We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Maybe we're just getting old!” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Coast Starlight

Coast Starlight
Ranked #992 of 8,579 things to do in California
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: This Amtrak route goes from Seattle, WA., to Los Angeles.
Level Contributor
618 reviews
165 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“Maybe we're just getting old!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2014

My husband & I took the Amtrak from Seattle to Sacramento, where we switched trains to continue on to Denver. We didn't book a sleeper or sleeperette as my husband is almost 6'4" and we had heard how cramped they were. And since the price increases dramatically from coach, we decided to do that. Also, a friend had ridden coach from MI to CA years ago and said it was fine. Our train left Seattle right on time which was good. The ride during the day was very enjoyable- we spent some time in the observation car and the scenery in Oregon was beautiful. The food was okay, not a big selection but that's understandable as they have to load it all on the train- it was a little pricey though. What we didn't like was the night- our seats didn't seem to recline enough and so we were uncomfortable and didn't sleep much. As my title says, maybe we're just getting old!! I'm glad we did the trip but probably won't do it again.

Visited May 2014
5 Thank MstqMI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

463 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Anchorage, Alaska
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Relaxing travel, lousy food and indifferent service”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2014

We love train travel so we took the Coast Starlight from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon. This was our first long distance trip on Amtrak. The scenery was spectacular particularly the California Coast and through the Cascades in central-northern Oregon. We had a sleeper which was small, somewhat cramped but a place to relax. However, it comes at a significant cost premium.
The food appeared to be pre-packaged and warmed up served on heavy plastic plates. Apart from our sleeping car attendant, who was friendly and helpful, most of the staff were indifferent. The bars in the parlor and cafe cars were poorly stocked with a very limited selection of beer and wine. The attendant in the parlor car was absent a lot of the time. Apparently, a wine and cheese tasting - a very popular perk for sleeper class passengers - had recently been discontinued by Amtrak as a cost saving measure although the Amtrak brochure still had this as one of the benefits for sleeper class. The PA's on the train focus on dinner reservations and the need for good behavior since it is a "family train" and apologies for delays. You have to be in the observation car to have a narrator describe the scenery and communities along the way but no mention was made of this to sleeper class passengers. If Amtrak want's to attract more business especially those who love train travel, it needs to pay more attention to its service. Next time we will try Via Rail in Canada which we have heard provides much better service and quality of food.

Visited May 2014
10 Thank AlaskanSourdough_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Level Contributor
162 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 16, 2014

We decided to take the Coast Starlight from LA to Portland to meet my son who was working in Oregon. We booked our trip online and decided not to go with a sleeping car. We also took a commuter train from where we live to the LA Union Station. So in total we only drove our car about 5 miles which I felt was an achievement in itself. The train departed LA on time and soon we were meandering through the areas just outside LA. I must admit this part of the trip was a little boring. The train does make a number of stops in all the local cities such as Burbank, and the cities in the Valley. it also does not travel that fast while pulling out of LA. But as soon as this was over we were soon headed into the Camarillo Ventura area where there were ocean views and other scenery. Our seats were in the lower section of the train and were very comfortable. The train has a nice dining car and viewing car. And the food is quite good for being on a train. They make a very decent burger plate. There is also a car that is set up like a lounge with a full bar. We took some snacks on the train so that we only needed to pay for dinner. The first day took us through the central coast area of California with all the farmlands and small houses dotting the landscape. One of my favorite parts of the trip is just outside Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The train begins a winding ascent through the hills and there are some incredible views from there. By nightfall we reached Sacramento. As we traveled through the night I looked out every now and then and it seemed like we were going though thick forest. When I woke in the morning I grabbed some coffee and a pastry and went to the viewing car. The sun was just rising and I could see some of the most spectacular scenery in southern Oregon. There were lakes and plateaus and smatterings of left over snow on the ground. The suns rays blasted through the large trees and I could see mist on the ground and wildlife scampering about. By mid morning we were approaching Klamath Falls and my son called me and said he would like to pick us up there. He wanted us to see the beautiful lakes and campgrounds in that area. So we got off at a very small station in KF. The air was so fresh. It was wonderful. We stayed in a local motel and spent a few very nice days with my son. We then re-boarded the train and slept a good deal on the way back to LA. This is a wonderful old fashioned way to travel and I think every one should try it at least once.

Visited October 2013
14 Thank Gene2459
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gold Coast, Australia
Level Contributor
727 reviews
356 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 416 helpful votes
“A great way to travel from Seattle to Portland”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2014

The train was 40 minutes late leaving Seattle but they explained why over the public address system, so we were not left wondering. Once we departed Seattle's King Street station, we were given some superb views of the upper reaches of Puget Sound, its many waterways and lakes, before settling in to mostly rolling countryside replete with cattle, waterfowl and the most superb views of entirely snow-capped Mt Rainier. The seats were very comfortable, the restrooms spotlessly clean, the available snack foods of high quality and moderate price, and the train - on the day we travelled - far from crowded. As Seniors (Amtrak allows for 62 years and older) we paid a total of $73.10 for two reserved coach seats. As with an airline, they took our luggage (maximum weight permitted: 50 pounds) and delivered it to the destination safely and well. It was a great experience overall, and you couldn't fault Amtrak's efficiency in processing both us and the queues wanting to board.

Visited May 2014
5 Thank mccorquinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
78 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“What a relaxing trip!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2014

We took this train at the last minute after deciding not to take a Princess Cruise we had previously booked (due to a norovirus outbreak on the ship). We took the train in 2 legs. The first from L.A. to San Francisco. It took the day to get to San Francisco and we got off, spent 24 hours in San Francisco and then got back on the next train and in another 24 hours, we got off in Seattle. on the first leg of the trip we rode in coach and were pleasantly surprised with the legroom in the coach section. We make reservations in the dining car and had a very good meal with several entree options. For second leg of the trip from San Francisco to Seattle, we boarded in the evening do we booked a sleeper. The sleeper unit was ready for us and the staff were excellent with welcoming us and showing us where the washrooms were and the parlour car and dining car. We had a comfortable sleep and enjoyed the views from the parlour car the next day. There was free wifi in the parlour car and comfortable seats and tables to work on or just relax. The only 'bad' thing that happened was when the locomotive hit a tree and it shattered the window that the engineer needed to look through. We were delayed by about 3 hours however, they did a great job and made up time so we ended up just being an hour behind our scheduled arrival in Seattle. I would definitely take the train again.

Visited May 2014
9 Thank Suebri_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Coast Starlight also viewed

California, United States
United States, North America
California, United States

Been to Coast Starlight? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing