Six Top Urban Train Rides

Check out six Western cities via their must-ride rail routes.

Light-rail car, Salt Lake City, Utah, image

A light-rail car glides past the landmark Salt Lake City and County Building.

Great news for travelers: Streetcars are rolling back to life in cities around the West. Want to avoid stress, save on parking fees, and cruise with ease between top attractions? Here are six of the West’s best light-rail routes.

  • Portland Streetcar Hop aboard to tour the Portland Art Museum, Pearl District, Portland State University Saturday farmers’ market, and other must-see stops west of the Willamette River. There’s a large free-ride zone. (503) 238-7433, portlandstreetcar.org.
  • Sacramento’s Gold Line Stop off near the state capitol, Old Sacramento, California State Railroad Museum, and Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park. Or let the train whisk you northeast to a lode of antique shops in historic Folsom. (916) 321-2877, sacrt.com.
  • Salt Lake City’s Blue and Green lines Modern cars offer easy access to the Mormon Tabernacle on Temple Square, Utah Jazz basketball games, and dim sum in the Depot District. A bonus: Rides are free in the downtown core. (801) 743-3882, rideuta.com.
  • San Francisco’s F Line Adorable 1928 cars from Milan, Italy, and other vintage trolleys run near such popular spots as Fisherman’s Wharf, the Ferry Building, and the Museum of Modern Art. (415) 701-2311, sfmta.com.
  • San Jose’s Santa Teresa–Alum Rock and Mountain View–Winchester lines Hit the Tech Museum of Innovation and the San Jose Museum of Art on the Santa Teresa–Alum Rock line. Catch the Mountain View–Winchester to Great America in Santa Clara. (408) 321-2300, www.vta.org.
  • Seattle’s Central Link Reach ball games, Pioneer Square, International District eateries, and the Seattle Art Museum. At Westlake Center—end of the line—you can catch the monorail to the Space Needle. (888) 889-6368, soundtransit.org.

Photography by Steve Greenwood

This article was first published in May 2012. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (4 votes)