and-a-half-hour trips through various highlights in the heart of Minnesota.
In this sense, the train runs through the vast plains of Minnesota, its pristine lakes, rivers, and lush forests home to species of plants and animals.
To better explore these attractions, Amtrak Empire Builder offers alternate routes in or out of state.
Those who want to go beyond Minnesota can start their trip in Winona in the south and head north to Detroit Lakes, a town where you can do you’re shopping or grab a quick lunch.
Along the way, the train will also take you through other cities, including St. Paul and St. Cloud. (Train Rides in Minnesota USA)
Minnesota’s Most Scenic Train Rides
In conclusion, train tours in Minnesota make the state an excellent destination for those who love nature and outdoor exploration.
Plan your trip to embark on the most scenic train rides in our article in Minnesota, USA, for a chance to get up close and personal with the state’s beautiful countryside.
Don’t forget to consider the best romantic hotels and bed and breakfasts in Minnesota to find the best places to stay.
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