Scripps News Life


This train ride stops in 37 cities on the way from New York to New Orleans

This train ride stops in 37 cities on the way from New York to New Orleans
Posted at 9:05 AM, Dec 04, 2023

If you have a reason to head south this winter, keep in mind that a jet plane isn’t your only option.

Amtrak has a train line that runs all the way from New York City to New Orleans, with 37 stops along the way. You can take Amtrak’s Crescent Train any day of the week and pass through (or get off at) Washington, D.C.; Charlottesville, Virginia; Greenville, South Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Birmingham, Alabama; and several other charming Southern cities you can’t visit by plane.

Say you’d like to travel from Washington D.C. to Atlanta.

For $425 and up, you can book a private roomette with seating for two people that converts into upper and lower berths at night. The trip begins at 6:30 p.m. and arrives at 8:43 a.m. the next morning. And meals are included. (You can also book a coach seat starting at $105.)

MORE: You can travel across the country by train for less than $500

Cannons at Manassas National Battlefield Park

If you’re simply looking for a quick weekend jaunt to explore a new city, train travel can get you there without the hassle of navigating an airport, with its complicated parking, stricter luggage rules and long security wait times. Trains aren’t for everyone, and they’re not necessarily cheaper than flying. You can usually purchase a flight from D.C. to Atlanta for under $100. But for people with disabilities or others for whom flying isn’t an option, traveling by train can be a great way to get around. And for train enthusiasts, the journey is just as important as the destination — or in this case, the many destinations along the way.

MORE: 10 of the best train gifts for kids who love them

Here are a few of the lesser-known cities on the Crescent’s route:

  • Manassas, Virginia: This historic site was home to two Civil War battles, but also features a performing arts center, great shopping and natural beauty.
  • Laurel, Mississippi: HGTV’s renovation show “Home Town,” starring Ben and Erin Napier, has helped to revitalize the former lumber city of Laurel, which offers tourists great restaurants, shops and stately brick buildings.
  • Spartanburg, South Carolina: This city is known for its coffee culture, sports scene (it’s the summer home for the Carolina Panthers), vibrant downtown and historic vibe.

Welcome to historic downtown Laurel mural on wall in Laurel, Mississippi

If train travel through the South sounds like a fun adventure, this might be your next great vacation!

More Train Rides:

This train ride stops in 37 cities on the way from New York to New Orleans originally appeared on, helping make the most out of life.

> > SIGN UP for the Simplemost weekly newsletter < <