Home Culture 11 Amtrak Train Trips via Newark Under 4 Hours

11 Amtrak Train Trips via Newark Under 4 Hours

by Olivia Fisher
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Essex County is a premier location for travelers with both the Newark Liberty International Airport and Newark Penn Station. From here one can travel by air to Athens, Boston, Cape Town, Lima, Mumbai, New Orleans, Tokyo, Toronto, and more. When it comes to rail, the options are even more plentiful including Boston as well as New Orleans to Chicago, Niagara Falls, and Pittsburgh. Journeying across state lines on Amtrak affords travelers gorgeous views of cityscapes and countrysides, ample leg room, outlets, large bathrooms, and more. Read on to learn about Amtrak and travel destinations under four hours by train from Newark, New Jersey.

About Amtrak

Amtrak has operated as a national passenger railroad in the United States since 1971. The network includes over 500 stations along 21,400 miles of tracks with trains running as fast as 150 mph. Amtrak stations can be found in 46 of the lower 48 states.

Six of these are located in New Jersey: two in Newark, one in New Brunswick, one in Trenton, one in Woodbridge Township, one in West Windsor, and one in Trenton. From Newark Penn Station, travelers can directly reach Boston, Massachusetts; Fredericksburg, VA; New London, Connecticut; Orlando, Florida; Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Richmond, Virginia; Washington, DC; and dozens of more locations.

Read More: Newark Airport’s Terminal A is Home to These Local NJ Businesses

What Amtrak Offers

Travelers can use the Amtrak website or download the Amtrak app to search for tickets. Tickets can be printed, but are also available on the Amtrak app. The majority of train cars have coach seating with a limited amount of business-class seats. Some trains also have sleeper cars that can fit up to four people. Trains feature air conditioning, bathrooms, spacious aisles, handicap-accessible seating and bathrooms, trash cans, large windows, outlets, and copious amounts of legroom. Some trains even feature blackout curtains and pull-down footrests.

Travelers can carry on one personal item and two carry-on bags. They can also check up to two free bags and take special items. Click here to see the checked bag policy. Bikes up to a certain weight and length as well as dogs and cats up to 20 pounds can be taken on board. Reservations for these furry adventurers are needed. The Amtrak dining car features carry-out style meals, snacks, and beverages such as sandwiches, yogurt, candy, chips, wine, and beer.

Amtrak trains has three types of general seating: coach, business class, and first class which is only offered on the Acela. On many trains, there is also a Quiet Car where travelers can relax in silence. The Acela is a high-speed train reaching speeds up to 150 mph that serves passengers between Boston and Washington, DC. Passengers can reserve their seats on the Acela, many of which allow them private seats and a ton of legroom. First Class customers traveling on the Acela also receive complimentary at-seat meal and beverage service provided by onboard attendants.

Picking a Trip

Amtrak splits the lower 48 into six regions: California, Midwest, Northeast, Northwest, South, and West. Each region has different featured routes such as the Northeast Region with 20 options such as the Acela, Cardinal, Northeast Regional, Keystone Service Meteor, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, and Vermonter, all of which pass through the state’s largest city. From Newark, there are a multitude of cities and towns with immense history, delicious food, retail shops, waterfront views, and walkable streets that one can reach in under four hours. Check out a round-up of these spots.

Alexandria, Virginia

Alexandria is a picturesque city in Northern Virginia with colonial-era architecture, immense history, diverse cuisine, parks, waterfront access, and numerous things to do. In addition to an Amtrak Station, Alexandria is served by the Virginia Railway Express and WMATA Metro System allowing trips to Fredericksburg, Virginia; Washington, DC.; and numerous spots in Maryland like Rockville, Silver Spring, and Bethesda.

This city also has a free bus system and vintage trolley service down its main street, King Street. History buffs can venture to the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, Alexandria Black History Museum, Freedom House Museum, and more. For a bite to eat, we suggest visiting Mia’s Italian Kitchen for its All You Can Eat Brunch and ordering the Bucatini Cacio e Pepe. Other great spots include Zen Press Juice Bar + Cafe, Thai Signature, and Dolci Gelati. Trips between Newark and Alexandria can be as quick as 3 hours and 39 minutes.

