Take the Train to Virginia’s Incredible Shopping Districts

**This post is written in partnership with Amtrak Virginia and Virginia Department of Rail & Public Transportation.**


amtrak train

The holidays are officially here, and that means many are planning gift-buying trips to the Commonwealth’s best shopping destinations.

The good news: there are a variety of unique shopping options in Virginia. The better news: you don’t have to hit holiday highway traffic to get to many of them. Amtrak’s passenger train service has stations near many of Virginia’s favorite shopping destinations, which means holiday shoppers can travel in comfort (and never worry about crowded parking lots).

This mini-guide covers train-accessible historic shopping districts, outlet malls and shopping centers in Virginia loved by locals and visitors alike. You’ll also find information for each city and its Amtrak station to make planning a breeze. We hope it offers fresh inspiration!




When you just want to enjoy a little local charm and historic flair as you shop, Virginia is the place to be. The Commonwealth offers quaint and quirky shopping districts that feature small shops and restaurants. And, they tend to go all out for the holidays, with festive décor and special events that make the experience even more special.


Old Town Alexandria

Holiday Shopping in Old Town

Just across the Potomac from Washington, D.C., Old Town Alexandria is known for its colonial-era architecture, cobblestone streets – and thoroughly modern places to shop and dine. Enjoy local boutiques nestled in a thriving arts and culture scene.

Station: Alexandria (ALX)

Proximity: 1.4 miles



Carytown Shopping

Richmond’s Carytown is walkable – just one street and nine blocks – and packed with personality. You’ll find shops and boutiques for a wide variety of tastes and interests. When you’re ready for a break, the people-watching can’t be beat.

Station: Richmond – Main Street (RVM) or Richmond – Staples Mill (RVR)

Proximity: Main Street – 3.6 miles or Staples Mill – 3.7 miles


Historic Downtown Fredericksburg

Downtown Fredericksburg

The National Historic District in Fredericksburg features more than 100 shops and restaurants, including a four-block “antique row” set by the Rappahannock River. It’s a great place to tackle your gift list, take in the sights and enjoy a good meal.

Station: Fredericksburg (FBG)

Proximity: .5 miles


Historic Ghent

Perfect for the antique lovers, Historic Ghent is a lovely area to explore, with street-level boutiques and specialty stores made for browsing in boutiques. Take your time and enjoy the leisurely pace in these three blocks of retail and dining locations.

Station: Norfolk (NFK)

Proximity: 2.5 miles


Merchant’s Square and Colonial Williamsburg

merchant's square williamsburg

Step back in time and enjoy a day out on the town, 18-century style. Located right next to Colonial Williamsburg, Merchant’s Square offers one of Virginia’s most unique shopping settings. Modern and historic shops and restaurants are just steps away.

Station: Williamsburg (WBG)

Proximity: .4 miles




If you’re seeking just the right combination of brand names and bargains, you’ll love Virginia’s outlet centers. They offer great variety at great prices, every day – no need to wait for the major sale days.


Potomac Mills

Potomac Mills Mall

Virginia’s largest outlet mall, Potomac Mills is legendary. Shop more than 200 stores in a completely indoor experience. And, if you need to take a rest, you can take in a show at the AMC Potomac Mills 18 Theatres (with IMAX).

Station: Woodbridge (WBD)

Proximity: 4.5 miles


Norfolk Premium Outlets

Located in the heart of Coastal Virginia, Norfolk Premium Outlets offers a relaxing, family-friendly shopping experience with a vast selection of retail stores and food options, plus scenery and entertainment that amplify the holiday spirit.

Station: Norfolk (NFK)

Proximity: 8 miles


Williamsburg Premium Outlets

Williamsburg Premium Outlets

While you’ll feel a little of the region’s colonial heritage shining through, don’t be fooled – the 135 outlet stores at Williamsburg Premium Outlets are thoroughly modern. Enjoy the boutique touch while uncovering incredible deals.

Station: Williamsburg (WBG)

Proximity: 3.5 miles




You can’t go wrong at the traditional shopping mall – especially with a long gift list for loved ones. There’s something for everyone, all under one roof. Virginia’s malls all have a little something special to offer.


Central Park

A destination shopping experience, Central Park offers 200 shops, restaurants and businesses – and more than 50 are restaurants. No matter your tastes, you’ll find somewhere delicious to refuel as you tackle your shopping list.

