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Visiting Vassar, coordinating car rental and Amtrak

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Ely, Minnesota
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Visiting Vassar, coordinating car rental and Amtrak

We are coming in two weeks for my son to visit Vassar. We will be arriving in a rental car. After our visit we are heading to Baltimore or D.C. (haven't decided which yet). We are considering taking Amtrak for our trip going south so that we don't have to deal with traffic around NYC, Philly, etc. and it seems much more relaxing. So my questions are:

~ Is there a car rental agency anywhere near the Amtrak station in Poughkeepsie? (We could also leave our car at an Amtrak outside of Poughkeepsie - like start driving south toward NYC)

~ Could you recommend hotels (I don't know Poughkeepsie at all) that would either be near Vassar or in an interesting part of town (good places to eat or just particularly nice) - under $200

I know these are vague questions, but as I learn more about the town and what it has to offer maybe I'll be able to make my questions more specific. Are there different characteristics of parts of town that I should know about? Any areas where we could not walk and would be unsafe? We'll only be there one night.

Portland, Maine
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1. Re: Visiting Vassar, coordinating car rental and Amtrak

There's an Enterprise in Poughkeepsie that will pick you up and drop you off at the train station.

I assume you realize you'll need to change trains at New York Penn Station. Be sure you're getting on an Amtrak train in Poughkeepsie and not a Metro North train.

If there's no convenient connection for Amtrak you always have the option of taking Metro North to Grand Central, but then you'd need to take a taxi for the short trip to Penn Station to get Amtrak to your next destination.

Dallas, Texas...
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2. Re: Visiting Vassar, coordinating car rental and Amtrak

If you are arriving in a rental car, that means you are planning on renting it elsewhere. I'd suggest using an online booking site for one-way rentals and see what your options are from your original starting point. Not all office locations participate in one way rentals, even within the same agency. Prices may be hugely different as well.

Kayak.com can be a good way to look at options.

Also note that NYC commuter rail (e.g. Metro North) serves areas outside of NYC - including Poughkeepsie, and a variety of other locations.. Amtrak at Poughkeepsie isn't your only option for switching from driving to train. Any Metro North station is a good option if you can find a one way car rental deal to a nearby office.

Albany
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3. Re: Visiting Vassar, coordinating car rental and Amtrak

The Grand Hotel is the only hotel in Poughkeepsie that is closest to Vassar. You could stay at the Holiday Inn on rt 9 or Marriott Courtyard also on 9 - both are not that far from Vassar and both are decent hotels. Amtrak is the way to go for a nice relaxing ride to Penn Station and then you can head to DC or Philly from there.

Ely, Minnesota
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4. Re: Visiting Vassar, coordinating car rental and Amtrak

This is really helpful as I have rarely taken a train and never taken one in the east. The Poughkeepsie Amtrak station says there is no ticket counter. Do I buy my tickets online or is there a kiosk? I had no idea I needed to pay attention to whether we went into Penn Station or Grand Central. I just went on Amtrak.com and entered Poughkeepsie to Baltimore. I will check into it more thoroughly. Any other tips? Thanks!!!

Portland, Maine
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5. Re: Visiting Vassar, coordinating car rental and Amtrak

All Amtrak trains go to Penn Station, which is where you'd change for Baltimore. All Metro North trains go to Grand Central.

You should buy your ticket well in advance and print out your actual ticket, or save it on your smartphone for scanning on the train.

Ely, Minnesota
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6. Re: Visiting Vassar, coordinating car rental and Amtrak

Ahhhhh.... okay, now I get it. Thanks!

Ely, Minnesota
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318 posts
21 reviews
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7. Re: Visiting Vassar, coordinating car rental and Amtrak

Would you recommend the Grand Hotel for clean and comfortable or somewhere else? We're looking for under $180 a night.

8. Re: Visiting Vassar, coordinating car rental and Amtrak

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