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NYC to Arlington VA. Drive or fly?

NYC to Arlington VA. Drive or fly?

Old Aug 31, 22, 11:29 am
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NYC to Arlington VA. Drive or fly?

I have a weekend in October to get from NYC to Arlington VA. I worked out that with getting to the airport, checking in, flight, picking up luggage, etc. flying would take about the same time as driving. Is there anything interesting to be seen driving this route instead? I don't even mind a detour of a couple of hours, especially for a mountain biking or bouldering venue.

TIA
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Old Aug 31, 22, 9:40 pm
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I would take the train. NYC to DC
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Old Aug 31, 22, 10:00 pm
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Originally Posted by AMflier View Post
I would take the train. NYC to DC
Or maybe even NYP to ALX.
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Old Sep 1, 22, 4:20 am
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Originally Posted by roberino View Post
I have a weekend in October to get from NYC to Arlington VA. I worked out that with getting to the airport, checking in, flight, picking up luggage, etc. flying would take about the same time as driving. Is there anything interesting to be seen driving this route instead? I don't even mind a detour of a couple of hours, especially for a mountain biking or bouldering venue.

TIA
One way or round trip drive? Traffic at times can really make some people re-assess whether it really was worth the drive at the time of day chosen for the drive.

The train to Union Station in DC and then a taxi/Uber/Lyft or Metro to Arlington is what I would most often suggest considering unless really needing a car around Northern Virginia and wanting the car for the purposes of making it easier to deal with the luggage.
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Old Sep 1, 22, 8:24 am
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Having done both a few times, neither are great ;-) Perhaps if I did more non-95 drives it would have been better. For me, driving means I could visit friends when I wanted en route. I'd base it more on if I want/need a car during the trip, not so much the trip itself. And make sure to include parking & tolls when comparing times & costs of flying vs driving (and/or train)
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Old Sep 1, 22, 10:04 am
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I'm leaning towards the train now. Some nice options in terms of train equipment. TBH I was worried about traffic in DC especially.
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Old Sep 1, 22, 11:04 am
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Originally Posted by roberino View Post
I'm leaning towards the train now. Some nice options in terms of train equipment. TBH I was worried about traffic in DC especially.
Since COVID, traffic in the DC area is no longer (at least not yet) something to fear. To be sure, it is back to being a bear during typical rush hour but even then it is not anywhere near as bad as it used to be, even with all of the highway construction projects. Before COVID there was practically no difference between rush hour and non-rush hour traffic - even on weekends. But now it is no longer 6am to 8pm - it really is just 6-9 and 4-7 barring crashes.
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Old Sep 1, 22, 11:12 am
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If OP decides to drive, Princeton is a pleasant little town for a brief stop. IIRC taking 206 for a bit also takes you away from I-95 for a break while still continuing in the right direction.

Annapolis is also a fun place to stop, but it involves a detour. New Hope (PA, north of Philadelphia) is another idea.

The halfway point would probably be around Philadelphia but IMO I-95 doesn't go through nice areas, although I guess you could do a brief trip to the downtown historic area pretty easily.
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Old Sep 1, 22, 11:12 am
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Originally Posted by roberino View Post
I'm leaning towards the train now. Some nice options in terms of train equipment. TBH I was worried about traffic in DC especially.
train is the better option. In DC the main train station ( union station) is also a subway station.

from DC it’s easy to get to an airport. DCA is on the subway line. Dulles right now has a subway station but not yet open. You go to current rnd and thrn take an airport shuttle. Bwi us backtracking a bit because near the airport is a train station used by Amtrak and the local Maryland commuter train line with a free bus to the airport about a 7 min ride.

