Riding the Smart Train in San Rafael
Looking for something fun to do on the weekend? I wanted to share this fun activity with you guys if you’re ever in the Northern California area, kids or no kids! The new Smart Train that recently opened in San Rafael is a fun day trip regardless of your age…
“Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) is the San Francisco Bay Area’s newest transportation option for travel, offering passenger rail service in Sonoma and Marin counties. SMART’s initial 43 miles of rail corridor includes 10 stations, from the Sonoma County Airport to Downtown San Rafael. Future extensions include: Larkspur, which is scheduled to be completed in 2019; Windsor; Healdsburg; and Cloverdale. The full project will provide 70 miles of passenger rail service, connecting SMART passengers with jobs, education centers, retail hubs and housing along the Sonoma-Marin corridor, and a bicycle-pedestrian pathway.” Sonoma Marin Train
San Rafael is located in the middle of Marin County and is the hub for transportation to our local area.This new smart train provides a way not only for workers to get down from the North, but also day trippers from mid/south to visit us up in North CA. You will even be able take it to Wine Country in the near future which will be amazing for me and my girlfriends! This is the perfect girl’s weekend transportation am I right?!
The San Rafael station is super clean and parking is located under the overpass of 101 and it’s just a 2 block walk over to the station.
Be sure to get there early to get the seats with a table in-between, definitely well worth the wait when you’re travelling with kids! It was really fun collecting our own tickets and Tudor had a blast holding his own ticket to pass to the conductor on his way by us.
The whole ride lasted about 45 minutes each way but the scenery was so beautiful going through all different kinds of farms and countryside, we could’ve easily stayed on longer given the chance!
We got off in downtown Santa Rosa and began exploring the quaint little downtown right off the train. There are a bunch of unique little stores, art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. There’s even a train museum The Railroad Square Historic District which is great fun for the kids!
We strolled the streets and popped in to the coffee store right off the train and then walked, stroller and all, to a restaurant quite a way aways called The Naked Pig. Only around a 15 minute walk and well worth the effort. They had really delicious home cooked food and the homemade bread with jam was a huge hits with the kids, as well as the bacon!
It was kinda fun just being on foot again and reminded me of living in Boston where you get everywhere by foot!
We wandered back toward the train home and on the way back we were met with a huge National Train Group who happens to go all over the country riding by train! It was quite an… experience!
We’re always in our cars in Marin as busy moms, just shuffling our kids from A to B, but it’s so nice to just leave the car in the garage and explore our beautiful county and surrounding nature by other means. Not to mention, public transport is so much better for the environment and it’s enough fun to keep the kids entertained all day without electronics. Next time I might pack a mimosa in a hip flask - haha!
If you have any questions on getting to the train or what to do, please feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below! Happy train riding!