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One night in DC - where to stay?

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Bermagui, Australia
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One night in DC - where to stay?

I'm looking for recommendations on where to stay in DC. We will be arriving via Train from NYC as early as we can and leaving the next day around lunch time for Orlando. I know that this isn't nearly enough time to see much, but for me it's better than nothing.

We really want to see as much as we can in this time and i'm happy to just "see" things instead of spending a lot of time at them so i'm thinking maybe a HOHO bus might be good. But we will also want to stay really close to the action so that we can maximise our time. Ideally i'd like to spend less than $150 for the night, we (two of us in our 30s) will be coming on Sept 16th.

Main things we want to see are: White House, Lincoln Memorial etc and maybe a trip to the National Zoo because we love animals.

Tauranga, New...
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1. Re: One night in DC - where to stay?

Hi. I'm no expert on Washington DC as we don't go until May, but I've done a ton of research as we only have a very short time here too and this is our plan:

We're staying at The Hamilton, Crowne Plaza. It is very close to the White House and The Mall so we plan to do a lot of walking (do a quick search on googlemaps) and gets good reviews. It is also across the street from the Circulator Bus which will take you to/from Union Station easily and cheaply.

The first morning we're going to do a walk/photo stop at the White House before heading straight to the Capitol Building where I have booked a 45 min tour at 10:00am. Next door is the Supreme Court Building & Library of Congress (opens at 8:30am) which will only be a look, see and photo... We'll then walk down The Mall and visit the Air & Space Museum & if we have time, call into the National Gallery of Art to see some famous paintings (lots of museums in this area to choose from). Then in the evening we have booked a tour of the Momuments & Memorials by Segway - it gets good reviews and even tho' we are sure to look like fools, no one knows us and it should be fun and a great way to see a lot in a short time.

We do have an extra day which you don't, but I think the above covers all the highlights and if anything might start you on your way. A great website to use for planning is tripomatic dot com, but the best tool is a good paper map if you can get your hands on one (Lonely Planet books have them in the back usually).

Good luck and have fun...

nzers

Arlington, Virginia
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2. Re: One night in DC - where to stay?

The attractions of D.C. are mainly along the National Mall which is about 2 miles long from the U.S. Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial. This is a route that most people can walk on their own, so the HO/HO bus can be an expensive way to see a lot of the same things you see for free by walking. Also, if you get off the bus to stop to see something close up (e.g. the Lincoln Memorial), you can have a lengthy wait for another bus which is a real time-waster especially since you are here for only one day. If you want to stay on the bus for the entire route(s) and if there are things on the route(s) you want to see that aren't easily seen by foot, e.g. the National Cathedral, then you might want to do a HO/HO bus.

While I would not consider the National Zoo a top sight in D.C. for someone who is only here for one day, you can easily get there on Metro--Red Line to Cleveland Park and then walk downhill a few blocks to the zoo. (If you get off at Woodley Park (Zoo/Adams Morgan), you've got an uphill walk for several blocks.)

Bermagui, Australia
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3. Re: One night in DC - where to stay?

Thank you Longhorn, I'd rather walk so if what we can do can be done via walking then we will give the HOHO a miss.

WOW, I had no idea that hotels would be so expensive in the area. I can't seem to find anything much for under $350 which is WAY out of our price range especially since we will only be sleeping there for the one night.

Nzers I have a paper map coming in the post, if you look up DC's website they have a FREE info pack they can send you with a large colour map and also a book with coupons and attraction info. I should have mine anyday now. I'll check out that hotel you mentioned also, although I fear that like the rest it will be out of our price range - I think I may have to increase our budget!!

Arlington, Virginia
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109 reviews
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4. Re: One night in DC - where to stay?

Here are two choices for hotels for that date which are within your budget. They are both located in Arlington (just across the Potomac River from D.C.) They are both within easy walking distance of Metro. I am familiar with both hotels (having actually stayed in one when we had a multi-day power outage a couple years ago) and they are both clean, comfortable and in safe areas.

Americana Hotel (rate $65 - $90) www.americanahotel.com

Best Western Iwo Jima (rate $155) …bestwestern.com/bestwestern/…

Bermagui, Australia
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5. Re: One night in DC - where to stay?

Thank you longhorn, so nothing in walking distance then. Oh well, the metro looks fairly easy i'll check those out.

Arlington, Virginia
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6. Re: One night in DC - where to stay?

If you can raise your budget a bit, you could stay at the Hotel Harrington in D.C., so you'd be within walking distance of the attractions. Rates for the night of September 16th are currently running $165 - $175. I have no personal knowledge of this hotel, but it's been here forever.

http://www.hotel-harrington.com/

Bermagui, Australia
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7. Re: One night in DC - where to stay?

Thank you I'll check that one after work, I can pretty much afford anything around $200

Washington DC...
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8. Re: One night in DC - where to stay?

The Hotel Harrington also has a dive bar on its ground floor that is popular with office workers nearby as well as the tourist crowd. When I used to work at a law firm nearby there, lots of us used to go there after work for drinks. It's one of the few places around there where you can sit outside on a roomy patio in nice weather (even cold weather since they have space heaters).

Bermagui, Australia
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2,059 posts
88 reviews
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9. Re: One night in DC - where to stay?

Thanks everyone, I've booked the room and it has free cancellation so if I do get a special for somewhere nicer I'll change, but for a one night stay it will be fine.

Washington DC...
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10. Re: One night in DC - where to stay?

The Hotel Harrington is the oldest continuously operating hotel in DC. An excellent location, but not one ot the finest hotels. For one night it should be fine. It just celebrated 100 years. dcist.com/2014/…photo-1