as for driving its

1, take New Jersey turnpike to Wilmington, Delaware then 95 to dc. There is an alternate where you can go 95 thru downtown philadelphia
2. from Wilmington you could take US 301 which goes along the eastern side of the Chesapeake thrn over a bridge to Annapolis then west to DC
3,. an alternate way is using I-78 to either 476 thrn 95 or to Harrisburg and go 83 to 695 to 95 in baltimore or go US 25 to Frederick, md then 270 south to dc

as for points of interest off 95

new Jersey beach towns
trenton is New Jersey capital
harrisburg is PA stste capital
in Lancaster, PA you have a large Amish and Mennonite population. Amish are known fir sticking to the 1700s where they don’t use electricity. Menonites have adopted some modern conveniences like refrigeration
Hershey chocolates is HQ in Hershey, PA
there are historic sites and historic civil wat battle sites like Gettysburg.
Annapolis is the home of the US naval academy.West Point north of nyc is the US army academy
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Last edited by djp98374; Sep 1, 22 at 11:20 am
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Old Sep 1, 22, 2:31 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
The train to Union Station in DC and then a taxi/Uber/Lyft or Metro to Arlington is what I would most often suggest...
You don't say where in NYC you are departing, but if anywhere near mid-town, this is also my favorite way to go. The Acela Express offers the fastest trip with the fewest stops. From Union Station it's a short Uber to Arlington. Or depending on where you're going, you can take the Red Line to Metro Center to the Blue/Orange/Silver Lines into Arlington.
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Old Sep 1, 22, 2:37 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
Or maybe even NYP to ALX.
Living in Alexandria, I have looked into this. At Union Station southbound, they convert the engines from electric to diesel. So, it's typically quicker to terminate at WAS, then use another method (taxi/ride share/Metro) into Virginia.
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Old Sep 1, 22, 2:56 pm
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Originally Posted by flyer703 View Post
Living in Alexandria, I have looked into this. At Union Station southbound, they convert the engines from electric to diesel. So, it's typically quicker to terminate at WAS, then use another method (taxi/ride share/Metro) into Virginia.
That's a fair point. I don't know what the target date is, but once Amtrak phases in the new dual-mode locomotives it has ordered from Siemens, the dwell time at Union Station should be significantly reduced:

https://media.amtrak.com/2021/07/amt...art-equipment/

("AMTRAK TO TRANSFORM RAIL TRAVEL WITH $7.3 BILLION INVESTMENT IN STATE-OF-THE-ART EQUIPMENT")
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Old Sep 1, 22, 3:26 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
That's a fair point. I don't know what the target date is, but once Amtrak phases in the new dual-mode locomotives it has ordered from Siemens, the dwell time at Union Station should be significantly reduced:

https://media.amtrak.com/2021/07/amt...art-equipment/

("AMTRAK TO TRANSFORM RAIL TRAVEL WITH $7.3 BILLION INVESTMENT IN STATE-OF-THE-ART EQUIPMENT")
Yep. Can't wait to take the Alexandria station straight into NYP!!! Thanks for the reminder that this is coming.
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Old Sep 2, 22, 5:09 am
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Living in a Trenton and having driven through the DC area in the not too far distant past, I wouldn’t drive it. The construction traffic on. I-95 is pretty bad during the day but not so bad at night. It’s not relaxing either if you’re not used to east coast driving. The train is the best option and I wouldn’t necessarily take the Acela as I don’t find the additional cost worth the time savings.
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Old Sep 3, 22, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Section 107 View Post
Since COVID, traffic in the DC area is no longer (at least not yet) something to fear. To be sure, it is back to being a bear during typical rush hour but even then it is not anywhere near as bad as it used to be, even with all of the highway construction projects. Before COVID there was practically no difference between rush hour and non-rush hour traffic - even on weekends. But now it is no longer 6am to 8pm - it really is just 6-9 and 4-7 barring crashes.
Its traffic in the NYC/NJ area that would hit me hardest on NYC-DC drives when I would drive at normal driving hours for most people. The Beltway and inside the beltway area traffic was much better in comparison to what NY and NJ would throw my way.
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