Steam puffs from a 1929 lumber locomotive parked at the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad platform. Here you can catch one of four steam engines departing from Elbe for a 14-mile round-trip excursion. On clear days, Mount Rainier looms overhead as the train crosses the Upper Nisqually River. The two-hour adventure includes a stop to tour the train museum, which features logging camp recreations and more.
See the state in style by chugging along with Amtrak Cascades. The route covers 300 miles of Western Washington with 12 stations from Bellingham to Vancouver. Eat in the bistro car and enjoy the scenery whizzing by, spanning coastlines to farmland.
Conductors wave hello as the steam engines for Northwest Railway Museum roll through downtown Snoqualmie. The train travels to North Bend and back, with sublime views overlooking Snoqualmie Falls. And in Yakima, interurban railways relive their glory days with summer rides from Yakima Valley Trolleys, a fleet of vintage electric trams. All aboard!
-- Deanna Duff