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Visiting Washington D.C. for the first time

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by fromthebluegrass, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. I'm visiting Washington D.C. next week. My fiance and I will have two full days in the city itself. What are the must sees? Some things, like Capitol tours, are already booked. We're going to visit Mount Vernon when we leave town. I've seen plenty of great advice for tourists to various cities on here before, so I appreciate the insight. I searched for a previous thread on visiting Washington D.C. and didn't find anything. If I overlooked one, please link that here.

    Thanks for the advice.
  2. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member


    You must visit the Holocaust Museum, and you must eat a corn dog at Chirpy's.
  3. jackfinarelli

    jackfinarelli Member

    The Smithsonian Museum and the Air and Space Museum - - both on the Mall - - should be on your hit list. If you like art museums, the two wings of the National Gallery of Art is also very good - - but art museums are not everyone's favorite things.

    As far as the monuments go, don't waste a lot of time standing in line at the Washington Monument to go to the top; that is really overrated. But be sure to see the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial (my personal favorite).

    The Viet Nam memorial is very moving; the Korean War memorial is OK; the WWII memorial is way over the top for my tastes.

  4. We need to figure out what day to do that. It is free to get in, but you have to get tickets in advance this time of year because of the crowds.

    Also, is it worth the trip to head from Mount Vernon to Monticello? According to Google Maps, the two estates are about two hours apart, and Charlottesville, Va. is near 64.
  5. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    If the cherry blosssoms are blooming in DC, you would be crazy to leave. If you were going to CVille in a month, I would say yes, but it's still winter and pretty barren.
  6. bagelchick

    bagelchick Active Member

    I highly recommend the tour of Arlington National Cemetery.
  7. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

    If your fiancee has interest in newspapers, the Newseum could be an option. $20 (their site says the ticket is good for two days).

    If you can see Congress in session, especially during a vote, do it. Word of warning as well, they can be strict in the viewing chamber. You're not allowed to talk or even read a book.
  8. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Jack is pretty much spot on.

    However, from a soldier's perspective, I appreciated the Korean War memorial a little more than the Wall. Seeing those soldiers, moving in a tactical formation and imaging the conditions they survived was chilling. Those guys lived in worse conditions than any solider since WWI.

    I'd also make sure I saw the Iwo Jima memorial and Arlington Cemetery. Iwo Jima at night is particularly impressive because of the views of the Mall area you can get. The right camera set up can produce amazing pictures.
  9. my favorite "spot" in the city is the fdr memorial. great view of the jefferson memorial across the tidal basin -- it's about a 10-minute walk from one to the other. and you learn about fdr. you can also walk down to the riverbank and on a nice day or night you'll see a ton of small boats out. (the weather's getting warmer here, but you'd be more likely to see boats out during the day.) it's cool.

    also love the air force memorial in arlington. not the easiest thing to find if you're not from the area and if you don't have a car -- get off 395 at the pentagon city/crystal city exit and try to follow the signs from there. you might be able to walk there from the pentagon metro stop. the view from atop the hill is pretty neat, and there is a audio tour you can follow through your cell phone.
  10. Is the Air Force Memorial near Arlington Cemetery? My parents are Air Force veterans, so I'd like to see that if we can. Two days isn't a lot of time to spend in Washington, but I'd like to see as much as possible.

    We'd be going through Charlottesville on the way back to Kentucky. I didn't know if Monticello was pretty far out of the way. I'm a bit of a history nerd, so it would be awesome to visit both Monticello and Mount Vernon on the same trip if it wouldn't be crazy inconvenient.
  11. Sleeper

    Sleeper Member

    The Air Force memorial is basically right next to Arlington Cemetery. But unless you're ready to do a ton of walking, you'll need to drive and park at each location.

    I'll second the recommendation for the FDR memorial. Go at night if you can.
  12. SalukiNC

    SalukiNC Member

    +1 for Arlington
    -1 for Holocaust.....although after going there I walked out and kissed the sidewalk, just happy to be alive.
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