Take the Train to the Best Shopping in Virginia

by Amtrak Virginia | Posted: Dec 1, 2017 | Updated: Apr 18, 2019

Comments: 3 Comments

**This post is written in partnership with Amtrak Virginia and Virginia Department of Rail & Public Transportation.**

amtrak train

The holidays are officially here, and that means many are planning gift-buying trips to the Commonwealth’s best shopping destinations.

The good news: there are a variety of unique shops in Virginia. The better news: you don’t have to hit holiday highway traffic to get to many of them. Amtrak’s passenger train service has stations near many of the best shops in Virginia, which means holiday shoppers can travel in comfort (and never worry about crowded parking lots).

This mini-guide covers train-accessible historic shopping districts, shopping centers, and outlet malls in Virginia loved by locals and visitors alike. You’ll also find information for each city and its Amtrak station to make planning a breeze. We hope it offers fresh inspiration!


When you just want to enjoy a little local charm and historic flair as you shop, Virginia is the place to be. The Commonwealth offers quaint and quirky shopping districts that feature small shops and restaurants. And, they tend to go all out for the holidays, with festive décor and special events that make the experience even more special.

Old Town Alexandria

Holiday Shopping in Old Town

Just across the Potomac from Washington, D.C., Old Town Alexandria is known for its colonial-era architecture, cobblestone streets – and thoroughly modern places to shop and dine. Enjoy local Virginia boutiques nestled in a thriving arts and culture scene.

Station: Alexandria (ALX)

Proximity: 1.4 miles


Carytown Shopping

Richmond’s Carytown is walkable – just one street and nine blocks – and packed with personality. You’ll find shops and boutiques for a wide variety of tastes and interests. When you’re ready for a break, the people-watching can’t be beat.

Station: Richmond – Main Street (RVM) or Richmond – Staples Mill (RVR)

Proximity: Main Street – 3.6 miles or Staples Mill – 3.7 miles


Historic Downtown Fredericksburg

Downtown Fredericksburg

The National Historic District in Fredericksburg features more than 100 shops and restaurants, including a four-block “antique row” set by the Rappahannock River. It’s a great place to tackle your gift list, take in the sights and enjoy a good meal.

Station: Fredericksburg (FBG)

Proximity: .5 miles

Historic Ghent

Perfect for the antique lovers, Historic Ghent is a lovely area to explore, with street-level boutiques and specialty stores made for browsing in boutiques. Take your time and enjoy the leisurely pace in these three blocks of retail and dining locations.

Station: Norfolk (NFK)

Proximity: 2.5 miles


Merchant’s Square and Colonial Williamsburg

merchant's square williamsburg

Step back in time and enjoy a day out on the town, 18-century style. Located right next to Colonial Williamsburg, Merchant’s Square offers one of the most unique experiences for shopping in Virginia. Modern and historic shops and restaurants are just steps away.

Station: Williamsburg (WBG)

Proximity: .4 miles


If you’re seeking just the right combination of brand names and bargains, you’ll love the outlet malls in Virginia. They offer great variety at great prices, every day – no need to wait for the major sale days.


Potomac Mills

Potomac Mills Mall

The largest outlet mall in Virginia, Potomac Mills is legendary. Shop more than 200 stores in a completely indoor experience. And, if you need to take a rest, you can take in a show at the AMC Potomac Mills 18 Theatres (with IMAX).

Station: Woodbridge (WBD)

Proximity: 4.5 miles

Norfolk Premium Outlets

Located in the heart of Coastal Virginia, Norfolk Premium Outlets offers a relaxing, family-friendly shopping experience with a vast selection of retail stores and food options, plus scenery and entertainment that amplify the holiday spirit.

Station: Norfolk (NFK)

Proximity: 8 miles

Williamsburg Premium Outlets

Williamsburg Premium Outlets

While you’ll feel a little of the region’s colonial heritage shining through, don’t be fooled – the 135 outlet stores at Williamsburg Premium Outlets are thoroughly modern. Enjoy the boutique touch while uncovering incredible deals.

Station: Williamsburg (WBG)

Proximity: 3.5 miles



You can’t go wrong at the traditional shopping malls in Virginia– especially with a long gift list for loved ones. There’s something for everyone, all under one roof. Virginia’s malls all have a little something special to offer.

Central Park

A destination shopping experience, Central Park offers 200 shops, restaurants and businesses – and more than 50 are restaurants. No matter your tastes, you’ll find somewhere delicious to refuel as you tackle your shopping list.

