PDA

View Full Version : can you help with our Washington DC Planning


Brumeiser
05-16-2010, 08:27 PM
Has anyone been to DC lately? We are wondering how tight is the security in DC with the museums, memorials, federal buildings etc? Do they allow any carry on bags, carry on beverages, food? Is my wife allowed to bring any food in her purse if no backpacks are not allowed. What about camera or camcorders are they allowed only in certain places? Is it true that many of the federal buildings that don't allow anything to be brought in have no lockers on the entrance way to store things?
If you are not allowed to bring beverages how accessible are the vendors to buy beverages? With it being in July we are going to need plenty of beverages to drink. Is it true that the sales tax on food is around 10 percent?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

disney1990
05-16-2010, 08:37 PM
Has anyone been to DC lately? We are wondering how tight is the security in DC with the museums, memorials, federal buildings etc? Do they allow any carry on bags, carry on beverages, food? Is my wife allowed to bring any food in her purse if no backpacks are not allowed. What about camera or camcorders are they allowed only in certain places? Is it true that many of the federal buildings that don't allow anything to be brought in have no lockers on the entrance way to store things?
If you are not allowed to bring beverages how accessible are the vendors to buy beverages? With it being in July we are going to need plenty of beverages to drink. Is it true that the sales tax on food is around 10 percent?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

This should cover the Smithsonian Institution and the Air and Space Museum -- two places you will probably go. In addition, all of the memorials are outside and you are free to carry whatever you want to carry when visiting them. There are vendors everywhere that sell drinks, but we usually get in one of the Smithsonian restaurants.

http://www.si.edu/visit/security_and_policies.htm

MEM
05-17-2010, 09:14 AM
My family and I were in DC this past March. We went to the Holocaust museum, the Museum of the American Indian, the Air and Space Museum and the American History Museum. At all of the museums our backpacks were scanned but we were allowed to bring them in with us. My guess is that the scanning isn't very sophisticated because I had forgotten that I had my Swiss Army knife at the bottom of my backpack and no one said a word.

There were no photos allowed in the Holocaust museum but I did take photos at the American History museum.

Fyrefly
05-17-2010, 09:31 AM
I live in Maryland and am currently finishing up at the University of Maryland, so I live literally a 20 minute Metro ride from DC.

Most of the museums you are talking about should have their restrictions online, as people have mentioned.

July in Maryland/DC is hot and humid. You'll want to check about restrictions on bringing in open containers of water and such into the museums. It's been a while but I would recall and assume the art galleries are particularly restrictive about such things. So you may have to finish drinks in between buildings.

Wear very light clothing, and good walking shoes. Do NOT attempt to drive anywhere in the city. It is not worth it, DC literally has no parking and so many tourists come in thinking they can just park next to the National Mall and go look at everything! :confused3

Are you staying in the city in a hotel or out? If out, the best thing you can do is find your nearest Metro station http://www.wmata.com/ and take it in every day and use it to get around. The trains and stations are clean and well-maintained, just keep little ones in reign, and you can go within a block or two of almost anywhere in DC via metro.

Any other questions in specific? :thumbsup2

maleficentmom
05-17-2010, 10:12 AM
My family, like the OP, is considering going to DC in late July.....are crowds worse/better/same at this time of year? Went during inauguration with group of H.S. orchestra kids:confused3..lol...but it was January and cold,the city seamed packed,but the museums were managable at that time. I think they also,looked through our bags at some places,like they do at Disney...but i am sure security might have been stepped up during inauguration time.

magik
05-17-2010, 10:25 AM
Has anyone been to DC lately? We are wondering how tight is the security in DC with the museums, memorials, federal buildings etc? Do they allow any carry on bags, carry on beverages, food? Is my wife allowed to bring any food in her purse if no backpacks are not allowed. What about camera or camcorders are they allowed only in certain places? Is it true that many of the federal buildings that don't allow anything to be brought in have no lockers on the entrance way to store things?
If you are not allowed to bring beverages how accessible are the vendors to buy beverages? With it being in July we are going to need plenty of beverages to drink. Is it true that the sales tax on food is around 10 percent?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I'm not sure about the food tax, but I'm fairly certain that you can not bring food or beverages from outside into any of the museums or government buildings. There are tons of outside food carts and the museums have cafeterias. The memorials are outside, so you can have whatever food/drink you want with you to look at them.

For the museums, you can bring bags in with you, but they will most likely be searched. For other buildings, depending on what they are, you might need to check a bag, have it searched, and/or scanned, or might just not be allowed to bring one at all - it all depends on what building it is.

kidtink
05-17-2010, 10:31 AM
popcorn::Going to DC this summer too. Interested in the replys.

D&DDisney
05-17-2010, 10:46 AM
My family, like the OP, is considering going to DC in late July.....are crowds worse/better/same at this time of year? Went during inauguration with group of H.S. orchestra kids:confused3..lol...but it was January and cold,the city seamed packed,but the museums were managable at that time. I think they also,looked through our bags at some places,like they do at Disney...but i am sure security might have been stepped up during inauguration time.

We were there in July 09 and the crowds weren't too bad. The weather was HOT!!! Luckily there were plenty of vendors on the Mall and on the streets to buy water or food.
Wear good shoes because you will do A LOT of walking.

elle bell
05-17-2010, 10:49 AM
We did a short visit to DC last month. We didn't go to any of the federal buildings, so I'm not sure what their rules are, but we did go to several museums. I have small children, so bringing in a bag was a must for me. We went through medal detectors and had to but our bags through screeners. Some museums seemed more strict about this than others. Outside food and drinks were not permitted. However, no one hasseled me about my kids sippy cups.

Have fun and get ready to do lots of walking!

magik
05-17-2010, 11:42 AM
One more thing - if you plan to use the metro to get around (which really is the best way to get around DC), know that during morning and evening rush hour during the week, it will be VERY crowded as many people use the metro to commute to/from work. The stations will be crowded and the trains will be crowded, and sometimes commuters get a little impatient with people who don't "know the rules" of the metro (for instance, on escalators - if you aren't walking up the escalator, stay to the right and leave space for people to walk up past you - if you block the people who want to walk up the escalator or you stand on the left side, you may get some bad reactions or rude comments).

