Washington DC Trip

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ddb1419
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Washington DC Trip

Post by ddb1419 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:54 pm

My wife and I will be visiting Washington DC. We plan to see the tourists sites.

We will be staying in Springfield Va and taking the metro to the Foggy Bottom metro station. We plan to get
a pass for the hop on hop off bus. Can anyone recommend which bus service?

Also, can any one recommend a reliable taxi company, if we want to to get back to Foggy Bottom station quickly.

Thank you.

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CaliJim
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by CaliJim » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:45 pm

ddb1419 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:54 pm
My wife and I will be visiting Washington DC. We plan to see the tourists sites.

We will be staying in Springfield Va and taking the metro to the Foggy Bottom metro station. We plan to get
a pass for the hop on hop off bus. Can anyone recommend which bus service?

Also, can any one recommend a reliable taxi company, if we want to to get back to Foggy Bottom station quickly.

Thank you.
Uber works very well in DC. Many cabbies also drive for Uber and Lyft.

Why "back to Foggy Bottom"? You just need to get back to nearest metro stop.
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dm200
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by dm200 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:04 pm

Why "back to Foggy Bottom"? You just need to get back to nearest metro stop.
Yes - any Metrorail stop...

armeliusc
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by armeliusc » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:13 pm

We've been to DC several times before kids and with kids in tow (a baby carrier and a walking toddler). We always just stayed outside DC, drove to the nearest metro station and parked the car for the whole day and took the metro anywhere. We found it's the easiest / fastest way to get around. Metro and walking. We have not found the need to hop on the bus nor taxi, even with kids. With just two adults, it's really easy to just walk and get on metro as needed.

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CaliJim
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by CaliJim » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:19 pm

dm200 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:04 pm
Why "back to Foggy Bottom"? You just need to get back to nearest metro stop.
Yes - any Metrorail stop...
Ugh. Metro / Metrorail. Tomato/tomato.

Wikipedia indicates "Metro" is the colloquial name for it. Metrorail is the brand. Metrorail could also refer to the transportation system in Miami-Dade, Houston, and other places...

When in DC, just look for these signs:

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adamthesmythe
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by adamthesmythe » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:37 pm

Was there recently.

You should know that the Sackler is closed and the Hirshhorn is less than it was. The Air and Space museum will be crowded, because it always is.

Mount Vernon is enjoyable (if the weather is good) and There is also the Udvar-Hazy museum at the airport (which will be much less crowded, because it's so big).

The metro works very well once you figure out how to buy a pass. I have never used the bus and I may have once used a taxi from the airport. The metro and your feet work well for most things inside the city.

Do not under any circumstances attempt to drive.

aristotelian
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by aristotelian » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:43 pm

Are you visiting people in Springfield? That's pretty far out. You are going to be spending a lot of time on the Metro or driving around the Beltway. I would suggest closer in if your main objective is tourist sites.

furwut
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by furwut » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:49 pm

I’d advocate using Capital Bikeshare over a bus, weather permitting.
More flexible, more fun.

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dm200
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by dm200 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:07 pm

Ugh. Metro / Metrorail. Tomato/tomato.

Not really. There is MetroRAIL and MetroBUS.

Although the rail system is commonly referred to as just "METRO"

gtaylor
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by gtaylor » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:32 pm

That's an OK plan. We did essentially this over the summer with the kids, stayed in Falls Church at a hotel with a shuttle to the Metro. Worked OK. It was better the trip before when I stayed in Arlington a block from that Metro station and had much shorter train ride into town.

The private tourist on-off busses are not needed. Feet+metro+uber/taxi work very well.

The one bus worth using is the "Circulator", nice red busses that go in a circle around the Mall plus a little spur up to Union Station. The Mall is bigger than you think, so this is a handy way to get end to end without walking, since there are no Metro stops on the memorials half of the thing. The circulator is a city bus, takes the metro card, I think it's $1.

NB about this season: If you want to do the new African American Smithsonian museum, get tickets ahead of your trip, it's timed entry only and very popular. Also, Washington Monument is closed for renovation.

Krischi
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by Krischi » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:05 pm

Springfield also is on the Blue Line, which is kind of the red-headed stepchild of Metro service. Plan extra time.

