An Ocean View from a Train Seat -- Riding the Amtrak train along the Connecticut coast is an enormously satisfying way to take in some of the most gorgeous views of the state. The Regional and Acela Express Amtrak routes between New York and Boston both take the coastal track, and for many miles the train hugs the flat shoreline, skimming alongside marshy inlets. If you're traveling north, get a window seat on the right side and settle in for the guided tour.

The sights are rich with coastal New England geography. The section from New Haven to Old Saybrook features green woods and then small harbors dotted with sailboats. At Branford, the train passes a one-lane bridge where fishermen often cast rods. The view opens up to acres of marshland, where wooden perches atop 10-foot poles are homes to birds who set up nests. Passing through Guilford, travelers can catch glimpses of stone walls, then it's more marshland with canals that curve like a drunkard's walk. In Old Saybrook, the town's large, handsome homes come into sight.

If you time it so that your train arrives in New London around sunset, you'll catch washes of orange and pink light dappling across the ocean. In the stretch between Old Saybrook and New London, the train passes the sandy beaches of Old Lyme and a smattering of teeny islands, some appearing not much bigger than a baseball infield, off the coast. A red-and-white-striped tower signals the initial approach into the industrial zone of New London. The train continues along the water from here to Stonington, passing docks with thousands of sailboats, before moving inland for the trip through Rhode Island up to Massachusetts.

Put down the book, pack away the computer, and daydream out the window. It's good for the soul.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.