Hudson, New York

Along the Hudson River sits Hudson, a small city in New York nicknamed the “Friendly City”. From Newark, one can reach this spot in as quick as 2 hours and 42 minutes. This trip requires a connecting stop and about an hour layover at Moynihan Trail Hall in Manhattan. The journey north toward Hudson follows the river and all the majestic views that accompany it. The gem of this city is Warren Street, the mile-long main street featuring a variety of shops, historic districts with amazing architecture, retail stores, and more. We suggest checking out Talbott + Arding, a gourmet grocery store with artisan cheese and meats, homemade fig bars, several types of honey, and more. We also recommend dining at Kitty’s Market Cafe, Culture Cream, Le Perche, Cafe Mutton, and the Half Moon.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania


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Pennsylvania’s Lancaster is a history-rich city with incredible architecture and numerous things to do and see. Downtown Lancaster features a walkable layout and is also served by the Red Rose Transit Authority providing bus service. For history lovers, we suggest checking out LancasterHistory to learn about the area and the Lancaster Museum of Art. For sweets and treats, we recommend heading on over to Lancaster Beignet Company, Lancaster Pie + Coffee, and Lancaster Sweet Shoppe. For a hearty meal, Cocina Mexicana is great for tacos, Lombardo’s Restaurant is the spot for all things Italian, and Himalayan Curry + Grill provides the flavors of Indian. From Newark, travelers can take the Keystone Service to Lancaster in as quick as 2 hours and 22 minutes.



Meriden, Connecticut

Meriden, located just under three hours from Newark, is a city in New Haven County. The City Park and Meriden Green in the center of town are fantastic green spaces with walking paths and a brook. We suggest checking out Gallery53 for art, The Little Rendezvous for a slice, and Sazon Con Fuego for Dominican food.

Mystic, Connecticut


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In under 3 and a half hours, pizza lovers can reach Mystic from Newark. Anyone and everyone visiting Mystic must stop by Mystic Pizza, a pizzeria opened by the Zelepos family in the early 70s. This spot is notable for the 1988 film Mystic Pizza which stars Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, and Vincent D’Onofrio in some of their early-career roles. For history fans, we suggest visiting the Mystic Seaport Museum, for a sweet treat stop by Sift Bake Shop Mystic, for nature one needs to walk around the Peace Sanctuary, and for amazing views check out the Hoxie Scenic Overlook.

New London, Connecticut


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Travelers can reach New London from Newark in as quick as 3 hours and 8 minutes. This seaport city is full of history, restaurants, and more. For the foodies, we recommend dining at Washington Street Coffee, Tony D’s Restaurant, Eats, Noodles + Rice Bistro, and The Oasis Pub. For history and art, the New London County Historical Society, Hempsted House, Hygenic Art, and Custom House Maritime Museum and the places to go.

Poughkeepsie, New York


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In as quick as 2 hours and 8 minutes, one can reach Poughkeepsie, New York from Newark. Located in Dutchess County, Poughkeepsie is home to Marist College, Vassar College, gorgeous historic districts, vantage points of the Hudson River, eateries, and picturesque homes and churches. We suggest stopping by Alex’s Restaurant on Market Street for brunch, Palace Diner for classic diner eats, Hudson + Packard for square pizza, and Farmers and Chefs for a romantic dinner. For history and nature lovers, we recommend visiting the Locust Grove Estate, going on one of the tours, hiking the trails, and visiting the garden.

Springfield, Massachusetts


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Travelers can reach Springfield, Massachusetts, the state’s third most populated city in just 3 hours and 42 minutes from Newark. For history and art lovers, the Springfield Museums, the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, and Josiah Day House Museum. For a bite to eat, Panjabi Tadka has Indian, Red Rose Pizzeria has Italian, and Mocha Emporium has all your coffee and cafe needs.

Washington DC

There are over two dozen trains leaving Newark every day heading south toward our nation’s capital. These trips can be done in as little as 2 hours 27 minutes or take as long as 3 hours 31 minutes. From Union Station, visitors can hop on the Metro’s Red Line, take a bus, bike, or order rideshare. The Virginia Railway Express, Maryland Transit Administration, Greyhound Buses, and WMATA Metro can bring travelers to spots like Harpers Ferry, West Virginia; Vienna, Virginia; and Manassas, Virginia.

The city boasts elaborate museums like the Smithsonian, fantastic public transit, and delicious restaurants. We suggest visiting the National Mall, Georgetown, DuPont Circle, the Wharf, and Rock Creek Park. For a bite to eat, we recommend checking out Founding Farmers or Tatte Bakery for brunch, Flower Child or Rise Bakery for gluten-free options, and Bandit Taco or Arepa Zone for Latin flavors.

See More: Best Weekend Getaways Within Driving Distance of Hoboken, According to Locals

Westerly, Rhode Island

In just 3 hours and 32 minutes, one can reach the Rhode Island town of Westerly from Newark. The community features Italian, Mexican, and Thai food as well as cafes, pubs, ice cream spots, and bars. Located adjacent to the Pawcatuck River, Westerly boasts gorgeous views of the water.

Wilmington, Delaware

In just an hour and 13 minutes, one can reach Delaware’s largest city from New Jersey’s largest. Those visiting Wilmington must check out its green space, cultural centers, and museums like Brandywine Park, Delaware Art Museum, Delaware History Museum, The Grand Opera House, and Christina Park. For dining and dessert, we suggest Faire Cafe, Over the Border Tacos, Ristorante Attilio, and Green Box Kitchen.

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