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Tweetsie Railroad

Tweetsie Railroad | Blowing Rock, NC

Blowing Rock - Tweetsie Railroad

Photo credit: Tweetsie Railroad

If you’re old enough to remember Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and even The Lone Ranger (my personal childhood hero), you’ve probably got grandchildren or other little ones in your life who’d be thrilled to experience the wild West from a vintage train. For you, it’ll be a step back in time, when the good guys saved the day; for little ones, the action will be real and the fun, contagious.

Tweetsie Railroad has been entertaining families with young children since 1957. The three-mile ride aboard an authentic steam locomotive is the star, but there are amusement rides, a park and gift shop, plus other ways to have fun.

It’s one of the nation’s first theme parks, and the little locomotive that got things started was originally optioned by Gene Autry to travel to California for a movie career. Blowing Rock entrepreneur, Grover Robbins, purchased the train and brought it to Blowing Rock. The track was built, and the adventure began, enhanced by a wild West town.

Today, there are three trains and multiple special events, including very popular Ghost Train excursions in the fall. Open from spring to fall, each season offers special events which may include a ride on a full-sized Thomas the Tank engine, or a chance to see the K-9s in Flight Frisbee Dogs in action during a ten-day appearance in July.

WOW Factor: The setting is drop-dead gorgeous, and while the little ones are mesmerized by the action, older folks will take a trip down memory lane with the soothing clickity-clack of the wheels. In short, there’s something for everyone – except, perhaps, very bored older teens, who may prefer their smart phones.

Hint: Check the website for special events. Prepare to spend $130+ for a family of four (children under two admitted free). The gift shop has affordable mementos and it’s a very pleasurable way to spend a day in the mountains.

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