10 Train Car Stays You Can Actually Rent
Be entranced by the romance of the rails without chugging along the tracks thanks to these incredible train car and caboose motels and vacation rentals.
Photo By: HomeAway
Photo By: Izaak Walton Inn
Photo By: DiscoverLancaster.com
Photo By: Kampgrounds of America, Inc.
Photo By: HomeAway
Photo By: Damon Henke / Ozark Mountain Vacation Rentals
Photo By: Airbnb
Photo By: JK Real Estate Photography
Photo By: Featherbed Railroad Bed & Breakfast Resort
Photo By: Airbnb
This fully-restored 1929 caboose from HomeAway is just one mile from Lake Burton in the North Georgia Mountains. It’s also just steps from a waterfall and mountain spring, allowing guests to relax in nature from the get-go. The rail car’s interior recently underwent a restoration to incorporate vintage furnishings and decor to give the caboose a more historic feel. Relaxing Adirondack chairs and a fire pit are just outside the train car, providing the perfect end to a day spent in the mountains.
Book a stay in an authentic train car that once traveled the Great Northern Railway at the Izaak Walton Inn just outside Glacier National Park in Montana. Choose from one of five colorful classic cabooses, each with a microwave, coffee maker and wooden deck offering scenic views. The inn also has three luxury rail cars, including a restored locomotive with a stone fireplace, leather sleeper sofa and skylights. Prepare your own meals or order favorites off the menu like the bison burger and huckleberry-apple cobbler at the on-site Dining Car restaurant.
In Lancaster County’s Pennsylvania Dutch Country, the Red Caboose Motel wows thanks to 40 brightly-colored train cars, including a mail car and a baggage car, that are available for overnight stays. Located alongside the Strasburg Rail Road, the rail cars are set up adjacent to each other as if connected on a train track. Rail enthusiasts will love that the Red Caboose Motel is a short drive from the National Toy Train Museum and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.
KOA campgrounds are known for tent and RV sites, but many also have deluxe cabins and unique accommodations, like teepees, yurts and, yes, fully-restored historic cabooses. At the St. Louis West / Historic Route 66 KOA, book a stay in a little red Kozy Kaboose that sleeps a family of four in a full bed and a bunk bed set. Four other KOAs also offer caboose stays, including the Oregon Dunes KOA in Oregon and the Point South / Yemassee KOA in South Carolina.
HomeAway offers a number of interesting vacation rental options, including this one-bedroom caboose cabin just south of Bloomington, Indiana. This 1968 caboose set in the forest includes a kitchen, television, and half bath inside the caboose, as well as an original desk and cushioned railroad chairs. Look for framed prints inside the train car celebrating the romance of the golden age of railways. An adjacent depot features a full bath with a shower and a washer/dryer.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
In Northwest Arkansas, Ozark Mountain Vacation Rentals offers three distinctly decorated historic cabooses, each reflecting a different time in the history of the railroad, at Livingston Junction. Travelers can also rent out Junction Depot, which was built to replicate a real-life railroad depot. Nestled into the Ozark Mountains and just a stone’s throw from the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway, Livingston Junction offers nature views from an outdoor deck and romantic sounds of steam trains as they chug along the tracks.
This historic train car dates back to World War II and once carried troops. It’s since been converted and thoughtfully decorated as a weekend rental available on Airbnb. Tucked into the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, this rental is a short drive from Knoxville, as well as Pigeon Forge, the gateway to our most-visited national park. The country chic space boasts a delightful kitchen, including a high-end mixer and coffee maker. Outside, a relaxing deck and sun umbrella allow guests to wind down the day.
Enjoy a relaxing stay in a wooded area just minutes from Branson, Missouri at Table Rock Lake in one of six colorful cabooses just right for families at Caboose Junction Resort. All six train cars must be rented out at once, making the nine-acre lakefront property ideal for family reunions. Kids will love splashing around in the lake, paddling in kayaks and canoes, relaxing in hammocks and making s’mores on the fire pits.
Upper Lake, California
The Featherbed Railroad Bed & Breakfast Resort in Northern California is a fun option for those eager to stay someplace unique while exploring wine country by day. In the evening, snuggle up in a goose down featherbed inside one of nine vintage railroad cabooses set on the shores of Clear Lake in Lake County. Each caboose has a separate theme, like Orient Express and Wild Wild West. Train enthusiasts may also want to take a ride on the nearby Skunk Train or explore the California State Railroad Museum.
Clyde, North Carolina
Set on a 65-acre bison ranch in North Carolina, this delightfully renovated 1960s train caboose on Airbnb is a fun stay for families. It’s large too, sleeping up to five people, and boasting not only a full kitchen but two flat-screen televisions (as in, no fighting over what to watch on one TV). While Asheville is just a short drive away, there is a ton to do on-property too, like feeding goats at the barn and hiking to the Buffalo Creek Corral.