Dressed to the nines in a train car that’s equally well-appointed, sipping champagne and dining with fine silverware over a three course meal as vineyards roll by — it’s the stuff of nostalgic romance. Riding the rails in the Napa Valley Wine Train’s historic Pullman cars, with their walnut, mahogany and red stained-glass interior dating from the turn of the century, it’s not hard to imagine what it was like to take a train journey during glamorous 1920s and ’30s — as Agatha Christie immortalized in Murder on the Orient Express.
Whether you’re into the 1974 film adaptation or the Kenneth Branaugh remake, now you can pretend you’re on that famous train on the Napa Wine Train’s Murder Mystery Tour. Run in conjunction with The Murder Mystery Company, this real life reenactment of a classic whodunit offers three different opportunities to play detective: Both the Death of a Gangster and Crime and Punishment experiences bring guests back to the golden era of rail travel in the roaring 1920s, while the Wizards and Witches journey brings a supernatural, Halloween twist to train riders during October.
Spooky experiences aside, the Napa Valley Wine train offers one of the most enjoyable ways to tour Wine Country. The gourmet three-course meals onboard, with enticing dishes like honey-chipotle salmon and roasted tenderloin of beef, can be paired with a selection of local wines. As the train pulls out of the station and the buildings outside give way to vineyards and wineries, you might just end up realizing that the true luxury onboard really comes down to the opportunity to just let the world just roll by in peace.
For more on Better:
- Santa Barbara’s Unexpected Hospitality History — Plus, Where to Stay on America’s Riviera
- Napa and Sonoma Are Open Again: The Top New Destinations for Tastings, Dining and Wellness
- Chilling Out on The Central Coast: Resorts Offering a Much Needed Reset
Jessica Gliddon is the Senior Content Manager & Digital Editor for Marin Magazine and Make It Better Media Group. An international writer and editor, she has worked on publications in the UK, Dubai and Cape Town, but now calls San Francisco home.