Santa Barbara Vino Train

Hey folks! This will be our last Vino Train of 2012. The plan is to run two cars up to Santa Barbara for some fantastic wine tasting on the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail. If you haven't ridden the Vino Train yet then this is your opportunity. If you've ridden with us before then it's time for another trip as there are some new tasting rooms open.

The Santa Barbara Vino Train is not your ordinary wine tasting trip. A journey on the Vino Train is like stepping back in time. Our trips are conducted aboard private vintage railcars that are hooked up to back of an Amtrak Pacific Surfliner that haul us up to the American Riviera, Santa Barbara. A Mimosa is served after you take your seat. We depart Los Angeles Union Station at 7:45 am and breakfast will follow shortly thereafter. You will be waited on by the attentive staff just like during the heydays of railroad travel. Scenic views abound whether it's in the Santa Susana Pass or relaxing sights of the Pacific Ocean north of Oxnard.

You'll arrive at Santa Barbara's historic depot near 10:15am. At this point you can follow the guided tour of the downtown tasting rooms or take off by yourself and make your own tour. Tasting fees usually run $10 which is a bargain compared to some of the other Southern California wine destinations. We can make arrangements for a shuttle to take you up into the Santa Ynez Valley so you can wine taste among the vineyards for an additional fee. Bike rentals are available downtown which is a great way to see the city. You are on your own for lunch but with more fine restaurants than you can shake a stick at you'll be sure to find something that's just right.

At 4:30pm we re-board the train and make our way back to Los Angeles. Dinner and wine is served en route while the sun sets slowly over the Pacific. We arrive back at Union Station to signal the end of our journey.

The first of the two cars scheduled for this trip is the Overland Trail. Built in 1949 for the Southern Pacific Railroad, this lounge/club car has been beautifully restored to it's former glory by our Conductor, Bill Hatrick and his family. The second car for this trip is the former CB&Q dome car, the Silver Splendor. Originally built in 1956 and named the Silver Buckle, she served on the Denver Zephyr train between Chicago and Denver.

The price is $145 round trip including meals and beverages on board. The price does not include tasting fees or lunch. Shuttles and tours other than the guided urban wine trail tour are extra. Seating in the Dome of the Silver Splendor is $175. Call 1-800-KEY-RAIL [masked]) to make your reservations.

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  • Tom

    There are still spots available. The price for the dome is now $160 round trip and includes at least one leg of the trip in the dome.

    November 27, 2012

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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