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
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, view displays at the Missouri State Penitentiary Museum, 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 put you a short seven blocks away from Ozark Coffee Company and Roastery. After a caffeine fix, hail a cab to visit the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art or stay downtown to explore quaint shops like Nostalgia Vintage Apparel and Marketplace, Charlotte's Country Ruffle 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.
After enjoying a ride filled with fall color, 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. Retrace history in Independence at a selection of Harry S. Truman sites or the National Frontier Trails Museum. Just want the highlights? Take a covered wagon history tour of the town with Pioneer Trails Adventures. These and many more attractions are conveniently accessible from the Missouri River Runner.
Branson Scenic Railway
Located in downtown Branson, the Branson Scenic Railway showcases the beauty of the Ozarks. Traveling over land inaccessible by automobile, passengers can enjoy majestic views of the Ozark Mountains and foothills and catch a glimpse at the abundant wildlife in the region. The 40-minute round trip 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 your attention to local landmarks 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.
St. Louis Iron Mountain Railway
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 two-hour trip and provides a chance to interact with the "outlaws." Other upcoming themes include a Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre Train and Haunted Train Ride – accompanied by fortune tellers, ghost stories and fun around the bonfire when you reach Iron Mountain Village.
No matter where the tracks take you, there's a fall for all in the Show-Me State.