**This post is written in partnership with Amtrak Virginia and Virginia Department of Rail & Public Transportation.**
In Virginia, warm weather means water weather. From the beach to mountain springs, the Commonwealth has it all. Even better, you can enjoy waters of Virginia no matter your interests. Dive right in for swimming, fishing, boating, water skiing, tubing, kayaking, sailing or paddle boarding. You can even kick back and just enjoy beautiful water views while sipping, strolling or shopping.
You don’t have to hit the road to hit the water, though. With nine passenger rail routes and 23 stations, Amtrak can take you right to many of Virginia’s most popular destinations with river, bay and sea views. Just kick back and enjoy the wide, comfortable reclining seats with plenty of legroom – plus complimentary Wi-Fi service and in-seat power outlets to keep you charged up and connected. Need to refuel? The café car has sandwiches, salads, snacks and hot, cold, and adult beverages available for purchase.
If you’re ready for a water-inspired Virginia getaway, look no further. Below are several suggestions, starting in the west and heading east toward the Atlantic! All destinations are easily accessible by rail. As you ride, keep an eye out – those water views might just start on the journey.
Surround yourself with the Blue Ridge Mountains – and the rushing waters of the Roanoke River, where you’ll find trails for biking, walking, and running as well as opportunities to fish, tube and kayak. It’s just beyond the bustling downtown Roanoke area, which offers lots of dining, shopping and less “active” activities as well.
Fredericksburg is known for its historic downtown area – but you can’t forget the Rappahannock River and all the outdoor fun it offers! Try your hand at tubing, paddle boarding or kayaking. There also are many options for dining and shopping near the water, especially for antique lovers.
The James River runs right through the heart of downtown Richmond, where you’ll find outdoors enthusiasts kayaking, tubing, fishing and even making a splash on a rope swing, all right next to gleaming office buildings. With many historic sites and markers right along the banks, you can enjoy an informative and relaxing walk or canal boat ride.
If you like water views while cycling, you’re in luck! Between May and October 2018, Amtrak has a pilot program for cyclists interested in riding half of the scenic Virginia Capital Trail (rather than the full 100-mile round trip). Just buy a one-way ticket and board your bicycle on a daily route between Richmond’s Main Street Station (RVM) and Williamsburg (WBG). You’ll find more information and details on the Amtrak Virginia page.
The Potomac River provides a beautiful backdrop for Alexandria, just across the water from Washington, D.C. It’s the perfect location for sailing and boating! You also have a number of parks along the river for walking, playing or other activities. When you’re ready for a rest, take in the view from one of the many restaurants and bars along the shore.
Newport News is a shipbuilding powerhouse, and with miles of waterfront parks, restaurants and other attractions, it has a lot to offer. You can boat, fish or even lay out on the beach. And, while you’re at it, you can check out historic sites and markers along the shore.
The Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay offer endless opportunities to get in the water, with activities like fishing, boating and surfing. However, in Norfolk you’ll also find that the waterfront is a vibrant hub of activity, with parks, shops, museums, sports arenas and historic attractions. Not to mention amazing views from the new !
You might know Williamsburg for its colonial splendor. However, the York and James Rivers make Williamsburg the perfect spot for water activities, too. From sailing to kayak tours, there is an opportunity for all kinds of water lovers to make historic moments of their own.
Make a Big Splash, Not a Big Splurge
Head to Virginia.Amtrak.com to book your tickets for a comfortable, convenient travel experience. Book at least 14 days in advance to save up to 25%, or check out the everyday discounts we offer. Just hop on board, and you’ll be by the water before you know it.