Washington DC

Discussion in 'Hobby/Travel Forum' started by FriendofSpurgeon, May 16, 2005.

  1. FriendofSpurgeon

    FriendofSpurgeon
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    Planning to go to DC this summer with the children. We've been before and seen most of the major things. Any ideas on some of the lesser known places to hit? Also, any recommendations on places to stay? Thank you.
     
  2. Palmetto Boy

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    I don't know if this counts as a tourist attraction or not, but I think visitors should make an effort to see Union Station. Its scale and architecture are amazing. Also, you have to pay admission, but the new spy museum is pretty cool. The kids would probably enjoy it. I always enjoy the National Gallery, although I would avoid the Toulouse-Lautrec Exhibit they have right now.

    You might also check the Kennedy Center for free concerts. They have free concerts every night on their Millenium Stage. It's a pretty neat progam although some concerts are a waste of time. If you go to the Kennedy Center, find an elevator up to the roof terrace. Few people know about the terrace, and it offers a great view of DC, the Potomac, Rosslyn, and Georgetown. (I know you are past this stage, but it would be a great place to get engaged!)

    If you want to shop you might head over to Georgetown and walk M Street. While your in the area it might be worth buzzing by and seeing Georgetown University. You can also go by and see John Kerry and John Edward's houses, if you can track down the addresses online.

    If you want to really make your trip enjoyable I have two dining recommendations. Your kids will enjoy them, plus they are inexpensive. The best of both worlds.

    For DC's best burgers go to Five Guys. Their burgers come with the choice of something like 15 toppings for no extra charge--everything from normal condiments to fried onions and sauteed mushrooms.

    The other restaurant is more widely know, but you may not have them in your area yet: Chipotle. They pioneered the monster burrito. Plan on splitting if you don't want to be stuffed.

    Be sure to let us know how the trip goes!
     
  3. SaggyWoman

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    When I went there, I stayed in a motel that was on the bus line, so that I could catch the bus in to ride the Metro and then see all the sights from there.

    I suggest the Holocaust museum.
     
  4. FriendofSpurgeon

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    Thanks for the suggestions so far.

    I've never heard of Five Guys so we'll have to check it out. We've been to Chipotle and we have lots of Moe's (same idea), but's a great idea. Good food at reasonable prices.

    I think the kids would enjoy the spy museum - good advice. What is the story with the T-L exhibit at the National Gallery? Please advise. Also, is there much to do at Georgetown?

    SW - do you think that the Holocaust Museum is too overwhelming for kids? It probably isn't but would like your opinion.

    Thanks.
     
  5. Marcia

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    I live right outside Wash. DC in Northern VA. I actually don't go into DC that much, but I can think of some places you might want to see (realizing that you said you saw the "major" stuff before, which I assume means the Monument, White House, Capitol, Smithsonian museums, Air & Space Museum, Supreme Court, etc.).

    Have you been to the Holocaust Museum? How old are your kids? Depending on their ages, I am not sure if you would want to take them there. I haven't been yet but understand there are some stark photos.

    Have you seen the Vietnam War Memorial or the newer FDR memorial?

    Have you been on the FBI tour? The kids would probably like that (the spy museum is a good suggestion).

    Georgetown is mainly expensive boutiques, watering holes, and restaurants. It's touristy by day and a singles scene at night.

    There's a brand new Museum of Native American Arts near the other museums on the Mall. I have not been yet but would like to see it. I think I will be bothered by some of the Native American spiritual stuff that is there, but I would like to see it anyway.

    Have you been to Arlington Cemetery and seen the changing of the guard? If not, I suggest that.

    You can stay in a hotel in Rosslyn (Arlington, VA) or Crystal City (also Arlington) near a Metro stop (be sure to ask how close it is -- a few blocks is probably too far) and take Metro across the river into DC. I think those might be cheaper and safer than staying in DC.
     
  6. FriendofSpurgeon

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    We have been to most of the Smithsonians, the monuments (including FDR and Vietnam), and the Capitol. Last time, we even got to sit in during a House session and a Senate session.

    However, we haven't been to the new Native American Museum and that is high on the list. I would like to hear any reviews.

