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Staying near IAD, strategy in getting into DC

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Boston
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Staying near IAD, strategy in getting into DC

I'm staying near IAD over Mem Day weekend because hotels are alot cheaper. My plan is to rent a car and drive it to the East Falls Church Orange Metro stop as parking is free there on weekends/holidays. I'll then take the Metro into DC for the day.

My question is, is this feasible? Does the parking get full pretty early?

I also see that there a couple tolls on the 267. How much are these tolls?

Washington DC...
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1. Re: Staying near IAD, strategy in getting into DC

That sounds feasible. From what I hear, the Metro parking lots don't usually fill up on weekends. Traffic can still be heavy, but not like on workdays. Here is info about the toll road: www.metwashairports.com/tollroad/toll.htm

Washington, DC
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2. Re: Staying near IAD, strategy in getting into DC

You'll find plenty of parking at EFC on weekends.

suburban DC
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3. Re: Staying near IAD, strategy in getting into DC

Do be aware that 267 has 2 toll rates: one for the Toll Road, which runs from Rt. 28 east to Rt 66, and another for the Greenway, which runs west from Rt. 28 to the Leesburg bypass. If you get on part of the Greenway, you will pay a min $2.25 on top of the Toll Road rates. Solution is to get on 267 East no further west than Rt. 28, and get off coming back no later than Rt. 28.

Also! When returning to the IAD area from EFC Metro via Rt 66, the exit helpfully (!) does not mention Rt. 267 or the Toll Road at all. It says: "exit 67" at the top, and the main part of the sign says "Dulles Airport / To I-495 Baltimore". It is just before the exits for Rt. 7, Leesburg Pike. Once you are on this "spur", you will start seeing signs for Airport Only and Toll Road, as well as the exit for the Beltway. Do not get on the Airport Only section - it is for people actually going to the airport, and there are no exits til you get there. If you miss the exit to get onto 267 from Rt. 66, you can just stay on it until it intersects with Rt. 28 and take Rt. 28 north.

I hope I didn't make this sound too complicated - just good to know these things! Have fun!

washington, dc
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4. Re: Staying near IAD, strategy in getting into DC

be prepared for a whole lot of nothing near your hotel. i had a friend in town for work recently who commented on how soul crushing she found the area near IAD. i assume that the price of the the hotel + rental car + losing about 2 hours a day doing transit is worth it to save the money?

texas
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5. Re: Staying near IAD, strategy in getting into DC

I just wanted to make a comment following monkeybiz's good thoughts. I wanted to stay cheaper over July 4th weekend and week that follows and found the Hilton Garden inn Bethesda. I got it for 119 a night. I put your dates in and it is 169, or 154 if you prepay. Also parking is 15(lower than most)It is still ,they say, about a 30 minute ride to DC, but it is a 2 minute walk to the Metro, and then you get to sit and ride and not think about driving, parking, and then doing the long Metro ride. Bethesda also is supposed to have nice eating places around it, but we just plan to do all that in the day in DC and just come back at night to sleep. It is just a thought ,in case you add up all the rental car, parking, TIME,etc, and decide to maybe change. It is your vacation, however, so do what you feel works for you. Hope you heve a great time no matter what!

Washington DC...
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6. Re: Staying near IAD, strategy in getting into DC

I would usually say drive into DC on the weekend because there is plenty of street parking, but don't bother on Memorial Day weekend as it will be hectic--lot of motorcyclists in town then.

Your plan is feasible and there should be plenty of parking on the weekend...if not you can always park closeby and walk. With Metro, just remember you may have to wait 30-40 minutes for a train on the weekend.

In downtown you can walk most of the places or take the circulator (it'll be marked and its like 50 cents or something).

Maryland
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7. Re: Staying near IAD, strategy in getting into DC

Regarding your comment that there is usually plenty of street parking in DC on the weekend. Anyone parking on the weekends should check the meters carefully: the ones near my office building in SW now have stickers on them that say you have to pay to park on Saturdays (up to 6:30 p.m., I think).

suburban DC
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8. Re: Staying near IAD, strategy in getting into DC

I'm sure all the people who live in what they consider to be the IAD area (eastern Loudoun, western Fairfax) are delighted to hear how "soul-crushing" it is. ;-) It is true that immediately around IAD is mostly office space and recently built hotels, built mainly to serve those offices. If you stay in the area, and you want local restaurants and other signs of living, you need to go to Herndon, Reston, or Leesburg. There are are a lot of empty hotel rooms in the IAD area at times, so I have heard of incredible deals (like $65/nt), which can justify a certain amount of soul crushing.

Bethesda does have people who actually live there and a lot of restaurants in a walkable area, and the Metro is handy - so I agree that that's a good option for many. The Metro ride to the Smithsonian could be longer, though; with the change of trains you (might) get an extra @15 min travel time.

The time to get into the city on the weekend from IAD will be @25-30 min. to the EFC Metro, plus the Metro ride. So over a choice like Bethesda, you'd have an extra hour of travel a day - nothing to sneeze at while on vacation, but not 2 hours either.

Like the previous 2 posters I'd hesitate to advise anyone to drive into DC and plan on getting street parking, esp. on Mem Day Weekend. Have a good trip!

Sterling, VA
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9. Re: Staying near IAD, strategy in getting into DC

There are also restaurants in Sterling and Ashburn---no need to travel out to Leesburg---unless there is a restaurant there you really want to try. BTW, most of us who live in the "soul crushing" area leave the car at either Dunn-Loring or Vienna when we want to go to DC via Metro :)! That said, there is nothing wrong with leaving it at East Falls Church either---just a bit more driving involved to get there...

Boston
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10. Re: Staying near IAD, strategy in getting into DC

Thanks for everyone's replies. I will be staying in the Hyatt in Herndon, and have prepared my soul to be crushed haha. I already found a couple of restaurants for Friday evening when I fly in, but plan to stay/eat in DC and go back to the hotel to just sleep.

I will be arriving in IAD at 5:30pm on Friday. If I were to drive into DC for dinner, is evening parking easy? How much will I pay in tolls to get to DC? Thanks.