Best Kid-Friendly Summer Train Trips Near Atlanta
Get out of town for the day or plan an overnight trip with these train experiences in Atlanta and beyond. Reservations are required, so make your plans now.
Bryson City, N.C.
Over 50 miles of track through tunnels and bridges, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad takes you on a journey through scenic areas of North Carolina. Several themed trips available. Trips range from a few hours to a full day of adventure.
Freedom Train: A barbecue picnic dinner, a slice of apple pie, sunset views on the Fontana Trestle, and a visit from Uncle Sam. July 4.
Ride the Missionary Ridge Local, which travels through the Civil War era Missionary Ridge Tunnel. Discover railroad artifacts in an authentic setting to learn about the role of railroads in local history. Several other themed trips available.
Blue Ridge, Ga.
Located in the Chattahoochee National Forest, you will be sure to get some great views. Start by entering the historic depot built in 1905 to board your train, the train tours go around the Toccoa River and to the towns of McCaysville, Ga. and Copperhill, Tenn.
Firecracker Special: Depart the station and see the Copper Basin Fireworks display just after dark. Bring your lawn chair and sit outside the train to view the fireworks. June 29.
Travel to Jimmy Carter’s childhood home by train, explore the museum and sample peanut butter treats. Even explore the Georgia Rural Telephone Museum. The variety of trips include stops in towns such as Americus, Leslie, Plains and Archery depending on schedule and time of the year.
Plains, Trains and Fireworks: Travel to President Jimmy Carter’s hometown of Plains for an evening of entertainment, food, games, children’s activities and fireworks. June 30.
BBQ & Fireworks Train Ride: Enjoy a barbecue dinner, a train ride through the Sumter County countryside and fireworks show at Georgia Veterans State Park. July 4.
Blowing Rock, N.C.
Head to this amusement park with rides of all kinds, live entertainment and a petting zoo. Several themed trips available.
Day Out with Thomas: Spend the day with Thomas and Friends, play in Imagination Station, enjoy storytelling and more. June 8-17.
Fireworks Extravaganza: The park will remain open until 9 p.m. and fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. July 4.
Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star: Meet-and-greets with these famous characters throughout the day. July 13-15.
Close to Home:
Climb aboard the full-size locomotive from the 1940s with open-air cars that will take you on a five-mile excursion around the mountain. Marvel at beautiful views of Stone Mountain and the surrounding landscape. Included with daily Adventure Pass.
Walk around and explore the 90 pieces of historic steam and diesel locomotives. Kids can pretend to be a engineer for the day while they explore train cabooses, see giant wheels and more. Don’t miss the Second Thursday preschool program every month.
Experience the history of railroads in the South through models and hands-on activities. Kids can head to the telegraph stations to send messages via Morse Code or drive a replica train on their own. The Mommy & Me Preschool Program includes different themes each month.