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Wondering about ...Sights and Parking

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Wondering about ...Sights and Parking

We will be in DC for 2 full days as part of a family vacation. (Actually a day and half since we plan to drive to King of Prussia). Traveling with a 90 year old, a 67 year old with steel plates in her leg from a car accident and a partially handicapped person who uses a cane to walk. So obviously walking long distances will be out of the question. From reading, it seems there's basically no parking by the national mall, where is the closest place we can park? Price isn't really a concern for that aspect. Will it be walk-able from the parking place to the mall itself or would we still need to catch a train/other transportation. There are 7 of us total. What are some of the must do things at the mall and the surrounding areas. We're not big on museums so besides the air and space one, we'll basically skip the rest.

Washington DC...
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1. Re: Wondering about ...Sights and Parking

The thing is even if you find parking in close walking distance to the Mall, the Mall itself is two miles long. So your real concern shouldn't be getting to the Mall (which is easy--it really depends on where your hotel is) but how to get from one place on the Mall to the next.

I think the cheapest and easiest way for you is to figure out the individual spots on the Mall you want to see--the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson, Capitol, etc--and then just start at one, and when you're ready to go to the next, just hail a cab off the street and have the driver take you to the next spot. Repeat that for each place you want to go. That's going to be a lot easier than trying to find parking spots near each spot and it will be a lot cheaper than doing some kind of organized tour bus.

Nassau, New...
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2. Re: Wondering about ...Sights and Parking

Thanks. We'd probably need two cabs. What are the organized bus tours you speak of? I know you say the cabs would be cheaper but a tour that incorporates the popular sites on the mall sounds interesting

Washington DC...
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3. Re: Wondering about ...Sights and Parking

There's the Old Town Trolley tour but they are a bad idea because when you get off the bus to actually walk around and see something up close, it's usually a LONG wait until the next one, which is a real waste when it takes like 30 seconds to hail a cab. As far as I know the narration on this tour isn't anything you couldn't find out by reading a guide book, Wikipedia or the plaques all over the Mall.

Maryland
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4. Re: Wondering about ...Sights and Parking

There are extremely limited handicap parking spaces available on the mall (pretty sure right in front of A&S though I would not count on getting one).

You could drop off your crew at A&S (mall side) and look for parking (meters might be available nearby for a couple hours).

Look at Bestparking.com for parking options (maybe the Reagan Building or Union Station) for something better than street parking.

You can find street parking by the Jefferson, MLK and FDR (all nearby) by the Tidal Basin (close to the river). You might be able to find a meter by the Lincoln and the Vietnam.

Read a trip report or two or the list of top sights or get a tourbook to get some ideas on what to do.

I can't speak for the HOHO but that might be a decent (though not cheap) option if you just want the lay of the land.

A decent map would help you.

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Union Station
Union Station
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Washington DC, DC
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5. Re: Wondering about ...Sights and Parking

Do you have handicapped tags? There is actually a lot of handicapped parking at MLK, which also puts you right at FDR. Lincoln is close, so you could see those two, then have your spriteliest person drive everyone over& drop them off to see Lincoln & Viet Nam - then drive back & park at MLK, walk over to Lincoln, then walk back to pick up the car.

There are also a decent number of handicapped spaces on the mall that I never see filled except in the Spring.

Nassau, New...
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6. Re: Wondering about ...Sights and Parking

Thanks Mdboy and Victoria. We live abroad and my understanding is you have to apply through the state dmv to obtain handicap tags, as I don't think any rental car company gives them. So it would probably be too much headache to pursue. We're actually going to do as Mark suggested. Park at a close metro, get off at the Smithsonian and just use taxis as needed within the mall area.

Washington DC...
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7. Re: Wondering about ...Sights and Parking

Parking at a Metro station on weekends is free and usually easy. On work days, most of Metro's parking lots fill up early in the morning with commuters. So that could affect your plans. And as a side note, paying for parking in DC will probably be cheaper than paying round-trip Metro fares for 7 people.

Nassau, New...
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8. Re: Wondering about ...Sights and Parking

Wow. Ok checked best parking website and see alot of parking nearby, so we can park and just take a taxi the rest of the way. Fantastic. If we have to do the metro it would be from looking at the map the Vienna Station, on the Orange line. Which looks to be the first starting point. Checking the station site, they show the day's parking availability. So will keep that option for backup just in case. Is their any particular side of the mall which is better?. I see parking both north and south of the mall.

washington dc
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9. Re: Wondering about ...Sights and Parking

When exactly are you coming? If you're planning on Metro from Vienna you need to check weekend track work. But parking around the mall on weekends is not so difficult. Another option, if you have a weekday evening to see the memorials, is to drive in and park exactly at 6:30 on Constitution Ave. when rush-hour restrictions end and parking is legal.

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Vienna
Vienna
Vienna Region, Austria
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10. Re: Wondering about ...Sights and Parking

We arrive on the 23rd and leave on the 26th of October. Want to do the mall on the 24th as we'll be heading up to the King of Prussia on the 25th. I'll just use a parking garage close by the mall that day and utilize taxi's as needed for the different monuments.