Great Family Adventures: Amtrak Vacations' 'Cowboys and Cajuns'

Yes, we know: The family vacation is a much-parodied event, and perhaps rightfully so. But fumbles, foibles, and hassles aside, families keep taking them for the same good reason: They’re priceless sources of memories.

    Photo: Courtesy of Amtrak Vacations

HIGHLIGHTS: What kid doesn’t love a train ride? And what parent doesn’t love not having to drive? During Amtrak’s eight-day rail adventure, you won’t have to touch a steering wheel. And if the offspring dare to ask whether we’re there yet, you can tell them to go ask the conductor. Once you do get to your destinations, you’ll see the best of the South, hospitality and all. In Dallas, visit the Sixth Floor Museum, dedicated to JFK’s assassination. In San Antonio, tour the famous-for-good-reason Alamo, cruise the San Antonio River by riverboat, and check out the Texas Ranger Museum and the quirky Buckhorn Saloon (taxidermy features big; Teddy Roosevelt was a regular). When you’ve had enough of Texas, chug over to New Orleans for a boat ride on the Barataria swamps and bayous, or a Katrina-themed tour that goes to the Ninth Ward and a breached levee. Finish things off with a Creole meal on Bourbon Street.

OUTFITTER: Amtrak Vacations leverages our vast rail infrastructure to offer multi-city train vacations across North America.

ITINERARY: Itineraries are customizable but a sample one might be: Dallas to San Antonio to New Orleans.

DATES: Available on an ongoing basis, departing most Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

PRICE: From $959 per adult and $879 per child, including rail transportation, tours, hotel accommodations, and two dinners.

INFO: amtrakvacations.com, (800) 268-7252.

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