Getting the flavor of...The Rockies by scenic rail

The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad takes passengers to a meadow high up in the south-central Colorado Rockies for a meal and a performance of bluegrass music.

The Rockies by scenic rail

Hold on to your hat if you ever venture to La Veta Pass, said Jay Jones in the Los Angeles Times. The wind seems to always be blowing in south-central Colorado’s Rockies, and it absconds with many a baseball cap every time the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad pulls to a stop high up on the pass in Fir. The passengers never seem to mind the wind: They’re there for a meal and live country or bluegrass music, and are typically delighted to learn that the concerts are staged in a “wildflower-strewn meadow with the towering peaks of the Sangre de Cristo as a backdrop.” Every summer, the tourist train ( pairs such concerts with its scenic runs from Alamosa or La Veta. The views on the way up are reward enough. If you buy a first-class ticket, you ride in luxury, fielding offers of free drinks, decks of playing cards, and even rolls of coins for “penny a point” poker.

Little Rhody’s long coastline

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The 400-mile shoreline in Rhode Island is what makes the tiny state so enchanting, said Dominique Browning in Travel + Leisure. The coast here is at times “forbidding, with towering red granite cliffs tumbling wildly” into the Atlantic. But within its sheltered inlets, it’s “placid and lulling.” The jumble of “elegant and kitschy attractions” you encounter while driving into Little Compton feels like a throwback to the 1930s. At this unpretentious town near the Massachusetts border, you can visit a “quiet sliver of beach,” eat a great meal at the Stone House restaurant, and “even get spa treatments.” Farther up the road, you pass grazing cows, meadows sweeping down to the Sakonnet River, and “countless old swamp maples.” A trip to Rhode Island’s coast isn’t complete without a visit to Newport and its “justifiably famous mansions.” But make sure not to skip Jamestown, “a sailor’s dream if there ever were one.”

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