With vacations and people taking time off of work, the metro is slightly less crowded during summer than during the rest of the year during rush hours, but still very crowded. So, if you can wait until after 10 am and before 4 pm, you'll probably have a nicer metro experience. If you don't want to wait until after 10 am, then make sure you prepare yourself and your kids for the experience. It's unfortunate for tourists who are just trying to enjoy our nation's capital, but DC commuters are not always in the best mood and they can get quite cranky with summer tourists. You can google for DC metro etiquette, but it can be boiled down to:

if you're standing, stay right on the escalator, and make sure any of your "stuff" (bags/strollers/etc) is also not blocking the left side
let the people getting off the metro exit before you try to get on
unless the train is pretty empty, have small children sit on your lap rather than taking up their own seats
if you only have a few stops to go, consider standing up unless there are lots of free seats
stay out of the way of people exiting the train - this may mean you have to step off the train to let people off and then step back on
don't just stop at the bottom of escalators or when exiting the train - keep moving until you're out of the way, and then stop to get your bearings.

librarygal
05-17-2010, 12:22 PM
I live in the DC area but have not toured the White House for years. A friend of my DH and his family came to Washington last year and had arranged a tour of the White House before they left. I was shocked to discover that they could not bring anything but a wallet inside. No cameras, purses, backpacks, etc. They did not provide lockers and told them the closest lockers were at Union Station which is miles away! Since they were staying in Alexandria and there scheduled tour time was at 7am they determined that the only thing to do was to have one person sit outside with all the stuff.

From the web site:

Prohibited Items

Prohibited items include, but are not limited to, the following: handbags, book bags, backpacks, purses, food and beverages of any kind, strollers, cameras, video recorders or any type of recording device, tobacco products, personal grooming items (make-up, hair brush or comb, lip or hand lotions, etc.), any pointed objects (pens, knitting needles, etc.), aerosol containers, guns, ammunition, fireworks, electric stun guns, mace, martial arts weapons/devices, or knives of any size. The U.S. Secret Service reserves the right to prohibit any other personal items. Umbrellas, wallets, cell phones and car keys are permitted.

Please note that no storage facilities are available on or around the complex. Individuals who arrive with prohibited items will not be permitted to enter the White House.

Fyrefly
05-17-2010, 01:34 PM
My family, like the OP, is considering going to DC in late July.....are crowds worse/better/same at this time of year? Went during inauguration with group of H.S. orchestra kids:confused3..lol...but it was January and cold,the city seamed packed,but the museums were managable at that time. I think they also,looked through our bags at some places,like they do at Disney...but i am sure security might have been stepped up during inauguration time.

DC isn't Disney. I wouldn't really say crowds are an issue. It's a city so there are people. In the museums/zoos/touristy stuff there will be more people at 2pm on a Wednesday in July than there is in February because people are out of school. But the museums are big and if you're used to jamming in body to body at Disney to see stuff anyway, you won't mind.

I think an important thing to keep in mind when you're visiting is that D.C. is a city, not a tourist attraction. Yes there are tourist attractions, but they all serve a purpose unless it's purely a museum. If you're going into the White House, and in today's day and age, they won't let you bring stuff in because at the end of the day, the president still has to live and feel safe there. Same as any other federal building which serves a vital purpose to our nation. And the streets and metro and stuff will be full of people, but a large number of them are going about their daily lives. So it's a little different than going to say, Las Vegas where the tourist is all that is around. Most of us are friendly, polite people who are happy to give directions if you ask, not saying we aren't, just as a native person here, I guess I think about it a little different than out-of-staters.

Also steer clear of sketchy people that wait by the metro to prey on tourists by selling them really expensive water or maps with directions and stuff. Move away from the stations and find cheaper water and a passerby who doesn't look crazy busy or something.

ohanaMAMA
05-17-2010, 02:00 PM
we were in DC in January of this year and in April the year before.We LOVE DC. There are still a lot of musems we havent seen all of or even at all.

* I suggest getting a good tour book. They have all the maps you will need in one easy spot.

* we didnt encounter any restrictions on our backpack contaning water and snacks in any of the smithsonians or the national archives or memorials.

* crowds will be bigger and badder than ANY you have EVER seen in WDW. They will be in huge tour groups and the lines are LONG. No fastpass here sorry. (although sometimes you can pre-arrange tours with your representative's office. Get on it NOW. Check out thier website to see how)

* I suggest using Tourmobile. Buy the two day pass that includes the arlington tour. On day one ride the route from begining to end, and take the last tour of Arlington for the day. The tour ends after tourmobile quits for the day. But there is a metro stop right there at Arlington. Just take the metro back into town. On day two get on and off at the stops that interest you further. . Utilize it well. I found that distances on the Mall are decieving. What looks like just a few blocks and a distance not worth getting back on tourmobile will actually turn into a 1/2 mile schlep in 90 degree heat. I totally prefer the ac on the bus :) The kiosks are easy to find at Union Station and begin early. I think I paid $145 for all 4 of us.It is worth every single cent and then some. If they offered a 3 day deal Id go for that and then use tourmobile to get from smithsonian to smithsonian.

* be prepared to pay Disney prices for museum food. We are talking $60 for a mcdonalds lunch.

* DEFINATLY park in an outlying suburb and use metro to get into town. Id stay at a hotel outside town too. A pool and free parking is TOTALLY worth the metro ride into town in the morning! I suggest checking out Greenbelt MD.

DEA
05-17-2010, 02:05 PM
Yes, the tax on food in restaurants is 10% in DC. Sales tax is 5.75%. Hotel tax is 14.5%. This is why I generally eat and shop in Virginia.

To which Federal Buildings are you referring?

Generally, bottled water is allowed in the museums, but no other food and drink in the museum areas themselves. Pretty much every museum has a food option (generally counter service), but there is no Smithsonian Dining Plan yet. :) There is a list here: http://www.si.edu/dining/default.htm

Expect a bag check going into any publicly accessible building. This includes backpacks and purses. They will not throw you out for having a sandwich in your bag, but they discourage bringing in outside food. There are some shady spots here and there on the Mall if you would like to eat your own food.

There are a lot of crowds in the spring with school field trips, so you will be missing that fun.

Edited to add: On escalators, ABSOLUTELY stand on the right, walk on the left. There is no more sure way to annoy DC Metro area natives than by blocking the left-hand lane on the escalators when they are trying to walk up/down.

Brumeiser
05-17-2010, 05:22 PM
for your wonderful responses. This will help us out with our trip planning for July.

laurafergie
05-17-2010, 05:25 PM
We go up to DC a few times a year. I was last there Thanksgiving. We went to the National Archives (get timed ticket from recreation.gov - walked right by the HUGE line of folks), Museum of American History, Air and Space Museum and Mount Vernon.

It was crazy busy. Loved everything. Mount Vernon is sooo worth it, for a day trip. We spent SIX hours there.

