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These Are The Top 7 Festive Train Rides In The U.S. This Winter

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Tis the season, and nothing screams festive quite like a holiday train! If you’re looking to stay local within the U.S. this year, then these holiday train routes may just be for you.

Trains around the globe are decked out for the holiday season, and when the weather is cooler and the season is upon us, it’s simply magical!

These are the top 7 festive train rides to experience in the U.S. this winter:

winter train

Chicago Holiday Train

Is there anything better than going on a festive train ride for a good cause?

Each year, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) takes the season of giving to a whole new level. Delivering baskets filled with food to local charities throughout the city, it’s a fun way to give back!

Christmas trees, festive lights, decor, and even Santa riding along in his open-aired car… It’s the perfect way to spend a wintery Chicago day.

@keninchicago Do you think santa gets cold up there?? Off to the (river)north pole 😏🚊 #chicagoholidaytrain #chicagotiktok #holidaytrain #chicagochristmas ♬ holly jolly christmas – lexi★

Napa Valley Santa Train

As if California didn’t sound enticing enough during the winter… Napa Valley continues to roll out its Jolly Journeys Santa Train! Aside from the typical wine-inspired train journeys, there are also family-friendly 90-minute rides.

Guests can expect carol singers, festive decor, hot cocoa, holiday treats, and even a 3-course meal (if you choose this upgrade). Warm weather, vineyards, and Santa? What’s better?!

@danelleduerr Hitch a ride with #santa on the #winetrain in Napa Valley! #holiday #christmas #napa #winecountry ♬ Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

Colorado‘s Polar Express

If you’ve ever seen the Polar Express movie… This epic train ride will immediately transport you straight to the setting of this fan-favorite. Durango & Silverton’s version of the express is a festive treat for all in the family!

Passengers are encouraged to don their favorite festive gear or even wear PJs (just like in the movie!). Presents from Santa, singing, and a light show can be expected on this 2-hour ride.

@inmyeyiees123 Polar Express Durango Colorado, The staff makes you feel as if your in the book while you travel to see Santa , cookies, hot cocoa,singing and dancing, Highly recommend l!#coloradocheck #colorado #durango #christmas #polarexpress ♬ The Polar Express – Tom Hanks

Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel's Polar Express

Another Polar Express... But this time in Arizona! That’s right- guests can board this festive train for 90 minutes that’s sure to bring a little fun and holiday cheer to all. 

Cookies, hot chocolate, and PJs optional; it’s giving all the cozy vibes we’re all craving. And you know what’s better? Santa himself presents every child with a keepsake at the end of the journey (maybe even the adults if we’re lucky!)

@offtheaz303 ALL ABOARD! 🚂 We went up north to hop on The Polar Express at Grand Canyon Rail in Williams, Arizona! We grabbed our golden tickets and made our way to the North Pole to meet Santa, Mrs. Clause & their reindeer. We enjoyed hot cocoa, warm chocolate chip cookies, candy canes and all the Christmas feels on our ride up there! ❤️ The kiddos faces lit up with so much joy which brought so much warmth to our hearts! If you are looking for a cozy, magical & new Christmas experience – reserve some tickets and head up north. It was really special! 📍 Grand Canyon Railway is just over 2 hours #offtheaz303 #polarexpress #azfamily #azmoms #grandcanyon #grandcanyonrailway #williamsaz #azchristmas #northernarizona #arizonamom #westvalleyaz @grandcanyonrailway ♬ original sound – Off The AZ 303

Country Christmas Train North Carolina

All aboard North Carolina’s Country Christmas Train at Denton Farm Park. Walk down an illuminated candy-cane path to be greeted by Santa himself at the station!

A short ride drops passengers at the Gingerbread House, where they can make cookies, enjoy a carriage ride, and even see some animals at the petting zoo. (Keep an eye out because there may be an elf or two along the journey). 

@nceatandplay One of our favorite Christmas activities in North Carolina! Tweetsie Christmas 🚂 in Blowing Rock. #christmaslights #trains #christmasaesthetic #northcarolina #nctravel #828 #blowingrocknc #ncmountains #nccheck #ncblogger #usatravel #christmastown ♬ Main Theme (From Walt Disney's "A Christmas Carol") – Dominik Hauser

Miami’s Polar Express

With 3 U.S. themed trains, are you convinced to watch the Polar Express now?! Be sure you have your golden ticket ready because you won’t want to miss this holiday journey.

For an hour, visitors can enjoy a loop around downtown Miami with Brightline, featuring jovial chefs, hot chocolate, cookies, surprise appearances from movie characters, and even a sleigh bell to take home (will you hear the jingle!?).

@__rubywoo The Polar Express Brightline Train ride Standard Tickets: Adults $65, Kids $60 & Kids under 2 are free Park in the Brightline Garage Price range between $10-$18 I do recommend the Weekdays for less traffic Location Address: 600 NW 1st ave Miami,FL 33136 #thingstodoinmiami #thepolarexpress #christmasinmiami #miamiflorida #christmas2022 #dadecounty #305miami #familytime #miamiactivities #brightlinetrain #funthingstodoinmiami #trainandplaymiami ♬ Christmas, holiday, orchestra track(781498) – Kirill Kharchenko

South Dakota’s Holiday Express

Fancy a ride on a standard-gauge excursion train that’s the longest operating? Well, South Dakota’s Holiday Express 1880 train has you covered this season.

Mix a little festive cheer with history as you cruise through the Black Hills National Forest in style. Passengers of legal drinking age have the option to order a spiked hot chocolate (tis the season), and you may even spot some wildlife out of the window too!

@chattychad Christmas in South Dakota is amazing! Hopefully your Holiday Road is to South Dakota this Christmas Season!! 🎄@South Dakota #blackhills #southdakota #siouxfalls #pierresd #christmas ♬ Holiday Road (2018 Remaster) – Lindsey Buckingham

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