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Plans for Three Day Weekend in DC

Des Moines, Iowa
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Plans for Three Day Weekend in DC

My wife & I are heading to DC for our 5 year anniversary. Thanks to me work travel for the last year we were able to use points for most of it. Since it will be her first time there we plan to mostly just see the highlights. We are only there for a long weekend so I know we can’t see everything. We fly in Friday morning 10/21 and are staying at the Park Hyatt. I’m wondering if this schedule looks manageable.

Friday Afternoon - Capitol Building (tour booked), Supreme Court, Library of Congress. It’s then back to the hotel to prepare for the evening. I think we are going to eat at the Blue Duck Tavern at the hotel we then have tickets to a show at the Kennedy Center.

Saturday - Museums of American History, Natural History, National Archives. After the museums close we plan to walk around the Mall and visit the monuments and memorials. It will be just around sunset so I think it should look nice.

Sunday - Arlington, National Gallery of Art, Air & Space Museum. Then off to the airport for a 7pm flight.

My wife wants to tour the White House and we are waiting on the status on it for Saturday. I’m trying to make a plan with the stuff we want to see but leave things open to change as the mood hits us. Since almost everything revolves around the Mall area I expect we will be walking most of the time with a few jumps on the Metro or a cab. What do you think?

San Francisco
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1. Re: Plans for Three Day Weekend in DC

Check the Smithsonian and National Gallery websites for docent tour schedules. Taking an hour tour or two will maximize your gallery/musuem experience.

I also recommend the Smithsonian American Art museum -- it's at Gallery Place, not the Mall. The building itself is fabulous (site of Lincoln's second inaugural and orginal patent office) and was recently renovated.

Washington DC...
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2. Re: Plans for Three Day Weekend in DC

A busy schedule, but probably within reason. You won't see much of any museum, but can hit a few highlights. I do think that the first day when you do so much on Capitol Hill, then a quick meal at a nice place and rush over to the Kennedy Center might be a bit frantic. I think I would choose a more casual place for dinner rather than hurry through a meal at Blue Duck Tavern.

Williamston...
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3. Re: Plans for Three Day Weekend in DC

I think it's a great plan! You got all the highlights covered in the limited time you have. Don't think you could've squeezed in much more.

Arlington, Virginia
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4. Re: Plans for Three Day Weekend in DC

I agree with Ramblin Sal that a docent-led tour of the museums you want to visit would be a great way to hit the highlights and if you have more time after the tour (generally 1 hour in length), you could see some more galleries.

Even though I have visited the National Gallery many times, I decided to take a docent-led tour this summer and it was fabulous--well worth my time.

Des Moines, Iowa
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5. Re: Plans for Three Day Weekend in DC

Thank you for your suggestions. I've started looking at the tours at the museums. It does sound like a great way to see a bunch quickly. I am also rethinking dinner plans for the first night. We do want to have a nice dinner but don't want to feel rushed. It's already going to be a long day.

Washington DC...
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6. Re: Plans for Three Day Weekend in DC

Blue Duck Tavern is amazing, though, so if you can fit it in for another meal you should. You'd need to reserve ASAP. The Obamas went there on a date!

Washington DC...
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7. Re: Plans for Three Day Weekend in DC

Since you'll be off-peak tourist season the lines will be significantly shorter to see the significant documents at the Archives. During the peak of tourist season, lines to see the exhibit with the Constitution, Magna Carta, etc. are often 45 minutes- 1 hour or more.

I also say, yes, if you're going to do Blue Duck, book asap. Opentable says that the entire 7pm hour for that day is already booked.

When walking around the mall, try to hit the Jefferson. I always enjoy that monument, even though its off the mall a bit on the other side of Independence Ave. People always forget old Jefferson across the pond.

Visalia, CA
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8. Re: Plans for Three Day Weekend in DC

Anthony - how long would you say the wait is at National Archives in non-peak season (late October)? I know you can't say for certain, just a general idea of a time frame.

9. Re: Plans for Three Day Weekend in DC

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