Train to Alaska from Florida: A Scenic Journey of North America

Are you looking for a unique and unforgettable travel experience? Why not take a train from Florida to Alaska? This journey allows you to see some of the most beautiful scenery in North America, and travel in comfort without having to deal with the hassles of air travel. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about taking the train from Florida to Alaska.

Train to Alaska from Florida

No direct trains from Florida to Alaska exist due to distance and lack of rail connection. Take train/bus combo to Seattle, then fly or ferry to AK for a scenic journey with stops along the way.

Planning Your Trip

Before you start your journey, you need to plan your trip carefully. There are different routes and travel dates to choose from, so you need to pick the ones that work best for you. You can travel via train, plane, car, or bus, but for this post, we’ll focus on taking the train.

Choosing Your Route

Amtrak’s service is the only direct connection between Florida and Alaska. You can take the Amtrak Auto Train from Orlando, Florida to Lorton, Virginia. From there, you can take the Amtrak Coast Starlight to Seattle, Washington, and then transfer to the Alaska Railroad to Anchorage, Fairbanks, or Denali National Park.

Selecting Your Travel Dates

It’s important to plan your travel dates in advance to ensure you get the best rates and availability. The Amtrak Auto Train runs every day of the week, and the Coast Starlight runs multiple times a week. The Alaska Railroad runs from mid-May to mid-September, so plan accordingly.

Booking Your Tickets

You can book your tickets for the Amtrak Auto Train, Coast Starlight, and Alaska Railroad on the respective companies’ websites or through a travel agency. It’s recommended to book early to secure your preferred travel dates and cabin types.

Packing for the Trip

Pack wisely for your train journey to Alaska. You’ll want to bring comfortable clothes and shoes for the long journey. Pack a warm jacket, as temperatures can drop at night, especially in the winter months. You may also want to bring a small suitcase or backpack for your essentials, such as a camera, snacks, and toiletries.

Preparing for the Journey

Understanding the Train Amenities

The Amtrak Auto Train offers several amenities, including comfortable sleeping accommodations, dining options, and lounges. The Coast Starlight has similar amenities, such as sleeper cars, dining cars, and observation cars. The Alaska Railroad also offers various classes of service, such as the GoldStar Service with glass-domed cars and outdoor viewing platforms.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Journey

To make the most of your journey, bring a good book, a deck of cards, or a travel journal to keep you entertained during the long travel times. Take advantage of the onboard dining options and try some of the local specialties. And don’t forget to take advantage of the stunning views along the way!

Dealing with the Long Travel Time

The journey from Florida to Alaska via train can take up to four days or more, depending on your route and travel dates. Be prepared to spend a lot of time on the train, but also enjoy the experience of seeing the beautiful scenery along the way.

Experiencing the Trip

Overview of the Route

The journey from Florida to Alaska via train takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in North America. You’ll pass through the Appalachian Mountains, the Pacific Northwest, and finally the rugged wilderness of Alaska.

Scenery and Attractions Along the Way

There are many scenic attractions to see along the way, such as the Columbia River Gorge, the Cascade Mountains, and the Rocky Mountains. You’ll also pass through many charming towns and cities, such as Portland, Seattle, and Anchorage. And, of course, you’ll get to experience the stunning beauty of Denali National Park.

Stops and Layovers

You’ll have several stops and layovers along the way, which gives you the opportunity to explore the local area and stretch your legs. Some popular stops include Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, and Anchorage, Alaska.

You can also take side trips to explore nearby attractions, such as Denali National Park, which is home to some of the most stunning landscapes in North America.

Food Options and Dining on the Train

One of the great things about traveling by train is the onboard dining options. The Amtrak Auto Train offers meals in the dining car, as well as snacks and drinks in the lounge.

The Coast Starlight has a full-service dining car, as well as a bistro car with snacks and drinks. The Alaska Railroad offers a variety of dining options, from formal dinners to casual cafes.

Practical Considerations

Budgeting for the Journey

Taking the train from Florida to Alaska can be a more affordable option than flying, but it’s still important to budget carefully. Consider the cost of your tickets, accommodations, meals, and any side trips or excursions. Keep in mind that the cost of the journey can vary depending on the route and travel dates.

Accommodation Options

The Amtrak Auto Train offers sleeping accommodations in private rooms or shared rooms. The Coast Starlight has similar options, with sleeper cars and roomettes. The Alaska Railroad offers several classes of service, including standard, deluxe, and GoldStar Service, which includes glass-domed cars and outdoor viewing platforms.

Health and Safety Considerations

When traveling by train, it’s important to take care of your health and safety. Be sure to bring any necessary medications and travel insurance. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, and stretch your legs regularly. Keep your valuables with you at all times and be aware of your surroundings.

Traveling with Children or Pets

Traveling with children or pets can add an extra layer of complexity to your journey. The Amtrak Auto Train allows pets on board, but you’ll need to make arrangements in advance. The Coast Starlight also allows pets in certain areas. The Alaska Railroad allows pets on certain trains, but they must be kept in a carrier.

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Can you take a train from Florida to Alaska?

Yes, it is possible to take a train from Florida to Alaska. However, this requires taking multiple trains and transferring at different stations.

The journey typically involves taking the Amtrak Auto Train from Florida to either Seattle or Portland, and then transferring to the Coast Starlight train, which travels up to Sacramento, California.

From Sacramento, travelers can take a flight or drive to Seattle, where they can then board the Alaska Railroad to continue their journey to Anchorage or Fairbanks.

Is there an Amtrak train to Alaska?

No, there is no Amtrak train that goes all the way to Alaska. However, Amtrak does offer two train routes that can take travelers part of the way there.

The Amtrak Auto Train runs from Sanford, Florida to Lorton, Virginia, which can be a starting point for a journey to Alaska. The Coast Starlight runs from Los Angeles to Seattle, and can be used to travel up to the Pacific Northwest.

Is there a train that goes from US to Alaska?

Yes, the Alaska Railroad runs from Seward and Whittier in southcentral Alaska up to Fairbanks in the interior.

This railroad is a popular option for travelers looking to explore the beauty of Alaska’s wilderness and national parks. The Alaska Railroad also connects to the Canadian railway system, allowing travelers to continue their journey through Canada.

What is the best way to get to Alaska without flying?

The best way to get to Alaska without flying depends on personal preferences and travel plans. Driving is a popular option, as it allows travelers to take in the scenic beauty of the Canadian Rockies and Alaskan wilderness.

Alternatively, taking the train from the lower 48 states to Alaska can be an unforgettable experience, although it can take several days and requires multiple transfers. Another option is taking a ferry from Seattle to Alaska, which offers stunning views of the coastline and can be a more affordable option than flying.


Traveling from Florida to Alaska via train is an unforgettable experience that allows you to see some of the most beautiful scenery in North America. With careful planning and preparation, you can make the most of your journey and enjoy the comfort and convenience of train travel.

So, if you’re looking for a unique and adventurous way to see the sights, why not consider taking the train from Florida to Alaska? Learn more about the trip and start planning your journey today!

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