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Roaring Camp Railroad: The Best Day at the Town of Roaring

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A Roaring Camp Railroad day trip your family will always remember

The trip to Roaring Camp Railroad was the true reason for our trip. No joke! Noah and Olivia love trains, and we felt that there was no better way to end summer than with a trip to the Redwoods. We had so much fun at Roaring Camp Railroad and hope you and your family consider it as well. So let’s get you ready!


Town of Roaring Camp

There are quite a few things you can do when visiting Roaring Camp! As soon as you start making your way through the parking lot, you’ll be greeted by the Covered Bridge—the “portal” to Roaring and a great place to take your family pictures.

But it doesn’t stop there. As soon as you cross the bridge, you are taken back in time–1800s type of time.

The attention to detail to every building is fantastic and the clothes that the employees are wearing matches the era you have been transported to. So you can say it’s a little magical. And just perfect for your little train lovers.

Things to see

Roaring Camp will keep you busy during your visit:

General Store: A one-stop gift shop where you can find various items from toys to souvenirs.

Museum: Read and watch about how it all began. They even have a silent film!

Train Depot: You can purchase tickets, check out departure times, and sit and watch trains go by

Gold Panning: A fun activity where kids and adults alike try their hand at panning for gold! (We were able to find some gold eventually!)

Candle Making: During certain times of the day, you can watch how candles are made and even make your own.

Blacksmith: You can watch this art in action and how it was used during that time.

What to eat

Depending on how your family approaches outings, Roaring Camp has you covered. If you and your family are all for bringing your own food, there are plenty of picnic tables for you to sit at.

If you are more for grabbing something quick, you can place your food order from Georgie’s Cookhouse.

Are you visiting on the weekend in the summertime? Enjoy some delicious American BBQ from Chuckwagon BBQ, with a touch of live music to top it off.

Well, what about the train?

Chances are this is the reason why you’re visiting, so here it is! There are two types of rides you can choose from:

Redwood Forest Steam Train: This is a 75-minute ride that goes through Redwood Forest. The conductor is very informative and will tell you about the forest and its history. There’s a 15 minute rest period at the top of Bear Summit, where you can take pictures and enjoy the scenery before making your way back down.

This is such a fantastic experience, and just seeing the Redwood Forest is just more than what you can ask for.

Pricing: Adults (13 and Up) $33 | Children (2-12) $24

Santa Cruz Beach Train: A 3-hour train ride that takes you from Roaring Camp to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. We have yet to do this train but what information I do know is from the website–start at Roaring Camp, travel through the Redwood State Park, down the scenic San Loreon river gorge, across the 1909 steel truss bridge, and through an 1875 tunnel before reaching the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

It sounds amazing, and we look forward to enjoying this train ride in the future!

Pricing: Adults (13 and Up) $35 | Children (2-12) $27

Things to know before you go

  1. Plan ahead – Buy tickets online or at the ticket window to avoid waiting inline
  2. Make sure you check for closures – Make your visit more enjoyable by checking out their website before heading out.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes – There is a lot of walking to do and depending on the weather you may want something more comfortable. They also have a few hiking trails for those who want to take a walk.
  4. Bring your camera – This is not only for picture purposes but also because they have many areas where you can stop and take pictures without having to worry about missing your train ride back.
  5. Dogs are allowed – This is a place where you and your pup can enjoy. They only ask that they be on a leash at all times, so no worries there!
  6. Be prepared for weather changes – Roaring Camp is open year-round, so make sure to come ready for anything.
  7. Plan to stay for a few hours – You can take your time and walk around, check out other trains going by, shop in their gift shop, or grab a drink from Georgie’s Cookhouse. Whatever you choose, it will be worth your while!

We had a wonderful time at Roaring Camp Railroad and look forward to going back! I hope that we have inspired you to take a trip to Santa Cruz and enjoy the beauty of Roaring Camp Railroad’s scenic Redwood Forest.

Have you visited Roaring Camp before? Do you plan on visiting soon? Let us know in the comments below!


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