Glacier National Park, Montana
Head east on the Amtrak Empire Builder to Glacier National Park in northern Montana. In the summer you can explore more than 700 miles of hiking trails, and in the winter you have opportunities for snowshoeing, skiing and winter camping. Arriving without a car is not a problem, as you can take shuttle buses, boat tours and guided horseback rides through the park. Although the park is open year-round, most of the the park services are available only May through September, so in the off-season you need to come fully prepared. The Empire Builder serves four stations in and around Glacier National Park: Whitefish, West Glacier, Essex and East Glacier Park. There are hotels in the park as well as camping, and Amtrak also provides vacation packages.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Take Amtrak across the Canadian border to Vancouver, British Columbia. The station is downtown, so you have easy access to your choice of food and lodging. Bus service gets you to Vancouver's outdoor meccas for hiking, cycling and boating. If you want to extend your train excursion further into Canada, you can hook up with Canada's passenger rail system, VIA Rail, and head further out to Whistler, Banff and beyond.
Closer to home is a trip to Edmonds, Wash. Located just south of the ferry terminal, you are within easy walking distance of downtown Edmonds. A short walk to the south end of Admiral Way next to the marina you will find Marina Beach Park, which has an off-leash dog area. Come at low tide to explore the tide pools. Or if you are more adventurous, bring your scuba gear to the Edmonds Underwater Park, just north of the ferry dock. Here you find underwater trails guiding you among sunken vessels and man-made reefs; a dry changing area, shower facilities and maps of the underwater trails are available. You can reach the Edmonds station via either Amtrak or Sounder trains.
You can also take a Sounder train to Mukilteo. There you can catch the ferry to Whidbey Island, or walk south past the ferry to Mukilteo Lighthouse Park. The lighthouse, in operation since 1906, is the picturesque centerpiece to the park that includes a boat launch and 1,500 feet of sandy beach. Picnic facilities including barbecue pits are available.