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how to get from New York to Washington?

Stockholm, Sweden
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how to get from New York to Washington?

Hello everyone,

What is the best way for 6 adults to get from New York to Washington? We are planning to arrive in NY from Europe, stay about 4 days and visit the Niagra falls before heading south to DC, staying one week and turn back to NY for some 3-4 days before leaving the States.

Any suggestion is appreciated. Is car driving a good option, and maybe we could stay on our way at Philadephia?

Trains, how are they? My girlfriend watched Sexand the City and is against trains!

Planes, aren't they expensive and tiring?

Thanks for all suggestions.

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1. Re: how to get from New York to Washington?

Hello. I must have missed that episode of "Sexand the City"!I do, however, remember the episode where the girls took the bus from New York to Atlantic City. And I don't reccomend the bus =)

I think trains are a great option. The regional Amtrak train from DC's Union Station to New York's Penn Station takes about three and a half hours. It's a pleasant, easy ride. Amtrak's Acela train is a bit nice than the regional train and it is a non-stop ride. It reduces your travel time by about an hour.

I suppose driving would be a fine option as well. I think it is about a four hour drive from DC to New York, depending on traffic and stops along the way. Personally, I think the train would be a much less stressful option. In addition, parking in New York is scarce.

You could fly, but I think it would take up too much time. Although your actual travel time is reduced, the time spent getting to and from airports and waiting in lines seems like a waste, especially for a trip between cities so close to each other.

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Washington DC, DC
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2. Re: how to get from New York to Washington?

I agree with citygirl - the trains are great (I also missed that episode!). I take it frequently for work and have never had a bad experience. They do get full though, so you might not all be able to sit together.

In general I do NOT recommend the bus, except for maybe the famous Chinatown bus which is the transportation of choice for students and budget travelers- picks up in Chinatown in NYC and lets you off in Chinatown in DC. Still, not for the faint of heart. The train is much more comfortable.

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Sterling, VA
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3. Re: how to get from New York to Washington?

I do not recommend the Chinatown buses. They have bad safety records. Anyone who doubts this, take a look at this link:

washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20…

Otherwise, taking the train is a good option. The regional trains are cheaper than the Acela but the Acela is faster and makes fewer stops. If you do decide to use Amtrak, be sure to make reservations (www.amtrak.com). That way you'll be guaranteed a seat. In fact, Amtrak expects people to make reservations. You can still get last minute tickets but they will cost more and there is no guarantee that you will be able to get the train you want.

Since you plan to travel to those other spots, perhaps renting a car is the way to go. I would not recommend renting the car until you're ready to leave NYC since driving and parking there is very difficult. Besides, you won't need a car while visiting NYC since it is very walkable. If you want to stop in Philadelphia and have a car, getting in and out of that city is not very difficult. The hotels will still charge a fee for parking, however.

So, I recommend weighing the pros and cons--trains vs. driving--which one is more expensive, etc.

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Philadelphia
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4. Re: how to get from New York to Washington?

Thanks Sue for the Chinatown bus info - I had no idea!

Sterling, VA
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5. Re: how to get from New York to Washington?

You're welcome, Menina. With the Chinatown buses, it's a matter of you get what you pay for...

Stockholm, Sweden
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6. Re: how to get from New York to Washington?

Thanks everyone for the response.

I checked Amtrack and the prices were reasonable with very short distances and a lot of departures.

Cars of course give the option of having to pay for one car as apposed to paying for several seats on a train. My brother who has just come back from a visit in Florida said he paid equivalent of 700 $ for one week rental. Of course, then there is the issue of gas, parking and so on.

Thanks again one and all!

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Florida
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7. Re: how to get from New York to Washington?

niagara is a heck of a trip from nyc (6+ hours by car) and most people are disappointed. In half the time, you could drive to boston and see another great US city.

know that the trains in the US are not like the trains in Europe.

My suggestion would be to drive down and spend some time in philly and baltimore on your way.

Washington, DC
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8. Re: how to get from New York to Washington?

Trains in the Northeast Corridor are pretty reliable, relatively speaking - it's the east-west ones (e.g. to Niagara Falls) you've got to worry about. For that reason, it might be better to drive - just don't park on the Canadian side if your car has US license plates - vandals like to break into cars from the States for some reason.

Chinatown buses aren't the only highway option - Greyhound and Peter Pan Lines also offer regular service between the two cities. If your adults are under 40, they might be willing to take the bus for $25 and spend the savings on skittles and beer.

Arlington VA USA
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9. Re: how to get from New York to Washington?

I've taken the "Chinatown" bus on several occasions with no problems. They also pick-up in Downtown DC and drop off in mid-town Manhattan not just Chinatown. I use "Washington Deluxe Bus" but there are several others... $20 one way and $35 round trip. My experience has been that they are clean, efficient, and cheap. Yes, I would rather take the train but the cost is probably 4 to 5 times higher.

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10. Re: how to get from New York to Washington?

I also say 'take the train'. I did a year ago and while I wouldn't call it fun, it was relaxing and a pretty pleasant trip.

$700 for a one week car rental in Florida? Hate to say it, but he was robbed unless he got a very special car (like the Mustang GTH from Hertz or a Hummer or something else really exotic.)

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