30-Hour Train Ride Connects Many Southern Cities, From New York To New Orleans

Amtrak’s Crescent Route is one of the best ways to travel the South.

Hop aboard Amtrak's Crescent Route for one of the best ways to travel the South.

Amtrak's Crescent Route runs daily between New York City and New Orleans, servicing 37 stations across 1,377 miles of the southeastern United States, including Washington, D.C., Charlottesville, Virginia, Atlanta, Georgia, and Birmingham, Alabama.

Crescent Lake Pontchartrain


"You can tour Monticello or enjoy a wine tasting in the charming Virginia college town of Charlottesville. Or enjoy a stroll through the vibrant shopping and dining scene of Underground Atlanta," Amtrak's website says. "As you travel further south, you'll reach New Orleans, where you never run out of things to do."

The Crescent, Amtrak's third-longest route in the East, passes through 12 states and D.C.—more than any other Amtrak route in the country. 

Crescent Route


The journey between New York City and New Orleans takes 30 hours, but travelers who want to get off and explore certain cities along the route can purchase stop-specific tickets. We're particularly fond of the ride in and out of New Orleans when the train crosses beautiful Lake Pontchartrain.

Routes like the Crescent, which are part of Amtrak's network of long-distance trains, are ideal for travelers who cannot fly or drive, including many senior citizens and persons with disabilities.

These trains offer complete travel packages, including roomettes (bedrooms) and food service.

For inspiration on where to stop along this unique journey, here are a few locations where Amtrak's Crescent Route will take you.

Lynchburg, Virginia

This train route passes through the breathtaking scenery of the Blue Ridge foothills, including the town of Lynchburg, Virginia. Lynchburg, located along the James River, features a thriving art scene, outdoor excursions, and electric breweries. 

After traveling on the train, you might be interested in stretching your legs. The Liberty Mountain Snowflex Center features artificial slopes ideal for skiing, tubing, and sledding. Continue embracing your adventurous spirit by renting a canoe or kayak from James River Adventures.

Stop by Starr Hill, the second-oldest craft brewery in Virginia, to sample the artisan brews. Wine lovers will enjoy a trip to Virginia's first all-fruit vintner, Peaks of Otter Winery, a six-generation family-owned farm. 

Greenville, South Carolina

For unique Southern restaurants and breweries, stop at Greenville, South Carolina, a city with a thriving personality and inviting cultural exhibits.

Greenville has many entertainment options, including Gather GVL, an outdoor pet-friendly food court made from retired shipping containers. Find an assortment of beer, wine, and various cuisines to choose from, all within walking distance to Fluor Field in the city's West End. 

Spend time on Main Street and shop at one of the local retailers for souvenirs from your trip. For more outdoor adventures, check out the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail, a 25-miles and growing network of fitness and community trails. 

Laurel, Mississippi

Travelers and HGTV fans alike will love a stop in the charming town of Laurel, Mississippi. Known by many as the filming location of the home renovation television show Home Town, this historical community has received a lot of love from Erin and Ben Napier's restoration projects.  

Laurel, Mississippi's quintessential Southern charm is apparent throughout Main Street, which features the area's commercial district and unique local cuisine. Shop the Laurel Mercantile Co. for apparel, candles, and homewares. 

After shopping on Main Street, browse the latest exhibit at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in the town center on a tree-lined avenue. Collections include American art, European paintings, Native American baskets, Japanese Ukiyo-e prints, and British Georgian silver.

For more information, visit amtrak.com/routes/crescent-train.html.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles