A fun return to the “wild west” is the best way to describe Tweetsie Railroad. Let me be the first to welcome you to this enchanting experience!
Most of us know the cliche “fun for the entire family”. I am not a fan of this cliche, in fact, I never used it in any of my writings. There is a first time for everything: Tweetsie Railroad is truly fun for the entire family! It is live entertainment,it is taking a ride on the historic 100 year old, single-gauge, coal-fired steam locomotive, it is the old-west style of dress, the amusement park rides, and my absolute favorite….the Wild West comedy show on the train!
Tweetsie is conveniently located in the gorgeous mountains of North Carolina and close to Tennessee, Virginia and South Carolina. My girls were so excited to go, it was my youngest one’s birthday! We all woke up early and headed out from Durham, North Carolina. It was beautiful on this early foggy fall morning.
The landscape teases you with anticipation as you drive closer to Tweetsie. Driving up from the flat land into the rolling foot hills and eventually into the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains….this is where you will find Tweetsie Railroad.
When we arrived, the sign designated the entrance and all you could see was this beautifully restored locomotive slowly chugging above us on the hill.
The whistle was loud, and the steam coming from the locomotive was such a site….what a great feeling, and we were not even out of our car yet!
The entrance of the park is like no other….you know you are in for a great experience. The park attendants were incredibly nice! As a travel writer, I am keenly aware that it is the great people of Tweetsie that make it so memorable.
Right as we entered the park the steam train had just pulled up and passengers were beginning to board.
We wanted to explore the park a bit before taking the train ride. We started by touring the old jail, sitting on the horse statues and even in the carriage.
We spotted the Chairlift and decided to check it out! The chairlift to Miners Mountain was not only fun, but a way to experience the gorgeous scenery and the views of valley on this beautiful sunny day.
We couldn’t wait any longer….it was time for the train ride!
This isn’t just an ordinary train ride (can being on a 100 year old Steam locomotive train ever be ordinary?).
Cowboys jumped onto the train as we left the station. It was great to see them in their old west outfits, twirling their (fake) pistols in their fingers, just like you see on television…but this was right in front of us.
The Wild West Show on the train was an incredible and made the trip just that much more exciting. Each stop the train made you relived a scene from “back then”. The actors had hidden microphones so we could all hear what they were saying. The scenes were actually quite funny and playful.
I spoke with the cowboy on my train and he is a professional actor.
We took the train twice, once in the morning, and once in the afternoon and both shows were different. The girls were fascinated by the actors and of course thought the cowboys were cute! It was fun, the show was funny and appropriate for all ages!
There was also a “child’s” train, called the Mouse Mine Train Station that went around the Miner’s Mountain portion of the park. The great part of this ride was that we went inside the tunnel, the train stopped and there was an florescent “mice village”! What a really cool surprise that no one expected!
We decided after that to go dig gold out of the water, it was interesting to see how tedious and meticulous work it was. Maybe this was the best part of Tweetsie Railroad, the fact that the park was fun but also very educational for the children!
We also loved Deer Park Zoo! There were many kinds of animals and we were able to feed them. Again, something that made this park unique!
It was now time to hit the rides. We went on the ferris wheel, tilt-a-whirl, free fall, round up, tornado and even had fun in the arcade. If my girls were younger, we would have had a great time in the kiddie area as well!
A true gem in our own backyard, to experience as a family. A must do in the spring when they re-open on April 7, 2017 for their sixtieth season!!
You have not experienced the Wild West until you go to Tweetsie Railroad.