On a family road trip through the Canadian Maritimes, we were lucky enough to enjoy several unique hotels. We had stayed at the haunted resort (The Algonquin – Saint Andrews, N.B.) and spent a night in a lighthouse (The West Point Inn – P.E.I.). It seemed only natural then, to make a stop at a hotel housed in an old train station with converted box cars and cabooses as rooms. The Train Station Inn in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia , was just something we could not pass up.
Before I begin to talk about the Train Station Inn, however, I feel a need to clarify something. We are not train nuts (or “train buffs” as I believe they like to be called). Our family does not go around wearing matching engineer caps and we do not have a dedicated train room in our basement. Our interest in unique, family friendly hotels, stems from the travel philosophy that happy kids = happy parents. When my kids spend 2 hours climbing around a caboose hotel room and my husband and I can kick back and watch something awesome on Netflix – that is a huge win. Disclaimer out of the way, here is the Train Station Inn.
The Train Station Inn is clearly a labour of love for a passionate collector. The original station was saved from demolition in 1974 when it was purchased by then 18 year old James LeFresne (although it would be another 15 years before it would open as an inn). Over the course of 40 years it has evolved to include over a dozen rooms, a fine dining car, a very eclectic gift store, a cafe and more. For our stay, we chose caboose #9 which was perfect for our family of four (two separate bedrooms and a small bathroom). Although the furnishing were simple, we had everything we needed (including the all important wifi).
A stay at the Train Station Inn would not be complete without a meal in the dining car. It has a very nice menu (as well as a kids’ menu) and is a popular spot for locals and travelers alike. Every detail has been thought out to make this an authentic experience including the fact that all the dishes are vintage CN. (See reviews for the Dining Car here). The cafe within the train station itself serves up a very nice breakfast with lots of homemade baked goodies to choose from. Make sure you leave some time during your visit to poke around the very eclectic gift shop.
More about The Train Station Inn:
Price Range: $$$
Class: 3 star
Reviews: 88% of reviewers rate as ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’
For availability: see website
Important note: Book early because this place frequently sells out. We booked 3 months in advance and there were only 2 cabooses left.
While in the area: You may want to pop by Jost Vineyards (we enjoyed a little wine and cheese happy hour before we checked in to the Train Station Inn), or do some sampling at Tatamagouche Brewing Company. A 1/2 drive away (between Tatamagouche and Halifax) kids may enjoy a visit to Sugar Moon Maple Syrup Farm.
While visiting The Train Station Inn we were guests of Tourism Nova Scotia with partial expenses being covered by this entity. All opinions about our experiences are entirely my own. As always on my website, I encourage you to also read current reviews by other family travelers on hotels, attractions and restaurants (Tripadvisor, Google, Yelp etc.) before booking or making any final travel decisions.
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