For getting into the middle of tourist things, Smithsonian/Farragut West/Farragut North/Federal Triangle/Metro Center are the stops I'd use. Foggy Bottom is pretty far out unless you plan to start with the Lincoln Memorial.

arsenalfan
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by arsenalfan » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:18 pm

Consider an Air BNB in town.
Big Bus works just fine for hop-on, hop-off.
Monuments are lovely for walking - Lincoln, Vietnam, WW2, MLK, Jefferson and Tidal Basin. Then hop on bus to grab lunch at Penn Quarter.
Museums as you wish - So many great ones that are free; consider getting tickets in advance for the new african american museum.
Consider grabbing a drink at the POV bar of the W hotel - ovelooks the white house.
If you have a car, Air & Space Udar-Hazy out by Dulles VA could be less crowded and better than the downtown Air & Space. It's basically 2 hangars of planes/space shuttle/etc; you do have to pay for parking out there.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by DaftInvestor » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:51 pm

Rather than a Taxi Company, I would also recommend you go with Uber and Lyft. If you haven't used these services before they are very easy apps to load and set up on your smartphone. I like to have them both in case one has a long wait time or has surge-pricing (simply flip to the other). You will save approximately 30% over a taxi (and you can "hail" one with the push of a button). Also - there may be a day when you won't want to deal with metro and just take them back to Springfield (you can go to Uber's website to get an approximate cost - probably $30 to $40).
Personally - we never like the on/off buses - we just like to walk or metro or Uber from place to place in all cities we go to so can't comment on the buses.

denovo
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by denovo » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:55 pm

gtaylor wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:32 pm

The private tourist on-off busses are not needed. Feet+metro+uber/taxi work very well.
+1

Theseus
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by Theseus » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:21 pm

Have you considered taking Segway tour. I haven’t done it in DC but did it in San Diego and it was a lot fun. We did that on the first day and then decided to go back to the places we were interested in during rest of the stay.

DC has some of the most amazing restaurants for all budgets. I live in northern Virginia and we go to dc for dinner at times. I find restaurant scene as good or better than NY.

Also if you get a chance then go up to rooftop bar of W at night. You can see Whitehouse next door, Washington monument and I think Lincon memorial. No cover charge and you can hangout as long as you want.

Have fun!

blmarsha123
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by blmarsha123 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:49 pm

aristotelian wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:43 pm
Are you visiting people in Springfield? That's pretty far out. You are going to be spending a lot of time on the Metro or driving around the Beltway. I would suggest closer in if your main objective is tourist sites.
Agree.

I recently stayed at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town, which is a block from the King Street Metro station. Much closer to the action.

FedGuy
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by FedGuy » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:17 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:37 pm
You should know that the Sackler is closed
It reopens tomorrow: http://www.asia.si.edu/reopening/

Please note that Metro tends to be fairly unreliable, particularly on weekends when whole lines sometimes go down without advance notice or there are long delays due to single tracking. Have a backup plan to get into DC if you're going to be staying in the suburbs and relying on Metro to get in.

And no one says "Metrorail" unless they actually work for the organization.

pennywise
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by pennywise » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:48 am

gtaylor wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:32 pm
NB about this season: If you want to do the new African American Smithsonian museum, get tickets ahead of your trip, it's timed entry only and very popular. Also, Washington Monument is closed for renovation.
Just visited my daughter in DC last week and have a useful tip for the NMAAHC-a limited number of same day timed tickets are released online every morning at 6:30 am. They go very fast but if you check in immediately at release time, at least weekday non-holiday mornings, you should be able to get a pair of tickets. I logged in at 6:25, refreshed till the entry times showed up and got a 10:30 entry; actually arrived at 10 am and was allowed in then. Here's the online site link:

http://www.etix.com/ticket/v/11570/nati ... yType=list

It's a remarkable and incredibly moving experience, and since it's at the end of the mall near many other great museums you can easily plan your sightseeing day around that plus something else if you have time. I stayed in Fairfax (Dunn Loring/Merrifield) so used the orange line and got off at the Federal Triangle Metro stop.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:48 am

Viewing all the tourist sites - purchase a Circulator pass at any Metro station, with the bus pass trips are only $1, without pass, it costs $2. You can hop back on the circulator bus within 2 hours of first use, pay zero. Circulator bus (red line) will take you pass the Washington monument, Lincoln memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Smithsonian museums (close by - like a block or two). Recommend getting free tickets (first come, first serve) at Bureau of Engraving and Printing (adjacent to Holocaust Museum) between 8:30-9:30 AM for best viewing times to take tour of how U.S. money gets printed - cool tour, takes about 45 minutes. Unfortunately, they do not hand out free souvenirs of their work. :wink:

Would skip the National Zoo - seems like half the animals were MIA. And, if you want a guidemap to the zoo, the required donation (the zoo is free, the map is not) is $5. A lot of tourists were shocked at the price and said "no".
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Katietsu
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by Katietsu » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:16 pm

In DC with family this summer. They bought hop on hop off tickets for $30 or $40. We did not. They did not get value from them. Mostly walked. One Uber trip. One Metro trip. Timing did not allow for the bus they had paid for in those cases. They did each get one ride a day with the pass if I recall.

