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“A Concrete Monstrosity”
Review of Watergate Complex

Watergate Complex
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US$49.00*
and up
Half-Day Grand Tour of Washington DC
Ranked #179 of 443 things to do in Washington DC
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Attraction details
Owner description: The office building where the Watergate scandal led to the downfall of President Nixon.
Las Vegas, New Mexico, United States
Level Contributor
162 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“A Concrete Monstrosity”
Reviewed 20 April 2013

This is such a famous and iconic Washington landmark that I hate to discourage anyone from stopping by. Let me just prepare you for what you'll find.

The complex extends all the way from the Potomac River up to New Hampshire Avenue, a distance of about three regular city blocks, and then reaches almost to the Kennedy Center. The curving shapes of the towers are somewhat pleasing from a distance, but as you close in you realize this is not a human-sized or human-friendly place.

There is a long, broken arcade along the street, with a bank, a post office, and a few high-end shops, all rather overshadowed (literally and figuratively) by the concrete masses above. At the intersection of Virginia and New Hampshire there is a broad opening, also curving, for those driving up for valet parking or to drop off a passenger.

The back side (facing the Kennedy Center) is a more-or-less closed campus for those who own or rent apartments in the building, but it does offer underground parking (at exorbitant fees) and a pedestrian entrance to the central courtyard.

The courtyard has several giant concrete saucers that form a cascading fountain. Rather than seeming cheery, this structure is like something out of "1984," and it accents how unfriendly the marble pedestrian plaza is, with its hard stone benches, metal tables, and Neaderthal-browed eateries and shops that ring it.

There is a sad little Safeway store buried in one nook on this level, a nice but crowded little bistro for the lunch crowd, a CVS drug store, a Chinese take-out place, and a liquor store. I have occasionally needed to buy something at CVS or Safeway, and Watergate Liquors has booze if you are desperate and willing to pay more than at places a few blocks away, but I always feel a sense of relief when exiting the Watergate. FYI.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Randy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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52 reviews from our community

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English first
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Nothing Special About this Place”
Reviewed 9 December 2012

It is conveniently located next to the Kennedy Center, so you can grab something to eat here and also do a little shopping. The shops, however, are expensive.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Kim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
201 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Don't waste your time here”
Reviewed 17 November 2012

In the Watergate there are nothing to see. You can just look around thinking about who made the Watergate infamous. Don't waste you time going to explore this complex, there are no more than a few stores trying to survive there.

Helpful?
Thank Viajeroconbuengusto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mexico City, Mexico
Level Contributor
42 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“BORING”
Reviewed 26 September 2012

There is nothing to see. Just a building with some stores and offices.

It is not any memorial regarding what heppended there.

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
Thank ANTONIO R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
1,089 reviews
308 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 254 helpful votes
“Faded glory”
Reviewed 26 September 2012

Used to have a storied restaurant, fine (but snooty) hotel, obscenely expensive stores, apartments for the rich & famous, a well-known crime scene, and a ludicrously confusing parking garage. Still does, so far as I know, but I think the restaurant's gone and the place has fallen on hard times.

Helpful?
Thank jaseaton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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