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Best time to visit DC....weekdays or weekends?

Best time to visit DC....weekdays or weekends?

Jun 9th, 2012, 02:53 PM
  #1  
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Best time to visit DC....weekdays or weekends?

We will be making a trip to see friends around Harrisburg,PA the first week in August and plan to stop at Gettysburg and DC. We can either go directly to DC,arriving late Sunday,the 5th and spend 2 or 3 days in DC (Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday) and then go on to the other places or reverse it and spend the later part of the week in DC,including the weekend of the 11th. The question is.....is it better to visit DC during the week or on the weekends? Hotel prices,crowds,etc. We will do the touristy things.....capitol,monuments,museums,etc. Just my wife,my 16 year old son and I.Thanks for all your help! Any other suggestions as to where to stay,etc.also appreciated as this is our first time to DC. My congressman's office will be helping as well.
bobcook54 is offline  
Jun 9th, 2012, 04:18 PM
  #2  
kja
 
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I would think you will face far fewer crowds on weekdays than weekends.
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Jun 9th, 2012, 04:25 PM
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I live near Washington and IMO, in the summer, the weekDAYS might be slightly less busy than the weekends. However, this is one of the busiest times for visitors so there may not really be a noticeable difference, at least not to casual visitors.

What I WOULD do is try to plan your arrival by car at some time other than our rather extended rush hours which really begin to build as early as 6:00 AM on some routes, lasting until around 10 and then by 2:30 PM outbound.

I would suggest a Sunday arrival might be in your best interests as you have indicated might be the plan.

If you can afford it and would be willing to combine some walking with use of the Metro, the Tourmobile, etc., then I would NOT stay outside the District unless you can find a place with parking that is near a suburban Metro stop.

Arlington, the Rosslyn and Crystal City sections of Arlington, and a little further out, Alexandria (the section near a Metro stop) would be suburban possibilities as would downtown Silver Spring, Maryland.
Dukey1 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2012, 02:59 PM
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Agree that there are fewer crowds on the weekdays at the major museums andy other sites. Arriving on a Sunday would make it easier to drive into the city if that is your plan.

In addition to the places listed above, Bethesda and Chevy Chase also are possibilities as places to stay. They are on the metro Redline and easy access into DC.
yestravel is offline  
Jun 11th, 2012, 10:48 PM
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I have a related question. We will be coming from New York on a Tuesday afternoon Evening. We are staying in what I believe is called Upper Northwest, on Wisconsin Avenue. Any hints on the best route or areas to avoid?

I also need to figure out the tolls between the two cities but maybe that's a separate thread.
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Jun 12th, 2012, 02:11 AM
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August has less traffic than June and July, as Congress is out of session, but that's all relative around here. Still, the Sunday arrival would be least stressful. The museums are slightly less crowded, as well, but I don't think there's a huge difference between weekends and weekdays.

5alive, where are you staying on Wisconsin avenue? That might help with best routes.
fourfortravel is offline  
Jun 12th, 2012, 04:39 AM
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Check out this website for tolls on I-95 http://www.i95exitguide.com/tolls/index.php. U will need to add the tolls if any for leaving NYC. Most of the tolls are for inbound to NYC. Check out this site http://beta.costtodrive.com/tolls-on...s-and-tunnels/

Depending upon exactly where on Wisconsin Ave NW u r staying will help determine the best route. Regardless of where I would avoid DC during rush hour which runs anywhere from 3ish to 7 pm.
yestravel is offline  
Jun 12th, 2012, 06:16 AM
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Our hotel is at 2505 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, I'm not sure if this helps!
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Jun 12th, 2012, 06:43 AM
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Re approaching Wisc Ave from NYC on a weekday, if you could time your arrival for later than 7 pm you would avoid the worst traffic on the north side of the Beltway (but that would have you around Philly and Baltimore during their rush hours). Googlemap for several alternatives and come back here with your results--then locals may offer advice about which is better for your date/time.
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Jun 12th, 2012, 07:05 AM
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Baltimore rush hour is very mild and u won't be going into Baltimore as u come down I-95 into DC. The most traffic u will likely hit is going into DC. It's hard to know which way will have the least traffic.

One option would be to take I 95 to I-495 West (Capital Beltway). From I 95, go West on I-495 towards Silver Spring/Bethesda. Take Exit 34, which is Rt. 355 (Wisconsin Ave./Rockville Pike) and head south toward Washington/Bethesda. Travel Wisconsin Ave south for about 6-7 miles until u come to your hotel on the left. Without traffic this would take about 20 minutes. If u hit it during rush hour u will be going against traffic on Wisconsin Ave., but traffic will still be heavy.
The alternate would be to go thru the city, but I would not recommend that. I live close to your hotel and despite the traffic on the beltway, that would be the way I would go.
yestravel is offline  
Jun 12th, 2012, 07:21 AM
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Yestravel's route is the one I was thinking of, with the curvy section and frequent jams between I-95 and I-270. It is an area I'd want to avoid in rush hour, but I'd want to avoid going through the city at that time even more.
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Jun 12th, 2012, 04:33 PM
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This route sounds like a good plan.
I will also want to stop and get groceries before surrendering the car, so will look for a place from the suburbs along the way to stop in.

I am not sure I want to make the time super-late as we want to turn the car in that night.

Thank you!
Five Alive
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Jun 12th, 2012, 06:31 PM
  #13  
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5Alive....give me a freaking break! I wanted to know when the best time to visit DC,....weekdays or weekends and you totally turned this post into something else!! "I have a related question. We will be coming from New York on a Tuesday afternoon Evening. We are staying in what I believe is called Upper Northwest, on Wisconsin Avenue. Any hints on the best route or areas to avoid?

I also need to figure out the tolls between the two cities but maybe that's a separate thread."
What does that have to do with my original question? It is NOT related to my question at all! Please post a separate post next time. Sheeeeesh!
bobcook54 is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 06:44 AM
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Sorry, I won't do it again. But it does happen a lot on this board. I will start a new thread.
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Jun 13th, 2012, 07:59 AM
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Threads frequently meander from the original question, bob. Doesn't mean your question won't continue to get answered or discussed but, yikes, your comments to 5alive were too harsh.

I don't think the visiting crowds will be discernibly different weekends/weekday in August. It will be hot and humid. Hotels tend to be cheaper on the weekends. Congress is not in session that week so you may see some reduction in price overall b/c of that. DC can be an event driven town.

>>Any other suggestions as to where to stay,etc.<<

Your budget would be helpful to really answer that question. A place I stay frequently in the Dupont Circle area has good rates in the $230 a night range. A more budget minded place in Crystal City which has been popular here, the Americana, has rooms for under $100. Lots in between.
obxgirl is online now  
Jun 13th, 2012, 08:41 AM
  #16  
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You're right and I apologize to 5alive.I should have counted to ten first.Thanks for the suggestions so far.....any others?
bobcook54 is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 08:46 AM
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What else do you want to know. I think your questions were answered.
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 08:52 AM
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bob, I think the question about timing of the visit has been answered. Again regarding hotels, your budget and any requirements (gotta have free breakfast, be near public transport, etc) would yield more specific help.

>> should have counted to ten first.<<

We could all benefit from that.
obxgirl is online now  
Jun 13th, 2012, 11:38 AM
  #19  
 
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As I said upstream I think there is a noticeable difference at museums etc midd week versus weekends. U don't have all the locals who work to compete with mid week - just the tourists. Also as mentioned Congress is out and lots of businesses revolve around Congress and so they tend to go on vacation. Plus August is a miserable month many years so lots of people go away. I always comment on how empty it feels in August in DC.
yestravel is offline  

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