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Day Trip to D.C. From Philly -- Help Please

Philadelphia...
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Day Trip to D.C. From Philly -- Help Please

Would like to bring our French exchange student into D.C. just for a day an to reduce costs, we will need to drive from the greater Philly area. Can anyone suggest the best driving route (I am worried about traffic) and a parking destination that will allow us to explore the Mall and its surroundings on foot? Many thanks!

Washington DC...
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1. Re: Day Trip to D.C. From Philly -- Help Please

The two most mentioned parking garages are the one at Union Station, near the east end of The Mall with the Capitol. And the Reagan International Trade Center on 14th Street NW near the middle of The Mall with several museums. Of course, if you come on a Sunday you may be able to find free street parking. But no guarantee how close it will be to what you want to see.

Groton, Connecticut
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2. Re: Day Trip to D.C. From Philly -- Help Please

Alternatively, you could look at Amtrak from Philly and may save some money. Then use Metro to get around DC.

Philadelphia...
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3. Re: Day Trip to D.C. From Philly -- Help Please

Thank you both! I will Google the garages. Would love to take the train but it is cost-prohibitive for 4 or 5 of us. Would still appreciate driving route info from Philly area.

Columbia, Maryland
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4. Re: Day Trip to D.C. From Philly -- Help Please

I'm going to assume you are coming from Doylestown.

611 to PA Turnpike (I276)west to I476 south.

I476 south to I95 south.

I495 around Wilmington.

I95 through Baltimore. (I would recommend I895 except there is construction)

At this point you have 2 options:

1.Continue on I95 south to the DC Beltway, follow I95 signs around the east side.

From the DC Beltway, take Baltimore Washington Parkway south(295)

to New York Ave east (50 east) into DC.

2. 295 south to NY Ave (route 50) east to DC

I95 is multiple lane 65mph. 295 is 2 lane each way 55 mph but a little less hectic. Listen to traffic reports on WBAL 1090 AM for Baltimore and 103.5 FM WTOP for DC.

Watch your speed on 295 and New York Ave going into DC. Watch for speed limit changes on 295.

It's about 3.5 hours.

If you are coming on a weekday, depending on the time of day it might not be the best route.

Edited: 09 July 2012, 21:15
Philadelphia...
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5. Re: Day Trip to D.C. From Philly -- Help Please

Thank you so much, Dave! Just what I was looking for. I appreciate your effort.

Columbia, Maryland
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6. Re: Day Trip to D.C. From Philly -- Help Please

To add a little more detail once you get to DC. Look at Google Maps of DC.

The National Mall is located between Capitol St and 15th St NW. The NW is important. If you think of Capitol St. as Zero Street, coming in via NY Ave the numerical streets go out from there as NW and NE. You will pass numbered streets NE counting down as you approach N. Capitol St. After N. Capitol St. they will start counting up as NW.

Turn left somewhere between N. Capitol St and 15th St. NW. The mall is between Constitution and Independence Ave, several blocks south of NY Ave. FInd a parking garage and park for the day. Union Station has one of the more reasonable prices, but it puts you a couple blocks NE of the mall, but not a far walk. You could walk by the Capitol on your way.

Columbia, Maryland
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7. Re: Day Trip to D.C. From Philly -- Help Please

I should have mentioned the tolls on this route:

PA Turnpike: $1.60

I95 Delaware: $4

Maryland Susquehanna River Bridge: $6 northbound only

Maryland Harbor Tunnel: $3

If you want to avoid tolls, I can give you a route we use to visit family up that way that takes about 15 to 30 minutes longer but avoids the Delaware and Susquehanna Bridge tolls ($13 savings - you are on the PA Turpike one exit longer)

Philadelphia...
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8. Re: Day Trip to D.C. From Philly -- Help Please

Thank you, Dave! Tolls not an issue -- your info is great!

9. Re: Day Trip to D.C. From Philly -- Help Please

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