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transportation??

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Bradenton, FL
posts: 31
reviews: 15
transportation??

Wondering if anyone knows the best way to get from Gordonsville, VA to Washington, D.C. We will be staying in Gordonsville in early April and would like to spend a day in DC seeing the cherry blossoms and other sightseeing. Should we plan to drive our car and deal with the parking challenges or is there public transportation between those two areas? Thanks for any help you can give!

17 replies to this topic
Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
posts: 2,424
reviews: 29
1. Re: transportation??

There is not much public transit in that area, and none that would take you up to DC in the morning and back in the evening. If you don't want to spend too many hours in DC and are visiting on a weekday you could drive to either Manassas or Fredricksburg and take Virginia Railway Express into the city. This is a commuter rail line that runs only on weekdays and that has a somewhat limited timetable! so check times before you plan to use that option.

On a weekend, or if you want to travel at hours VRE doesn't run, I would either drive into the city and pay to park, or drive to a Metro station like Franconia/Springfield or Vienna and take Metro in. The Metro option isn't great on weekdays because many of the Metro parking lots fill. If you do plan to take Metro on a weekend, check www.wmata.com for updates on any track work that weekend. Some stations / line segments may be closed for construction.

Bradenton, FL
posts: 31
reviews: 15
2. Re: transportation??

Thanks so much! These are great tips.

Washington DC...
posts: 997
reviews: 112
3. Re: transportation??

We live (sorta) near Gordonsville. We always drive to Vienna or so and park at the Metro station and take the train in. Parking, especially during cherry blossom season will be very difficult to say the least!

While you are in Gordonsville be sure to eat the BBQ Exchange. Sooooo good.

Bradenton, FL
posts: 31
reviews: 15
4. Re: transportation??

Thanks, chloesmom. We will be sure to try BBQ Exchange.

Bradenton, FL
posts: 31
reviews: 15
5. Re: transportation??

Another question...I see that VRE goes to Union Station. Would this be our best station to walk from to see the blossoms? If not, where would you recommend getting off for most convenient walking/sightseeing?

Richmond VA USA
Destination Expert
for Richmond
posts: 842
reviews: 1
6. Re: transportation??

The nicest area for cherry tree viewing is around the Tidal Basin, and it would be much closer to walk to that area from L'enfant Plaza.

Bradenton, FL
posts: 31
reviews: 15
7. Re: transportation??

Thank you so much!

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
posts: 2,424
reviews: 29
8. Re: transportation??

If taking VRE, then yes exiting at L'Enfant Plaza will put you about a 15-20 minute walk (or 5 minute cab ride) from the Tidal Basin area where the blossoms are. If taking Metro, then ride to the Smithsonian Station on the Orange / Blue line, and exit the station at the Independence Ave. end. Walk west on Independence Ave. about 10 minutes and you'll see the Tidal Basin.

Please be sure to check the National Park Service website for updates on the blossoms before you make the trip. We already have spring flowers coming out in our yard in Arlington. Unless we get an extended cold snap, it would not surprise me if this is one of those years when the blossoms hit peak bloom right around (or before) April 1.

Bradenton, FL
posts: 31
reviews: 15
9. Re: transportation??

Thank you, warthog. I sure hope we don't miss the blossoms...I've always wanted to see them, and at 64 yrs old, it needsd to be soon! :-) Even if we don't hit the peak time, maybe there will still be enough blossoms left to enjoy, right?

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
posts: 2,424
reviews: 29
10. Re: transportation??

Here's last year's 'bloom watch' thread from the D.C. forum: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28970-i40-k525457…

You can see that last year they hit peak around March 18/19 and by March 27 all the trees had gone to green. I'd forgotten that they were so early; this winter wasn't much colder than last winter was, so I'm very sad to say the schedule could be about the same this year. Lets hope for you that we get a cold early March and they come a bit later (it's so hard to predict year to year).

If they do bloom early again, however, Washington will be lovely in April even if you miss the cherry blossoms, as other plants and trees around town will still be blooming.

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