Train buffs, you’ll love these unique, train-themed lodging options scattered across the Lone Star State.
1894 Private Pullman Palace Car, Fredericksburg
Binge your favorite train flicks (e.g. “Murder on the Orient Express,” “Strangers on a Train,” “Back to the Future Part III”) and live it up in this 1 bedroom, 2 bathroom train car walking distance from Main street in Fredericksburg.
Back in its days as an active train car, distinguished passengers of this 1895 Pullman palace car included President Theodore Roosevelt and Comanche leader Quanah Parker. Expect to spot some Teddy Roosevelt-inspired decor.
909 East Main Street, Fredericksburg, (888) 991-6749, fredericksburg-lodging.com; rates from $250.
The Antlers Inn, Kingsland
Step back in time with a stay at The Antlers Inn, a historic hotel nestled up against the Colorado River in the quiet town of Kingsland. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a Texas Historic Landmark, the hotel opened in 1901, originally servicing tourists and railroad passengers traveling through the area. Choose from an assortment of lodging options: Board in the the two-story Victorian-style hotel, restored in the mid-1990s, the two-bedroom “Depot Cabin,” an 1890s San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad Depot, one of three converted vintage cabooses, the McKinley Coach, an antique 1880′s wooden rail car or an array of other cottages and cabins on the premises.
Cinnephiles, thrill seekers, breakfast food aficionados and, well honestly, anyone who’s worked up an appetite will appreciate the offerings and ambiance at the eatery on site -- Grand Central Café and Club Car Bar, aka the “Texas Chainsaw House,” the setting for the 1974 horror classic “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”
1001 King, Kingsland, 800-383-0007, theantlers.com; rates from $90.
The Santa Fe Railroad Car, Glen Rose
One of many boarding options at the Country Woods Inn in Glen Rose, the Santa Fe Rail Car is a converted rail car decked out in train memorabilia. It sleeps four and offers a full kitchen, a sitting area, and an old-fashioned bathroom with claw-foot tub. Want to stretch your legs and expand your horizons beyond the cozy quarters of your converted box car? Take a hike. Literally. Country Woods Inn is nestled on 40 wooded acres along the banks of the Paluxy River and it’s all ripe for exploration.
420 Grand Avenue, Glen Rose, (325) 998-8632, (817) 279-3002, countrywoodsinn.com; rates from $200.
Slaton Harvey House, Slaton
Are you a train buff yearning for a small town Texas getaway? Experience life as it was in the 1920′s with a stay at the Slaton Harvey House, a bed a breakfast and a Texas Historic Landmark. Opened in 1912, the Slaton Harvey House originally served as a restaurant catering to rail passengers traveling to and fro on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Later, the building was converted into a passenger and freight depot. Slaton Harvey underwent extensive renovations and now operates as a hotel and event center. Many of the locals about town still refer to the building simply as “the depot”. In your well-appointed room, listen to the trains rumble by while you enjoy a view of the rail yard nearby. For added fun, take an up-close look at the recently restored caboose on site.
400 Railroad Ave, Slaton, (806) 828-5900, slatonharveyhouse.com; rates from $125.
1890s Missouri-Pacific Train Depot & Cabooses, New Braunfels
Planning a weekend getaway in New Braunfels? Why stay in a run-of-the-mill hotel when you can bunk in a train caboose turned Airbnb? Planning a large family gathering? Skip the caboose and opt to rent an1890s Missouri-Pacific train depot converted into a three-bedroom Airbnb instead. Whether you’re a train buff or a unique Airbnb aficionado, you’ll love the unusual lodgings, three cabooses and a train depot, available on a wooded, 18-acre property in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. The train depot and cabooses all rent separately. Bonus: There’s a pool, deck and a couple of grills on site for added fun.
New Braunfels, airbnb.com, rates from $99.
Don’t get caught off guard. Before setting off, familiarize yourself with adjusted hours and follow guidelines around social distancing and other COVID-19 safety measures required by the destinations you visit.