Station: Fredricksburg (FBG)

Proximity: 3.6 miles


The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City

The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City

This dynamic shopping experience promises “avenues of fashion and boulevards of style,” with more than 170 stores and restaurants. Shop all day and stay energized with a stop to the skylit food court, which features a number of international specialties.

Station: Alexandria (ALX)

Proximity: 5.7 miles


MacArthur Center

Downtown Norfolk

Get ready to enter a one-million-square-foot retail wonderland. The MacArthur Center is part of Norfolk’s historic downtown, with a decidedly modern, metropolitan feel. With more than 70 new-to-the-market retailers, you’ll always find fresh options.

Station: Norfolk (NFK)

Proximity: 1.5 miles


Short Pump Town Center

Short Pump Towne Center

A beautiful, open-air “lifestyle center,” Short Pump Town Center features more than 140 shops, restaurants and entertainment, including the Children’s Museum of Richmond, where you can educate and entertain the little (and not-so-little).

Station: Richmond – Main Street (RVM) or Richmond – Staples Mill (RVR)

Proximity: Main Street – 15.5 miles or Staples Mill – 10 miles

Stony Point Fashion Park

For a relaxed but upscale outdoor shopping experience, you might like to take a stroll around this uniquely park-like, open-air mall in Richmond. Stony Point Fashion Park offers an exciting mix of exclusive brands and local treasures.

Station: Richmond – Main Street (RVM) or Richmond – Staples Mill (RVR)

Proximity: Main Street – 10 miles or Staples Mill – 8 miles

Tyson’s Corner Center

Tyson Corner Mall

Bring a comfortable pair of shoes for this one – Tyson’s Corner Center is the fifth-largest mall in the nation, with a reputation as a “retail monument.” You’ll find the newest concepts and the latest names, with a mix of shopping, dining and entertainment.

Station: Alexandria (ALX)

Proximity: 17 miles


This guide is intended to get you started on your next shopping adventure – it’s just a sample of the many unique options for shopping in Virginia. Visit virginia.org/directory/shopping/ to explore and search based on your interests and your destination. Then, head to Virginia.Amtrak.com to book your tickets for a comfortable, convenient travel experience.


Amtrak’s Williamsburg station is just blocks away from Colonial Williamsburg. It features a steep gabled roof and classical portico along with its comfortable waiting room.

Shopping Destinations: Merchant’s Square, Williamsburg Premium Outlets


Amtrak in Virginia Alexandria Train Station

Conveniently located right in the heart of Alexandria, this Amtrak station offers a waiting room and is close to Old Town with convenient Metro access.

Shopping Destinations: Old Town Alexandria, The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, Tyson’s Corner Center


Nestled in the historic district, Amtrak offers a platform and a covered shelter at this location. You also can enjoy a meal at The Bavarian Chef, located in the original depot, which dates back to 1910.

Shopping Destinations: Historic Downtown Fredericksburg, Central Park


With the return of passenger rail in 2012, Norfolk constructed a depot near the waterfront that’s both classic and thoroughly modern. The station building includes a waiting room.

Shopping Destinations: Historic Ghent, Norfolk Premium Outlets, MacArthur Center


The two Amtrak stations in Richmond have very different looks and feels – but both feature a waiting room and are only a quick Lyft ride away from the city’s many shopping options.

Shopping Destinations: Carytown, Short Pump Town Center, Stony Point Fashion Park


This quiet suburban stop is close to the beautiful Occoquan River and the outlets at Potomac Mills, offering a platform with a covered shelter. All the convenience with a little less hustle and bustle.

Shopping Destinations: Potomac Mills


Amtrak trains offer wide, comfortable reclining seats and ample legroom – perfect for stretching out after a successful day of shopping. No middle seats, no baggage fees for your purchases. In the café car, you can fuel or refuel with the sandwiches, salads, snacks and hot and cold beverages available for purchase. And, Amtrak’s complimentary Wi-Fi service and in-seat power outlets keep you charged up and ready to hit the stores.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Avatar Sarah Smith says:

Thanks for sharing new places to go shopping. My sister and I want to go on a shopping spree. We might need to find a new mall so we can see a variety of stores.

Avatar Ninette says:

Didnt see Roanoke on this??? As you know we finally got the passenger tran back. Lets promote Downtown Roanoke.

Avatar Lynne says:

Why are you leaving out Charlottesville HISTORIC DOWNTOWN that is in walking distance of AMTRAK? Over 75 locally owned spectacular stores and restaurants.
Now is not the time to ignore this beautiful city.