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Suggestions / comments on planned itinerary and hotel?

Canada
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Suggestions / comments on planned itinerary and hotel?

Hi all

We're planning a 6 day visit to Washington this summer (July 26-Aug 2) with our 2 kids (14 and 10).

We have reserve a room at the Avenue Suites in Georgetown (corner of Pennsylvania and L Street NW) since the room fits our needs (2 queens, full kitchen, living room) and the price fits our budget. The hotel seems to be close to a Metro (Foggy Bottom) and gets great reviews. Is there any issue with the area?

For our week we are planning the following:

July 26: Arriving in late afternoon.

July 27: National Archives, national museum of national history (+Insect Zoo) (am), Capitol and Ford’s Theatre (pm)

July 28: Washington Monument, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, World War II Memorial (am), national museum of arts (pm)

July 29: Holocaust Museum (am), national aquarium (pm)

July 30: national air and space museum (am), national museum of national history (+Insect Zoo) (pm)

July 31: Gettysburgh

Aug, 1: National Zoo, Marines evening parade

Aug. 2: going back home

Sooooooo. Does the plan seem doable? Do you see major issues?

I read a lot about the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Centre. But it seems so far away from everything! We will have a car so driving is not an issue. Is the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Centre worthy of such a big detour or is the national air and space museum enough for our teen guy? The reviews are raving about this place. Opinions please? If you had to chose between the museum and the Centre...

Edited: 10 January 2014, 03:17
Canada
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1. Re: Suggestions / comments on planned itinerary and hotel?

For July 27 and July 30, we may switch visits if we realize we will not have enough time. That's why the national museum of national history is listed twice.

Washington, DC
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2. Re: Suggestions / comments on planned itinerary and hotel?

The "big" items are at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (such as the Space Shuttle) Going out to Dulles area will take a good amount of your day. Hour out/Hour Back at least and how ever long you are at the center.

Don't know where you are from in Canada but you will be in DC during prime heat and humidity season. Understand you and more likely your kids may not be able to do everything you want to do if you are not use to the humidity. Your walk on the 28th could be a really long day if it is 90-95 with humidity.

Arlington, Virginia
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3. Re: Suggestions / comments on planned itinerary and hotel?

1. There is no longer any aquarium in D.C. It closed in September.

2. You could, perhaps, skip the zoo and go to the Udvar Hazy Museum or you could split up the group and have one parent go with the younger child to the zoo while one parent goes to Udvar Hazy with the teen. The Udvar Hazy has some really cool planes and spacecraft and I think anyone who is an aviation/space fan would love going there. It also has some neat flight simulation machines you can try for a fee and these are very popular with teens (although there may be some at the A&S Museum on the Mall too.)

3. You are planning to visit several places that require or highly recommend advance tickets. Under the "Top Questions" to the right of the screen is a Q&A on this topic you should be sure to read as you plan this trip.

Canada
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4. Re: Suggestions / comments on planned itinerary and hotel?

Hi Iam,

We're from Ottawa, originally from Montreal so we're used to hot humid days. Now decidedly not as hot and humid as in DC but we know what to expect in terms of temperature.

So for the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center we'll decide at that time and let the kids determine if they want to see a space shuttle and a stealth plane, or the Wright's brothers' and the Spirit of St Louis (something tells me the Centre will win this....)

Canada
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5. Re: Suggestions / comments on planned itinerary and hotel?

Hi Longhorn

I understand the aquarium was moved to Baltimore. Am I correct?

Skipping the zoo will be tough as both kids want to see the pandas. We may very well just go to the Centre and skip the museum.

As for advance tickets, I thought that only the Capitol, the Holocaust Museum and the Marines' parade required advanced purchase / reservation. I'll check the top questions, thanks.

As for the Avenue Suites, is the neighborhood ok?

Groton, Connecticut
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6. Re: Suggestions / comments on planned itinerary and hotel?

