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Amtrak Empire Builder

Trip Highlights - Train #7, #8, #27 & #28

From Amtrak's 1997 Travel Planner

Photographs, travelogues, accommodations, and other information about train travel on the Amtrak Empire Builder route.

Scenic Highlights:

  • The beautiful sandstone formations and cool lakes of the Wisconsin Dells make a great vacation getaway -- and in early July, catch the Great Wisconsin Dells Balloon Rally.
  • In winter, Minneapolis-St. Paul hosts the famous Winter Carnival (late January to early February) -- at the end of August look for the Minnesota State Fair.
  • You can see the unique shapes of Devils Lake in North Dakota from your train.
  • Visit the North Dakota State Fair in late July in Minot.
  • Montana's Bear Paw Mountains are a beautiful prelude to Marias pass through the Rockies, and take you right into Glacier National Park.
  • Traveling to Portland, you'll journey down the Columbia River Gorge with spectacular views of Mt. Hood and Beacon Rock.
  • From Spokane to Seattle, your train winds through the Cascade Mountains to Puget Sound.

THE EMPIRE BUILDER IS A TRAIN for people who think big.

It can carry you to the greatest of the great outdoors -- including some of the largest wilderness tracts in the United States -- not to mention a National Park spanning two nations, Glacier International Peace Park, and two major mountain ranges, the Rockies and the Cascades.

It can take you to one of the tallest buildings in the world, Chicago's Sears Tower. The largest collection of ice sculptures in the world and the biggest shopping mall in the 50 states, the Mall of America, in Minneapolis-St. Paul. The biggest cities of the Northwest, Seattle and Portland. And it does it all under the famous Big Sky of the northern prarie.

What's more, the Empire Builder takes you to your big vacation in equally big comfort -- with scenery that could only be called monumental. And for convenience, it can't be beat as the train continues south of Chicago where it becomes the City of New Orleans.

Glacier National Park's Grinnel Point glows in the last rays of the setting sun. This immense park holds something for everyone.

The Empire Builder stops in Whitefish, Montana, home of the Big Mountain Ski Area. And with Ski Amtrak®, your vacation package can include everything you need, including lift tickets.

They call Minnesota the land of 10,000 lakes. The Empire Builder can't take you to all of them, but you'll see many of them from your window.

Can one vacation include all these great memories? It can when it starts on the Empire Builder. From Minnesota's Mall of America to Montana's exciting new casinos, the Empire Builder can take you there. So start planning your vacation photo album now.

Try the cowboy life at Flathead Valley Recreation Area in Whitefish, Montana.

This distinctive coffee mug is only available on board the Empire Builder -- and like everything else about this train in Big Sky country, it's oversized.

The wide open grandeur of Big Sky country -- the towering peaks of the Rockies and Cascades.

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