Catch a Ride at the Southern Pines Train Station
Whether you’re running from a three-week-old pile of laundry or looking for a change in scenery without being stuck behind a wheel, start your summer trips on Amtrak’s Silver Star at the Downtown Southern Pines Train Station.
This line is ready to ship you and your pooch all around North Carolina and the rest of the Eastern U.S. daily, without connections. Bonus: If you do want to switch over to a Piedmont or Carolinian line, kids aged 2 to 12 get a special one-way $5 fare until Aug. 31.
Bye North Carolina, Hello:
New York, New York
If you’re hoping to spend a night at the museum, fuhgeddaboudit, but luckily there’s a few other things to do. For one, drinking at Fraunces Tavern. Established in 1762, it’s considered the oldest bar and restaurant in New York City, and America’s founding fathers are said to have hung out there occasionally. While you’re getting your steps in and around the city and failing to hail a cab don’t forget to snag a photo with the Statue of Liberty, eat your lunch on the MET steps (maybe do a little gossip?) and get glammed up for your attendance at a Broadway show.
- Depart: 7:04 a.m. Arrival: 7:10 p.m. Ride Time: 12 Hours
- Coach starts at $196; rooms start at $448
If you had an affinity for Civics in high school or just happen to be the market for a white house, Washington, D.C.’s the city for you. Your family might protest but lay down the law and remind them that they’ll get the opportunity to pay homage to ole’ honest Abe, learn about bona fides at the International Spy Museum, and get some fresh air at the United States Botanical Garden.
- Departure: 7:04 a.m. Arrival: 3:04 p.m. Ride Time: 8 Hours
- Coach starts at $135; rooms start at $401
Touch different parts of the world and encounter the paranormal in what’s said to be one of America’s most haunted cities. Roam River Street, where the cobblestones that make up the road are from across the globe. After scaring your wallet with your purchases at the shops lining River Street take a deep dive into Savannah’s chilling past with a haunted tour. Most importantly, don’t forget to treat yourself to some of the cities famed restaurants and bars like The Lost Square and The Olde Pinke House.
If you’re looking for something a little more remote take a day trip to Tybee Island where you can learn about the Megalodon, take a dolphin tour, or just lounge with a good book on one of the island’s many beaches.
- Depart: 10:45 p.m. Arrival: 4:32 a.m. Ride Time: 6 Hours
- Coach starts at $88; rooms start at $280
While you’re flopping around Orlando in your bro tank, drop by Universal Studios Diagon Alley for a refreshing butter beer, visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or drive 19-minutes to Lake Jesup for a look at some wild gators. We’d probably pack binoculars, a first-aid kit, and a magic wand … just in case.
- Depart: 10:45 p.m. Arrival: 10:33 a.m. Ride Time: Just over 11 Hours
- Rooms start at $271
Get patriotic with a ride on Kings Dominion’s Ferris Wheel after your bar-hopping excursion along the Richmond Beer Trail which offers about 100 craft beers to taste. If you’re on a budget or spent all your cash on those delectable brews visit one the 20 free art galleries in the city or The Poe Museum for just $9/free for active-duty military/dependents and children under 6.
You can choose between two stations to arrive at:
Staples Mill Road Station (No Stops)
- Depart: 7:04 a.m. Arrival: 12:30 p.m. Ride Time: 5.5 Hours
- Coach starts at $70; rooms start at $242
Main Street Station (One Connection)
- Depart: 7:04 a.m. Arrival: 7:47 p.m. Ride Time: 12.5 Hours
- Coach starts at $90; rooms start at $265
Columbia, South Carolina
Last but not least, our southern sister, South Carolina, is home to one of the South’s favorite college towns. Spend the day at Lake Murray where you can swim, fish and grill chicken in your new “Go Cocks” tee, canoe among the fireflies at Congaree National Park, and enjoy the city’s vibrant night life with live performances at the Tin Roof. If you’re feeling adventurous, try and find the secret tunnel system rumored to exist under the city.
- Depart: 10:45 p.m. Arrival: 1:41 a.m. Ride Time: 3 Hours
- Coach starts at $58; rooms start at $257
Home Sweet Home:
Explore the state’s capital like a local. Start your day with the long line outside of Bolted Bread while you wait for the croissant that’ll carry you through your biking excursion around the North Carolina Museum of Art’s outdoor exhibit. Afterward browse the outdoor shelves of Reader’s Corner on 3201 Hillsborough St. and end your day reading your new to you book down the street at Jubala Coffee. The ringing of the North Carolina State University Belltower is guaranteed to set the mood.
Depart: 7:04 a.m. Arrival: 8:53 a.m. Travel Time: 2 Hours
Visit Gimghoul Castle, the place that inspired UNC Chapel Hill’s most mysterious secret society, The Order of Gimghoul. If you have a certain attraction to legends and stories find more at DPAC, where you can watch an off-Broadway show. If you’re not one for the theatrics there’s always America’s favorite past time, baseball.
Depart: 7:04 a.m. Arrival: 10:30 a.m. Travel Time: 3.5 Hours
A city for the furniture obsessed ~ visit the world’s largest chest-drawers, an 82-foot chest built in 1926, on the side of the road. Follow it up by browsing the world’s largest furniture store, Furnitureland South, which features the world’s largest highboy dresser. If couch hopping makes you hungry head down to aesthetic Jamestown for a bite to eat.
Depart: 7:04 a.m. Arrival: 11:48 a.m. Travel Time: 5 Hours
More About Riding Amtrak:
Cats and dogs 20lbs and under can ride too, bikes are welcome, and you can bring your own snacks. If you are in desperate need of a coffee (us too) the cafe’s got you covered. WiFi is available for free and quiet cars are available for purchase. Find out more about onboarding.
Please note: Travel includes many variables and timing and pricing may vary.