Unique Lodging – Stay In a Red Caboose
One of the things we love about traveling with our children is making memories. As we have learned with our soon to be 17-year-old, time is precious. Spending time with family is our main goal. We love to find unique places, different from just the run of the mill vacation to make it that much more memorable. For example, my husband would rather take a gamble on a hole in the wall local restaurant. He always hopes of finding a hidden jewel versus a chain restaurant anytime.
The same is true with travel accommodations. Yes, there are some names in hotels that are synonymous with luxury or a certain expectation of service. Yet at the end of the day, most of the time you are reserving one room in a big building knowing as you walk in you will be getting a room that looks just like every other hotel room you have stayed in. How boring is that?!?
From the moment we read about Red Caboose Motel, we were so excited to get there. I mean, after all, how many people can honestly say they have stayed in a real train caboose?
When my oldest son was around four years old, we began reading The Box Car Children book series. He loved it and I did, too. Every night, we would climb up in his bed and I would read chapter after chapter. He spent a lot of time imagining what it would have been like for the Box Car Children. Exploring their daily routine and all the mysteries they wound up engaging in. My son still has a love for solving mysteries even though the days of reading The Box Car Children are long gone. As soon as we pulled up to the Red Caboose, my son told me that it made him think back to the book series. Memories from when he was a child collided with memories as a now 16-year-old. It made it extra special!
As we arrived on the property we were surrounded by the beautiful rolling fields of Pennsylvania. In the distance, the hills cast a darkened background as the local Amish farmers worked their teams of mules and horses as they prepared their crops in the fields crossed by the Strasburg railroad. It was absolutely beautiful!
We were greeted by very friendly staff and shown how to get to our very own little red caboose! Yes, there are literally 38 cabooses on the property, as well as, a mail car and baggage car! Each one of these cars is decorated and painted a little different in the same colors and schemes of some of America’s most famous railroads!
Inside the Red Caboose
Inside, the accommodations were somewhat rustic but yet quaint and cozy. Our caboose was equipped with a bed for my husband and I in the front of the caboose and then two sets of bunk beds for our kids. Each caboose is equipped a little different, so there is flexibility as far as the number of people that each car can sleep. Regardless of which train car that you choose, they all offer private bathrooms. Each caboose has privacy despite the fact that they are on the same track as other cabooses. The units themselves are not attached.
If staying in a caboose is not your thing, the Shady Rest Hotel (also on the property) offers four rooms of various sizes in more of a bed and breakfast type of set-up (meals not provided). I can assure you, if you are traveling with kids, especially any little Thomas fans they will love the cabooses!
Also on the Property
There were other amenities on the property, as well. The Casey Jones Restaurant was delicious! The lobby and gift shop were fun to take a browse through. From toy trains to “mandels” (man-scented candles which were one of my boys’ favorites), there were many unique items to browse and purchase.
Outside, there was a petting zoo with a potbelly pig, goats, and miniature ponies! Our little girl loved it! Behind it was a nice playground and my boys favorite, the viewing tower! This tower is a 50-foot silo that allows visitors to climb to the top using the spiral staircase inside the silo to take in a panoramic view of the area! It was a beautiful sight and we could literally see for miles!
Also on the property is the barn! This historic barn is currently under renovation due to storm damage but once operational will, once again, be the home of movies, shows and more!
Additional Fun Things to Do
For those looking for other things to do, located next door is the National Toy Train Museum. Also on the property, you can take one of several buggy rides through Amish Country with A is for Amish Buggy Rides (not included with lodging).
Any time you can get away with family it is a great thing, but to add such a unique experience as Red Caboose, makes it unforgettable! This is one train you don’t want to miss!