The monument tour was nuts. It was a race through most of them and impossible to really appreciate. I felt bad for the members of the group for whom this was their first trip.

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CaliJim
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by CaliJim » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:49 pm

dm200 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:07 pm
Ugh. Metro / Metrorail. Tomato/tomato.
Not really. There is MetroRAIL and MetroBUS.
Also:
metropolis
metronomic
metronomes
metronymic
metrometer
metroscope
metromania
metrograph

LOL

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Psyayeayeduck
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by Psyayeayeduck » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:05 pm

ddb1419 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:54 pm
My wife and I will be visiting Washington DC. We plan to see the tourists sites.

We will be staying in Springfield Va and taking the metro to the Foggy Bottom metro station. We plan to get
a pass for the hop on hop off bus. Can anyone recommend which bus service?

Also, can any one recommend a reliable taxi company, if we want to to get back to Foggy Bottom station quickly.

Thank you.
Howdy from the DC area. To answer your questions, Metro would suffice moving back and forth between parts of the city so bus isn't necessary. Just get a pass (cost you $2 per card per person) and load up on what you need. Remember to "walk left, stand right" when it comes to escalators. One of the easiest ways to anger a local and be viewed as a typical, stupid tourist is to break this rule.

If you want to do it by bus, there are a few free city sponsored buses that will take you to different parts of the city for free or a couple of dollars. If you do need a taxi, get an uber instead.

The taxi drivers here are not the greatest. Uber and Lyft have a better standing in this city. Or better yet, there is also the bikeshare system that is decent as well -- exercise and you control where you go. Just be mindful of traffic.


If you want a good general guide on what to do here in this city, I suggest reading upon this link: ----> https://www.reddit.com/r/washingtondc/wiki/guide
Last edited by Psyayeayeduck on Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

renue74
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by renue74 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:26 pm

I don't have advise on the transportation, but do suggest you reach out to your congressman's office for tickets.

I wasn't aware of this until we planned a DC trip last summer (ended up not going), but I reached out to my congressman's office and they set up various tickets/visits for us.

The response was actually super fast....like within a few hours, a staffer had let me know what tours she could help with.

Leemiller
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by Leemiller » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:01 am

Agree that you are staying very far out and that foggy bottom isn't a good stop for the sights. I would put in a plug for walking around the DuPont Circle area, maybe stopping by the Phillips Museum, Kramer's books and afterwards cafe, Moby Dick's house of kabobs... If you really want shopping though that is probably more Georgetown.

I have to throw in a recommendation for Joe's and Old Ebbitt over by the White House. The National Gallery of Art has the only Da Vinci in North America and gelato in their lower level cafe.

One more tip, avoid rush hour traveling! They call the organe line the orange crush for a reason.

Green Nut
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by Green Nut » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:58 am

Leemiller wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:01 am
Agree that you are staying very far out and that foggy bottom isn't a good stop for the sights. I would put in a plug for walking around the DuPont Circle area, maybe stopping by the Phillips Museum, Kramer's books and afterwards cafe, Moby Dick's house of kabobs... If you really want shopping though that is probably more Georgetown.

I have to throw in a recommendation for Joe's and Old Ebbitt over by the White House. The National Gallery of Art has the only Da Vinci in North America and gelato in their lower level cafe.

One more tip, avoid rush hour traveling! They call the organe line the orange crush for a reason.
+2 for Dupont Circle, reasonable hotel prices and easy on/off metro stops.

Calico
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Re: Washington DC Trip

Post by Calico » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:16 pm

blmarsha123 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:49 pm
aristotelian wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:43 pm
Are you visiting people in Springfield? That's pretty far out. You are going to be spending a lot of time on the Metro or driving around the Beltway. I would suggest closer in if your main objective is tourist sites.
Agree.

I recently stayed at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town, which is a block from the King Street Metro station. Much closer to the action.
I second this recommendation. Nothing is really wrong with Springfield, but it's a bit farther out and more residential. There aren't too many places to walk to and you will need to rely on some sort of car (Taxi, Uber, whatever) to get anywhere, including the Metro station (there is one in Springfield).

Old town is a bit better for a tourist because there are more transportation options. If you stay where this poster did, you can use Metro to get from the airport (if you are flying into Regan/National) to your hotel. And the Old town area has it's own walkabilty, a trolly, tourist stops, restaurants, and shops. Plus, if you want one, it's easier to find a cab (or even rent a bike) in the Old town area (both are near the King Street Metro station).

I hope you enjoy your trip!

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