I don't know about you, but we've exhausted our list of train attractions around the Bay, so we've started venturing out a bit. Sacramento seem too far? Not by train. Your railroad-obsessed children are going to love this adventure. We tackled Sacramento by rail as a day trip from Berkeley, but you could easily turn this into a weekend.
Railroad trip from Berkeley to Sacramento (aka BKY to SAC)
Begin at the Berkeley station. It was easy enough to purchase our tickets at the standing kiosk, but we did check the Capitol Corridor (Amtrak is the service provider) schedules before, and arrived a little early. Arrive too early? Grab a mexi-mocha at Catahoula Coffee around the corner. (You just might need it.)
Our family took the trip from Berkeley, but you could also vary your rail adventure by starting in Emeryville (EMY) or Jack London Square (OKJ). In addition to slight fare and schedule differences, you'll have to find your own coffee.
Tips for the ride: The train ride is about one hour and 45 minutes. A bit long, so bring books, a tablet, snacks. Half way through we took a field-trip to the lounge car for cheese and crackers. Fancy.
Plan your visit to the California State Railroad Museum
Just a six minute walk from the train station you'll find yourself at the California State Railroad Museum. Walk through restored railroad cars like old-time dining and sleeping cars. Upstairs find a model train exhibit as well as a “Thomas the Train” play area stocked with multiple train tables. Perfect!
The museum is open 7 days a week 10am – 5pm (except major holidays). Admission is $12/Adults, $6/Youth (6-17), and FREE for under 5.
If you have time after, walk around Old Sacramento – just across the street from the museum. Find specialty stores and restaurants with names like “Spud Shack” and “Railroad Fish & Chips.” We were short on time, but we made sure to visit the old-time candy store and let our three-year-old pick out a piece of candy for the train trip home. All aboard!
[Photos by Anna Azimi]