Minnesota Zephyr Limited
601 N Main St, Stillwater, MN, USA
Minnesota Zephyr Limited Stillwater Reviews
slow moving train ride with a delicious dinner Jun 18, 2008
The Minnesota Zephyr has been riding for over 23 years and is a favorite of visitors, anniversaries, birthdays and holidays. The word zypher derives as the Greek and Roman god of the west wind, considered the most pleasant of the winds because it is a gentle breeze.
Each of the cars have a different theme and are restored from older train cars. The car I was in, the Grand Dome car, was originally on the route of the Pennsylvania Railroad to Baltimore, MD. The Grand Dome car was originally a sleeper car and they turned it into the dining car we got to enjoy. The Grand Dome car is all encompassed in a glass ceiling and the seats you sit in are a very nice booth type of seat... the tables were a little too far away from me though (I didn't like that too much). The seats in the other cars were straight back victorian chairs.
My waitress, Kathy, was fabulous. She was quirky, friendly and helpful. I think she might have started to get annoyed with me. I am very inquisitive and like knowledge... so I did my usual and started to ask questions... she even got the conductor, Paul, to come over to my table to answer the questions... which is how I know about the history of the Grand Dome car.
The dinner entails a 5 course meal... starting with a shrimp and roll appetizer, then some wild rice soup (which has been served by using the same recipe for the past 20 years). Then came the dinner salad and then the main course where you can have you choice of whole-roasted tenderloin of beef, Prime Rib, Grilled North Atlantic Salmon, or moist Rock Game Hen. I had the beef tenderloin and my mom had the salmon... both were delicous and were very filling... the last is the dessert where we had raspberry cheese cake.
Just to let you know that since it is a large meal you can take some home as they have take home containers.
The ride on the zephyr was different than I thought it would be. the review said we would ride along the St. Croix river valley and see some really nice scenes and take a ride back in time...so I figured you'd ride along the river. The train went about 15 miles round trip (it took 3 1/2 hours for the whole event) and it was mostly trees and there were some houses of all different styles... some ranch houses, some larger houses and there was one that was painted like a Mondrian Painting where it had a grid of vertical and horizontal black lines and the use of the three primary colors... but the house did have too much Blue on it (my high school art teacher would have failed the artist); I wanted to get a photo but missed it on the way out and on the way back it was too dark. The one house that I thought fit the bill was the Country Cove Bed & Breakfast. It was a cute little cottage that put you in the time period of the mid 1900's... I think that the train should have a building code for the buildings that are built on the route.
All in all it was a good time... definitely something the whole family can enjoy... my mom loved it.
Part of the My Snow Globe I used to call Home... Minnesota travel blog
Part of the list Tourist Traps
Part of the list things to do in Minnesota
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!