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This Murder Mystery Train Ride Takes You Back to the 1920s

Murder Mystery Train Rides through Napa Valley

Library of Congress (via Wikimedia Commons)

Do you re-read “Murder on the Orient Express” every year? Are you always the winner when your friends and family play Clue? Do you like wine? Do you like to drink wine while playing Clue and pretending to be in an Agatha Christie novel? If the answer to any of these questions (especially that last one) is yes, you’ve got to learn more about the murder mystery train in Napa Valley.

You’ve heard all about wine trails and great wineries before, but nothing like this murder mystery special events on a vintage train that travels through California wine country. It’s a three-hour train ride, paired with a gourmet meal and “whodunnit” themed murder mystery show on the Napa Valley Wine Train, and it looks like so much fun.

Murder Mystery Dinner Train Ride in Napa Valley

Here’s the description from The Murder Mystery Company, who organizes these special train rides:

Mystery. Mayhem. Murder. With jealous, jilted lovers, deadly secrets, and plenty of intrigue, our vintage train sets the stage for a devious game of cat and mouse as you search for a killer—or hide your insidious identity from your fellow dinner guests. Of course, you’ll still enjoy three gourmet courses of fine California cuisine on your journey. You’ll just solve a murder on the side. We hear it pairs nicely with a smooth pinot noir.”

There are three themes the company hosts shows as, dependent on the show you book: “Crime and Punishment” and “Death of a Gangster” ask that guests dress in 1920s attire, while “Wizarding World” encourages witch hats and wizard robes!

The train is made of Pullman railcars built in 1915, which were used as first-class coaches for the Northern Pacific Railway’s premier trains. The dining cars are opulent and beautiful, and when you add in the costumes, you’ll feel like you’re in a cool speakeasy.

If you’re not familiar with murder mystery theater, it’s where the guests are part of the action. The interactive show happens all around you, with the crew members and actors playing suspects appearing like any other guest. You could be enjoying a multi-course dinner, sharing appetizers and entrees with the murderer and not know it! Your goal as “super sleuth” is to solve the mystery before the end of dinner.

The murder mystery train ride begins at the McKinstry Street Station in downtown Napa, about 50 miles northeast of San Francisco, and takes a 36-mile round trip journey with St. Helena as the turn around point. If you’re not up for the murder mystery tour, they have regular lunch and dinner tours, a special Thanksgiving tour, and even a beer train if you prefer hops to Pinot.

Tickets for the murder mystery train in Napa are $250 and reservations are being accepted for 2021. Check winetrain.com for upcoming dates and FAQs about this fun Saturday evening getaway!

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