There were two branches of the Aquarium. They closed the DC branch of it which was just a small room so not much of a visit.

I would suggest and agree with Udvar Hazy over the one on the Mall due to the amazing selection of planes etc there compared to the Mall. Plus the wow factor of the Space Shuttle.

Maryland
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7. Re: Suggestions / comments on planned itinerary and hotel?

My two cents is to go to the Air & Space on the Mall - Udvar Hazy is a serious comittment if time is of the essense. Udvar Hazy is super cool but it's going to take up most of a full day.

Also, I'd try to see the memorials at night - far more memorable and this will free up your daylight hours plus it will be cooler.

Canada
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8. Re: Suggestions / comments on planned itinerary and hotel?

Hi mdboy

that's a great idea! Would give us some additional time for the air and space museum.

thanks!

Rockville, Maryland
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9. Re: Suggestions / comments on planned itinerary and hotel?

Avenue Suites--EXCELLENT choice. You're right--not far from the Foggy Bottom Metro. The neighborhood is charming. Foggy Bottom is leafy, historic, quiet and next to the West End, both next to Georgetown. Near your hotel is Whole Foods, Trader Joe's etc. Foggy Bottom is one of my favorites.

Starting off: consider whether you want to do a trolley tour of the sites and not get off (unless it has a planned stop), and use it to get oriented in a short period of time..

The 27th and the 30th the Insect Zoo duplicates. Delete from the 27th. .

When you are at the Museum of Natural History, don't miss the huge elephant, the gigundus dinosaur, and the Hope Diamond. (If your husband gets scared, you can re-assure him it's not for sale.)

After the Space Museum, consider the Museum of the American Indian collection and the lunch--the best "cafeteria" in DC, many choices you can see before selecting.

When you are by the Capitol, go see the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress. It's like the Sistine Chapel, only more secular. And Union Station down the street for the architecture of the building, and beautiful marble.

When you do the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, you can ask a Park Ranger to let you see the internal structural support. There is a door to the side--it's fascinating.

If you contact your Congressman in advance, he/she can arrange escorted tours for you of the Capitol, the Kennedy Center, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. (The Bureau is directly next to the Holocaust Museum; you may want to coordinate the timing; .

.You itinerary is commendable, but perhaps a little "serious" overall for the children and you. So: consider working in the International Spy Museum, the Newseum, DON'T MISS THE ZOO--PANDA-MONIUM! maybe the crime museum, Georgetown at night. During the day in Georgetown, walk about 6 blocks past Wisconsin Ave., NW. to about 36th St, NW. You will see a gas station. Just before you get there, look to the right. Those steep stairs? THE EXORCIST STAIRS! On the way back, to recover, have a cupcake on about 35th St., NW. at Georgetown Cupcake.While you are in Georgetown, walk 1-2 blocks up on Wisconsin Ave, NW, then go left and right--it's so historic.

For great foods the locals thrive on and tourists never see, try the Greek Deli on 19th St. NW (say hi to Costa) and CF Folks up the street. The owner teases the guests--it's fun, and you didn't do anything wrong.

Udvar: if you're going or coming from Dulles, and you have the time, OK. If you want to see the Blackbird spy plane, go. Otherwise, the downtown branch communicates the essence.

If you want to see some history: the Willard Intercontinental Hotel the lobby meticulously restored to the 1860s. President Grant used to come down here to drink in the lobby, and people would come up to him and ask him to do something--hence the origin of the term "lobbyist" . Walk up to Lafayette Square and see the Decatur House, the home of the first licensed architect in the US. Then see the Hay-Adams across the street.

For a totally neat lunch or dinner, try Daikaya on 6th Street, NW behind the Verizon Center. Noodles galore and yummy soup.

Canada
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10. Re: Suggestions / comments on planned itinerary and hotel?

Thanks for the tips littlebiffone! Unfortunately, coming from Canada, our odds are bad to be able to contact our Congressman! lol.

Much appreciated!