**This post is written in partnership with Amtrak Virginia and Virginia Department of Rail & Public Transportation.**
Virginia’s cities are thriving – and Amtrak takes you right to the heart of them. So put on some comfortable shoes, take in the crisp fall air, and experience one of these awesome destinations — all without a car.
Fredericksburg’s Amtrak station is set right in the city’s historic downtown. From there, you can stroll to accommodations like the 1890 Caroline House (a 2-minute walk), the Courtyard by Marriott (3 minutes), the Richard Johnston Inn (5 minutes), or the Kenmore Inn (8 minutes). The Fredericksburg Visitor Center is two blocks from the train station. There, you can jump on a trolley for a tour of the historic area — or venture out on foot. You’re an easy walk to attractions like the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop, Rising Sun Tavern, Fredericksburg Area Museum, James Monroe Museum, Mary Washington House, Historic Kenmore Plantation & Gardens— and about 40 restaurants. Here’s a walking tour map.
Williamsburg’s Amtrak Station is a beautiful 10-minute walk to the Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area. The station is right next to Colonial Williamsburg’s budget-friendly Governor’s Inn (or, if you stay in any of Colonial Williamsburg’s other official hotels, they’ll pick you up from the train station.) From the train station, walk south to buy your tickets at the Merchant’s Square ticket office. (Note: Before you head into colonial times, you may want to grab a bite at the Fat Canary, the Cheese Shop or the popular Trellis Bar and Grill.) Learn more about this 18th-century experience on the Colonial Williamsburg website. And while you’re in the neighborhood, take a stroll over to William & Mary, the second oldest college in the nation, alma mater to Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, John Tyler and many other prominent Americans.
Take Amtrak to Charlottesville, and you’ll be a 15-minute walk to Downtown Charlottesville, a pedestrian outdoor mall with unique stores, movie theatres, more than 50 restaurants and music venues that attract national acts. Or, if you want to see one of the most breathtaking campuses in the country, walk 15 minutes west to the University of Virginia, featuring the Jefferson-designed Rotunda and Edgar Alan Poe’s dorm room. Within a luggage-toting walk to the station: the Hampton Inn & Suites (an 8-minute walk), the Draftsman Hotel (10 minutes), the Graduate Hotel (12 minutes — it’s right on the campus hotspot “The Corner”), Residence Inn (7 minutes), and Courtyard by Marriott (11 minutes).
Amtrak pulls into Roanoke’s vibrant downtown — appropriately, right next to the Virginia Museum of Transportation. Within a few blocks, you can tour the Taubman Museum of Art, the must-see O. Winston Link Museum (amazing train photography!) and the History Museum of Western Virginia, the historic City Market and the Roanoke Symphony. And the seven-story Center in the Square houses the Harrison Museum of African American Culture, the Science Museum of Western Virginia, Mill Mountain Theatre, the Roanoke Pinball Museum, the Living Coral Reef Aquarium and the Kids Square Children’s Museum. Also in walking distance: the elegant Hotel Roanoke (a 6 minute walk from the Amtrak platform) and the Hampton Inn and Suites (6 minutes).
Richmond has just restored its 1901 Main Street Station, located in the city’s downtown — and they’ve turned it into a multimodal hub. So after you step off the train, you can hop on a bus, bike or rideshare to explore a city filled with stories. There’s an official Virginia is for Lovers Welcome Center right in the station. And right in the neighborhood, you can walk the mural-lined canals surveyed by George Washington, see the church where Patrick Henry said “give me liberty or give me death,” go to Unhappy Hour at the Poe Museum, or rent a bike and take on the 52-mile Virginia Capital Bike Trail. For lodging, look into the Berkeley Hotel (7 minute walk from the station), the Courtyard by Marriott (4 minutes), the Residence Inn and the Omni (9 minutes).
Book your Virginia city escape today — and remember, if you book 14 days or more in advance, you’ll save 25% on your ticket (some restrictions may apply).
Amtrak Virginia makes it easy to travel within the Commonwealth and throughout the Northeast Corridor. With nine passenger rail routes and 23 stations, Amtrak takes you directly to many of Virginia’s most popular destinations. All trains offer travelers wide, comfortable reclining seats and generous legroom, along with complimentary Wi-Fi service and in-seat power outlets.