Hey guys! My family and I are planning our first (maybe only) trip to Washington DC. We are rural mid-westerners, and we have never really traveled to a big city before for vacation. We usually shoot for beaches or tourist areas. This will be the first MAJOR city we have been to for vacation.
There will be 3 or 4 of us. Right now, we are leaning toward getting a condo on airBnB or VRBO or other sites like that. Not only do many of the condos offer more space and the amenities we'd like, but many of them include parking which is a great deal. If we do aim for a hotel, we are looking at places like the Residence Inn, or other places that have extra space, kitchens, and the like.
Right now, determining WHERE we want to stay is the issue. Can you please look at our list of wants, and give us an idea of what neighborhood you'd recommend, if not a specific building or hotel? Thanks muchly!
Mom- she is not really interested in the sight-seeing as much as the rest of us. She doesn't mind going to a couple of places, but her request is to stay someplace that she will feel safe and entertained. She wants a place with an outdoor pool, rooftop preferably but not a requirement. She also prefers to be a little further out of the city, so that she can feel comfortable driving to shopping areas or other places by herself.
For the rest of us, we'd like to be relatively close to the action. Enough that if we needed to take a mid-day break, it wouldn't be too long of a Metro ride back. A lot of the suburbs we looked at was a 30-40 minute+ ride each way, which is just a little too far for us. So, the hope is to find a place in or close to the city that is safe and easy to get to and around.
Our big problem with being in the city is just city driving and parking. We don't even mind paying the outrageous parking fees at the hotels we have looked at, but so many of them have the cars off site, and we don't really like the idea of not being able to get to our car immediately. So, IF we stay in the city, we'd probably need a place with on site parking, self parking if possible.
We've found some places in NoMa....I like that area, because it is near Union Station, and I know my mom would love to be that close to a lot of the food and shopping. I am less comfortable about how industrial it is. People say it's on the way up, but it does make me worried about making a wrong turn or getting caught up in something. There was a homicide within the last 30 days about a block or two from the (really nice) condo we were looking at. It just seems a little more crime ridden than some of the other locations.
Obviously, we love Georgetown and Foggy Bottom and Dupont Circle and that whole area. The prices are a little scary, and we worry that getting around, especially for my mom in a car, will be a little difficult.
We've looked at Arlington. We are really just looking at all options near Metro Stations. A couple of places we really like are near the Virginia Square Metro. There does seem to be a fair share of crime in Arlington, but at least it doesn't seem...as hard core. The Metro trips don't seem to be TOO daunting. Can anyone speak to the feel of it, as far as getting around by car? I worry about losing the Washington DC feel by being too far out in Ballston. I'm thinking Rosslyn or Pentagon City are probably much better as far as feeling more in the heart of things.
If anyone can give us some direction or focus, we'd so much appreciate it.