its quite an easy train trip. The issue is sightseeing without a car. Portland is quite nice but very compact so there are fewer tour operators in that city. Staying right downtown is really easy to get around Portland. It would be nice to get to the Oregon Coast but coming from SF perhaps you had a day at the ocean already. A day trip to Seaside or Cannon Beach would be fun as would a trip to the Columbia River Gorge and Multnomah Falls. Taking the train to Seattle is easy and frequent. To Vancovuer I like the morning train so you can see a lot on the way up. You can arrange an Amtrak bus from downtown SF avoiding the hassles of getting to Emeryville.
Thank you so much. Will give the gorge a visit for sure. Not sure how many days to spend at each place. Forgot to add we are a fifty year old couple with a reasonable budget looking for an adventure without the hassle of driving.
there are many tours you can take but most go Seattle to SF down the oregon coast. The train goes inland so you never see any water. You can look at tours by Globus, Collette and also Tauck I believe does this itinerary.
You have 8 days altogether for this trip, correct? And while I'm not overly familiar with the train schedule, you probably need 2 or 3 of those days just for the journey, leaving you with about 5 days to spend elsewhere. I would recommend at least 3 of those days for Vancouver, so its starting to get tight for the rest of your stops.
It looks like you need to choose maybe one or two more points for stops, so its a case of whether you want to get off somewhere like Portland and spend 2 or 3 days seeing not only the city, but driving to the coast as well, or whether you want to just get off the train and spend one night each in the points on the way.
Perhaps start with the train schedule itself. Where is a logical place to spend your first night? Or would you do a sleeper on the train.
From SF to Eugene you have only once Amtrak choice...the Coast Starlight that goes from Los Angeles to Seattle once a day. It leaves from Emeryville in the East Bay (with Amtrak bus connections from locations in SF), crosses the Cascades in t he morning and arrives in Eugene around mid-day and Portland late afternoon. The Amtrak Cascades trains and buses run on a more frequent schedule and are more of a commuter train.
As noted, seeing most of the scenic wonders along the way without a car will involve considerable planning and linking up with tour companies, most of which will originate their tours from Portland or Seattle.
that should read "only ONE Amtrak choice."
The train's fun, the problem is getting to "adventure" (i.e. interesting sights, hiking, scenic spots) without doing any driving once you're off the train.
For small van tours of the Columbia Gorge, here are some options:
You're most welcome and have a great time :-)