All aboard! With the peak of fall colors right around the corner, now is the perfect time to plan a scenic train ride. The Show-Me State offers multiple routes to notable attractions and remarkable views.
Amtrak's Missouri River Runner services nine communities along its cross-state route. Ride from Washington to Jefferson City for a peek at the foliage bordering the Missouri River – with scenery often compared to Germany's Rhine Valley. Hermann is bursting with wineries to experience, and the Hermann Trolley is a convenient mode of transportation between points of interest.
In Jefferson City, tour the Missouri State Penitentiary (ghost tour!), explore the Missouri State Museum inside the Capitol or pedal along the Katy Trail; advanced reservations are required to bring your bike aboard the train. Don't have a bike? No worries! Red Wheel Bike Shop rents equipment and offers shuttle services.
A step off the train in Sedalia will leave you just blocks away from Ozark Coffee Company and Roastery. After a caffeine fix, explore quaint downtown shops like Nostalgia Vintage Apparel and Marketplace, Country Ruffle Crafts & Gifts and Juanita's House Antiques. Speaking of antiques, you won't want to miss Those Were the Days Antique Mall in Warrensburg. The store encompasses three floors and boasts over 55,000 square feet of show space.
The seasonal yellow, orange and reds along the route will have you feeling festive. Carry on the fall tradition and try your luck at The Exit Room in Lee's Summit. The escape adventure is perfect for groups, family and friends, and you can chose between various rooms and levels of difficulty. History can be retraced in Independence at a selection of Harry S. Truman sites or the National Frontier Trails Museum. There are many more attractions conveniently accessible from the Missouri River Runner, so make your reservation today!
Located in downtown Branson, the Branson Scenic Railway showcases the beauty of the Ozarks. Traveling over land inaccessible by automobile, passengers get to enjoy majestic views of the Ozark Mountains, its foothills and a glimpse at the abundance of wildlife in the region. The 40-minute roundtrip through tunnels and over trestles is perhaps most enjoyable from one of three dome cars, offering optimum panoramic views. But, regardless of where you sit, the ride is narrated, bringing to your attention the landmarks you pass and offering history about the area. After your ride, be sure to check out the Branson Landing shopping district, its water, fire and light show (held at the top of the hour between noon and 10 p.m.) and the iconic Dick's Oldtime 5 & 10.
The St. Louis Iron Mountain Railway in Jackson has mastered pairing entertainment with their family-friendly train rides. Themed events vary throughout the year, but a popular choice is their James Gang Robbery train. A staged train robbery adds excitement to the 40-minute trip and you'll have a chance to interact with the "outlaws." Other upcoming themes include the USO Train and Let's Be Pirates train (costumes encouraged!). Guests will enjoy music, singing and activities while on board.
No matter where the tracks take you, there's a fall for all in the Show-Me State.