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Amtrak to Williamsburg from DC--Union Station or Alexandria?

WestSlope,CO
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Amtrak to Williamsburg from DC--Union Station or Alexandria?

I also posted this on the DC forum but thought some of the Alexandria folks might have info on the Alexandria Amtrak station and whether it would be worthwhile to visit Alexandria for a few hours before our departure.

I'll be staying at Marriott Metro Center with 3 grandkids (8,9,15), then heading for Williamsburg. I know I can depart from Union Station, but could also depart from Alexandria. Alexandria is not otherwise on our itinerary, so I thought we might avoid the confusion of Union Station and come to Alexandria after checking out of our hotel. The train is scheduled for 2:45 from Alexandria. We could come and walk around Old Town a bit (or ???) and have lunch, then back to the station for departure.

We'd need to leave our bags at the station, and the agent I finally reached said she thinks the Alexandria station will do this, but they do not have lockers. (yes, I did finally convince Amtrak's automated "Julie" to let me speak to a live person, but then the live person wasn't 100% sure, either) So, does anyone know for sure that dropping off bags is allowed? We wouldn't actually be checking the bags, as I see that there isn't a checked bag option on this train.

If this is allowed, could someone help with the best way to get there, a few things to do or see within walking distance of the station, and where to have lunch with 3 kids?

I had planned to take a taxi to Union Station with the 3 kids and luggage, but maybe we could make it via Metro to King Street Station. I read that the Amtrak station is nearby but a little confusing to get to.

Thanks for your help.

Alexandria, Virginia
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1. Re: Amtrak to Williamsburg from DC--Union Station or Alexandria?

I'm ambivalent about DC/Old Town station...if only to be a kid and experience a 'great' Train Terminal...Union Station is as grand as they come. My favorite memory as a kid was Chicago...I remember to this day and I was 6 when I was there!

Old Town's station is a one room station (Williamsburg is a shack by comparison). It is easy in and out...and is only confusing for the fact that where folks need to be when they get off the Metro is a whole ten feet....for which they must traverse a large city block to get there! Google Street View helps to walk your way before you get there to get a sense of your destination! Head East on King Street from the Amtrak station via street view.

I hate to see folks miss our very quaint town....so if you can manage, I'd take a cab to the 400 block of King Street early enough for brunch and an hour walk if you can swing it with your luggage. The core of the historic area centers around the 400 block of King. At the corner of King and Fairfax is the Visitors Center where you can get maps and some brochures of the sites all within two-three blocks of the center on both sides of King on the intervening blocks between Cameron and Prince Streets!

If the weather is worth-while...head first to the waterfront and walk West on King. Once you have had your fill...take a cab...$6.00 to Amtrak or take our free Trolley to the Metro and Walk UNDER the rail bridge on King street. Amtrak station is immediately on your left.

I am not aware of lockers at the station...perhaps someone will chime in. Knowing the security issues in this town...I seriously doubt it. I hope this is helpful.

NEWPORT NEWS, VA
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2. Re: Amtrak to Williamsburg from DC--Union Station or Alexandria?

The Amtrak website for the Alexandria station shows no lockers but it does have a baggage storage room.

www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer…

WestSlope,CO
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3. Re: Amtrak to Williamsburg from DC--Union Station or Alexandria?

Just popping back in to post that we did decide to get on the train at Union Station due to Karen's mention that the kids might want to experience a "grand" train station and also warthog's suggestion on the DC forum that we might have a better selection of seats if we boarded at Union Station. As it turned out, the train was crowded. We were able to give most of our bags to a porter at Union Station, and he held them while we ate lunch, then met us at a specified location and personally took us to the train as soon as the arriving passengers got off.

We did get to see just a bit of Alexandria on our bus tour to Mount Vernon...just enough to whet our desire to return another time for more exploration.

4. Re: Amtrak to Williamsburg from DC--Union Station or Alexandria?

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