As shoppers, business owners and dog walkers tune out the daily shriek of the rail and rumble of their old buildings, we invite you to swap your shopping bag for a suitcase this summer and hop aboard Amtrak’s Silver Star, which makes its way up and down the Eastern U.S. on the daily.
From weekend trips to NYC and Washington D.C. to day trips to Durham, Raleigh and High Point, feast your eyes on our silver line-ings playbook.
Venture Across the N.C. Boarder
Pack up your pocket-sized constitution and brush up on your current events before you head to Washington, D.C. In less than eight hours’ time, you could be roaming through the streets of our nation’s capital, checking out Lincoln Memorial, catching a show at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, or sifting through the National Archives Museum to find a National Treasure of your very own. Whether you’re channeling Scandal’s Olivia Pope, or America’s sweetheart Nicholas Cage, D.C. has something for everybody and is only a train ride away.
- Departure: 6:52 a.m. Arrival: 2:38 p.m.
- Coach starts at $65; rooms start at $289
New York, New York
Greetings Upper East Siders… The big apple is only a bite away from Southern Pines Train Station. In under 12 hours, you could find yourself posing on the MET steps, strolling through Central Park with pizza in a cone, or spotting a certain naked cowboy or two. Get starstruck in Times Square, winded on the steps up to the Empire State Building, or sweaty in your favorite celebrity’s Steps On Broadway class. Leave your southern charm in N.C. and head to the big city… Rumor has it New York never sleeps and will be awake by the time your train arrives.
- Departure: 6:52 a.m. Arrival: 6:50 p.m.
- Coach starts at $94; rooms start at $336
“When you wish upon a star…” A silver star, perhaps, one that falls from Amtrak’s train car and lands you in sunny, sticky, Orlando, Florida. If 2020 was the year to bring back Disney Adults, now is the time to spend way too much money on a Dole Whip, ride Thunder Mountain too many times (in the front, not the back, we’re all too old for whiplash), and getting slobbered on by a Giraffe in Animal Kingdom. Finish the night with a fresh set of mosquito bites, a new appreciation for air conditioning, and a gorgeous display of fireworks from the ferry, and you’ll have a trip you can’t forget in just over 11 hours.
- Departure: 10:36 p.m. Arrival: 10:06 a.m.
- Coach starts at $61; rooms start at $271
Columbia, South Carolina
You can’t forget a ticket to our southern sister South Carolina, just three hours away by train. Get to know one of the South’s favorite college towns where kids walk around in “Go Cocks” t-shirts (we still don’t know how they got away with that one), get sunburnt in the “famously hot” city, and enjoy live music at the Music Farm. Spend the day at Lake Murray where you can swim, fish, and cookout, and the evening unwinding at the Tin Roof bar and watching the synchronous fireflies that light up each night at Congaree National Park.
- Departure: 10:36 p.m. Arrival: 1:30 a.m.
- Coach starts at $18; rooms start at $217
You might need your beer goggles for this next one… Hop on the Silver Star Amtrak and head to Richmond, Virginia, home of the Richmond Beer Trail where you are invited to sample almost 100 different craft beers. Richmond is fun-friendly with the King’s Dominion amusement park (check out the Americana… after all, it was Richmond that birthed “give me liberty or give me death”). Explore the Chesterfield Town Center and Short Pump Town Center for a shopping experience of a lifetime. Good news, train cars can hold more luggage than your favorite airline’s overhead… we checked.
- Departure: 6:52 a.m. Arrival: 7:37 p.m.
- Coach starts at $53; rooms start at $271
After a 6 hour trip from Southern Pines Train Station, step out of the train car into the past as you explore Savannah’s historic district. Shop downtown from a variety of eclectic, locally owned businesses in the morning and catch a trolley tour of Old Savannah in the afternoon. Grab an Insta-worthy pic from historic River Street, watch a live performance at Lucas Theatre, and find yourself Savannah-style-scared at a haunted tour in the heart of one of America’s most haunted cities!
Finish up your trip with your toes in the sand at Tybee Island, where you may or may not find pieces of the infamous Miley Cyrus/Liam Hemsworth love story lurking around (the haunted tour isn’t the only place in Savannah with some friendly ghosts… (check out the setting of Nicholas Sparks’ The Last Song). Finally, enjoy some fresh seafood on the island and have a treat from Leopold’s Ice Cream, a century old treats-shop (remember, calories don’t count on vacation).
- Departure: 10:36 p.m.. Arrival: 4:13 a.m.
- Coach starts at $26; rooms start at $280
Or, Ride Between the State Lines
Squeeze in a day of sightseeing, shopping and sipping close to home without the struggle of rush-hour traffic or parking meters in Durham. Catch a baseball game at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, take in an off-Broadway show at DPAC, or taunt the TarHeels in your life with a snapchat from the Duke University campus.
- Departure: 6:52 a.m. Arrival: 10:30 a.m.
- Coach starts at $26.
High Point, N.C.
Indulge your design dreams in the Home Furnishings Capital of the World — AKA, High Point, N.C. Explore the Disney World of a campus that is High Point University, take an Uber into cute AF downtown Jamestown, or wander through Furnitureland South — the world’s largest furniture store.
- Departure: 6:52 a.m. Arrival: 11:48 a.m.
- Coach starts at $39
Spending a day in the state capital sans road rage is just a 1.5-hour train ride away, and Raleigh Hills Union Station is centered right in the middle of alll the City of Oaks action. Walk a couple of blocks for lunch and drinks at Morgan Street Food Hall, Uber over to Dorthea Dix Park for a picnic and IG photoshoot, or take a hike on the trails of the North Carolina Museum of Art.
- Departure: 6:52 a.m. Arrival: 8:34 a.m.
- Coach starts at $23