by Thomas Hecker | Photo © Mike Criss
Alaska isn’t exactly the first place you’d think of when planning a fall getaway, but the Alaska Railroad has made the state an accessible destination for travelers year-round. The railroad offers various specialty train rides that keep autumn exciting as Alaskans shift to winter mode.
The Blues Train
To officially close out the summer season, the Alaska Railroad offers a Blues Train in late September. This ride includes round-trip service from Anchorage to Seward, traveling by Turnagain Arm and through the Chugach National Forest and Resurrection Bay. This is an experience not to be missed by blues fans 21 and older.
Upon arrival in Seward, passengers attend a barbeque cookout complete with chicken, baked beans, potato salad and much more. Each passenger receives drink tickets for the no host bar, and, at 9:00 p.m., the live music begins. The party goes until midnight when complimentary shuttles take passengers back to participating hotels for the night.
On the Great Alaska Beer Train, riders enjoy a scenic round-trip service between Anchorage and Portage over craft brews paired with a seasonal gourmet meal provided by Glacier Brewhouse. Each passenger receives 6 complimentary half-pints of Glacier Brewhouse beer, making this an exclusively 21 and older route. Additional beers are available for purchase.
Similarly, the Alaska Railroad also offers the HooDoo Choo Choo in celebration of Oktoberfest. On this beer train, patrons receive 6 half-pints of HooDoo Brewing beer and a light meal on a round-trip route between Fairbanks and Nenana.
At the end of October each year, the Alaska Railroad gets spooky as the ghosts, ghouls, and goblins roam the night. Passengers get dressed up in their best Halloween attire for a ride from Anchorage to Girdwood. The package includes dinner and an overnight stay at the Hotel Alyeska (alyeskaresort.com), and a live concert at the Alyeska Daylodge. The excursion concludes the next day with a return trip to Anchorage.
Like the Halloween Train, the Alaska Railroad offers a Christmas Train for those looking to celebrate with Santa Claus, and an Easter Train for a springtime getaway. Contrary to the adults-only Halloween Train, these rides are open to the whole family.
Other specialty trains include the Ski Train, the Fair Train and a girls’-night-out train called Who Let the Girls Out. For more information on the Alaska Railroad, visit alaskarailroad.com. Go to travelalaska.com for more information on planning your trip to Alaska.