The Essex Steam Train promises beautiful views of local landscapes and landmarks on a journey like none other. Specialized events for adults and children throughout the summer promise something for everyone. Water lovers may combine their travels with a land and sea adventure, so choose accordingly and make this one into the perfect one-tank trip.
Essex Steam Train
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT 06426
Price: $17 per adult/$9 per child two to 11/free for children 2 and younger
The Essex Steam Train is located off of Route 9 north and south in the town of Essex. Travel distance to Essex is roughly 90 minutes from Boston and 2.5-hour drive from New York City. Locals may expect to travel 90 minutes from Greenwich, 60 minutes from Waterbury, 50 minutes from Bridgeport, and 40 minutes from New Haven and Hartford.
Essex Steam Train & Riverboat
Price: $26 per adult/$17 per child ages 2 to 11/free for children 2 and younger
Your journey begins aboard a classic steam train at the 1892 Essex Station. Sit back and relax on a 12-mile ride through the Connecticut River Valley including the towns of Deep River and Chester. Bring binoculars to spot local bird species in their natural environment. Scenic landscapes will include rivers, a waterfall, farms and meadows. Onlookers will get a unique peek at a seldom seen Selden Neck State Park, only viewed from the train. Visitors who choose to combine the train and riverboat will depart the train and board the Becky Thatcher at Deep River Landing. Choose the best view from its indoor or outdoor decks. Get your camera ready for breathtaking views on the Connecticut River including Gillette Castle, Goodspeed Opera House and Connecticut natural beauties. Your 1.5-hour cruise will return to Deep River Landing where you will board the train once again for you return trip to Essex Station.
Essex Clipper Train
Essex Clipper Dinner Train
Price: $75 per person
Romance is in the air on this train ride. During summer weekends until October, plan a date night or anniversary dinner on this adult-exclusive steam train. Relax with a four-course meal as you embark on a 2.5-hour ride through the Connecticut River Valley. A full cash bar is available on scene. Vintage cars are used for the Clipper Dinner Train ride. Add a touch of romance and surprise your loved one with the purchase of a rose, floral arrangement or box of chocolates. Vegetarian dinners are available upon request when you book your reservation.
Murder Mystery Train
Price: $50 per person
The real-life Clue comes to life on the Friday Night Lights Murder Mystery Train. Boarding starts at 7 p.m. at Essex Station. Come early for the best seat and experience. Bushy Dubya Crawford needs your help to solve the crime. Find clues and follow the story line of this Texas rodeo-themed mystery. Characters dressed for the rodeo will try to distract you from finding out the truth. A full cash bar and lite dinner is available.
The Lee Company
55 Bokum Road
Essex, CT 06426
Price: $25 per person
This interactive Circus Train and show is perfect for the kids. Board an authentic circus train from off-site parking at The Lee Company. Imaginations will run wild on the ride to the circus grounds in Essex. Expect clowns and the ringmaster to make a showing on the ride, then see the circus how they do it up under the big top, full of excitement including a puppet show, petting zoo, clowns, a ringmaster and carnival food. At the conclusion of the show, the train will return you to your cars at your starting point.
Kimberly Ord is a freelance writer and lifetime resident of Connecticut. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.