By Lisa Bonnington

As I was planning a special occasion for my sweetheart, I stumbled upon a unique staycation, which I am now affectionally referring to as a train-cation right in the heart of Martinez. Imagine stepping back in time and immersing yourself in the rich history of the railroad industry. Nestled in Franklin Canyon is a unique and captivating accommodation option: staying in a caboose. 

This unconventional lodging experience offers a glimpse into the bygone eras of train travel allowing you to sleep in a renovated caboose while enjoying modern comforts.

I found this hidden and relatively unknown getaway on AIRBNB. This unique setting and accommodation offered a romantic privacy that both train enthusiasts and those just looking to create a memorable experience and occasion (like me), can appreciate.
As we arrived and passed through a secure gate, it was as if we stepped back in time. We drove up the driveway in wonderment, as our tires rolled over an old-fashioned gas station bell hose, which immediately announced our arrival as it rang out. I half expected a gas station attendant to come out of the mini gas station replica to greet us and begin washing our windows with a smile.
Staying on a caboose offered a one-of-a-kind experience where history and comfort seamlessly blended. While the exterior retained its nostalgic charm, the interior has been tastefully renovated to provide modern amenities while retaining “old-world” charm. Adorned in antiques with a touch of railroad memorabilia and décor, it evoked a sense of sentimentality and curiosity. Expect cozy sleeping quarters, a comfortable bed, a beautiful clawfoot tub and a picturesque dining/sitting area. The atmosphere of the railroad era envelops you as you settle into the caboose.

Although stationary, this property still sits on its foundation of actual train tracks. Trains periodically passed by, adding to the ambience, and created just enough vibration in the caboose to simulate actual movement creating the feeling that we were en-route to a destination unknown.

One of the most enchanting aspects of staying in the caboose was the sense of tranquility. Surrounded by a serene setting, we felt far removed from the hustle and bustle of daily life, allowing us to relax and recharge. What a surprise and delight after only having driven minutes away from home. 
Additional amenities included access to a hot-tub, axe throwing and cornhole. 

Or you could enjoy rocking in the rocking chairs outside while seated by the firepit.
Whether you are seeking a romantic getaway, a unique experience or a peaceful retreat, a caboose stay in Martinez provides a welcome escape from the ordinary.
For non-Martisians, the City of Martinez offers a haven for railroad enthusiasts. I would encourage anyone with interest to delve deeper into the city’s railroad history. Visit the Martinez Museum, where exhibits showcase the significance of the railroad in shaping the city’s development. You can also explore nearby attractions like John Muir Historic Site and the Martinez Amtrak Station, which continues to be a hub for trail travel.
Having lived in the area all my life, I was delighted to discover this amazing, secretive gem and will be enthusiastically expounding about my experience to anyone looking for a unique staycation.