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Old May 15, 12, 1:11 pm   #1
 
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Stroll-friendly stop on the San Joaquin?

I want to take my nephew on his first train ride and am I'm looking for a station < 2 hrs from Hanford that has a safe, easily walkable area we can hang out while waiting for our return trip.

Thoughts on Madera, Merced or Wasco?
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Old May 15, 12, 3:25 pm   #2
 
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Hopefully the brain trust here can provide you with a better answer than I was able to.
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Old May 15, 12, 3:56 pm   #3
 
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Sacramento?

Oh wait you said < 2 hours.

I agree with a short round-trip plan. One of my son's favorite "field trips" one rainy day when we JUST HAD TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE was riding from Davis to Berkeley, getting off the train & having an ice cream, then turning around and coming home. We got a "booth" with the table and when he wasn't looking out the windows he had plenty of room to color.
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Old May 15, 12, 4:05 pm   #4
 
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Hopefully the brain trust here can provide you with a better answer than I was able to.
Frankly, I'm still shocked you didn't have the answer.

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Originally Posted by ElPresidente View Post
Sacramento?

Oh wait you said < 2 hours.

I agree with a short round-trip plan. One of my son's favorite "field trips" one rainy day when we JUST HAD TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE was riding from Davis to Berkeley, getting off the train & having an ice cream, then turning around and coming home. We got a "booth" with the table and when he wasn't looking out the windows he had plenty of room to color.
Yep, that is exactly what I have in mind for us while my brother and sister-in-law attend a wedding. We'll arrive into Hanford by 2pm, with the wedding at 4pm, I imagine my nephew and I should be back around dusk.

IIRC, we would have a 2-3 hour layover on a Saturday.
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Old May 15, 12, 7:36 pm   #5
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Someone said Sacramento... if you can somehow stretch it to four hours each way you can get to Sacramento at around 12:30pm and leave around 5:00pm. Perfect for a visit to Old Town and the California State Railroad Museum, these are both connected to the Amtrak station via a special walkway at the West end of the platform. If you go on the weekend there are also open museum trains that run down the riverbank and back... if you are going to do that get your tickets as soon as you get in to town in case they sell out later.
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Old May 15, 12, 11:21 pm   #6
 
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Someone said Sacramento... if you can somehow stretch it to four hours each way you can get to Sacramento at around 12:30pm and leave around 5:00pm. Perfect for a visit to Old Town and the California State Railroad Museum, these are both connected to the Amtrak station via a special walkway at the West end of the platform. If you go on the weekend there are also open museum trains that run down the riverbank and back... if you are going to do that get your tickets as soon as you get in to town in case they sell out later.
My nephew is a swimmer, so he'll want to use the motel pool at some point. Realistically, we have a 4-5 hr window so won't have enough time to go further than a couple hours distance one-way. Besides that, he's been to Old Sac a few times. Thanks anyway.
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Old May 15, 12, 11:34 pm   #7
 
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Cool

The station in Merced is 3-4 blocks from Bear Creek and Applegate Park in one direction, and from downtown in the other. Not terribly exciting, but there would be a few things to do around there. I haven't dropped by the station, but one of the offices I do consulting in is near there, and I have driven through the area often.

Looks like there is a Zoo at Applegate Park, too, so that might be fun depending on your nephew's age.
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Old May 16, 12, 1:23 am   #8
 
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It occurred to me to Google Street View the stations and neighborhoods. Doesn't look too promising. Madera is definitely out. Wasco has a prison. Merced or Fresno look like our best bets.
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Old May 16, 12, 11:36 am   #9
 
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Would you consider Bakersfield? Station is fairly nice and close to downtown. Plus it would minimize your layover as your train will do a turnaround there.

There is a water park just up the tracks and to your left.

http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=60...=h&mra=ls&z=17
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Old May 16, 12, 12:16 pm   #10
 
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Would you consider Bakersfield?
Yes, I would! I don't know why I glossed over it completely. Thanks, I think this will suit us well.
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Old May 16, 12, 6:41 pm   #11
 
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Cool

The Fresno Station is walking distance to Chukchansi Park, you might check and see if there is a Fresno Grizzlies game that day....
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Old May 18, 12, 3:08 pm   #12
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The Lodi station is an easy walk to Downtown Lodi which is actually quite pleasant. I bet he'd love a milkshake at Moo Moo's Burger Barn.
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