Train enthusiasts can explore the Central Coast in style this winter with a handful of trips organized by the Central Coast Railroad Festival.
Typically held the second Sunday of each month, the festival’s signature Wine Rail Excursions feature scenic train rides aboard Amtrak’s Coast Starlight as well as a light lunch, wine tasting and visits to rail-related wineries.
On Jan. 26, a special Saturday excursion starts at the D’Anbino Vineyards & Cellars tasting room in downtown Paso Robles, located inside the historic train depot, and continues to Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery east of Templeton.
Stops at D’Anbino and Pomar Junction are included in a Feb. 10 wine country trip, while a March 10 excursion will feature visits to Café Roma in San Luis Obispo and D’Anbino.
The festival is also offering a special daylong excursion to Santa Barbara on Feb. 20, which features a round trip on Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner departing from San Luis Obispo. (Riders can also board at Grover Beach and Guadalupe.)
The excursion includes shopping, wine tasting and a private tour of the Reagan Ranch Center, located next to the Santa Barbara Amtrak station. At the center, which is run by the conservative Young America’s Foundation, visitors can learn about former President Ronald Reagan and his ranch.
Tickets for the Wine Rail Excursions are $59 for adults and $39 for children ages 15 and under. Admission for the Santa Barbara trip is $59.
For more information about the Central Coast Railroad Festival and its excursions, call 773-4173 or visit www.ccrrf.com.