In my tote bag for the younger girls, I had water bottles, crackers in a plastic container, a Peanut butter sandwich in a plastic container and a Campbell's Soup at Hand - on both days. My bag was scanned at all museums and they let me in with food with no comment.

pat fan
05-17-2010, 07:10 PM
We're thinking of going in late August just for a weekend (2 nights) and getting there via Amtrak.

We were looking at hotels online not too far from the Amtrak station, but since we don't know the area, have no idea if it's a sketchy part of town or not, or if there is transportation from the station to the hotel. Or if there is transportation to the places we want to go, like the Lincoln Memorial etc...from the hotel. Any tips?

rbork
05-17-2010, 07:12 PM
Magik forgot to add to the Metro ettiquette sp?
Don't speak LOUDLY on your phone while riding the Metro :thumbsup2 I answered my phone while on the Metro (above ground) down by Rockville....didn't realize how loud my voice was so, this man shot his head around and gave me the most evil look. I had to laugh but did tell the caller I'd call them back from a better spot.

kaywoody
05-17-2010, 08:51 PM
We went to the Capitol last summer and they made me throw away my water bottle. It was empty- the sign said no food or drink, but I thought an empty water bottle in the bottom of my backpack would be OK. It was my favorite water bottle that I used all the time. If I had brought a disposable water bottle I wouldn't have minded so much, but this one was a reusable bottle. Ugggh, then I didn't have water for the rest of the days walking around and had to buy one on the street from a vendor.

DEA
05-17-2010, 09:40 PM
We're thinking of going in late August just for a weekend (2 nights) and getting there via Amtrak.

We were looking at hotels online not too far from the Amtrak station, but since we don't know the area, have no idea if it's a sketchy part of town or not, or if there is transportation from the station to the hotel. Or if there is transportation to the places we want to go, like the Lincoln Memorial etc...from the hotel. Any tips?

The area around Union Station is not the greatest, but it is also a Metro station, so getting to other areas of DC is pretty easy. If you head west from Union Station, you will be getting to less sketchy areas.

If you can find a hotel that is close to a Metro stop, you will be in the best shape for getting around the city and the near-in suburbs. And also for getting to the hotel from Union Station. Union Station also has a taxi stand if you want to take a cab to your hotel. I'd say that, unless you have a lot of luggage, you will be fine taking the Metro. Just familiarize yourself with the lines before you head down. The wmata.com website has maps and a trip planner that can help get you where you're going.

You can PM me if you want more help.

TiggerTails57
05-17-2010, 09:43 PM
My family and I were in DC this past March. We went to the Holocaust museum, the Museum of the American Indian, the Air and Space Museum and the American History Museum. At all of the museums our backpacks were scanned but we were allowed to bring them in with us. My guess is that the scanning isn't very sophisticated because I had forgotten that I had my Swiss Army knife at the bottom of my backpack and no one said a word.

There were no photos allowed in the Holocaust museum but I did take photos at the American History museum.

There is a nice little cafe here.


http://www.ushmm.org/visit/cafe/

thatslygirl
05-17-2010, 11:21 PM
I work at a hotel where we get lots of DVC members so I will be happy to help with any questions you may have. I also get off at the Smithsonian Metro Station for work almost every day so have seen it all.

Food tax is 10%. Sales tax recently increased to 6% (effective as of Oct 1st) so it is the same as MD. VA is 5%. Recently they have implemented a 5-cent surcharge on any "to-go" bags containing alcohol or food items. This is why you will see many people in DC bringing reusable bags at the grocery store.

There is also talk of a "soda" tax:
"To pay for a council initiative requiring city schools to serve more fresh fruit and vegetables to students, council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) has proposed a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on bottled and canned soda that contains sugar. Diet soda would be exempt."
(This is still in the works but of course there is strong opposition from the beverage industry).

enigmaticorange
05-18-2010, 12:13 AM
We were just in DC this weekend. We live about three hours away and like to pop in a few weekends a year to the National Mall area or the zoo. We always drive in and use both street parking and garage parking.(The one time we tried to take the Metro, there were no parking spaces left in the Metro lot!) If you are going to be in the Mall area, as a tourist myself, here is what we have learned:
1. If you want to find good parking, arrive before noon. Best time to arrive is 9, right before most places open.
2. If you are parking in the areas near the lincoln memorial, bring quarters for off street parking. Park on the side streets. just trust me.
3. If you are parking near the Smithsonian/ main museum area, use a parking garage a few blocks off of the mall. We paid $20 for the day. It is worth not stressing about the parallel parking or circling around.
4. You will be walking a lot, but there are beautiful shady areas to take advantage of and cafes in the museums. I have walked directly from Lincoln memorial to Air and Space with a 6 and 10 year old. Yes, they complained, but it wasnt too bad.
5. Cafe food is of course, expensive, but not the traditional cafeteria food. I expect to pay around $50 for 2 adults and two kids.
6. If you are visiting museums, dont try to tour every single thing in there. Pick out your "must sees" before you begin touring. There are so many amazing things to see!
7. pack light! If at all possible, leave all bags in the car and purchase drinks from one of the zillion vendors on the street. It is just like getting into a Disney park- every bag is searched, and they take it more seriously than Disney. If you have no bag, you walk on through.
8. Ive never done the tour bus, but this can be a great option to really get the highlights.
9. Hotwire often has 4 star hotels in DC as low as $45 a day.

Fyrefly
05-18-2010, 01:00 AM
We're thinking of going in late August just for a weekend (2 nights) and getting there via Amtrak.

We were looking at hotels online not too far from the Amtrak station, but since we don't know the area, have no idea if it's a sketchy part of town or not, or if there is transportation from the station to the hotel. Or if there is transportation to the places we want to go, like the Lincoln Memorial etc...from the hotel. Any tips?

You mean the Metro station? What you probably want to do is go to http://www.wmata.com/ and pick the area near one of the outside branch stations. Look at hotels in the area and do the train in. The Smithsonian stop on the Orange and Blue lines is close to most of the (suprise! :lmao:) major Smithsonians. There are a lot of restaurants within a few blocks of the Gallery Place/Chinatown stop as well.

The Smithsonian food is crazy overpriced, but I've been told the Museum of the American Indian has the best food of any of them because they have people rotating in from different Native American tribes and they actually serve their food down there.

A recommendation I have if you can afford and if your kids are old enough is a Segway tour. My boyfriend was jealous I went on a Segway tour of another city. I booked a tour as a surprise birthday present just so we could ride them, but it ended up being an incredibly informative and fun tour. I learned new stuff, and that surprised me. There is no way you could walk to all the memorials, Ford's Theatre, the FBI Building, National Archives, White House, Treasury, Washington Monument etc. on foot in one day. You get to cruise past and see it all on Segway and I found it was much more fun because you get way closer to the sites. I had seen most of them by bus on various school trips, but its so much better to be right on the steps of the Capitol rather than waving to it from the street!