    Our kids are middle school age, so I think that the Holocaust Museum may be OK, but would appreciate some feedback. I have heard it's very tough.

    I understand that the FBI tour has been cancelled since 9/11. Does anyone know for sure?

    We've been to Arlington National before - it's quite a site. We'll be there again due to a military ceremony.

    On Sunday, we were thinking about attending church at the National Cathedral and hopefully attending a baseball game - preferably the Orioles rather than the Nationals. Any thoughts on the cathedral?

    Any other ideas?
     
  7. SaggyWoman

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    I think the age on the big museum might be like 13 and up. They had/have a children's museum there for 8 to 12 year olds.

    Of course, you also should try the smithsonians, the vietnam wall, and the white house.
     
  8. Dina

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    Silent Drill Team at 8th and I.

    ooh rah!
     
  9. Marcia

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    Not sure about the FBI tour but a website I checked said the tours are closed for now. Too bad.

    The National Cathedral is worth seeing, whether you attend a service or not. If you attend a service, be prepared for a liberal message. However, it's still worth seeing the Cathedral and attending a service, imo.

    Will you have a car? If so, you could venture into VA a bit and see Mount Vernon and Gunston Hall (home of George Mason). You can get info on how to get to those places on the Internet. Here's a link on Gunston Hall:
    http://www.gunstonhall.org/
     
  10. FriendofSpurgeon

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    Thanks Marcia. BTW, loved your web page - very interesting.
     
  11. LarryN

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    Marcia wrote: "You can stay in a hotel in Rosslyn (Arlington, VA) or Crystal City (also Arlington) near a Metro stop (be sure to ask how close it is -- a few blocks is probably too far) and take Metro across the river into DC. I think those might be cheaper and safer than staying in DC."

    I second this idea. Staying just across the river is a great way to save BIG bucks- and you're just minutes away from the Mall & central D.C. via the Metro. Sure, it's really nice (read: $$$$) to stay at the Hay Adams or the Williard (both about a block from the White House)- but IMO it's not worth paying 3-4X what you would just minutes away across the Potomac.


    Mount Vernon, George Washington's plantation, isn't far at all from D.C., and I believe you can still visit it without a car- by catching one of the 4-5 hour excursions that leave from near the Wash. Monument. Round-trip transportation & admission are included in the cost of the trip. It's fascinating, with some beautiful views- both along the way & once there.

    Ford's Theatre, the site of Lincoln's assassination, is just 5-6 blocks or so E of the White House. Interesting museum of memorabilia in the basement.
     
  12. Marcia

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    Thanks!

    I think the suggestion to see Ford's Theater is excellent. Wish I had thought of that! [​IMG]
     
  13. Palmetto Boy

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    As a boy Toulouse-Lautrec broke both of his legs, and they didn't heal properly. As a result he grew up to be deformed. Lautrec led an unhappy life in the seedy neighborhoods of Paris, trying to drink away his problems. His art is largely set in the cabarets and nightclubs that he frequented, and it reflects his troubled life. While it's still unsavory today, Lautrec's art was particularly scandalous during his day. Even so, the show attracted a record setting 9,000 people its first day at the National Gallery in March. The show ends June 12 FWIW.

    There is a lot of other nice stuff to see at the National Gallery. Your kids might enjoy tracking down famous historical portraits by Gilbert Stuart or recognizable paintings by Van Gogh or Monet.

    I'm in the same boat on Chipotle. Don't have them in SC yet, but we have lots of Moe's.

    Most of the shopping in Georgetown is expensive...just stuff to look at. But they do have stores like Gap, H&M, etc. There's not a lot to do at Georgetown University, but it's a nice stop if you like seeing old Universities with lots of history and nice architecture.

    If you want a good conservative church service you might visit Capitol Hill Baptist Church with Mark Dever.
     
  14. FriendofSpurgeon

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    Thanks for the information on T-L. Thankfully, the exhibit will be over by the time we are there so I don't need to worry.

    Also, thanks on the information on Georgetown. I've never been there and was wondering about it. But I understand it's not easy to get to - no Metro access. And, we have our own expensive stores here, so no need to window shop there.

