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Washington DC Trip Report

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Jacksonville...
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Washington DC Trip Report

We visited DC the last week of September 2013, just before the shutdown. The time of year was perfect, no scores of tourists, weather was comfortable mid 60's to mid 70's. We stayed in Chinatown which is fairly central, we were between 2 metro stations, 1 line and 1 hub so we could get just about anywhere fast. We stayed at the Fairfield Inn & Suites which had breakfast included. Good area for restaurants. A good thing to get for the stay would be a Metro Smartrip card, order it online and have it when you go. We took the yellow line from Reagan straight to Chinatown 2 blocks from our hotel, $2 & 10 minutes, off peak. A cab ride will cost $30 + a charge per bag. If you fly into Dulles you will have a 45 minute to 1 hour bus ride on the 5A bus to the Metro at 2 locations downtown. Most all attractions can be reached by Metro and a short walk, you can spend a bunch of time trying to figure out the buses but you'll waste a bunch of time. The exception is the Lincoln Memorial, you can get off at the Smithsonian stop and walk to it visiting several memorials on the way and back. Everything else is a short walk from a Metro station. Plan to spend a minimum of 2 hours per museum. They are all great depending on your tastes. I did find the National Museum of American History to be just a big building full of kitchy stuff with very little history, you won’t miss much if you don’t have time.

If you want to go to the Air & Space museum by Dulles, Udvar-Hazy Center, you will need to go to Rosslyn or L'Enfant Metro stops and take the 5A bus to Dulles, there you catch a shuttle that goes between the 2. It takes 45 min to an hour 1 way on the bus. You need to see this place it is huge, and you will be feet from space shuttle Discovery, an SR-71, the Concorde, the Enola Gay, and tons more. Incredible. Expect to be there 2 to 3 hours at a minimum.

We stopped at Arlington on the way back from the Udvar-Hazy Center, 1 stop from Rosslyn. You can hike around or pay for the trolley & tour, we hiked. Beautiful and moving. If you didn’t know it the Iwo Jima memorial is outside of the cemetery, you’ll have to walk a little ways to a park next to Arlington.

Overall a great trip but there were some low points. Being a big city there are tons on homeless and literally crazy people around. We saw 1 homeless guy and his dog setting up camp for the night in 1 of the capitol buildings, they are public. Security everywhere, at the entrance to every building, don't take any bags or water, carry as little as possible. Our capitols upkeep is suffering, it’s not overly apparent but you can see it if you pay attention.

Edited: 02 October 2013, 20:16
Sterling, VA
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1. Re: Washington DC Trip Report

Great TR! It's clear that you did your homework before visiting and thus made the most of your time. Thank you for sharing.

2. Re: Washington DC Trip Report

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Removed on: 03 October 2013, 10:05
Cochran
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3. Re: Washington DC Trip Report

We are booked for Oct 6th to 10th, but unsure if we should cancel due to gov. shutdown. We are taking the grandchildren and unsure if there are enough things open for them. Any suggestions?

Washington DC...
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4. Re: Washington DC Trip Report

Georgiapeach, you should have just looked around. There are already 3 topics on this forum about this issue. Here ia a link to the longest: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28970-i40-k686809…

texas
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5. Re: Washington DC Trip Report

Great report, but I have to respectfully disagree with you on the Museum of American History.went a few weekends ago and I was there for many hours, and was thoroughly engrossed in it all. I spent 4 hours in just the Price of Freedom area. I was looking at , and reading, everything. So what one person thinks is not worth it, for another it may be the highlight of the visit. Also standing there with the original flag had me in tears.It was the highlight of my visit this time around.

Jacksonville...
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6. Re: Washington DC Trip Report

I will agree the the price of freedom area was great and the redeeming portion of the museum. I think more of that spread out throughout the museum would have made it an American history museum.

Jacksonville...
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7. Re: Washington DC Trip Report

One other thing I would add to my post. If you don't stay downtown, it is pricey, stay somewhere close to a metro station. You can get just about anywhere and fast with the metro. The best thing we did was get a Smartrip card ahead of time. We purchased $30 cards and loaded an extra $15 on each. After 6 days and our trip back to Reagan we had .75 left on each card. It cost a fraction of what cabs & tour buses would have.

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8. Re: Washington DC Trip Report

Very nice report! I enjoyed reading about your time in Washington DC! :)

9. Re: Washington DC Trip Report

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