If you are looking for the ultimate vacation for the train enthusiast in your family, look no further. This list is full of vintage railroad cars, a WWII troop kitchen train car and loads of cabooses—all of them decked out for sleeping. All aboard for some major railfan fun!

photo: Kate Loweth

Railroad Park Resort - Dunsmuir, CA

Northern California is home to Railroad Park Resort where you can bed down in vintage railroad cabooses that sleep up to five people. You’ll have a fridge, full bathroom, WiFi and microwave as well as an on-site pool, restaurant (serving breakfast and dinner in a rail car!) and a creek for exploring. The nearby area is full of railroad history, waterfalls, fishing spots and lakes for boating. Read the full scoop here

Onlinerrpark.com

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photo: Izaak Walton Inn

Izaak Walton Inn - Essex, MT

Ride in on Amtrak's Empire Builder and stay in a caboose off the tracks in Glacier National Park. Enjoy modern amenities in surprisingly well-appointed cabooses with decks that overlook the spectacular scenery and the train tracks. Kids will especially love sleeping in beds in the train's cupola with a view of the gorgeous property beyond. Spend the day hiking in the summer and cross country skiing in the winter. 

Online: izaakwaltoninn.com

Platform 1346 - Maryville, TN

Platform 1346 is a WWII troop kitchen train car turned into a luxe overnight Airbnb space at the base of the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. It is beautifully decorated and has free WiFi and streaming TV. This posh destination is only 29 minutes from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and a very short ride to Knoxville's McGhee Tyson Airport. Two beds are perfect for families, and you'll be amazed when you see the train car's gourmet kitchen! 

Online: airbnb.com

photo: Canyon Motel & RV Park

The Canyon Motel - Williams, AZ

The Canyon Motel & RV Park is located on 13 acres in the City of Williams, AZ on the famous Route 66. Surrounded by the mountains of Northern Arizona, the Kaibab National Forest adjoins the property, and Grand Canyon National Park is 52 miles to the north. Choose to sleep in one of the cabooses that accommodate up to six people, or pick a spot in the 1950’s Pullman classic that has three separate railway car suites, fully modernized with all of the conveniences of any motel room.

Online: thecanyonmotel.com

photo: Northern Rail Traincar Inn

Northern Rail Traincar Inn - Two Harbors, MN

Made up of authentic train boxcars renovated into guest accommodations, the Northern Rail Traincar Inn is nestled in the wilderness near Two Harbors, Minnesota. Guests enjoy quick, convenient access to all of the North Shore's amazing activities including the Superior Hiking Trail, Split Rock Lighthouse and much more. Northern Rail features 16 rooms in authentic train boxcars, and each room has its own theme. The depot-style main building serves as the breakfast area as well as a place for guests to play games or sit by the fireplace with a good book.

Online: northernrail.net

photo: Buffalo Creek

Seaboard Coast Line at Buffalo Creek - Clyde, NC

Choose between two fully-renovated cabooses when you come to stay at Buffalo Creek Vacation Rentals in North Carolina's Smoky Mountains. The cabooses each sleep up to five people and have full kitchens, A/C, charcoal grills, decks and, everything you'll need for a railfan vacation. Best of all, lucky guests just might catch a glimpse of bison walking by in the field from the caboose windows! Kids will love the property's playground and model railroad

Online: buffalocreekvacationsnc.com

photo: Twin Mountain KOA Caboose

Twin Mountain KOA Caboose - Twin Mountain, NH

This KOA campground in New Hampshire's scenic White Mountains is the perfect spot for railfans looking to do a little "glamping." The property's caboose can sleep up to six people and includes a charcoal grill and picnic table for outdoor dining. Take advantage of the KOA's many amenities, including a heated swimming pool, game room, store and dog area. Kids will love the activities like mining for gems, riding the barrel train and the brand-new jumping pad in the playground. 

