Sit in the open-air gondola for a ride through the Old West and Colorado Rockies along the Animas River. Side tour: Take a dip in Trimble Natural Hot Springs or visit nearby Animas Forks, a preserved ghost town (durangotrain.com).
Engineers once built tunnels and high trestles to carry prospectors to the Yukon gold fields. Now the narrow-gauge route takes you through spectacular mountain scenery. Side tour: Get dropped off on a forest trail that ends at a glacier (wpyr.com).
The wine, the food, the scenery: Need we explain why you'll love this 36-mile route? Special trips offer kids' activities. Side tour: See Castello Di Amorosa, a family-friendly winery in a medieval-style castle, complete with a dungeon and a moat (winetrain.com).
Once used to haul timber from the Appalachian Mountains, this steam train now climbs backwoods switchbacks with views of Monongahela National Forest. Side tour: Spend the night in Cass, a former lumber town with restored cottages (cassrailroad.com).
Hold onto your seats as you head up a steep mountain on the world's first cog railway, which uses a gear that interlocks with the track. Side tour: Take a bike ride along carriage roads at Zealand Trails (thecog.com).
Start at a 1905 depot in Blue Ridge, then wind 26 miles through a river valley. Your layover is in the twin towns of McCaysville, Georgia, and Copperhill, Tennessee. Take a two-state selfie! Side tour: Rent tubes to float down the Toccoa River (brscenic.com).
This Lake Superior line hugs the shore after passing through downtown Duluth. A special music and pizza train has live entertainment and a pie for every passenger. Side tour: Visit the Lake Superior Railroad Museum (northshorescenicrailroad.org).
Steam locomotives run through the Piney Woods of East Texas between two historic depots. Themed trips include a teddy bear ride the first Friday in August and a pumpkin patch express in October. Side tour: See wildlife from your car at the Cherokee Trace Drive- Thru Safari (texasstaterr.com).
America's oldest continuously running railroad still puffs through bucolic Pennsylvania Dutch country. Take the Pinball Pendolino train, and play a vintage machine on board. Side tour: Create your own ice cream flavor at the Turkey Hill Experience (strasburgrailroad.com).
This 65-mile trip leaving from Williams, Arizona, includes strolling musicians and ends just steps from the South Rim. Side tour: Plan a layover to experience the canyon (thetrain.com).