If one-too-many overcrowded Muni rides have left you aching for a more pleasurable mass transit experience, the Western Railway Museum has an option that smells less of body odor and more of spring flowers for you this weekend: the 12th year of its April spring wildflower train rides, which take passengers back to the early 1900s on an hour-long, 10-mile trip around the Montezuma Hills, a mere hour’s drive out of town.
The trains’ route runs along the original historic main line of the Sacramento Northern Railway fields. Passengers can hop on either the Scenic Limited or the Vintage Comet trains, both of which consist of a 1914 parlor car and Sacramento Northern interurban car.
THIS. Seriously, leave the city this weekend.
For a mid-day, kid-friendly adventure: Hop aboard the Scenic Limited. First class passengers ride up front in the parlor car and are served cookies and lemonade by attendants dressed in white button downs, vests, and slacks. Coach passengers ride behind in the Sacramento Northern interurban. Docents will be in both cars pointing out botanical views, which are constantly evolving as the season progresses. Expect to spot patches of poppies, goldfields, brass buttons, butter and eggs, clovers, and sheep’s sorrel.
If that options sounds too sober: A late afternoon ride on the Vintage Comet train, its quaint charms augmented by sips via the Suisun Valley Wine Co-Op might be more your speed. Proceeds from your ticket will go towards Solano Midnight Sun Foundation, which provides temporary financial assistance to women with breast cancer.
Whether you’re in it for the wine, the history, or simply as an escape from the particular eau de rush hour of Muni, be sure to bring a camera. Because if you were ever going to make out of state friends jealous of your California digs a shot of wildflower filled fields on a sunny April day aught to do it.
April Wildflower Train Rides
The Scenic Limited: Saturdays and Sundays through April 28, 11:00am, 12:30pm, and 2:00pm, $10-16
The Vintage Comet: Saturdays through April 28, 5:00pm, $30
Western Railway Museum
5848 State Highway 12, Suisun