Monday, November 11, 2013

Boone Scenic Valley Railroad

A few weeks back, my family took a trip on the Scenic Valley Railroad in Boone.  It's been on our to-do list for quite a while, but we've never been able to get our schedules lined up to go.  In fact, my sister and I bought my dad a gift certificate to buy tickets for the train, and it took him two years to actually use them.

But the trip was worth the wait.  My dad used his gift certificate and bought us first-class tickets for the afternoon train.  My niece got to ride for free with her "first-class toddler" ticket.

Again, I was having so much fun catching up with my family, I didn't take very many photos.  I did get this picture of the Des Moines River Valley as we went over the Kate Shelley high bridge.  The train engine let off a puff of steam so we could see a rainbow over the valley.

I thought I'd share just a few tips if you are planning a trip on the Scenic Valley Railroad. (I could tell by all the out-of-town license plates that it's a pretty popular tourist attraction.)

I would recommend spending the extra money for a first-class ticket.  The first-class car is a double-decker, and it was fun to take a seat up above. We also found out the first-class section is air-conditioned, which was nice since it was a little warm that day.

Also, there were four different train rides on the day we visited, so it was hard to find a parking spot.  I ended up parking on the street.

We got there a couple hours early and decided to eat lunch at the concession stand. But the concession stand was tiny and only offered hot dogs and brats for lunch.  When we ordered hot dogs, the volunteer behind the counter took four huge, frozen-solid hot dogs out of the freezer, and then microwaved them as we watched!  We couldn't believe that she had to microwave the hotdogs! And the hot dogs weren't cooked through when she served them.

I don't blame the volunteer; she probably had the worst job of the day, because there were a lot of people at the concession stand and she was working by herself.  But if you do go and want to have lunch, I recommend bringing your own food and eating at the picnic tables in the adjacent park.  Just a suggestion if you plan your own visit.  There is a dinner train at night that serves a meal from Hy-Vee, but we really enjoyed the afternoon ride.

It was a great family trip, and as you can see, my niece seemed to enjoy the day.  She even slept on the train!

Have you ever been on the Scenic Valley Railroad or another passenger train excursion?  What did you think of the trip?

1 comment:

  1. In a year or two when your niece is old enough to appreciate Thomas the Train, take her to the big annual Thomas event at the railroad (usually over a few weekends in September) at least once while she's still little. We took our kids a few times before they were five, and they loved riding on a real Thomas! (I was a little disappointed with the short distance, given the ticket prices, though.) They also have plenty of activities for young kids. While they did offer more food options, the bees at that time of year are crazy, and it was almost impossible to keep them away from our food -- my daughter almost ate a bee until I caught her just in time! Anyway, that's my only experience at the BSVRR, and it was fun.


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