All Aboard! The Best Christmas Train Rides in America
Wisconsin Great North Railroad

Christmas City Express (Duluth, Minnesota) from All Aboard! The Best Christmas Train Rides in America Gallery

All Aboard! The Best Christmas Train Rides in America Gallery

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Get into the holiday spirit with a festive ride
All Aboard! The Best Christmas Train Rides in America
Wisconsin Great North Railroad

Christmas City Express (Duluth, Minnesota)

Christmas City Express (Duluth, Minnesota)
North Shore Scenic Railroad

Your journey starts at the Duluth Depot, where you’ll visit the Lake Superior Railroad Museum for a reading of the “Christmas City Express” story as well as a performance by carolers and other holiday activities. From there, you’ll be whisked away to Lake Superior, and during the ride, you’ll have more holiday songs, cookies, and some delicious hot chocolate.

Christmas Special Dinner Train (Chattanooga, Tennessee)

Christmas Special Dinner Train (Chattanooga, Tennessee)
Tennessee Valley Railroad

Travel back in time as you dine on a four-course meal aboard a restored 1924 dining car. Operated by the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, the train departs from Grand Junction Station in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and takes its time moving through parts of urban East Chattanooga before circling back around.

Christmas Train at Verde Canyon Railroad (Clarkdale, Arizona)

Verde Canyon Railroad (Clarkdale, Arizona)

Verde Canyon Railroad/Yelp

The Verde Canyon Railroad has taken its usual four-hour train ride and condensed it to a one-hour excursion for the holidays so that all ages can enjoy it. Before leaving from the festively decorated depot, passengers will tour a miniature village, be provided with delicious snacks, and have the chance to drop off their letters to Santa. Upon arrival at the "North Pole," guests will be able to visit Santa's Workshop, Mrs. Claus' Bakeshop, Elf School, and the Ugly Sweater Factory among other holiday-themed stores and stops. Meet Santa's elves, Mrs. Claus, and St. Nick himself who will board the train for the ride home so that he can interact with passengers and hand out wonderful gifts for them to remember their ride by. 

CTA Holiday Train (Chicago, Illinois)

CTA Holiday Train (Chicago, Illinois)
Xinhua/Sipa USA

The CTA Holiday Train in Chicago has been delighting people in the Windy City for more than 25 years. Decorated inside and out in bright lights, ribbons, tinsel, and more, the train also features an open-air flatcar carrying the transit authority's famous Santa, his sleigh, and all his reindeer.

The Elf Limited (Cass, West Virginia)

The Elf Limited (Cass, West Virginia)
Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad

Every elf comes to The Elf Limited for the chance at snagging a coveted job working in Santa’s workshop at the North Pole, competing against each other through a series of rigorous tests. Join Jinx the Elf on board this fun ride, and watch as the elves work through cheery challenges like packaging, mischief making, and reindeer grooming, then get ready for a special visit from old Saint Nick himself.

Napa Valley Wine Train (Napa, California)

Napa Valley Wine Train (Napa, California)
Napa Valley Wine Train

Holiday elves have been busy transforming the Napa Valley Wine Train into the enchanting Santa Train! Enjoy games, sing-alongs, and a jolly cast of characters, all while sipping hot cocoa and snacking on freshly baked cookies.

The North Pole Express (Parrish, Florida)

The North Pole Express (Parrish, Florida)
Florida Railroad Museum

This holiday train ride is so popular that tickets start to sell out in September! Folks journey to the “North Pole,” where kids of all ages enjoy activities like storytelling, ornament making, and face painting. Plus, there’s plenty of hot chocolate and Christmas cookies for the taking.

North Pole Flyer (Cedar Park, Texas)

North Pole Flyer (Cedar Park, Texas)
Austin Steam Train Association

Running for over 10 years, the North Pole Flyer’s tickets go on sale in February and are almost sold out by November. While on the two-hour excursion, passengers are treated to unlimited hot cocoa and cookies, a live reading of the North Pole Flyer’s very own Christmas story, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Santa Pizza Train (Trego, Wisconsin)

Santa Pizza Train (Trego, Wisconsin)
Wisconsin Greater North Railroad

Everyone knows that Santa loves milk and cookies, but he also appreciates a good slice of pizza. A ticket aboard the Santa Pizza Train includes a two-hour train ride, half a pizza per person, and one soda, as well as a visit with St. Nick himself in his private car on board. For dessert, the return trip features holiday cookies and hot chocolate.

Singalong Christmas Train (Stone Mountain, Georgia)

Singalong Christmas Train (Stone Mountain, Georgia)
Stone Mountain Park

Rockin’ around the mountain is what the holidays are all about in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Riders on the Singalong Christmas Train at Stone Mountain Park spend 40 minutes singing along with all the holiday classics. Sure to get you into the holiday spirit, the train also has evening rides that include a short stop where guests will be treated to a special storytelling before heading back to the train station.

Train of Lights (Niles and Sunol, California)

Train of Lights (Niles and Sunol, California)
Niles Canyon Railway

The Train of Lights is a sight to behold. Antique coaches and open cars feature holiday lights and decorations inside and out. Guests have two departure times to choose from — the first, leaving from Niles at 4:30 p.m., is perfect for those who want to enjoy the gorgeous scenery of Niles Canyon during the day while still having the chance to be wowed by the train’s lights on the trip back. The second departure — leaving after dark at 7:30 p.m. from Sunol — is filled with just as much music, refreshments and holiday cheer, and is probably your best bet if your favorite part of the season is the amazing displays of Christmas lights.

More From The Daily Meal:

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The World’s 50 Best Places for Celebrating Christmas

Traditional Christmas Dinners Around the World 

People You Should Be Buying a Gift for but Aren’t 

12 Tips for Surviving the Holidays on Your Own

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All Aboard! The Best Christmas Train Rides in America