Union Station is full of ways to get around town, such as trolley, taxi, buses, tours and not to mension trains in and out of town. Inside you'll find some beautiful old woodwork, shops, restaurants and much more. You must visit here and have breakfast or lunch and take a stroll around just to see all the great stores.
40 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002
Washington's Union Station was jointly built by Pennsylvania Railroad and the Baltimore & Ohio line on a wetland just north of the U.S. Capitol in 1907. A number of freight and passenger lines have used it since then. An expensive renovation project completed in 1988 transformed Union Station into not just a transportation centre, but a key shopping and dining area as well. I don't know whether to put Union Station under transportation, restaurants, or shopping. Besides being Washington, DC's passenger rail station, Union Station is a shopping mall and a place to dine. There are several sit-down restaurants such as Pizzeria Uno, but in the basement, there are kiosks representing the cuisine of many nationalities.
This train station has everything, restarurants, shops and 3 ways of travelling in Washington DC and surrounding area.
One way to travel is by Amtrak, especially for commuter travel outside of the city or state.
Another way is by train Virginia Rail (which I took) to get to my destination in Viriginia; and
Metro (subway train) with colour coded directions, much like London England. I used this train frequently to get around the very large city of Washington (price was cheap too $1.10 a ride).
Open 24 hours. Shops open Mon-Sat 10am-9pm; Sun noon-6pm.
Union Station is located near the capitol and also connects to the metro system. So.. take a train to Washington and avoid the traffic jams and parking woes :)
Also.. when your there check out the architecture of this building.. it is fantastic :)
Union Station is not just a train station but also a shopping mall with cafes and restaurants as well. There are two levels of cafes and stores.. including a movie theater.
Hours: m-sat 10am-9pm
The Union Station is where the train comes in to Washington DC. It's also a starting point for tours suchs as The Ducks or the Old Town Trolleys. Buy your tickets right there and start the tour from out front of the station.
Since we planned on taking a tour while our son inlaw worked, we took a taxi from the airport and then got on the Old Town Trolley. Our son inlaw works for the company, so it's convenient to just meet him at the station when he gets out of work and we complete the tour. ;-)
Of course we had to take a look inside the station. It's beautiful!
From their website:
"For over 90 years, Union Station has welcomed people to the most important city in the world. This magnificent building has even played host to 17 Presidents and countless foreign dignitaries. However, what may be most impressive is the fact that Union Station's marble floors echo with the footsteps of over 23.4 million people each year, making it the most visited site in all of Washington, D.C. "
I think Union Station is a pretty impressive place. Yes, it is very mall-ified inside, but there are some splending spaces that have been preserved. And the exterior of the building gives you a sense of the thrill and prestige of rail travel in a bygone era. Great train stations were never merely utilitarian depots; arriving at Ronald Reagan Airport is just not the same.
The best way to travel to Washington is Amtrak. Union Station is a great introduction to the capital city and there's a Metro (subway) station on the lower concourse.
The Metro is the best way to get around. It's clean and safe and efficient. Note: If you're going to the Zoo get off at Cleveland Park as it's a long, uphill walk from the Woodley/Zoo station. Save Woodley/Zoo for your return trip. It's not a bad walk DOWN the hill. Unfortunately there are no Metro stops in Georgetown. Get a cab or walk from Foggy Bottom or Dupont Circle.
The Union Station is the focal point of all train systems in the Washington DC Area. It includes national railway Amtrack, MARC (Maryland), VRE (Virginia) and Metro trains. The architecture inside is beautiful!!! There are also tons of boutiques and a food court to keep you busy :)
Driving is probably your best option if you hope to see some of Maryland or Virginia beyond your stay in the capital. However, the area is well-serviced by airports should you choose to go that route. If you're coming from the East Coast, Amtrak is also a possibility.
Driving in Washington is a huge pain in the you-know-where. Avoid it if you can. You might be better off staying at a hotel in the suburbs and taking the subway in to the city. I can't imagine why anyone would choose to drive in Washington as it has a good subway system. Not only that, but many of the sites you might go to are close together, making this an excellent city for walking.
I've traveled into D.C. by plane and by train. When flying in from the west coast, see if your carrier uses 777's. United does and since those planes are then headed onto Europe, there are seat back video screens even in the coach section which is a nice treat.
Traveling by Amtrak from NYC to D.C. takes a bit over 3 hours with their Metroliner service. I found it to be a really nice ride and nice to go city center to city center instead of having to drive in from Dulles. I wrote an atricle about my train trip. It can be viewed at- http://www.johnnyjet.com/folder/reporters/archive/meredith4.html
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