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Christmas time in DC

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I've read lots of info on here but have some questions hopefully some knowledgeable folks can help me out with.

We're planning to fly into DC either the 23rd or 24th of December and fly out on the 1st. Normally clean and cheap is all I seek in hotel but as it's the holidays, I wanted something with charm. Fell in love with Tabard Inn (starts at $175) but it's out of our budget so am looking at Hotel Lombardy (only $84 a nite) or One Washington CIrcle ($107 with kitchenette, Free Parking and metro passes). This leads to my big question- everything I've read suggests that a car is not necessary and in fact, that public transport is preferable. I'm concerned though (we're babies from Los Angeles), that it will be very cold and about the possible lack of operating hours due to the holidays. We're planning to venture out to Old Alexandria and Mt. Vernon on Christmas Day as well.

Any feedback on transpo and how to choose between hotels would be most appreciated!

thanks!

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