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Washington DC Travel Tips

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by blacktitleist, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. blacktitleist

    blacktitleist Member

    Mrs. BT and I are trekking to DC with the little BT's (7 and 4) the first week of April.

    I've come to you for knowledge.

    Here's what is definite at this point: Hotel is booked, outside the city, with a free shuttle to the metro station about a mile away (Crystal City)

    We've got our U.S. Capitol tour lined up already through our senator's office, awaiting word on White House tour.

    We plan to get around DC using the metro and we are exploring the possibility of purchasing tickets on the DC Trolley, which makes several loops around town and stops at all the hot spots. You can come and go as you please, plus, until March 12, if you purchase tickets for it, you get three days for the price of one.

    We plan to see all the monuments and several of the Smithsonian Museums (Air and Space, Natural History, American History), as well as the Zoo.

    I'd like to squeeze in Arlington, Bureau of Engraving, and maybe the Newseum as well.

    My 7-year old has started learning about Washington, the presidents, founding fathers, etc in her class (her teacher grew up in DC and has taught them the National Anthem and all the patriotic songs) and she is starting to ask lots of questions about Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, etc.

    So, I thought there would be no better way than to take her to DC to learn and see even more. Even thinking about hitting up Monticello on the way up and Mount Vernon on the way home (we live in NC).

    So, any tips or advice from you wise folks, feel free to share.

    I did a search for this and came up empty, so I apologize for any d_b
  2. KJIM

    KJIM Well-Known Member

    This might help to start: http://www.sportsjournalists.com/forum/threads/81685/

    (Tough to find; I only remember it because I was going at the same time as 21)
  3. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    Advice? Do you need it? It sounds like you've got things pretty well-planned. And the beauty of DC is that the museums (for the most part) are free, so if your kids aren't into them, you don't feel the pressure to stay to justify your admission fee.

    Only advice is consider the Marine museum in Quantico on your way back to NC. It's right off 95. Sure, it's the official Marines museum, so take the messages there for what they're worth, but it's a beautiful building (designed to invoke the Iwo Jima flag raising), and there's a lot of great history in there. The kids will enjoy the part where you go through basic training (without Sgt Hartman threatening to rip off your skull and shit down your neck).
  4. blacktitleist

    blacktitleist Member

    Ah, thanks. Very helpful.
  5. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    If you're hell-bent on going to the Newseum, watch Groupon for tickets. They usually have them every few weeks or months. Otherwise it's pretty damn expensive to get into that museum, but you can absolutely kill an entire afternoon inside there.

    When you're at the Capitol, stop at Spike Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery or We, the Pizza for lunch. I can attest that the burger joint is really good. I'll assume the same for the pizza. It's three blocks away from the Capitol, still in the shadow of the dome.
  6. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Typically, I'd suggest Ben's Chili Bowl, but recently, I had dinner down the street at Dodge City Bar, which has half-smokes (cooked out back on the patio) that at the very least, are just as good as Ben's.
  7. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    The White House Museum (not at the White House, but at 15th and Pennyslvania or near there) is fascinating. Lots of stuff about every president, and it's free. And the A&S Museum at Dulles is spectacular, without the hores of people at the one on the mall.

    You do lots of walking in DC. Is your 4-year old ready for that?
  8. Dyno

    Dyno Well-Known Member

    Good point. I have relatives with kids who were the same ages when they came to DC last year. The kids were worn out after some time at Air & Space, the walk across the mall and a little time at the Natural History Museum. They were pretty much done for the day after that.

    The little one might enjoy a ride on the carousel on the mall side of Air & Space, near the Hirschhorn Museum.

    Also, if you go on the standard Capitol tour first, through the new visitors center, the video they show before the tour starts is pretty boring. I went with a friend's family and the 9 and 11 year old, who had been really excited about the Capitol, were bored out of their minds and the 5 year old fell asleep. The film was close to 15 minutes, as I recall.
  9. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I stumbled across the first FDR memorial (it's across Pennsylvania from the National Archives) - it's much smaller than the newer one.

    So if I had one bit of advice - try and carve out some time to see discover stuff on your own and be careful how much time you spend "watching movies" in various museums and points of interest (though they are a nice break from walking). I wish I'd visited Teddy Roosevelt island.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  10. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    I could spend days in the Air and Space and Natural History museums. I've never been to the Bureau of Engraving, but is that something that's going to keep a 4-year-old's interest? Sounds on the dull side.

    If you can, seeing the original copies of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence at the National Archives is pretty neat and doesn't take long (assuming the line isn't huge, which it wasn't when I was there last).
  11. Dyno

    Dyno Well-Known Member

    The Archives often has a long line these days. You can get timed tickets in advance. If you're interested, the info's on their website.

    It's too bad the Washington Monument is closed right. Kids usually love that.
  12. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    This thread gave me the greatest advice. Your kids are so young, they'll probably love the Metro more than the museums. You can go online to make reservations to get into the White House and Capitol, usually through your congressman or senator.
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