Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Staycation idea: Trains

Trains might be the most romantic way to travel. Lots of history, lots of scenery, and lots of time to spend together. There are also scenic train trips all over the country that make a staycation day feel like a vacation day.

In the Dallas-area, we have the Grapevine Vintage Railroad, but there are scenic train rides all over the country.

In Arizona, there is the Grand Canyon Railroad that takes passengers from Flagstaff, a city 100 miles north of Phoenix, for a scenic ride to the Canyon and back. On the West Coast, the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad has vintage trains that travel along a former logging run through the Sierra National Forest in California. And on the East Coast, the Scenic Western Maryland Railroad travels through rugged mountains, over a truss bridge, and completes a hairpin curve. Then it finishes on a railroad turntable that most people only see while helping their kids put together wooden tracks for Thomas the Tank Engine.

Most of the train rides will feature great scenery and offer both climate-controlled and open-air coaches. Tour guides will tell you about the history of the railroad and the surrounding areas, so you can also learn something. But what really makes a train ride perfect for a staycation is that it’s so relaxing. The pace is slow, the mood is laid back, and it’s a wonderfully mellow experience.

You can find a national directory of scenic train rides, sorted by state, at Check for special packages, too, that include dinner and live music. Some also have Sunday champagne brunches and murder mystery shows that take place during the ride. The Sacramento RiverTrain in California even has a Great Train Robbery ride on Saturdays, which features characters entertaining the passengers and an Old West gunfight. (Great for kids, obviously, but also fun for adults).

*** "The Great American Staycation: How to Make a Vacation at Home Fun for the Whole Family (and Your Wallet!)" is now available. You can find it in stores or online.

No comments:

Post a Comment