The company I used was called City Segway Tours, and I had a fantastic experience. They keep the groups pretty small, and for the price I found it was the longest tour, so the most bang for your buck.

pat fan
05-18-2010, 02:08 PM
You mean the Metro station? What you probably want to do is go to http://www.wmata.com/ and pick the area near one of the outside branch stations. Look at hotels in the area and do the train in.
Amtrack (train) goes to Union Station, so where would we go from there is what I need to know. And what is Metro? Is it like the T in Boston? There were some hotels listed on the Amtrack site that were anywherefrom .9 miles from the station or up to 12 miles away from the station (Union Station).

I will go the site you mentioned, it's just SCAEY to pick a hotel from a list online and you have NO idea if it's going to be a safe place IN a safe area. Thanks!

magik
05-18-2010, 02:13 PM
Magik forgot to add to the Metro ettiquette sp?
Don't speak LOUDLY on your phone while riding the Metro :thumbsup2 I answered my phone while on the Metro (above ground) down by Rockville....didn't realize how loud my voice was so, this man shot his head around and gave me the most evil look. I had to laugh but did tell the caller I'd call them back from a better spot.

That's a good addition. I would expand it to be not to be loud at all on the train. People use their commuting time to read, listen to music, etc., and they do not like to be disturbed by loud talking.

Arielle22
05-18-2010, 02:22 PM
Amtrack (train) goes to Union Station, so where would we go from there is what I need to know. And what is Metro? Is it like the T in Boston? There were some hotels listed on the Amtrack site that were anywherefrom .9 miles from the station or up to 12 miles away from the station (Union Station).

I will go the site you mentioned, it's just SCAEY to pick a hotel from a list online and you have NO idea if it's going to be a safe place IN a safe area. Thanks!

The Metro is like the T but much cleaner. I don't think food is allowed on the Metro.

Tink-n-MrIncredible
05-18-2010, 03:46 PM
How safe is Hampton Inn in Chevy Chase? They say it is about 4 blocks from the metro. Is it a good idea to stay here. Any other advice on closer hotels.

lovemygoofy
05-18-2010, 04:10 PM
Amtrack (train) goes to Union Station, so where would we go from there is what I need to know. And what is Metro? Is it like the T in Boston? There were some hotels listed on the Amtrack site that were anywherefrom .9 miles from the station or up to 12 miles away from the station (Union Station).

I will go the site you mentioned, it's just SCAEY to pick a hotel from a list online and you have NO idea if it's going to be a safe place IN a safe area. Thanks!

The Metro is like the T in Boston. It runs into Union Station also, which is a mini mall kind of with LOTS of choices in the food court on the bottom floor.

I really can't say enough good things about the hotels in Old Town Alexandria. It's a great area and well lit and walkable or can even take the trolley to the metro station but most hotels are within a block or two of the King Street Station.

Tink-n-MrIncredible
05-18-2010, 04:45 PM
lovemygoofy I sent you a pm

mickeytattoo95
05-18-2010, 05:42 PM
Here's an idea for those of you traveling with kids. At the entrance of any of the Smithsonian buildings you can find the info desk and ask for the Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian scavenger hunt brochure. We got this when we were there in February. I'd read about it online so we rented the movie just as a refresher. When we went on the scavenger hunt it was fun finding the items from the movie. It really held my 8 year old's attention...even with going to several buildings.

July is hot, so just don't try to do everything. Let each person in your group pick a "must do" building and make those the priorities. Everything else can be a bonus. Week days are a little better at the museums because most people go on weekends. However, you will battle the working people on the Metro. Museums are crazy on weekends, but the travel will be a little better. It's a toss up really.

On our recent trip I got to see is the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights at the Federal Archives building. It brought tears to my eyes as I read the barely visible ink. It was amazing being able to explain to my son the rights we have as Americans were written over 200 years ago on those very sheets of paper. Our forefathers ricked their very lives just by signing those documents.

Anywho...enjoy your trip!

micheleq
05-18-2010, 05:52 PM
Check out Washingtonian Magazine's annual Cheap Eats article. Below is the 2009 article. It lists the 50 or 100 best, cheap eats in the DC area. When I lived in DC my friends and I lived by that article :lmao: Some great places that won't break the bank.

http://www.washingtonian.com/packages/cheapeats

thatslygirl
05-19-2010, 02:08 AM
How safe is Hampton Inn in Chevy Chase? They say it is about 4 blocks from the metro. Is it a good idea to stay here. Any other advice on closer hotels.
I could not locate any information on a Hampton Inn in Chevy Chase.

Were you talking about Silver Spring, perhaps, or the Convention Center?

Chevy Chase is an affluent area. It is pretty safe. Keep in mind that your metro station will be on the red line, which is known to experience delays and repairs. So if your station is Bethesda or Friendship Heights, it may take 25-30 minutes to get to Metro Center and then transfer to a blue or orange line to Smithsonian.

If I *had* to choose a hotel on the red line, the furthest I would go is Woodley Park - National Zoo. My top choice would be a hotel in Dupont Circle. It's a lively neighborhood with lots of hotels and restaurants, and a farmer's market on Sunday mornings.

gandycat
05-19-2010, 01:11 PM
We were there 2 weeks ago and stayed at the Hampton Inn Reagan National Airport (Crystal City). It was around $135/night with tax and parking, free breakfast, indoor pool and two blocks from the metro. When we've gone, we've been able to easily find a parking space on the weekends, as long as we were there early (between 9-9:30 am). Usually on Sat we take the metro ($2.90 for a round trip to the mall) and drive in Sunday morning b/c we won't be there as long (we found parking near the Lincoln Memorial and at the main entrance to the Natural Hx Museum).

I wasn't thinking about not being able to take food into the museums on our last trip and actually had a softsided cooler. They checked it but didn't say anything. As far as eating, yes, prepare to spend a ton of money. We ate at the Museum of the American Indian this last trip and although it was $$, the food was really good.

Have fun! Oh, and also, there are a TON of D.C. threads on this board with lots of helpful info. If you search for Washington D.C. you'll find lots of them.

pat fan
05-19-2010, 02:00 PM
Does anyone know anything about the Washington Court Hotel? Someone just recommended it to me, but I'd like to know if any else has heard of it? The website says it's like a 10 minute walk from Union Station, but is it a safe 10 minutes is what I want to know!LOL!!

