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Is this enough time

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Boston...
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Is this enough time

We were planning in staying 3 nights this Oct, but after putting the #'s together and then adding parking costs, we had to cut down and are staying 2 nights now.

Plan on arriving on a Friday around 12 noon and departing Sunday night about 5pm

Can we do all this? (2 adults 2 kids under 10)

National mall

White house

Tour of printing & engraving

National Zoo

Smithsonian

Washington DC...
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1. Re: Is this enough time

On a Sunday you don't need to pay for parking. You can park on the street almost everywhere.

Boston...
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2. Re: Is this enough time

That's great to know, thanks.

We are booked at the Fairfield Inn Chinatown and parking $33 a day. I might change to Hilton Garden but their parking rates are $39. We are parking our car upon arrival and don't plan on moving it until we leave. We are on foot all weekend.

Arlington, Virginia
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3. Re: Is this enough time

National mall - The purpose of going here (obviously) is to see the monuments. I find them to be most memorable and least busy at night. The BEST monuments tour I ever did, and now do with all visitors whom I show around the city is as follows:

Start the evening with dinner at Farmers, Fishers, Bakers. I typically recommend a 6PM dinner reservation. Founding Farmers’ sister restaurant Farmers, Fishers, Bakers is one of my favorite restaurants in DC. It is located in the Washington Harbour Waterfront (by Georgetown), which is a nice water-side venue. Much like Founding Famers, Farmers, Fishers, Bakers features a lot of diet-friendly options, including organic, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Some favorite dishes include Brick Oven Pretzels ($5), Georgetown Honey Fig Farmers Style Pizza ($13), and their “Authentic Field Tacos” ($10-15). There are also more hearty menu options, but I usually plan to have a light dinner so I won't regret it when we go walking afterwards.

Besides being a great restaurant with solid food, I choose this restaurant routinely because it is the IDEAL place to start the walking tour from. By the time you finish dinner, it will probably be 7:30, the sun will be starting to set and over the next 2-3 hours (on your walking tour), night will set in and the monuments will be illuminated...there is nothing like it. And to qualm any worries, the whole route is extremely safe and will be well populated in most parts. To begin, there is a sort of boardwalk promenade that goes along the Potomac River. When you exit the restaurant and are standing facing the Potomac River, you want to turn left and follow the boardwalk to the end. There will be a walking path in front of you that goes behind the Thompson Boat Center where you can Rock Creek Park trail. Follow it along the Potomac river, and on your left will be the famous Watergate Complex (the scandal that brought Nixon down) and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which is absolutely beautiful at night. Keep going on the trail; the Roosevelt bridge will be above you, and then you walk past the Volleyball courts and you come out at the Lincoln Memorial. You can take nice pictures down the reflecting pool at the Washington Monument and Capitol Building. Then you can visit the Korean War Veterans Memorial, then head towards the Tidal Basin where you can visit the MLK Jr. Memorial and the FDR Memorial on your way to the Jefferson Memorial. Then continue walking around the Tidal Basin and you will be brought out at the Washington Monument. Visit there, and then you can walk east down the National Mall to the Capitol Building, where I typically commence the tour. All in all, it is 4.7 miles. An hour and 34 minutes, plus the time you spend at each monument. I find it typically takes 3 hours...and you are done by about 10:30PM, pushing 11 most times because I like to linger at the monuments :)

I created a walking tour map on Google, and hopefully this link will help you out.

http://bit.ly/ZTxroV

White house - The white house does not do tours anymore. You can add this to the night tour (after Washington Monument, before Capitol (you could just take the Capitol out all together if you wish...) if you want evening pictures of it. You may also like to just walk by it in the day for photos and maybe visit the visitor's center. It isn't a must for me, and having only 2 days, I'd skip it.

Tour of printing & engraving - Search the forum and you'll find lots of info on getting tickets, etc. for this.

National Zoo - Red line metro out to Woodley Park or Cleveland Park. The closest station to the zoo is the Woodley Park / National Zoo stop. However, you have to walk up a steep hill to get to the Zoo, which can be tiring, especially if its hot out. Cleveland Park (the next station) is a SLIGHTLY longer walk but you don't have hilly terrain to deal with. Plan on spending a few hours there.

Smithsonian - The "Smithsonian" is not merely one museum. It is a collection of free admission museums throughout DC (with the exception of the Air and Space Annex which is out in Virginia near Dulles Airport). Some of the most popular museums are the American History Museum, Natural History Museum, and Air and Space Museum. We've sort of reached a consensus here on the forum, though, that the National Museum of the American Indian (albeit not as phenomenal of a museum) has the best cafe food of any Smithsonian in its Mitsitam Cafe. Their fry bread is a carbo-loaded treat.

Another museum I would consider a "don't miss" is the Newseum. Its the only "paid admission" museum I feel is worth the cost to get in. Great history of news, freedom of the press around the world, etc. Lots of interactive simulations where your kids can be news reporters..and so on.

Enjoy Washington, and safe travels,

AM13

Arlington, Virginia
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4. Re: Is this enough time

RE HOTELS - If you give us your nightly budget and EXACT dates of travel, I for one would be glad to take a look at hotels and throw out some suggestions. Usually, since I'm so familiar with all the booking engines with the best DC rates, I can scrounge up something awesome for you!

AM13

washington dc
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5. Re: Is this enough time

Yes - horrible that you are going to cut out a whole day for high hotel costs!!! Let Arlingtonman sort you out - or look at vacation rental apts. Crazy to come here and not stay!

washington dc
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6. Re: Is this enough time

And I mention Vacation rental apt. because any of them can give you a pass for free street parking. - vrbo.com or homeaway.com

Boston...
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7. Re: Is this enough time

Wow.....what a ton of FABULOUS info....so much appreciated.

As far as hotels, we are at the Fairfield Inn Chinatown at $159 a night but they have not fridge which is a bummer. I love the location of the Hilton Garden on 14th street but the prices are over $225 a night.

We want to be in walking distance of the monuments as we plan on parking our car once we arrive.

I don't mind taking the metro, but prefer to be walking the majority of the time.

I am trying to stay under $500 for hotel with parking for the weekend.

Edited: 02 August 2013, 10:56
Boston...
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8. Re: Is this enough time

Sorry...forgot the dates...Oct 11-13. Or if we can swing the extra cost, oct 11-14

Charlotte, NC
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9. Re: Is this enough time

Sunset should be around 6:30 at that time in October....

Charlotte, NC
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10. Re: Is this enough time

Sunset should be around 6:30 at that time in October. Does it take that long to get fully dark to appreciate the monuments?