If the idea of the cherry blossom scent in April and a view of moonlight over the Washington Monument gets you excited about a visit to Washington, D.C., don’t let the fear of navigating some of the nation’s busiest airports keep you at home. There’s good news for travelers in the Carolinas who want lots of convenience without lots of costs.
The Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) recently began a new non-stop, direct flight to the D.C. area via Allegiant Airlines. The twice-weekly economical flight arrives and departs from Baltimore-Washington International airport (BWI), which is only a 30-minute train ride into Union Station. Originally scheduled as a seasonal service May through August, the popularity of this flight already has it extended through early January 2017.
This flight meets three of my essential criteria for flexible and fun travel – convenience, cost and calendar. AVL is centrally located in Western North Carolina and easy to get to from Upstate South Carolina and even the Charlotte area. Because Allegiant makes travel affordable and convenient, it’s possible to spend less on two round-trip tickets (plus train rides) than a single full-priced one-way ticket on another airline. And with two flights per week from AVL to BWI, you can easily enjoy a long weekend or 4-day mini-vacation.
Why not just fly into Reagan or Dulles, you ask? The convenience is certainly one of the top reasons, but there’s also the adventure! The short train ride from the station located just outside BWI into Union Station is brief, comfortable and user-friendly. Once in Union Station, it’s easy to catch a cab (or Uber) to your hotel or even walk to the Capitol Building for a photo opp, as I did just a few months ago when I took the inaugural flight.
I can think of no better way to visit one of our nation’s most delightful cities than by combining planes, trains and automobiles! And with so many things to do in the Baltimore area as well, it really is a win-win for the discerning traveler. (If you time it right next summer, you could hit two major league ballparks in the same trip!)
What are your favorite things to see and do in DC? There are so many to choose from…from historical to culinary to educational to athletic to cultural…and everything in between!
We’re fortunate to have some great airlines and flights available in Western North Carolina. The Asheville Regional Airport, served by four airlines, offers daily flights to major hubs like Atlanta, Charlotte and Chicago, and non-stop flights to six Florida destinations and Baltimore. There’s also year-round service to New York via Newark. (Have you always wanted to say “Happy New Year” in the Big Apple??)
PS – you can also have a little fun exploring the airport in Baltimore like I did! (see photo!!)