Even folks from San Francisco drive north to spend a half-day at this sweet, woodsy play area founded in 1968. The main attraction is a quarter-scale steam train ($6.75 per person), which meanders around 4 miles of track, stopping so you can pet and feed goats (bring quarters for the food dispenser!). There are also six small (and mostly unintimidating) amusement park rides ($2.75 per ride per person, 6-ride coupons $15) and a defunct steam train that’s free to all. Every time I come, I feel refreshed by the sheer simple joy this place brings, plus the notion that the family behind the park hasn’t sold out or gone glitzy like most of the area. Founder Stanley L. Frank, an Oakland printing magnate and model train enthusiast, continues to meet his original goal to make TrainTown “a 10-acre elaborate tabletop railroad, which is outdoors and rideable; where sense of direction is lost, and best appreciated by the under sophisticated and over sophisticated.
Sonoma Valley› Attraction
20264 Sonoma Ave., Sonoma
Our Rating Neighborhood Sonoma Hours Summer daily 10am–5pm; fall–spring Fri–Sun 10am–5pm. Closed when raining and Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Phone 707/938-3812 Web site TrainTown
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.