One of the greatest things about visiting San Francisco is the close proximity to nearby attractions. You can stay in one city while visiting several. You can not only get the conveniences of being in the city, but the beauty of nature is not too far away from almost any point within the city. In fact, a short train ride will take you rather quickly to some nearby attractions that are definitely worth checking into.
One of the first train tours I'll mention isn't only a train tour but a bus and train tour. This tour goes from San Francisco to Yosemite Park. This trip requires transfers back and forth from bus to train but offers some beautiful scenery and the ability to enjoy it without the worry of driving, rest stops, and a need to simply stretch your legs. Sometimes a little inconvenience is worth a lot more convenience later in your trip. The train portion of the tour lasts about three hours and you get to spend three hours in Yosemite. For some it isn't worth the hassle and for others it is just what the doctor ordered-time to rest and relax while on the way. This is by far the most complicated of the train tours heading out from San Francisco, at least the tours I will be discussing.
The second tour is to wine country. The beauty of these tours is the fact that you can enjoy your wine tasting experience without the worry of who's going to drive. Everyone in your party can enjoy the outing equally. Even more than that however, is that many companies have made the train ride itself more the event than the wine tasting. With offerings such as 4 course meals and Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre for your enjoyment it is no wonder that this has become an event of choice for many San Francisco visitors. While this may be a more than moderately pricey option, it is well worth the expense. You can always cut costs elsewhere in San Francisco to make up for the expenditure.
Roaring Camp Railroads offers two train rides that are both equally appealing in vastly different ways. The first is a trip back in time. This is probably my favorite. On this trip you travel to the summit of Bear Mountain while hearing tales of Roaring Camp's history. This train tour lasts a total of one hour and is a great deal of fun, especially for any little ones you may have with you. The second offering by Roaring Camp Railroads is the Beach Train, which will take you to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The round trip from Roaring Camp to Santa Cruz and back is about three hours and well worth every penny if you have a budding or future engineer among your young ones.
Perhaps the most magical of train tours is the Christmas Train Tour from Oakdale. This tour includes Santa, his elves, a little Christmas magic, and you can come in your jimmies. What more could you ask for? Well, I guess that depends on whether you made the naughty list or the nice list. This train ride is magic for everyone that partakes, young and old alike will enjoy the magic that only Christmas can bring.
Whether you are a big kid, a little kid, or somewhere in between, I'm willing to bet that the magic of a train ride hasn't been completely lost over the years. In fact, I'm willing to bet if you allow yourself to really sit back and enjoy yourself, you will find that there really is something to be said about sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying the journey. I can think of few better ways to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.