Board the sleek new SMART train and discover Sonoma County without having to deal with traffic or parking. This new passenger service between San Rafael and Santa Rosa–eventually extending to Cloverdale, offers a smooth, quiet ride and some pastoral scenery. Passengers in wheelchairs can board any car via a sloped entry and there’s even an accessible bathroom on board. On the downside, the 2 wheelchair spaces in each car do not have windows, the small fold-down tables are pretty useless, and there is no companion seating.
For a nice day trip, board the train in downtown San Rafael and disembark in either Downtown Petaluma or Railroad Square in Santa Rosa. Within easy walking distance at both destinations you’ll find shopping in preserved old buildings that house a mix of boutiques, antique shops, specialty stores, and restaurants. From the East Bay, it’s possible to take public transit the entire way by taking BART to the Del Norte station, then board the 40 westbound bus to the San Rafael Transit Center where you catch the SMART train. Visit their website for schedules and fares.