As an alternative to staying in Washington, D.C., Manassas, Virginia is less than an hour from DC (in non-rush hour traffic) and offers a quiet, suburban retreat from the bustle of the city.  DC is accessible by either driving the straight shot down Interstate 66 East right onto Constitution Avenue at the Lincoln and Vietnam Veterans Memorials or by taking the Virginia Railway Express commuter train either directly into Union Station or to any of the other stops that connect with the Metro Subway System.

Driving to DC from Manassas:

If you plan to drive into DC from Manassas, you need to be aware that during the work week (Monday-Friday), I-66 has restrictions at certain times of the day both Eastbound into DC in the morning and Westbound out of DC in the afternoon.

If you have two or more people in your car, you will be able to take I-66 Eastbound all the way into DC to Constitution Avenue and Westbound out of DC all the way back to Manassas and avail yourself of the HOV-2 lanes.

If you are traveling alone during rush hour, you will need to get off of I-66 at the Capital Beltway or use side streets to get into DC in the morning and out of DC in the afternoon.  The drive is approximately 30 miles and should take no more than 45 minutes in non-rush hour traffic.  More details about I-66 and the HOV Lanes and Restrictions are available at the Virginia Department of Transportations website: .

HOV-2 (two or more people)

Both lanes are reserved for HOV-2 eastbound in the morning and westbound in the afternoon.
From: Capital Beltway (I-495)
To: Theodore Roosevelt Bridge (into DC ending up at the intersection of Constitution Avenue, NW and 23rd Street, The Lincoln and Vietnam Memorials)
Hours: Monday - Friday    
Eastbound Westbound  
6:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.  
The far-left lane is reserved for HOV-2 eastbound in the morning and westbound in the afternoon.
Route 234 in Manassas
To: Capital Beltway (I-495)
Hours: Monday - Friday    
Eastbound Westbound  
5:30 am to 9:30 am 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm  
Eastbound shoulder lane (far-right lane) remains open to all traffic until 10:00 am. Westbound shoulder lane (far-right lane) remains open to all traffic until 8:00 pm.  

Metro Subway to DC:

One alternative to driving is to take the Metro Subway system into DC from the Vienna/Nutley Street Station.  The Vienna/Nutley Street Station has limited parking during the work week (Monday through Friday except holidays), so the earlier you get there (before 7 am), the better your chances of getting a parking spot are.  There is no cashier in the parking lot, so in order to pay upon leaving, you will need to purchase a Metro Smart Card ($5 one time fee).  You will not be able to leave the parking lot without it.

The Metro subways runs from early morning around 6 am until late into the night around midnight.  During rush hour, trains can become extremely crowded with passengers as more and more people board at every stop.

For parking information, rail schedules and fares, visit the METRO website at

VRE Commuter Train to DC:

If you would prefer to leave your car at home, the Virginia Railway Express is an alternative way to get to DC and see a little of the suburban countryside along the way.  The Virginia Railway Express is not like most commuter railways.  This system was put into place in 1993, so it is relatively young.  The riders are military, government and professionals and are always happy to help out a newcomer to the system.  The conductors are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet and have established relationships with many of the regular riders over the years.  You can bring food and beverages on board, so you can sip your morning coffee while as you pass through  the beautiful landscape of historic Clifton, VA as you make your way into DC.  The trains have air conditioning and heat, are clean and well maintained.  There are certain cars established as quiet cars where no talking, cell phones or music is allowed.  Please be aware of this car when boarding so as not to disturb others.  As you get closer to DC, the train has stops that connect to the Metro Subway System at several points.

Service is available Monday through Friday except for Federal Holidays and unusual weather or track conditions.  Be sure to check to make sure the train is running on the day you are planning to use it.

Service begins very early in the morning around 5 am and ends early evening, around 6pm.

Parking at the VRE station is available at the Manassas Airport, the Historic Manassas Train Depot and the Manassas Park train station.  Parking gets limited, but there are multiple lots in which to park.  Parking at the Historic Manassas Train Depot will require a permit.  Although there is no charge for parking in Old Town Manassas, all public parking is in timed areas. Be sure to read the hourly information signs before you park.  If you plan to stay all day, pick up a FREE all-day parking permit at the Train Depot Visitor Center which is open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday-Friday except holidays.

For updated schedules and fares, visit the VRE website at