How to find parking at Amtrak stations around the U.S. isn’t always an easy task. Especially if you’re new to Amtrak.
If you’re like me and don’t fly, there comes a time when your cruise ship doesn’t shove off from a port within reasonable driving distance. When I had to get to Los Angeles for an Hawai’ian Islands cruise and later to Portland for a Columbia river cruise, my only way there was Amtrak to California and again for Oregon.
Some of the smaller stations throughout the country, including Florida, have free but very limited parking spaces at the station. If you’re lucky enough to find a legal, longterm parking space, you must inform the station agent that you are parking your car long-term. You’ll get a permit to place on your dashboard.
That’s all well and good…until you get there and there are no places to park and your train is due in 15 minutes. Unless you’re sure you’ll get a parking space at one of these smaller stations, it might be a good idea to drive a bit further to a larger train stations to park your car.
How this works
Amtrak has teamed up with SpotHero to let you to find, reserve, and pay for guaranteed parking at over 30 train stations nationwide.
Search for your train station and then compare real-time parking prices and available locations for your selected location. After purchase, you will receive an email confirmation that will serve to guarantee entry to your selected location and also serves as payment.
Space will be set aside at your selected parking location to ensure that your parking is guaranteed, even if the lot or garage otherwise reaches capacity.
States that offer pre-purchase parking at Amtrak stations
California – Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose.
Colorado – Denver
Delaware – Wilmington
Florida – Tampa
Georgia – Atlanta
Illinois – Chicago
Indiana – Indianapolis
Louisiana – New Orleans
Maryland – Baltimore
Massachusetts – Boston
Missouri – St. Louis
New Jersey – Newark
New Mexico – Albuquerque
New York – Buffalo, NYC
Ohio – Cleveland
Ontario – Toronto
Oregon – Portland
Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
Tennessee – Nashville
Texas – Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio
Virginia – Alexandria, Richmond
Washington – Seattle
Washington D.C. – Union Station
Wisconsin – Milwaukee
Non-flyers can rejoice and not worry about finding a parking space at their Amtrak station. You may have to drive a little farther, but for piece of mind in knowing your parking spot is reserved, is worth it.
READ MORE: How to take Amtrak to your cruise port
If your departure city isn’t listed here, contact your Amtrak station and get the lowdown on parking. There may be times when the station agent doesn’t answer the phone. This is usually because a train is about to arrive or depart and there’s only one or two agents on staff. Keep trying. If the station is very close, drive over and speak with the station agent and know before you go.
I’m the editor and creator of CruiseMaven.com and self-appointed “expert” on cruises, trains and solo travel. By sharing news and reviews plus my cruise and travel experiences, I hope to entertain, inform and inspire you to travel the world without flying. Be sure to enjoy a local meal and a glass of wine along the way.