Marine Corps Base Quantico is one of the principal stations of the U.S. Marine Corps, home to numerous training and research units and commands. Facilities on the base are also used for research and training by federal civilian law enforcement agencies, notably the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The base completely surrounds the Town of Quantico, for which it was named and mostly on whose former land it occupies.
The area was originally settled by the Patowomack people in the 16th century, and Quantico is believed to be an Algonquian word. The English began to settle the area around Aquia Harbor in the 18th century. The military presence in the area began as far back as the American Revolutionary War, when Virginia based many of its naval forces here, but it was mostly a rural getaway for Washington and Richmond residents until 1917, when Marine Barracks, Quantico was established and became a key training center with the U.S. entry into World War I. In 1920, it became a permanent training center, and in 1942, it expanded by some 50,000 acres.
Quantico is just off Interstate 95, but traffic congestion in this area is legendary. A surface alternative is U.S. Route 1, which parallels I-95 through the area.
Quantico has its own rail station, served by the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) commuter system's Fredericksburg Line and by Amtrak's Northeast Regional and Carolinian trains. Both services connect Quantico with Washington, D.C. to the north. There is no intercity or commuter bus service direct to the Quantico area; connections are available at Triangle, to the north.
The nearest airport to Quantico is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA IATA) to the north in Arlington. The airport has its own Metro station on the WMATA Blue Line, which can be used to transfer from the airport to King Street, in Alexandria, where connections are available to Amtrak and VRE. VRE connections are also available at Crystal City, on the Blue and Yellow Lines, and at Franconia-Springfield, the terminus of the Blue Line. Most long-distance and international flights arrive at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD IATA) in the Dulles-Chantilly area of Loudoun County, from which no direct transit connections are available; see the "Get in" advice for Arlington or Washington, D.C. for connection options.
Mass transportation is limited in the Quantico area, and visitors are advised to rent a car. A local bus service, OmniLink, is operated by the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC), the regional transit authority. Route R1-L connects the Quantico rail station to the neighboring communities of Triangle and Dumfries for $1.40, paid with exact change or SmarTrip card. It may be easier, however, to call for a taxi; Prince William Yellow Cab can be reached at 703-491-2222.
- 1 National Marine Corps Museum, 18900 US-1 (Exit 150 or 150A to Jefferson Davis Highway), toll-free: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 9AM-5PM daily. This well-developed museum is actually one of the best in the area, including D.C. proper. It is dedicated to Marine Corps history, but also American military history more generally. Some of the exhibits are not very child-friendly, with more graphic and violent imagery. free.
- 2 Quantico National Cemetery, 18900 US-1, toll-free: , fax: . Sunrise to sunset daily. An active military cemetery, Quantico is not exactly a tourist hotspot. Military history buffs, however, may stop by to see the Edson's Raiders monument, a Commonwealth of Virginia memorial, and memorials for other Marine Corps units. Notable burials include Louis Lowery, who took the iconic photograph of the flag raising on Iwo Jima, and Frederick Branch, first African-American officer in the Marine Corps. free.
- [dead link] Tun Tavern, 18900 US-1, ☏ . The most fun restaurant in the area for visitors is actually in the Marine Corps Museum. The food is straight-forward American, be it soups, salads, entrees, etc. $10-25, children's menu available.