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Old 02-07-2010, 11:47 AM
 
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Hello Everyone.....we are from Michigan and would like to plan a trip on July 1-July 7 to Virginia Beach. We would like to fly into VA beach area and stay there and then make a one day trip to Washington DC. Is there a train that runs from VA beach to Washington DC? We will have a family of four...Mom, Dad, son that's 16 and a daughter that's 14. I would love to hear suggestions of where to stay, things to do and places to eat. Trying to travel on a budget, if at all possible. We've never been to VA or Washington DC so any and all information is greatly appreciated!! Thanks so much in advance.
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madge92 View Post
Hello Everyone.....we are from Michigan and would like to plan a trip on July 1-July 7 to Virginia Beach. We would like to fly into VA beach area and stay there and then make a one day trip to Washington DC. Is there a train that runs from VA beach to Washington DC? We will have a family of four...Mom, Dad, son that's 16 and a daughter that's 14. I would love to hear suggestions of where to stay, things to do and places to eat. Trying to travel on a budget, if at all possible. We've never been to VA or Washington DC so any and all information is greatly appreciated!! Thanks so much in advance.
I can help on the train part. Amtrak does have a train that goes between DC and Newport News (45 minutes from VA Beach.) It leaves around 8:30am (from NN) and takes 4 hours in the afternoon it leaves around 5pm and takes 4 hours. I would probably drive there preferably and avoid the rush hours (defintely DC's!!)
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:01 PM
 
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Thank you...I was wondering if I would be better to drive there! What are DC's rush hour times? Definitely would want to try and avoid them if we could.
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Old 02-07-2010, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Virginia
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Take the train...save yourself the headache!
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Old 02-07-2010, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
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Originally Posted by madge92 View Post
Thank you...I was wondering if I would be better to drive there! What are DC's rush hour times? Definitely would want to try and avoid them if we could.
To be honest DC's rush hour up on I-95 starts at 5:30-6 am. The afternoon starts at 3:30pm. One thing is to take the HOV lanes that will save you a lot of time and if you have your family with you, it's a lot easier since you don't have to get out once HOV hours begin (6:30).
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Old 02-07-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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While the train could be a viable option, you'll still need to:

1) Figure out transportation from VA Beach to train station (are you renting a car?).

2) Account for delays. Amtrak is notoriously late through the eastern corridor, and delays due to freight trains are common. I would strongly suggest against trying to do it all in one day. You'll likely be exhausted and end up wasting the next day of your vacation trying to catch up on sleep & rest your tired feet.

Is there a particular reason you're thinking of flying into Norfolk? I'd suggest an alternate plan, flying into DC's National Airport instead, and tacking a day or two of DC touring onto the front or back of your trip. Assuming you'd be renting a car regardless, you'd save the price of train fare, as well as some time. You'd likely get less expensive airfare as well, and have a greater chance at direct flights. You could also turn your rental car in earlier and get a hotel right on the Metro line. A car isn't necessary when touring DC and can actually be a bit of a hassle.
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Old 02-08-2010, 05:04 AM
 
Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
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I agree with the last posters suggestion. First, if you fly into Dulles or Reagan and rent a car, your airfare will probably be cheaper than if you went to Norfolk.

I cannot imagine a day trip to DC. You really need a little more time than that just to see the big sights. Staying in the suburbs and taking the Metro into DC is the best option, then after a few days you can drive down to Va Beach for your beach time.
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:36 AM
 
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Hotels in DC are expensive during the week and fairly cheap on the weekends. Go on priceline and offer $55 for a Saturday stay at a 3.5 star hotel in Crystal City (Arlington, VA) and you will more than likely get the Hyatt or Sheraton (have done it several times). There is a metro stop a couple blocks away and you can be in DC in less than 5 minutes for $1.50 or so a person.

I would try to get a deal where you fly into Norfolk and fly out of DC, a lot of Crystal City hotels have free shuttles to Reagan so you could ditch your rental car early. Check flights into Newport News as well, if Norfolk doesn't have a direct flight in they may and it is only 20 minutes further away from the beach.
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:55 PM
 
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I wasn't sure where to fly in, I thought DC would be more expensive, that's why I thought it would be better to fly into VA and then drive over to DC for a day trip and if we wanted to go back for a second day I didn't think it would be much trouble. But then again I've never been to either place so I'm lost on what to do!! Do you have a possible itinerary? I just want to do this the chepest way possible, we don't mind driving from VA to DC if it's not too crazy! If someone has a suggestion on where to fly into and where to stay in DC I would really appreciate it!!
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:22 PM
 
125 posts, read 465,391 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeas View Post
Hotels in DC are expensive during the week and fairly cheap on the weekends. Go on priceline and offer $55 for a Saturday stay at a 3.5 star hotel in Crystal City (Arlington, VA) and you will more than likely get the Hyatt or Sheraton (have done it several times). There is a metro stop a couple blocks away and you can be in DC in less than 5 minutes for $1.50 or so a person.

I would try to get a deal where you fly into Norfolk and fly out of DC, a lot of Crystal City hotels have free shuttles to Reagan so you could ditch your rental car early. Check flights into Newport News as well, if Norfolk doesn't have a direct flight in they may and it is only 20 minutes further away from the beach.
Great idea, but don't forget to factor in the extra cost for returning your rental car to a different location from where it was originally rented.

The Crystal City Marriott is a great location, with the Metro downstairs. Can't beat that one, and as he said, you can typically get it for a good weekend price.

And finally, not sure where in MI you're coming from or how far you're willing to drive on your end, but don't forget that we have two bargain carriers here in Hampton Roads: Southwest Airlines (at Norfolk Int'l) and Airtran (at Newport News/Williamsburg Int'l).
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