Traveling by train is one of the most peaceful and memorable ways to experience our lovely state. Whether you are local to Southern California or just visiting, these train rides will transport you to a different time when life was a bit more leisurely and old fashioned. Hop aboard and take a little journey on the railway, as these are the types of experiences that are wonderful to savor in SoCal.
1. Fillmore and Western Railway in Ventura County
You may recognize this railway as it has been featured in over 400 movies and TV shows. In addition to being a movie star, the Fillmore and Western Railroad offers tourist train trips and excursions including murder mysteries, dinner trains and other festive year-round activities.
2. Poway-Midland Railroad
During your visit to the Poway-Midland Railroad in Old Poway Park you can take a train ride on an authentic steam locomotive, a speeder or a vintage trolley. Featured trains change weekly so check the website calendar before your visit.
3. The Pacific Surfliner
Explore beautiful SoCal from San Luis Obispo to San Diego on The Pacific Surfliner. The view from the train as it travels through the charming beach in Del Mar is breathtaking.
The Pacific Surfliner train stop in San Juan Capistrano is worthy of a little exploration as the train station here is a rare beauty.
Approaching San Clemente by train is a magical experience as you roll through town on the train tracks.
4. Port of Los Angeles Waterfront Red Car Line
The ride on this vintage trolley will take you on a scenic 1.5 mile route along the waterfront from San Pedro's World Cruise Center. It's a fun way to see the area and it's something the kiddos will surely enjoy.
5. Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris
You can view over 200 historic railway cars and locomotives on display at this museum. Train rides on select vintage trains and trolleys are available to guests during their visit. Attend during a special event and you may be treated to a train ride that takes you all the way to the historic 1892 Perris train depot which is a treat to experience. The next special event is coming up soon so try to attend the Annual Spring Rail Festival on April 9 and 10 if you can.
6. South Coast Railroad Museum in Goleta
Take a day trip along the Pacific Coast on a restored vintage railcar. The Overland Trail Car is one of the featured vintage trains that takes passengers on a scenic trip from Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo and back. The sights you will see along this route are breathtaking.
7. Pacific Southwest Railway Museum
Enjoy the San Diego countryside on a leisurely 12-mile train trip on the historic San Diego & Arizona railway. Train rides are offered on Saturdays and Sundays at 11 am and 2:30 pm.
A vintage dining car on display at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum.
Doesn’t this look like a fun way to spend the afternoon? Take a little day trip to experience these charming train stations and enjoy a pleasant ride. It’s a great way to see Southern California with a fresh set of eyes.