Other big wheels in beach transportation

Sunday, June 6, 2010

This summer, lose the car keys. For a beach retreat along the mid-Atlantic coast, you don't need to get behind the wheel. Here are some public transportation options from Washington to the ocean. (All fares are one way except where noted.)

-- Virginia Beach: Fly into Norfolk International Airport and catch the Norfolk Airport Shuttle to the oceanfront (804-342-7300, http://www.onetransportationsolution.com/norfolk.html; $39). Southwest, for one, offers nonstop service from BWI Marshall, from $155 round trip. The shuttle also serves Chesapeake, Hampton, Portsmouth and Suffolk. For a ground alternative, take Amtrak to Newport News, then hop the Amtrak shuttle to 19th Street and Pacific Avenue (800-872-7245, http://www.amtrak.com; from $48 one way). Greyhound also motors to Virginia Beach, with transfers in Richmond and Norfolk (800-231-2222, http://www.greyhound.com; from $33). GotoBus.com, part of the cheapie Chinatown bus network, has a $10 one-way summer special to Virginia Beach.

Info: Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, 800-822-3224, http://www.vbfun.com.

-- Ocean City, Md.: Grab a seat on Greyhound, with transfers in Baltimore and stops in Annapolis, Easton and Salisbury. From $33. BayRunner Shuttle (410-912-6000, http://www.bayrunnershuttle.com) picks up from BWI; $95.

Info: Ocean City Maryland Convention and Visitors Bureau, 800-626-2326, http://ococean.com.

-- Lewes, Del.: Take Amtrak to Wilmington (from $43), then grab a DART bus (800-355-8080, http://www.dartfirststate.com) to Rehoboth ($7.50) and a local bus to Lewes ($1). Express service on weekends. From Cape May (see below), ride the ferry over (800-643-3779, http://www.capemaylewesferry.com) for $10 in peak season.

Info: Lewes Delaware Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, 877-465-3937, http://www.leweschamber.com.

-- Atlantic City, N.J.: Many bus lines offer service to the casinos, including Greyhound's Lucky Streak (http://www.luckystreakbus.com), from $37.50 round trip, with an open-ended return. The standard Greyhound bus also drops off at its terminal.

-- Cape May and Ocean City, N.J.: From Atlantic City, the N.J. Transit bus (800-772-2287, http://www.njtransit.com) serves spots along the shore, including Cape May and Ocean City. The ride to Cape May costs $5.25; to Ocean City, $3.15.

Info: Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce, 609-399-1412, http://www.oceancitychamber.com; Cape May Department of Tourism, 866-Y-CAPEMAY, http://www.discovercapemay.com.

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