Online: koa.com

photo: Whistle Stop Bed and Breakfast

Whistle Stop Bed & Breakfast - New York Mills, MN

These turn-of-the-century train cars are ready to be your home away from home in Minnesota. Choose from a room in one of the three railway cars or bunk down in the 1893 caboose. All rooms have private baths and a queen bed with rollaway and inflatable mattresses available for kids. Breakfast can be taken in the house or served in your railcar if you wish.

Online: whistlestopbedandbreakfast.com

Aurora Express - Fairbanks, AK

The Aurora Express offers visitors a unique Alaskan bed and breakfast experience. Nestled on 16 acres of towering spruce, you will enjoy panoramic views of the Tanana River, the Alaskan Mountain Range and the city of Fairbanks. Your choice of accommodations includes numerous trains renovated to historical periods. The "Arlene" is a favorite caboose for families. During WWII this car was in service as a hospital car and is now renovated into a private 85-foot car with two bedrooms including a queen-size bed and two twin beds. 

Online: fairbanksalaskabedandbreakfast.com

photo: Red Caboose Motel

Red Caboose Motel - Ronks, PA

Sleep in one of 38 cabooses at this spot that goes all out for train fans. Many of the cabooses have bunk beds for kids, and some have two bedrooms to allow even more privacy. The on-site Casey Jones' Restaurant offers breakfast all day in addition to lunch and dinner with all sorts of train paraphernalia available for purchase in the gift shop. Climb to the top of the 50-foot silo for a spectacular unobstructed view of the surrounding farmland, the Strasburg Rail Road and, of course, the Red Caboose Motel. Kids will also love spending some quarters at the Whistle Stop arcade.

Online: redcaboosemotel.com

photo: Wildlife Prairie Park

Wildlife Prairie Park - Hanna City, IL

Wildlife Prairie Park is the Central Illinois spot where you can spot elk, bison, eagles, otters and more wild animals. You can also spend the night in the park near the elk and bison range. Here the park has a number of vintage cabooses available for guests, each sleeping up to five people. Each unit has a bathroom, microwave, small fridge and A/C to make your stay as comfortable as possible. 

Online: wildlifeprairiepark.org

photo: Mason House Inn

Mason House Inn Caboose - Keosauqua, IA

This unique cottage is in a real railroad caboose and includes a bedroom with a queen-size bed, satellite TV, wireless internet access, a kitchenette, dining area, bathroom with shower, heating and A/C.  For the adventurous types, you may climb up to the cupola to look around at the beautiful scenery, or sit up there and read or play a card game on the little fold-down table. The dining table folds down into a twin-size bed for a child. A full country breakfast is served in the 40-foot dining room when you wake in the morning.

Online: masonhouseinn.com

photo: Old Harbor Inn

Caboose Inn - South Haven, MI

Step back in time with a stay at the historical Caboose Inn, featuring refurbished cabooses from the 1920s and the original Pomeroy Building, located right next to the draw bridge on the Black River. These unique accommodations feature an in-ground heated pool, private parking, decks, covered porches and more. They are located at the original train depot in downtown South Haven, just steps from all the beaches, shopping and dining South Haven has to offer.

Online: oldharborinn.com

The Antlers Inn - Kingsland, TX

The train cars at The Antlers Inn were once actual working railroad cars. Choose from one of three identical cabooses or a wooden rail car. Refurbished within the original framework of the car to provide family fun accommodations, each caboose houses the original cupola with seating, so little ones can oversee the train just like a real conductor. All have climate control, beds, baths, living area with TV, efficiency kitchens and an outdoor gas grill with picnic table.

Online: theantlers.com

The Caboose Motel - Titusville, PA

The Caboose Motel is on the tracks next to the Perry Street Station in Titusville, PA. Each of the 21 caboose cars has its own heat and air conditioning unit, television, telephone and bathroom with shower. Cabooses have one king-size bed with cupola style windows or two full-size beds with bay windows. Deck chairs are provided so you can relax during your evenings in the Oil Region. Located one block from downtown Titusville and five minutes from Drake Well Museum and Park, be sure to enjoy the Historic Titusville Walking Tour while in town.

Online: octrr.org

—Kate Loweth

 

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