Amtrak Seattle to Portland or Spokane

Mar 14th, 2010, 01:47 PM
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Amtrak Seattle to Portland or Spokane

We are planning a trip to Seattle this summmer. Our tickets are flexible so we could fly into Seattle and out of Portland or Spokane instead of Seattle roundtrip. Is the scenery worth it on either train trip to spend the extra day? We wouldn't have much time once we get to either city. Basically just get to the airport or spend a night and leave early the next day.
rmlsml is offline  
Mar 14th, 2010, 04:14 PM
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You could recheck this, but last time I took Amtrak from Seattle to Spokane all the travel was at night. Plus, Washington State east of the Cascades is flat and boring. Lots of options in getting from Seattle to Portland by train, however. I think that's your best bet.
azzure is offline  
Mar 14th, 2010, 05:12 PM
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azzure is correct. The Coast Starlight (the southbound train that goes through Portland) hugs the coastline for much of the trip, and the whole trip is in the daytime. The east-bound Empire Builder leaves Seattle in the early evening.
Bobmrg is offline  
Mar 14th, 2010, 05:53 PM
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Agree, Portland is worth it, but Spokane, even in summer is mostly a night trip across not-very-scenic territory.
boom_boom is offline  
Mar 14th, 2010, 06:42 PM
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The only scenic portion of the Seattle-Portland trip is between Tacoma and Olympia, where the train goes along the Sound. That's a pretty small part of the journey, though--the rest is suburbs and backyards and trailer parks and such. It's fine if you just want to get to Portland (the train is notoriously late, though), but don't do it for the meager scenery.
christy1 is offline  
Mar 14th, 2010, 07:52 PM
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I'd stick with flying in & out of Seattle. If you had a few more days and wanted to see Portland, that would be one thing, but the train ride itself imho isn't all that or worth the extra time and trouble. Just a short stretch when you're along the water (as christy1 mentions) is very scenic.
suze is offline  
Mar 14th, 2010, 08:34 PM
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My memory may be wrong, since I haven't taken the Coast Starlight (we did the LA to Seattle trip) since 1996, but I sure recall seeing Mt. St. Helens on the train between Portland & Seattle, and thought that was a pretty awesome view!

I also love Portland -- even an evening there -- it was voted the most liveable city, or something like that, and I think that may be true. Good vibes, good public transport, really cleaned up nicely. And the train station is sweet!
Surfergirl is offline  
Mar 15th, 2010, 05:51 AM
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You can also take the AMTRAK "Cascades" which leaves Seattle about 7:30 AM and arrives Portland around 11:00 AM or so.
Dukey is offline  
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