Tink-n-MrIncredible
05-19-2010, 03:25 PM
We were there 2 weeks ago and stayed at the Hampton Inn Reagan National Airport (Crystal City). It was around $135/night with tax and parking, free breakfast, indoor pool and two blocks from the metro. When we've gone, we've been able to easily find a parking space on the weekends, as long as we were there early (between 9-9:30 am). Usually on Sat we take the metro ($2.90 for a round trip to the mall) and drive in Sunday morning b/c we won't be there as long (we found parking near the Lincoln Memorial and at the main entrance to the Natural Hx Museum).

I wasn't thinking about not being able to take food into the museums on our last trip and actually had a softsided cooler. They checked it but didn't say anything. As far as eating, yes, prepare to spend a ton of money. We ate at the Museum of the American Indian this last trip and although it was $$, the food was really good.

Have fun! Oh, and also, there are a TON of D.C. threads on this board with lots of helpful info. If you search for Washington D.C. you'll find lots of them.



Not to sound ignorant, but what type of blocks? City or regular, someone said that "a block" in DC could be a very long distance.

Tink-n-MrIncredible
05-19-2010, 03:28 PM
I could not locate any information on a Hampton Inn in Chevy Chase.

Were you talking about Silver Spring, perhaps, or the Convention Center?

Chevy Chase is an affluent area. It is pretty safe. Keep in mind that your metro station will be on the red line, which is known to experience delays and repairs. So if your station is Bethesda or Friendship Heights, it may take 25-30 minutes to get to Metro Center and then transfer to a blue or orange line to Smithsonian.

If I *had* to choose a hotel on the red line, the furthest I would go is Woodley Park - National Zoo. My top choice would be a hotel in Dupont Circle. It's a lively neighborhood with lots of hotels and restaurants, and a farmer's market on Sunday mornings.



I am looking to stay within a close vacinity of the 4H center. The lady who works there told me Chevy Chase. Does this area have another name? I also want to be very close to the metro.

gandycat
05-19-2010, 03:29 PM
Not to sound ignorant, but what type of blocks? City or regular, someone said that "a block" in DC could be a very long distance.

It was about a 5-6 minute walk with two kids along.

hopskip
05-19-2010, 03:48 PM
I didn't do my research beforehand and we missed my favorite attraction on our last D.C. trip. This is the kind of place where memories are made. Even though we missed the tour we were still able to visit the gift shop and get some shredded money souvenirs for the kids.

You MUST HAVE TICKETS (they are free) to visit here, and it's blocks away from everything, but it really is so interesting! I recommend!

Bureau of Printing and Engraving (http://www.moneyfactory.gov/tours/washingtondctours.html)

NCRedding
05-19-2010, 04:03 PM
The Washington Monument was the one I recall being the most strict. Bags can be no larger than 18 X 16 X 8. No food, drink or GUM. Water only in clear plastic bottles. There is no storage area onsite. The security people were extremely rude.

Gorgeous views; but a little cramped initially until people moved on to the next floor.

ClarabelleCowFan
05-19-2010, 04:48 PM
If you are looking to stay inside DC then check out the Intercontinental Willard hotel (a Holiday Inn property). It is located steps from the White House and is a gorgeous property. We haven't stayed there but did use the parking garage there when we went last week for our White House tour so that we could leave DS2's stroller and our cameras in the car since those weren't allowed inside.

AVOID AVOID AVOID the Doubletree Hotel near the White House. We had 2 rooms booked there in March and had to cancel them 24 hours out (which is what our confirmation email said the cancellation policy was) and were charged for the rooms 5 days later. I spoke with the manager who was extremely rude who claimed the cancellation policy was 7 days out and refused to refund us. He then told me to call the Doubletree Presidents line and gave me the wrong phone number for that and hung up. I disputed the charges with our credit card but lost the dispute even after providing them with the email that stated the 24 hour cancellation. I am STILL fuming and would hate to see anyone else get burned.

DawnM
05-19-2010, 06:33 PM
We did DC this week. Smithsonian allowed backpacks and food, Capitol building and Washington monument confiscated all food and/or drinks.

Dawn

thatslygirl
05-19-2010, 11:09 PM
I am looking to stay within a close vacinity of the 4H center. The lady who works there told me Chevy Chase. Does this area have another name? I also want to be very close to the metro.

I had to google "4h center" but now I know what she means. The area is Chevy Chase, so your metro station will be Friendship Heights. The WMATA Trip Planner (http://wmata.com/rider_tools/tripplanner/tripplanner.cfm) is a good way to plan your route.

Example travel itinerary
Arrive to Friendship Heights Metro by 9:31am and traveling to Smithsonian Metro should have you there by 9:55am, when everything's open.

However, keep in mind that during non-rush hour sometimes you have to wait 8-15 minutes for a train to come... usually 5-10 minutes is normal but later on at night like around 8-11pm it seems like forever!

Will you be renting a car? Because the 4H Center's website says to reach their place, you need to take a bus after arriving at Friendship Heights (Metrobus L8, Ride-On 1 or 11). I ride the buses a lot but I haven't ridden any of these routes. Metrobus costs $1.35 cash one-way, no transfers. Ride-On bus is operated by Montgomery County, MD (fares are the same price as Metrobus).

Friendship Heights is a high-end area, so you have shops like Neiman Marcus and Saks but there is also TJ Maxx and Filene's Basement. Food options are limited--there's Cosi, Booeymoger's, Cheesecake Factory, Magiano's, McDonald's, etc.

thatslygirl
05-19-2010, 11:20 PM
Does anyone know anything about the Washington Court Hotel? Someone just recommended it to me, but I'd like to know if any else has heard of it? The website says it's like a 10 minute walk from Union Station, but is it a safe 10 minutes is what I want to know!LOL!!

I used to work in Union Station but I never really walked around much in that area late at night. You have your homeless person but they usually don't bother you. You may also want to check out Hotel George (http://www.yelp.com/biz/hotel-george-washington) which is also nearby. I am a big fan of the Kimpton hotel group. If you join their frequent stay program you get free wi-fi, which is a nice perk.

Are you considering bidding on Priceline? I've found the Betterbidding Forums (http://www.betterbidding.com/index.php?showforum=153&) to be helpful.

Echo queen
05-19-2010, 11:36 PM
We arrive June 4th:scared1: Need all the info I can get.:confused:

MEM
05-20-2010, 09:51 AM
The Smithsonian food is crazy overpriced, but I've been told the Museum of the American Indian has the best food of any of them because they have people rotating in from different Native American tribes and they actually serve their food down there.

We ate at the museum's cafe twice even though we weren't touring the museum those days and I can highly recommend the "Indian taco", I think it was called. I thought the salmon was overcooked but DH liked it. The servers we had were not Native Americans but perhaps the chefs/cooks are.