    We got a good deal at the Holiday Inn next to the A&S Museum, so it was hard to pass up. We've stayed in Arlington before (near the mall). While it was cheaper, it was a bit of pain each day going back and forth across the river. This should save at least 30-45 minutes in each direction.

    Does anyone know anything about the 4th of July celebrations? I'm trying to arrange my schedule to be there by then. Thanks.
     
  15. mark

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    I do recommend having lunch on the roof of the Hotel Washington. It is a nice view of the city, including a view of the White House, only partially obstructed by the Treaury Dept., and it is pretty reasonable, I think a nice sandwich with the sides and a drink about $6 or $7, its been a couple of years. Also after having been there several times in a just a couple of years I was looking for some different site, the American Red Cross Building is cool, ask to see the WWI posters and OAS is beautiful (Organization of American States).
     
  16. Victory in Jesus

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    To my knowledge, they always have fireworks at the DC mall (near the Washington Monument?).

    Georgetown University also has fireworks, but the one year I went, they were rained out.

    If you're willing to travel to Kings Dominion (down on I-95), I'd recommend going there to spend the day.

    Hubby and I have gone three times on July 4 and there is hardly NO waiting in lines on that day since everyone has other Independence Day plans, I suppose. It's been years since we've gone. Since Watercountry USA is near there, many people in bikinis visit Kings Dominion, so we quit going during hot weather. So don't hold me to the "short waiting lines" promise. But, KD usually has fireworks around 10 or 11 pm and they're fun to watch overlooking their water. OH! And if you have a dog, it doesn't cost much to board him in their kennel. You can visit him, take a packed picnic lunch in and eat with him and you get pretty decent parking.

    If you DO decide to go to KD, try to go across the highway (drive...too far to walk) and go south a mile or two. On your right is a small (very small) chapel with a televised preacher. very interesting, I thought. It almost reminded me of those photo booths.

    Another place to visit in DC is the Police Memorial ( 400 7th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20004).

    OH! Someone mentioned the Ford's theater. That's just part of the tour. After you visit the theater, you can go across the street and see the bed that Abraham Lincold died in. The original pillowcase is still there (last time I checked). It's a good place to take your kids. They'll get the complete account of what happened to Lincoln and they'll let you go upstairs and see the booth Lincoln was sitting (they USED to allow you to go in the booth). Then they'll direct you across the street and your kids'll see where they carried him to live out his final (minutes?). It's safe for kids of all ages and very educational.

    I would try to find the Smithsonian institute on the web before going. The place is so huge that you can get lost and never get to the exhibits you want to see.

    OH! Did someone mention the Air and Space museum? They have one near Dulles Airport now, too. You should go see a couple films. They're pretty good (you may have to explain to the kids afterwards that our world is not billions of years old, but it's still pretty good viewing). They play it in the IMax theater with huge screens so in movies like "to Fly" you feel like you're in a balloon. Those films are also educational. I believe kids in school get a discount. If you're old, you'll get a discount, too...I think. This theater is in the Air and Space Museum. Your kids'll love the exhibits (space suits, moon rock, airplanes, etc). There's even a space shuttle they can walk through to see how the astronauts lived in space.

    I would recommend eating before going into DC, also...or pack a lunch. I found the food to be pretty expensive. But, it's been years since we've eaten there.

    OH! the National zoo! It's free! Ya GOTTA go! the kids'll LOVE it!

    All the museums are free, by the way. Our kind contributions through federal taxes have paid your way (I want reimbursement!). [​IMG] So, even if you do eat in DC, you're saving money at the museums and exhibits.

    If I think of anything else, I'll let you know. But go to the zoo. YA GOTTA GO! [​IMG]
     
  17. Victory in Jesus

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    Oh! And take a camera with you because we expect to see pictures when you get back!
     
  18. FriendofSpurgeon

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    Thanks VJ for the information. I've seen KD from the highway before but forgot about it. We won't have a car with us, but might be able to get there anyway.
     
  19. Victory in Jesus

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    Whatever you decide to do, have fun! It's times like this the kids will remember after they grow up and have kids of their own. [​IMG]
     
  20. faithgirl46

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    Thank you guys for the information. I am going to try and save this info for our vacation next year.
     

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