Station: Fredricksburg (FBG)

Proximity: 3.6 miles


The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City

The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City

This dynamic shopping experience promises “avenues of fashion and boulevards of style,” with more than 170 stores and restaurants. Shop all day and stay energized with a stop to the skylit food court, which features a number of international specialties.

Station: Alexandria (ALX)

Proximity: 5.7 miles


MacArthur Center

Downtown Norfolk

Get ready to enter a one-million-square-foot retail wonderland. The MacArthur Center is part of Norfolk’s historic downtown, with a decidedly modern, metropolitan feel. With more than 70 new-to-the-market retailers, you’ll always find fresh options.

Station: Norfolk (NFK)

Proximity: 1.5 miles


Short Pump Town Center

Short Pump Towne Center

A beautiful, open-air “lifestyle center,” Short Pump Town Center features more than 140 shops, restaurants and entertainment, including the Children’s Museum of Richmond, where you can educate and entertain the little (and not-so-little).

Station: Richmond – Main Street (RVM) or Richmond – Staples Mill (RVR)

Proximity: Main Street – 15.5 miles or Staples Mill – 10 miles


Stony Point Fashion Park

For a relaxed but upscale outdoor shopping experience, you might like to take a stroll around this uniquely park-like, open-air mall in Richmond. Stony Point Fashion Park offers an exciting mix of exclusive brands and local treasures.

Station: Richmond – Main Street (RVM) or Richmond – Staples Mill (RVR)

Proximity: Main Street – 10 miles or Staples Mill – 8 miles


Tyson’s Corner Center

Tyson Corner Mall

Bring a comfortable pair of shoes for this one – Tyson’s Corner Center is the fifth-largest mall in the nation, with a reputation as a “retail monument.” You’ll find the newest concepts and the latest names, with a mix of shopping, dining and entertainment.

Station: Alexandria (ALX)

Proximity: 17 miles




This guide is intended to get you started on your next shopping adventure – it’s just a sample of the many unique shopping options Virginia has to offer. Visit virginia.org/directory/shopping/ to explore and search based on your interests and your destination.

Then, head to Amtrak.Virginia.com to book your tickets for a comfortable, convenient travel experience. On the day of your excursion, you can use the Amtrak mobile app to access the Lyft app and request a ride. New users of Lyft will receive $5 off each of their first four Lyft rides by using the promo code AMTRAKLYFT.



Amtrak’s Williamsburg station is just blocks away from Colonial Williamsburg. It features a steep gabled roof and classical portico along with its comfortable waiting room.

Shopping Destinations: Merchant’s Square, Williamsburg Premium Outlets



Amtrak in Virginia Alexandria Train Station

Conveniently located right in the heart of Alexandria, this Amtrak station offers a waiting room and is close to Old Town with convenient Metro access.

Shopping Destinations: Old Town Alexandria, The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, Tyson’s Corner Center



Nestled in the historic district, Amtrak offers a platform and a covered shelter at this location. You also can enjoy a meal at The Bavarian Chef, located in the original depot, which dates back to 1910.

Shopping Destinations: Historic Downtown Fredericksburg, Central Park



With the return of passenger rail in 2012, Norfolk constructed a depot near the waterfront that’s both classic and thoroughly modern. The station building includes a waiting room.

Shopping Destinations: Historic Ghent, Norfolk Premium Outlets, MacArthur Center



The two Amtrak stations in Richmond have very different looks and feels – but both feature a waiting room and are only a quick Lyft ride away from the city’s many shopping options.

Shopping Destinations: Carytown, Short Pump Town Center, Stony Point Fashion Park



This quiet suburban stop is close to the beautiful Occoquan River and the outlets at Potomac Mills, offering a platform with a covered shelter. All the convenience with a little less hustle and bustle.

Shopping Destinations: Potomac Mills



Amtrak trains offer wide, comfortable reclining seats and ample legroom – perfect for stretching out after a successful day of shopping. No middle seats, no baggage fees for your purchases. In the café car, you can fuel or refuel with the sandwiches, salads, snacks and hot and cold beverages available for purchase. And, Amtrak’s complimentary Wi-Fi service and in-seat power outlets keep you charged up and ready to hit the stores.


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Patricia Keppel

We are FUN! We are RVA! We support local business and charities! Life is good!