Nik's Mom
05-20-2010, 11:27 AM
We arrive June 4th:scared1: Need all the info I can get.:confused:

If you see another lost family roaming Washington DC, it's probably going to be mine. We arrive the 3rd. I'm still trying to figure everything out.:scared1:

blewis
05-22-2010, 01:49 AM
Better Bidding and the Smithsonian Cafe info websites have been very helpful. Thank you for all the great tips! :thanks:

We are arriving in DC on Father's Day, and still haven't found a hotel. I'd like a kitchenette (on the MD side) to save on cost of dinner, but am starting to wonder if it all works out the same in the end. This is our first vacation with another family, and I'm worried we'll have difficulties w/ logistics b/c we're not staying at the same location (they have free room and board w/ a friend of a friend).

I've been to the city several times, but never w/ kids. Would like to hear more about Tourmobile. Also, the Wash. Monument is free, right? :confused3 One just needs a ticket to get in. Lastly, how can I find out if Toy Story 3 will be playing at the IMAX? :3dglasses

n2mm
05-22-2010, 08:04 AM
I work in a federal building next to the White House (30 years now). There are lots of restrictions. My building has the White House Visitors Center and store on the ground floor. You can not take any food or drink into the building. THis is the place to buy White House items (like Christmas ornaments or Easter eggs, and other stuff). The lines get long, and security is strict -- mostly because it is a Federal Building and we are in it. There is also the National Aquarium in the basement (there is a small fee to go). Across the street from us is the Ronald Reagan Building. This is where there is a huge food court. I often tell folks this because you can't see it from the street. Again, you go through security and x-ray machines/scanners. But the food court is huge and has all of the regular stuff you find at the mall. This is all on 14th/15th streets & Pen. Ave & Constitution Ave. (pretty much the heart of the touring area). You can get to the R. Reagan building on the RED line on the Federal Triangle Stop. (Don't confuse this with Federal Center as that is a different stop). If you're not on the red line you can switch at Metro Center.

As for crowds, it's a combination of vacationing folks and working folks, and rush hour can be evil. The worse crowds still are during the weeks around the Cherry Blossoms celebration and the 4th of July. But keep in mind the weekend of the 4th of July, Monday July 5th is the official Federal Holiday, so USG will be closed, but most of the tourist buildings will be open. (You'll have to keep an eye on what might be closed that day.) The subway trains run closer together during the peak rush hour times. I commute to and from DC via a communter train (though I was born in Wash. DC and grew up there). I go in and out of Union Station every day and it can be crazy busy there. They also have food courts and shopping.

When I first started working in DC I use to spend my lunch hour walking to the Smithsonians, Lincoln Memorial, and other landmarks. That got old fast and now I never do any of that stuff. I guess seeing the Washington Monument outside the window is something you take for granite. Though I do know when the Prez is coming and going as I can hear his helicopter take off and land from my desk and I've gotten use to the 21 gun salutes and know not to panic!

n2mm
05-22-2010, 08:11 AM
Not to sound ignorant, but what type of blocks? City or regular, someone said that "a block" in DC could be a very long distance.

A city block is not very big. I walk from Metro Center to my USG building. It is 4 city blocks and takes 10 minutes. My USG building takes up an entire block (14th, Pen. ave, 15th, Const. Ave). I walk around it at lunch time for exercise. One time around is 1/2 mile. (I walk around it 6 times a day to get a 3 mile walk in each day.)

Bearvet
05-22-2010, 08:56 AM
When we went to the Holocaust Museum a few years ago, they did a very thorough screening. We had bottles of water with us (it was July and extremely hot - 108 degrees!) and if the bottle was not sealed, they had us drink from it while they watched! I've never experienced that anywhere else - still not sure why they did that? Poison? Chemicals?

The Holocaust Museum was well worth it - our boys were 17, 13 and 11 and we did the entire building. DH actually broke down at the end - he grew up in a Jewish neighborhood and knew survivors of the concentration camps. The museum is very well done and I think it's an important part of history for people (including children old enough to handle it) should know about.

Other favorites were Ford's Theater, Washington Monument (we got timed tickets ahead of time), National Archives, the Capitol (we had a tour here) and the Library of Congress. The Spy Museum was just okay and wasn't free. We only did 1 Smithsonian - Air & Space and my boys didn't care for it. Oh, DS13 requested to go to Washington National cathedral - he loves architecture. It's a bit out of the way, but was wonderful!

Nik's Mom
05-22-2010, 02:27 PM
Better Bidding and the Smithsonian Cafe info websites have been very helpful. Thank you for all the great tips! :thanks:

We are arriving in DC on Father's Day, and still haven't found a hotel. I'd like a kitchenette (on the MD side) to save on cost of dinner, but am starting to wonder if it all works out the same in the end. This is our first vacation with another family, and I'm worried we'll have difficulties w/ logistics b/c we're not staying at the same location (they have free room and board w/ a friend of a friend).

I've been to the city several times, but never w/ kids. Would like to hear more about Tourmobile. Also, the Wash. Monument is free, right? :confused3 One just needs a ticket to get in. Lastly, how can I find out if Toy Story 3 will be playing at the IMAX? :3dglasses

Here's the tourmobile website. http://www.tourmobile.com/ It has lots of information on there. It's one of the tours we are considering. I'm a little nervous because there were some bad reviews on Trip Advisor.

I just switched our ressies from the Doubletree to the Embassy suites. Another Dis'r mentioned on a thread that they had an awful experience with Doubletree and credit card charges. Hopefully this Embassy suites is a good choice for us. At least we know we will have a nice breakfast every morning.

4Seasons
05-22-2010, 02:48 PM
This is a good resource as well:

http://www.culturaltourismdc.org/

thatslygirl
05-24-2010, 08:58 PM
Hi everyone,

These are some of my fave websites for steals and deals in DC!

Groupon (http://www.groupon.com)
Living Social (http://www.livingsocial.com)
Tippr (http://www.tippr.com) (just launcedh in DC)
And also Goldstar events.

Occasionally they will offer steep discounts to the Spy Museum, Phillips Art Museum, Crime & Punishment Museum, and Madam Tussand's. Mostly the discounts are for restaurants.

Tiana
05-25-2010, 12:05 AM
Here's the tourmobile website. http://www.tourmobile.com/ It has lots of information on there. It's one of the tours we are considering. I'm a little nervous because there were some bad reviews on Trip Advisor.

