Best Amtrak trips from Toledo

Chicago skyline from John Hancock building

Ready to take a train trip from Toledo? Two Amtrak routes stop at the downtown station: Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited. Both travel to Chicago and the East Coast with stops along the way. To start planning your trip, here are best Amtrak trips that don’t involve middle-of-the-night travel. New York City and Boston did not make this list because of the train schedule, but are additional options to consider.

For schedule information, simple start the ticket booking process on the Amtrak.com homepage.

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South Bend

The home of the University of Notre Dame, South Bend is an easy day trip from Toledo on the Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited. Trains depart early in the morning and travel time is only 2.5 hours. It’s a great option if you want to go to an afternoon football game or other event in the city. You can also visit the Studebaker National Museum, go to a show at the beautiful Morris Performing Arts Center, gamble at the Four Winds Casino, sample chocolate at the South Bend Chocolate Company, see animals at the zoo, or view the St. Joseph River via kayak, canoe, raft, bike or your own two feet.

The Capitol Limited is the better option for the return trip as you’ll arrive in Toledo before midnight. This option still gives you plenty of time to explore as you won’t need to head back to the train station until after dinner.

Chicago

Chicago River Skyline
Photo by Picken/Flickr.com

For a vacation full of great food, live music, museums and lake time, head to Chicago. You can book tickets on the Capitol Limited or the Lake Shore Limited; travel time is about 4.5 hours on both trains. It’s a morning arrival in the West Loop and you can walk from the station to downtown Chicago, several CTA train stations and a water taxi stop. With Lyft and Uber providing additional transportation options, you don’t need a rental car.

Consider planning your trip around one of the many festivals and events, or visit top attractions including the Art Institute of Chicago360 Chicago Observation DeckMillennium ParkField MuseumChicago RiverwalkNavy PierLakefront TrailMagnificent Mile, and Wrigley Field. You can return to Toledo on the same day — both trains depart Chicago in the evening, or stay a night or two to see more sights.

To see more of the United States, you can also transfer to other train at Chicago’s Union Station. See the best Amtrak trips from Chicago to explore your options.

Pittsburgh

Photo by Matthew Paulson

If you’re a night person, or fine with midnight train departures, then consider an Amtrak trip to Pittsburgh. The Capitol Limited departs from Toledo and from Pittsburgh around midnight, with a travel time of just over five hours. Roomettes and bedrooms are accommodation options if you don’t want to sleep in a coach seat.

Pittsburgh can be a day trip if you don’t want to stay the night. You’ll arrive around 5 a.m. and have about 18 hours to explore. The city has many museums, a historic botanical garden, zoo/aquarium and plenty of sporting events. For great views of the city, head to the Mount Washington neighborhood, which has skyline overlooks, restaurants and even a cable car.

Cumberland

Cumberland, MD Amtrak Station
Photo by Lee Cannon/Wikimedia Commons

For a mountain getaway, travel to Cumberland, Maryland on the the Capitol Limited train. You can hike or bike on the Great Allegheny PassageC&O Canal Towpath and in Rocky Gap State Park. History fans will enjoy the C&O Canal National Historical ParkAllegheny Museum and the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. For golf, spa and casino, consider staying at the Rocky Gap Casino Resort.

You can rent a car at the nearby Enterprise office — call ahead to arrange a pickup from the Amtrak station. You can also easily walk to downtown Cumberland after getting off the train, where you’ll find shops, restaurants, the Cumberland Railroad Museum and the Alleghany Museum.

Trip time is 9 hours and 45 minutes each way, but you’ll spend most of the time sleeping. The train arrives around 9 a.m. and returns to Toledo in the early evening, so you can technically make Cumberland a day trip. To see more sights, consider staying a night or two. The Ramada Cumberland Downtown is the closest hotel to the train station, and there are many other places to stay that are further away.

Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry West Virginia
Photo by Payton Chung

Next to the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, Harpers Ferry is full of history and beautiful scenery. The town played an important role in the Civil War, and we recommend a certified guide tour to learn about all that’s happened here. The other must-do activities include visiting The Point (where the two rivers meet), Jefferson Rock and various hiking trails for beautiful river and mountain views. You’ll also find the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Headquarters nearby.

Travel time on the train is about 12 hours and you’ll arrive next to the Potomac River and restaurants and shops in the downtown area. Town’s Inn, Stonehouse Bed & Breakfast and The Ledge Bed & Breakfast are also in walking distance. Plan to stay at least one night.

Washington D.C.

National Mall in Washington DC
Photo courtesy yotut/Flickr.com

With free museums, stately monumentsyear-round events and a huge restaurant scene, there are many things to see and do in Washington D.C. The train trip from Toledo takes about 13 hours via the Capitol Limited, and you’ll spend one night on the train and arrive in the afternoon. Sleeper cars are available on this train, so you can reserve a roomette or bedroom for private sleeping accommodations.

Union Station has a direct connection to the WMATA Metro red line, so you can easily get around without a car. Lyft, Uber and taxis are also available. Plan your trip in mid-March to view the cherry blossoms or in the fall for cooler weather and fewer tourists.

You’ll need to stay at least one night in Washington D.C. There are many hotels near the National Mall if you want to walk to museums. Other popular areas include Georgetown, Dupont Circle and Foggy Bottom.

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