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Amtrak to Sacramento

(800) 872-7245, www.amtrak.com

If you've ever taken the weekend or evening ride on Amtrak's Capitol Corridor route to Sacramento, you've likely as not seen an in-the-know couple lounging in a dining booth with a luxury picnic complete with wine, cheeses, canapés, fruit, and pastries. They may seem eccentric at first sight, but after enjoying the quiet, gently rocking ride along the bay, through the grassy Sacramento River Delta swampland between Martinez and Davis, and easing into the beautiful downtown Sacramento Amtrak station, you'll realize what a rube you are for not doing the same. The train's official schedule tells San Francisco passengers to take an Amtrak bus from the Embarcadero to Emeryville, where they can board the train. But we recommend going to the Richmond BART station, which shares its site with Amtrak, thus saving at least half an hour of stressful connecting time. Remember, this trip is about enjoyment. If you're up for embarking at 7:37 a.m., the weekend train out of Richmond continues from Sacramento through the Sierra Nevada to Reno.

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