I just switched our ressies from the Doubletree to the Embassy suites. Another Dis'r mentioned on a thread that they had an awful experience with Doubletree and credit card charges. Hopefully this Embassy suites is a good choice for us. At least we know we will have a nice breakfast every morning.

We live in the area, and so, EVERY time someone comes to visit we do DC, plus we go in for most of the Holidays (St. Patrick's, 4th of July, Labor Day, etc.)

Tourmobile sucks! The trams are old and dirty and noisy.

Take the double decker bus with www.opentopsightseeing.com. That is the only one I will use to take guests sightseeing. It's $35 bucks, but the tickets are good for 2 days and it goes all the way up to Georgetown and the National Cathedral. The buses are new and the bottoms are air conditioned, with unlimited hop on/hop off.

If it's a weekend or holiday, we just drive in. :confused3 We always park right by the Botanical Gardens, the Tidal Basin, or that little side street by the Capitol building... always get a spot. :confused3 There was that one 4th of July where we didn't get there until 1 p.m. and had to park in the last lot over behind the Jefferson Memorial. Weekdays, we just take metro. I always get parking at Union Station too.

E-mail your congressman to get tours set up for Archives, LOC, Capitol, etc. so you don't have to stand in the regular lines.

The cafeteria at the Museum of American Indian ROCKS!! Old Ebbitt Grill also rocks. Georgia Brown's is good too...

There is a tour & tea at the National Cathedral that the women in my family enjoy going on, check the website for info.

Nik's Mom
05-25-2010, 10:11 AM
We live in the area, and so, EVERY time someone comes to visit we do DC, plus we go in for most of the Holidays (St. Patrick's, 4th of July, Labor Day, etc.)

Tourmobile sucks! The trams are old and dirty and noisy.

Take the double decker bus with www.opentopsightseeing.com. That is the only one I will use to take guests sightseeing. It's $35 bucks, but the tickets are good for 2 days and it goes all the way up to Georgetown and the National Cathedral. The buses are new and the bottoms are air conditioned, with unlimited hop on/hop off.

If it's a weekend or holiday, we just drive in. :confused3 We always park right by the Botanical Gardens, the Tidal Basin, or that little side street by the Capitol building... always get a spot. :confused3 There was that one 4th of July where we didn't get there until 1 p.m. and had to park in the last lot over behind the Jefferson Memorial. Weekdays, we just take metro. I always get parking at Union Station too.

E-mail your congressman to get tours set up for Archives, LOC, Capitol, etc. so you don't have to stand in the regular lines.

The cafeteria at the Museum of American Indian ROCKS!! Old Ebbitt Grill also rocks. Georgia Brown's is good too...

There is a tour & tea at the National Cathedral that the women in my family enjoy going on, check the website for info.

Thanks! I'm taking notes on all of this. I had my eye on the Opentop tour. So glad you gave it a positive review. I think we will go with that one. I'm thinking that on our last day (Saturday), we'll drive to Arlington Cemetary and park outside. I think we have to take a tour bus to get inside though.

MEM
05-25-2010, 10:38 AM
We liked the Old Town Trolley service that we used when we were in DC this past March. It was too cold for a double decker bus!

Tiana
05-25-2010, 12:21 PM
We liked the Old Town Trolley service that we used when we were in DC this past March.

We've used that one before too, but the view is no where near as nice as the double decker bus. Plus, a one day ticket on the trolley is the same price as a TWO day ticket on the double decker. Also, I *believe* that if you buy your ticket after 3 p.m. it's good for the rest of that day, plus the next two days... but check, just to make sure. Again, having done them all, NOTHING beats riding through town on the top of that double decker ;)

Nik's Mom: There is plenty of parking in the garage at Arlington Cemetery and it's very reasonable rate wise. There shouldn't be a lot of traffic on a Saturday. I took my dad 4th of July weekend and no issues with parking. Why would you have to take a tour bus??? Are you going with a group or something??

Nik's Mom
05-25-2010, 01:36 PM
We've used that one before too, but the view is no where near as nice as the double decker bus. Plus, a one day ticket on the trolley is the same price as a TWO day ticket on the double decker. Also, I *believe* that if you buy your ticket after 3 p.m. it's good for the rest of that day, plus the next two days... but check, just to make sure. Again, having done them all, NOTHING beats riding through town on the top of that double decker ;)

Nik's Mom: There is plenty of parking in the garage at Arlington Cemetery and it's very reasonable rate wise. There shouldn't be a lot of traffic on a Saturday. I took my dad 4th of July weekend and no issues with parking. Why would you have to take a tour bus??? Are you going with a group or something??

Thanks for the parking info. No, we aren't part of a tour. The guide book that I read made it seem like you have to pay for a tour bus ticket in order to see everything. Can we just walk right in, or is it too big to do that?

Tiana
05-25-2010, 01:52 PM
Thanks for the parking info. No, we aren't part of a tour. The guide book that I read made it seem like you have to pay for a tour bus ticket in order to see everything. Can we just walk right in, or is it too big to do that?

:confused:

I have never paid for a tour bus to see Arlington National Cemetery. We walk in, do the Women's Memorial thing, the tomb of the unknown, JFK grave, and the Arlington house, it is uphill, but not too bad. They have the tourmobile there, but unless you are physically incapable of walking up a hill, I don't see why you would have to take it... now, it would be quicker, so maybe worth it. Basically, you can just drive right in, park in the garage and enter the "Welcome Center" type area. You can purchase tickets for the tourmobile that runs just inside of the Cemetery and it will cart you around. Again, not needed, but would allow you to see more in less time.... unless there are a lot of people there that day... then you would just have to waste time standing in line for it. So, just make that judgment call when u get there.

Nik's Mom
05-25-2010, 02:09 PM
:confused:

I have never paid for a tour bus to see Arlington National Cemetery. We walk in, do the Women's Memorial thing, the tomb of the unknown, JFK grave, and the Arlington house, it is uphill, but not too bad. They have the tourmobile there, but unless you are physically incapable of walking up a hill, I don't see why you would have to take it... now, it would be quicker, so maybe worth it. Basically, you can just drive right in, park in the garage and enter the "Welcome Center" type area. You can purchase tickets for the tourmobile that runs just inside of the Cemetery and it will cart you around. Again, not needed, but would allow you to see more in less time.... unless there are a lot of people there that day... then you would just have to waste time standing in line for it. So, just make that judgment call when u get there.

Thanks a lot! So glad I asked. I think we can just walk it then. We'll go first thing when it opens and before it gets too hot. I'd rather not take a tour bus because we would probably spend a lot of tiem waiting around for that.

