Union Station, Washington D.C.
The decades preceding the 1901 Commission's plan to reinstate L'Enfant's ideas for Washington was carried out, the Pennsylvania railroad had its station at the base of Capitol Hill, its tracks cutting across the Mall. Daniel Burnham, used his influence with the railroad's president, Alexander Cassatt, and convinced him to move his station, as a matter of civic beauty and national loyalty.
The buildings surrounding the Capitol eventually included Burnham's immense Union Station and Columbus Plaza. The placement of this railroad station is important in the 1901 plan. Not only does it demonstrate the Commission's mania for symmetry, harmony, and building groups rather than individual buildings, it also demonstrates its power. Union Station is centrally located and near the city’s major tourist attractions and includes many shops and restaurants as well!
I took my first U.S. train trip from Union Station in Washington D.C. and felt like I was in a 1930's movie. Not only was it home to the train and city public transportation, it also housed shops, restaruants and businesses and could take hours to explore. I did a bit of exploring but what was there then isn't the same as what is there now. Check their website to plan where to shop or to eat while there.
50 Massachusetts Ave., NE
Washington, DC 20002
Favorite thing: These is a sightseeing tour booth as you come down the stairs from the parking garage. They have many diferent types of tours that you can book from this location, trolley, bus and many more. So make sure you stop by here on your way from the garage, book your tour and then go explore in the Union Station.
I wouldn't usually recommend seeing a train station but I find Union Station quite exceptional for its size and grand architecture.
Plus, it has quite a few restaurants and stores, so both you and your money are taken good care of while you're waiting for your train ;-) Well, even if you're not travelling by train, it's really worth seeing the station. It's also the best place to start your Old Town Trolley Tour! Also the 2.5-hour long night tour starts at the station but be sure to book your ticket in the morning.
Favorite thing: One thing that I did go to when I was there was the Union Station there. There is alot of shops and so many different types of food to choose from. There is also a great few of the White House from over there.
take the train and plan it so that it arrives at the historic UNION STATION!
Did you know that when it first opened in the early-1900s, it was the largest train station in the world??
Impressive eh? Today, it is a vibrant hub for transportation, dining, shopping (you can find brand names like Benetton amongst others here) and entertainment! See, I told ya it was not like your normal train station.
There is also an over-priced food court here. ;-(
In short, Union Station is centrally located and very near to the city's major tourist attractions.
Favorite thing: Union Station has been converted into a delightful shopping area. It is a good stop when you need a change of scenery.