Getting to D.C. by Train
Amtrak goes directly into D.C.'s remodeled Union Station, with daily service from Boston, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, and many stops in between. From New York to Washington D.C., there are Metroliner trains that make the trip in less than three hours, which competes with the airline shuttle services now that you have to get to the airport earlier due to security measures.
Amtrak fares to the same destination vary depending on what day and what time of the day you leave. Special fares for students, seniors, veterans, military, and AAA members are available, and other discounts may apply. For more information, call 1-800-USARAIL (1-800-872-7245), or log on to
Amtrak has a half-price program for children traveling with adults, so check before you buy your tickets to see if it is still running that promotion.
It is a pleasure to disembark at Union Station. The station has three levels of shops, good upscale restaurants, and an entire food court offering a wide variety of fast food from sushi to sauerbraten. It also features a nine-screen movie theater, which means it is bustling with locals, as well as travelers, at all times. See page 198 for more details.
Union Station is a stop on the Red Line of the Metro system, so if you pack light, this is a quick and convenient way to get to your hotel. Outside the station is a taxi stand where you will never have to wait for a cab. Most cab rides to downtown hotels cost only $6.50 (one zone fare) but will charge an additional fee per person.