Thanks!:thumbsup2

tchrrx
05-25-2010, 02:26 PM
If you see another lost family roaming Washington DC, it's probably going to be mine. We arrive the 3rd. I'm still trying to figure everything out.:scared1:

We arrive on the 3rd also. We'll be Adventures by Disney for most of the day, but the afternoons/evenings offer some free time. I have got to get busy trying to figure out a plan for those times! We'll be the small town people trying to figure out the big city. :sad2:;)

MomtoMMKO
05-25-2010, 03:12 PM
We are going to Washington DC for a long weekend 6/25-6/28. Has anyone used the DC Circulator for the National Mall area. You can buy a day pass for $3.00. Is it worth it or is it easier to walk?
Thanks!

Tiana
05-25-2010, 03:31 PM
We are going to Washington DC for a long weekend 6/25-6/28. Has anyone used the DC Circulator for the National Mall area. You can buy a day pass for $3.00. Is it worth it or is it easier to walk?
Thanks!

I do see those when we are out and about... we've just never used them... when we are by ourselves, and not showing family around we just walk... but we're also not trying to see everything here in a weekend either...

They look nice, new and clean though. You could start off using them and then if you don't like it get tickets for something else. Most of the tour things can sell you tickets when you get on.

iluvwdw4ever
05-25-2010, 04:48 PM
Anyone still looking for a hotel should check out the Embassy Suites on 22nd St. We have stayed here twice and plan to stay here again over the 4th of July. Great family-sized suites, awesome breakfast, and my kids love feeding the goldfish in the lobby!!! :goodvibes

http://embassysuites1.hilton.com/en_US/es/hotel/WASDNES-Embassy-Suites-Washington-D-C--District-of-Columbia/index.do

Echo queen
05-25-2010, 10:02 PM
Thanks for the tips. We arrive next Friday:woohoo: Still hoping for a white house tour my rep is in contact with me by email. :)

We will be flying in and renting a car lodging at National Harbor/Oxon Hills. So we can drive into DC on the weekend and use the Metro on week day????

Tiana
05-25-2010, 10:09 PM
Thanks for the tips. We arrive next Friday:woohoo: Still hoping for a white house tour my rep is in contact with me by email. :)

We will be flying in and renting a car lodging at National Harbor/Oxon Hills. So we can drive into DC on the weekend and use the Metro on week day????

That's my general rule of thumb :thumbsup2

UGH, I hate to tell you this, b/c the more people who know = less parking spots for me. :rolleyes1 BUT, just in case you didn't know... there is tons of parking near the mall, ie. directly in front of the Capitol building, on the small side street to the left of the Capitol (if you are facing it), directly in front of the Botanical gardens and the large lot that borders the tidal basin (where you rent out the paddle boats). They all have signs that say "Permit Parking Only"; Permit Parking spots are open to the public on weekends and holidays, it's just not advertised as such.... unless it says something like no parking at any time, or something like that...

Echo queen
05-25-2010, 10:31 PM
That's my general rule of thumb :thumbsup2

UGH, I hate to tell you this, b/c the more people who know = less parking spots for me. :rolleyes1 BUT, just in case you didn't know... there is tons of parking near the mall, ie. directly in front of the Capitol building, on the small side street to the left of the Capitol (if you are facing it), directly in front of the Botanical gardens and the large lot that borders the tidal basin (where you rent out the paddle boats). They all have signs that say "Permit Parking Only"; Permit Parking spots are open to the public on weekends and holidays, it's just not advertised as such.... unless it says something like no parking at any time, or something like that...

Thanks Tiana, I will not tell anyone.:thumbsup2

ClarabelleCowFan
05-25-2010, 11:02 PM
If anyone is looking for a hotel then by all means AVOID the Doubletree near the White House. We had the worst customer service of any company ever. There are reviews on TripAdvisor of others having the same issues. We cancelled within our window and were charged for the rooms anyway 5 days later. The manager refuses to reverse the charges and my credit card dispute was denied. We are out $226 for nothing.

Doubletree Washington DC = NIGHTMARE.

thatslygirl
05-25-2010, 11:54 PM
We are going to Washington DC for a long weekend 6/25-6/28. Has anyone used the DC Circulator for the National Mall area. You can buy a day pass for $3.00. Is it worth it or is it easier to walk?
Thanks!

I have used the Circulator in Georgetown to Union Station, but not the Nat'l Mall route. I would say it would depend on how much you are walking. Because in the daytime you may be energized to walk from the Capitol all the way to the National Monument then to the WWII Memorial, but may be too tired to walk back ;) In which case, a one-way fare is $1.

I personally don't think it's a lot of walking but then again I walk around the Mall frequently--yesterday I walked to Independence & 12th from the Archives, which was about a 20-minute walk, but I took the leisurely route through the Sculpture Garden and that really pretty rose garden to get there.

thatslygirl
05-26-2010, 12:00 AM
We arrive on the 3rd also. We'll be Adventures by Disney for most of the day, but the afternoons/evenings offer some free time. I have got to get busy trying to figure out a plan for those times! We'll be the small town people trying to figure out the big city. :sad2:;)

The most important thing is... what food do you wanna eat?!

DC is known for chili half-smokes and Ethiopian food. We are not known for pizza--there are some good places but not as good as other cities. The current food trends are gourmet burgers, small plates, cupcakes, frozen yogurt, and food carts. If you have internet access you could track down the Fojol Brothers (http://fojol.com/) and get some tasty Indian grub from them.

lorac4disney
05-26-2010, 08:02 AM
When I was there, I stayed at the Marriott. It has an underground tunnel connecting you to the Metro which was very nice. There was always someone from the hotel standing in the tunnel which is well lit so it makes you feel safe. I was nervous about taking the Metro at first, but I can tell you that it is very nice and clean. Mostly business people going to and from work.

There are plenty of street vendors and shops where you can always stay hydrated although I stayed hydrated in a way you might not want to during July. :drinking1

Unless you are taking the cab everywhere, be prepared to walk so wear comfy shoes. The monuments are spread out.

Nik's Mom
05-26-2010, 07:44 PM
If anyone is looking for a hotel then by all means AVOID the Doubletree near the White House. We had the worst customer service of any company ever. There are reviews on TripAdvisor of others having the same issues. We cancelled within our window and were charged for the rooms anyway 5 days later. The manager refuses to reverse the charges and my credit card dispute was denied. We are out $226 for nothing.

Doubletree Washington DC = NIGHTMARE.

I saw your post on another thread and immediately cancelled our ressies. They better not do that to us! We cancelled 2 weeks before our check-in date. I'm checking our credit card to be sure they don't charge it. I cannot believe your credit card company isn't willing to help. Would it help to report the hotel to the better business bureau?