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Trip report

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Trip report

With only a day and a half, we tried to pack as much as possible in our trip. After getting lost and then stuck in traffic, we made it to our hotel - Best Western Key Bridge. Great location although the hotel is in need of the rennovations that they are undertaking. After checking in around 6 PM, we walked across the street to the metro station and rode to Union Station. The metro was great - easy to understand and clean. Since we had tickets for the Old Town Trolly Monuments by Moonlight tour, we only had enough time to grab some slices of pizza from the food court inside Union Station. What a building! Beautiful to see on its own. The pizza was great and we boarded the bus. I would highly recommend this tour. To see all the monuments lit at night was awesome. It was much cooler than trying to walk to all the monuments during the heat of the day. We had a great driver, and although we could have used more time at each monument - it was a great choice of activitiy. I ordered the tickets ahead of time and saved a few bucks. We headed back to the hotel well after 10 PM and felt perfectly safe riding the metro at that time of night. After a peaceful night's sleep, we got up and had a continental breakfast at the hotel then got on the metro again and made our way to Ford's Theatre. We got there soon after it opened at 9 AM and listened to an informative talk about the night Lincoln was shot. We then went to the top of the bell tower which was okay - but don't know if we'd do it again. We then went to the museums. My husband and 11 year old son went to the Natural History museum, and my 13 year old daughter and I went to the American History museum. Of course we had to see Dorothy's ruby slippers - but then happened upon the restoration of the Star Spangled Banner. Facinating! After only about an hour and a half we met at the Washington Monument. I ordered tickets ahead of time for 11:30 AM - thought we'd see that then go to lunch. They announced while we were there that there would be a walk down tour at noon - so we took advantage of that opportunity. From what I understand - they don't do these tours very often - so if you come across it - do it! It took an hour to decend as we stopped at most every landing to look at the slabs of carved stone that were placed inside the monument as a way to raise funds to help build it. I knew there were carvings inside - but had no idea of the extent. It was cool inside (although not air conditioned) and was well worth the hour spent. We then headed to the Air and Space museum. There's a new food court inside where the kids were happy to eat McDonalds while us grown ups were able to get a more sophisticated meal. After spending a couple of hours there, we walked to the Spy Museum where I had prepurchased tickets for 5:30. The Spy Museum was okay - some interesting things - but we expected more. We then stopped by the National Archives which is opened until 9 PM till Labor Day. It was about 7 PM and there was barely a line. Great time to go. We had reservations for a place to eat around DuPont circle - but were exhausted - so rode on back to the hotel. The next morning, we packed up and headed to Arlington Cemetary (not far from our hotel). It was warm - but we had our bottles of water and just took our time to walk to the Kennedy gravesite then the tomb of the unknown. We timed it right - about 10:50 AM - to get good seats to see the changing of the guard (every 1/2 hour) yet we didn't have to wait too long in the hot sun. The changing of the guard is awesome - then to our surprise, we also saw a ceremony for the changing of the wreath in front of the tomb. We then continued on our way for the rest of our vacation in Hilton Head. Take water bottles and wear comfortable shoes! Thanks for all the help in this forum. I was able to make some great choices for a great trip.

Washington DC...
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1. Re: Trip report

Thanks for your great trip report!

As a note, I heard the other day that the Best Western in Rosslyn will be closed in the next few months and turned into condos. I wonder whether the construction you saw is the beginning of that process?


Sterling, VA
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2. Re: Trip report

Thank you for posting your trip report. You have some useful info that will help future visitors. Glad you all enjoyed your stay!