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Easy Access and Parking outside of DC

Philadelphia...
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Easy Access and Parking outside of DC

Hi,

I will be visiting DC in a few weeks. I am in a wheelchair. I have a wheelchair accessible van and so I need a van accessible handicapped parking space. I plan to take the Metro into DC for two days and am trying to find out which area would be the best. I'm looking for a very safe area with ample parking and nice hotels. I have looked inside of DC and have found that parking is going to be a real problem with my van so I am looking for areas outside of DC. I have considered Rockville, Vienna, Springfield but am unsure which offers the most safety, easiest parking, and a pretty nice hotel. Thanks in advance for help.

Washington, DC
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1. Re: Easy Access and Parking outside of DC

Depends on where in those areas. The better question is to find a few hotels and come back to the board with specific questions. Also investigate handicap parking at each metro station, Much of the Metro parking fills up early (ie before 8 AM). I do not know if this is true of handicap parking.

Philadelphia...
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2. Re: Easy Access and Parking outside of DC

Here are some of the hotels under consideration. Again, I don't know about the issues I described above which is why I am posting in search of help. As far as the comment on the metro, it will be on the weekend and as I recall parking is pretty easy at the Metro stations on the weekend.

Gaithersburg/Rockville Area: Hyatt House Gaithersburg, Homewood Suites Rockville, Hilton Garden Inn Rockville, Crowne Plaza Rockville

Vienna, VA Area: Homewood Suites Falls Church, Embassy Suites Tysons Corner, Courtyard Dunn Loring Fairfax

Springfield, VA Area: Towneplace Suites Springfield, Hilton Springfield,

Arlington, Virginia
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3. Re: Easy Access and Parking outside of DC

The Courtyard Dunn Loring Fairfax could be a very good fit for you. You should be able to use wheelchair accessible pathways directly from your hotel to the Metro (I think -- I've never specifically looked for this, but that's my general sense of the area). The landscape between the hotel and the Metro there is also quite flat. The area is safe and you've got a growing number of food and retail choices with free parking that you can drive to within about a mile, at the Merrifield Mosaic district.

Dunn Loring will offer you a shorter ride on Metro into the city than any of the Springfield locations, so I'd advise it over those.

I am not familiar with any of the specific Maryland hotels, so I can't comment on how it will compare to them.

washington dc
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4. Re: Easy Access and Parking outside of DC

All those places you're considering are very far out - 30+ minutes on the metro. Also bear in mind that Metro is doing track work most weekends which can greatly increase the amount of travel time. There may also be stations or segments of track closed with shuttle bus service between them. So your actual dates will make a big difference. Once you know your exact dates - check www.wmata.com.

Metro unfortunately also has unpredictable elevator outages which can also make some stations in-accessible for a wheelchair. I would recommend looking around a bit more for accommodations in DC. There are lots of wheelchair spaces near most tourist sites.

Fairfax County...
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5. Re: Easy Access and Parking outside of DC

How tall is you van and what is your nightly hotel budget? (Or at least tell us the make and model of your van, so that someone can look it up for you) There are many nice hotels in better and closer location than those you mentioned, but most of them have indoor parking so clearance may or may not be an issue.

On weekends, you are probably better off just drive into the city and park at Reagan Building or on the street.

Philadelphia...
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6. Re: Easy Access and Parking outside of DC

The van is a Sienna mini van so clearance hasn't been an issue in the past but having enough space to get the wheelchair lift down has been an issue in some of those really tight garages. Budget is under $200. Thanks for the response.

Philadelphia...
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7. Re: Easy Access and Parking outside of DC

Also, the actual dates I will be in DC and using the Metro are August 9th and August 10th. Thanks.

Washington DC...
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8. Re: Easy Access and Parking outside of DC

I would suggest picking a hotel that's convenient for your van and getting into and out of. I wouldn't rely upon Metro. Plus parking in DC isn't too hard on the weekends and most of the city is pretty accessible. The sad reality of Metro is that you have about a 1 in 10 chance the elevator won't be working at the station you're going to, about a 1 in 3 change they'll be doing trackwork, and a 1 in 3 chance something will break causing a delay on your line. Average it out and you're looking at a 50/50 odds of a long train ride that may require you riding Metro's transit from one station to another just to board. My two cents.

washington dc
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9. Re: Easy Access and Parking outside of DC

There are lots of reserved handicapped parking spaces on the mall, near most tourist attractions. Most are parallel-parking, so your wheelchair lift would not be blocked. And the city itself is very wheelchair-friendly, aside from some smaller restaurants or shops in older buildings. I agree, you really do not want to depend on long Metro rides.

Fairfax County...
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10. Re: Easy Access and Parking outside of DC

You can check out the Crystal City Marriott at Reagan Airport right across the river. The hotel's website indicates many accessible facilities, including parking. They are quote $119 per night refundable, or $99 a night prepaid for your dates. (I assume it is check in 8/9 and check out 8/11/13)

marriott.com/hotels/…

They do charge for parking at $24, but the total will still be under your budget.