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Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in DC

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in DC

Old May 18th, 2005, 07:35 AM
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Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in DC

My family and I would like to visit the Basilica on a Sunday morning in June. We will be staying at the Holiday Inn in Rosslyn. What would be the best way to get there? Would it make sense to take a cab? There will be four of us. Could you please tell us if there are any good restaurants in the area? Thanks!
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Old May 18th, 2005, 08:26 AM
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From the Shrine's own website:
Washington's Metrorail System is another popular method of reaching the Shrine, which is only three blocks west of Metro's Brookland-CUA Station on the Red Line.

From Rosslyn, take Orange or Blue line to MetroCenter, transfer to Red Line towards Glenmont.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 08:49 AM
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As those instructions say, it is an easy metro ride. The Basilica is on the Catholic University campus, which is next to the Brookland/CUA metro station on the Red Line.

A cab is possible, but could be expensive since it is quite a distance from Rosslyn. I would expect $15-20.

The Basilica is really lovely, but it is a bit of an oasis in a nice, but blandish neighborhood. Not much eating. If you take the Metro, there are nice restaurants near Union Station, which is three or four stops from Brookland.

While not as striking at the Basilica, there is also St. Matthews cathederal near DuPont Circle and even a cathederal in Arlington.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 12:11 PM
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As Mike said, the Basilica is very handy to the Brookland Metro stop. My daughter, who attends Catholic University, assures me that there are no worthwhile restaurants nearby. But the Pope John Paul Cultural Center nearby is fascinating, and well-done according to my other daughter, who designs museum exhibits. http://www.jp2cc.org/

If you're hopping back on the Red Line anyway, you would do better to go a few more stops to Dupont Circle or even Woodley Park to find a nice neighborhood for restaurants.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 12:27 PM
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There is a great restaurnat right there: Colonel Brooks Tavern - one block from the Brookland metro station.

Ask anyone at the Metro station for directions.

A Catholic University and Brookland neighborhood institution. Great sandwiches, salads, soups, and specials.

Colonel Brooks' Tavern
901 Monroe St. NE, Washington, DC
Phone: 202-529-4002
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Old May 18th, 2005, 01:02 PM
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My daughter and I went by train and loved it. They had a really nice cafeteria in the downstairs by the gift shop. It really was quite good!
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Old May 18th, 2005, 02:38 PM
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You can check out the metro website (www.wmata.com) for a metro system map. They also have a trip planner which should help you plan a route, and good maps of the areas around each station.
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Old May 19th, 2005, 04:49 AM
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Seeing the Basilica is well worth it. I stayed at temporary housing (dorms in summer) there in the late 1980s and went to mass every week. You might want to check the mass schedule if you are Catholic, even if you are not so you don't disturb the faithful or if you want attend the mass.

Everyone is right who posted that you can take the blue line from Rosslyn, then get out at Metro Center where basically all the colored lines meet and then transfer over to the red line. Since you have a family of four taking a cab would be uncomfortable and the subway has so much comfortable seating and AC that it would be better to take this mode of transportation.

Suggestion for eating, if your family is open minded, on the red line is the Woodley Park/National Zoo stop and when you leave the station there are many ethnic restaurants in that immediate area. Remember lots of Middle East/Indian food restaurants, its a little walk to the zoo (free admission - Smithsonian) but not bad exercise. You may want to try to get a weekend pass on the metro since there are probably some since its considered non-rush hour.
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Old May 19th, 2005, 10:02 AM
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Thanks to all who responded to my questions. This board is great.
I think we will take the metro as you all suggested and then lunch in the cafeteria or as Bardo suggested, Colonel Brooks Tavern. (Thanks for the address and phone number, Bardo!) I was thinking of taking a cab since I had checked the Mass schedule and saw that they had a 12:00 choir Mass. We are Catholic and have heard so much about this church and have found out that a 1:30 tour is offered later.

We are spending a week in Washington DC and would like to utilize our time well. We will be driving from the Boston area most of the day on Saturday and then will have to get the kids up and out for breakfast and then to Mass. I was concerned about time constraints as well as the fact that my husband had been ill for awhile and is now recovered but not quite back to normal. I wanted to trim the walking as much as possible. The metro website says there is a four block walk but the basilica says it is three blocks. The metro website also says there is a 80 bus that will take us to Gibbons Hall Entrance/Michigan and then shorten our walk. Do you think it is worth waiting for the bus?

Stephanie, I had thought of going to the zoo after the basilica just to quickly see the pandas. I would like to do something off the Mall and then leave the sites on the Mall for the rest of the week. Does this make sense? Do you think we could see the pandas in the late afternoon? Thanks!
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Old May 19th, 2005, 10:48 AM
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As mentioned above, print this map out for reference. The Basilica is at the far left edge of the map, Colonel Brooks is at 9th & Monroe.


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Old May 19th, 2005, 12:10 PM
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i went to CUA...the walk from the metro to the shrine isn't too bad, but part of it is uphill. you can cut through the campus which is very very pretty and worthwhile.

i will say that the walk to CB's is farther if your husbands health is an issue.

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Old May 19th, 2005, 11:52 PM
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If you decide to use the bus, get a transfer pass from the dispenser when you BOARD the Metro in Rosslyn ... they are machines usually next to the escalators - you press the button (once for each passenger) and it prints passes with date&time on them. I think it's either 25 or 35 cents fare on the bus with a transfer pass. The wmata.com website will explain it.
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Old May 20th, 2005, 04:48 AM
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Hi bargains:

Don't know when the pandas would be active outside feeding time there may be a website out there with this info. June will be hot & humid so activity with any animal at the zoo wouldn't be the regular. I remember National having a natural setting type atmosphere just like the one in my area so many will be around bushs. If you aren't super into pandas don't know if you'd want to make the trek to the zoo from the subway, just be forewarned it is a hike (20 to 30 min), I'm so use to hiking miles that it is nothing to me but it might be too much in June for others.

You also suggested something off the mall for Sunday? I'd recommend Ford's Theatre, they have tours its the place where Lincoln was shot. The theatre I believe is still having plays there and downstairs is a very mini-museums with a very small gift shop, across from the theatre is the house where Lincoln died. Washington Monument isn't too far away, can't really direct you to the Vietnam Vets memorial as I kind of just walked in the direction of the Lincoln Memorial and stumbled upon it. The Wall is a very moving part of D.C. I haven't been to D.C. in a while and the WWII Memorial is supposedly good too and check out its proximity toward The Wall. A trip to Mt. Vernon (George Washington's home) is a must, be forewarned, it is also a hike from Arlington Cemetary blue line to JFK's grave and to the cemetary in general. You may want to consider the Tourmobile and go to Mt. Vernon and Arlington Cemetary that way. I remember booths for this at the Washington Monument. Good luck.
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Old May 20th, 2005, 09:13 AM
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The walk from the metro to the zoo is really just about 10 minutes. Just make sure you get off at the Cleveland Park stop, not the inaptly named Woodley Park/Zoo stop. (At Cleveland Park, choose the east side exit, if that's how they're marked.)
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