My trusted pal, Angie, and her boys are avid train enthusiasts. When they returned from a recent fabulous train ride on the Niles Canyon Railroad, I got the lowdown all things awesome about this day trip to Fremont.
This trip is great for kids of all ages: infants, toddlers, and school age kids, as well as big train nerds, and tourists. All are welcome!
What you need to know:
All Aboard: Located at 5550 Niles Canyon Rd Sunol, CA 94586 about a half hour from the Oakland area.
A greeter will usher you and your car into a gravel parking lot and help you to park your car, then you'll find the ticket booth.
The train shows up about 15 minutes before it leaves the station and you can find your way onto whichever car you like.
Cost: $7 for kids (children under 3 are free), and $12 for adults.
Food: A dining car serves hot dogs, drinks, and snacks, but most people bring a picnic lunch. You can sit in an open air car, but if the sun is too bright, there are closed cars too.
The route: The 30-minute trip to Sunol travels through a gorgeous canyon, over the Alameda Creek and through a train yard (which is very exciting for the little boys). Once in Sunol, you can disembark and wander into a little gift shop or just stretch your legs.
You can get off and stay awhile or get right back on the same train, which leaves about 20-30 minutes after arriving. You can also do the same trip from Sunol to Niles.
There is also an amazing Holiday train!! It’s a little pricey at $25 a ticket, but there are a few Wednesday bargain nights which only cost $17 per person.
[Photos by Angie, all rights reserved; content was excerpted with permission]