The Ashton family, of Germantown, MD, reports: "We have used Amtrak each of the four years we've reached the NAD level. We find that train travel is less exhausting, physically and emotionally, than travel by airplane or automobile. Coming from the East coast, the easiest destination is South Bend, Indiana. However, travelers from points west may wish to investigate stations on local routes, such as Niles, Michigan."
Note that Amtrak tickets are available only 11 months in advance.