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Best Place for Fans of Outmoded Transportation to One-Up San Francisco 

Ardenwood Historic Farm

Okay, so the trains at Ardenwood Farm don't deliver the near-vertical plunges or white-knuckle brake lurches of San Francisco's cable cars, and you're not going to be able to fantasize about starring in a Rice-A-Roni commercial when you get home, but if you like a little 19th-century charm in your train trip, check out the trains at Ardenwood. The open-air wooden cars are replicas of what used to be a branch of the South Pacific Coast Railroad. They're powered by a pre-steam-engine, pre-cable-car technology: a big, strong horse. The ten-minute trip through the vegetable gardens, toward the granary and the working blacksmith's shop, is not really faster than walking, but you get to pet the horse and you get a firsthand view into the 1870s, when rural branch lines without the funds for a steam engine were pulled by horse. (So were some of San Francisco's cars!) This railway does have an engine, and the horse doesn't work every day, so call in advance for the schedule.

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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