Day 7

Carson City + Reno Fun Train + Sacramento

8 am breakfast at hotel
Once more at The Grille. This morning we go with Classic Eggs Benedict: Grilled English muffin topped with sliced ham, poached eggs, and hollandaise.

9 am depart for Reno Railroad Station to board Reno Fun Train
The Amtrak station, right next to Harrahs is across the parking from Aces ball park. The station is a station, but if you are into history, come stroll down memory lane. The station itself is really bare bones. No concession stand, only a vending machine upstairs so bring your own victuals. The street level is old and looks old, but if you slow down and listen you might be able to picture steam trains coming through and hear clanging bells. Speaking of pictures take the elevator to the platform level where Reno’s train traffic history is told on the walls. You’ll see wonderful pictures: steam trains and old diesel trains pulling into the station. The incredible Original Reno city drinking fountain is another little known piece of Reno history. Unique and beautiful, there are 3 levels, one for humans, a trough for horses, a little trough for dogs. It is topped with 3 globes that might have lit the street.

10 am Sierra Scenic Snow Train leaves for Sacramento capital of California
Our train is the weekday version of the Reno Fun Train. The trip is simply outstanding; service wonderful, weather picture post card worthy. There are priceless views and the majesty of the mountains to enjoy on the ride. Sierra winter weather was severe this year. Mountains look gorgeous with deep white powder throughout the canyons and across the ridges. Today’s light sparkles the snow making it superbly beautiful. Our trip gives a glimpse of travel by train over the Sierra Mountains in days gone by. California has much history of travel from Reno along the Donner Pass and into Sacramento. Coach level travelers receive a box turkey sandwich lunch. Very tasty and hits the spot. Those traveling in Gold Service dine with white linens in the more formal dining car setting. You can bring your own snacks and beverages, if you wish. The Cafe Car offers popular beverages and snacks for sale. Also, the train features a Great Dome car and entertainment in the Piano Lounge Car. What a treat to do this.

3 pm arrive Sacramento Railroad Station
This is the 2nd busiest station in California, and 7th busiest Amtrak Station in America, with thousands of riders a day and over a million passengers per year….and very convenient for us. We exit the train at the Sacramento Valley Station – I and 5th St. The California State Railroad Museum and Old Town Sacramento are both just a very short walk from the station.

39 miles

3:30 pm tour California State Railroad Museum
Magnificent! Largest and most expansive railroad museum in the United States: brings in visitors from around the world. Located at the western terminus of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad, the Museum honors the history of railroading in California and the west, but also contains information, exhibits and activities about railroading’s present and future. The Pullman Car is set up to jiggle like a train in motion – you really feel like you are traveling on a moving train. There is a superb collection of very posh silver/china services from many of the train lines that ran in the past. Need a couple of hours just to make a quick visit. Clever, fascinating exhibits at every turn. In summer months, their excursion railroad takes passengers on a leisurely journey along the Sacramento river. So hard to leave.

4:30 wine tasting The Underground Tasting Room
We walk about 5 minutes from the Museum along the boardwalk to this surprise located on the original level of the city of Sacramento. From somewhere below street level rises the clink of wine glasses and crinkle of chocolate wrappers. A flight of stairs transports us back to an early 1800s street corner, complete with surrounding brick, street lamps, bubbling fountain. Two local wineries make their home in this sunken square where visitors lounge at bistro-style tables in the courtyard, enjoying an atmosphere reminiscent of quaint French rural towns. Inside, we sidle up to a long bar for aromatic pours and impromptu glass harp solos. Cheese plates and succulent chocolates complement tall glasses with their flavors.

5 pm check into Delta King Hotel
This unusual hotel and restaurant is a restored paddle wheel steamer permanently moored to the dock. Love rivers and riverboats? Romance on the water? Location? Then stay here. Worth a special trip just to spend a few days on board. Stroll down to Old Sacramento along the river. People who like riverboats tend to like trains. Hear train whistles. All part of Old Sacramento experience. A band adds to the River Boat atmosphere. We check out the bar. Nice views of the river and shore across the way. Scenes painted on glass above the windows. Dark wood. Feels authentic because it is!

6 pm dinner Pilot House Restaurant on-board Delta King
Fun experience to dine on the docked river boat. Food good, service attentive. View/ambience fabulous.

after dinner explore Old Town Sacramento
Old Sacramento comprises about 5 blocks of restored late 19th Century buildings, shops, theater, museums, restaurants, and public market. Early history: Sacramento’s waterfront location was prime for commercial success, but prone to severe flooding. Repeated fires engulfed wood and canvas buildings. In 1850, 1852 and again in 1862 the city was wiped out by high water which led to a mammoth project to raise the city above flood level. Within a few years, thousands of cubic yards of earth were brought in on wagons and the daring scheme to raise the street level began. The original street level can still be seen throughout Old Sacramento under the boardwalks and in basements. All ages will find something interesting to do here.

overnight Delta King Hotel
Room a bit tight, port hole style windows, ceilings low for tall folks like us. Furnishings old timey riverboat Victorian style. Adequate bathroom. Bed, very comfortable. Recommend experience. Puts you right into the action. Fall asleep fast after our very busy day….and we’re up early again tomorrow.

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