Calling all DC Experts!! Please Help!

Old Mar 9th, 2008, 02:50 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Calling all DC Experts!! Please Help!

We are going to be in D.C. April 2 through 6.

A) Is the Gettysburg tour worth it?
B) How far from D.C. is Gettysburg?
C) Is Staying Gaithersburg too far for enjoyment? We've been told it's only a 20 minute metro ride.
D) What are some D.C. local favorites that cannot be found in guidebooks - things to do, places to eat?

Thanks so much!
andicat is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2008, 03:00 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 227
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A) & B) - With only four days, I would not spend one entire day at Gettysburg unless you have a really strong need to do so. You can do a mapquest search for exact distances from your hotel in Gaithersburg. It can be done in a day, easily.
C) Gaithersburg? It's an outlying suburb of Washington. You can find something closer and more convenient.
D) With only 3-4 days, you will not be able to see all of the highlights in your guidebook. I would not add any lesser sights to the list.
gabriele is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2008, 03:35 PM
  #3  
mhc
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 84
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
andicat,

Gettysburg is about 85 miles from DC. With traffic, it could take 2 hours or more each way for travel from DC.

You didn't say where you would be coming from? Are you maybe driving to DC and plan to visit Gettysburg in one direction or the other?
mhc is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2008, 04:09 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We are flying in from Minnesota and do not plan to rent a car.
andicat is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2008, 04:14 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 25
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Don't stay in Gaithersburg without a car...not as simple as 20 minutes to get into DC. With only a few days, stay close in as you can. Gettysburg is great, but too far and too much for such a short trip.
susiecraft is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2008, 04:28 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Anyone know anything about the Virgina wineries?

The reason we are staying in Gaithersburg is because of the hotel rates ($109). We were willing to go out a little to save on hotel. It's tough to find hotels that have our entire stay available. So many of them are sold out on the Wednesday and Thursday night of our stay.
andicat is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2008, 04:57 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,050
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Which hotel is it? Is it really close to a Metro station, or are you going to rely on some sort of shuttle? If the latter, then you'll be wasting a LOT of time, your net time after all that commuting will be 3 days in DC while paying for 4, a false economy saving on the hotel.

I don't see how you can consider Gettysburg or wineries with no car and only 4 days.
Anonymous is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2008, 05:04 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's two blocks from a Metro station and no changing trains to get to DC. It's a Comfort Inn.
andicat is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2008, 05:19 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,050
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What's your source for the 2-block distance? According to Mapquest, the address of the hotel and the address of the Metro station are .6 miles apart.

One review on Tripadvisor says, " We used the free shuttle to the metro with no problem although I would allow extra time as it only holds six and some folks were worried (when our group completely filled the van) that they wouldn't get where they were going in time. The metro station is walkable but it's not an nice walk--maybe a half mile down a busy congested road. It is only 4 or 5 dollars to park all day at the metro which might be the better alternative if you are on a tight schedule."

At least two other reviews also mention the shuttle to the Metro.
Anonymous is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2008, 05:28 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ah...that changes the dynamics.

Agreed with the suggestion to stay in DC proper. If you don't mind the Hotel Harrington, it's in the center of it all, and could be in your price range. I have often found the free hotel shuttles to be pretty much hit-or-miss servicewise. Let's just say I wouldn't count on it. Also, how are you getting to your hotel? Hope not by taxi $$$. Your fare from Shady Grove to all parts DC is pretty much $2.35 using the Metro. Look things up on wmata.com.

If you're adamant about going to Gettysburg, it's possible. But I just googled a tour from DC, and it will cost you $80 per person, leaving at 8am from Union Station on Mon, Wed, Fri.

As for things to do in DC, plenty. Are you a museum person? If so, the Smithsonian museums are your best bang for the buck. They're free. There are other great museums around which are free (and not Smithsonian), and there are others that require an entrance fee: the Corcoran, the Phillips Collection, the International Spy Museum, the National Gallery...I can go on. There's even a National Aquarium (14th Street btwn Penn & Constitution Aves)!

Do you want to see monuments? If so, there's the WWII monument, which is situated between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. You can also walk along the basin and get to the Jefferson Memorial. Visit the National Archives or the Supreme Court.

What kind of food do you like? You can do a search here for suggestions.
mcnyc is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2008, 05:32 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh, one more thing. Technically, there is no need to change trains to get into DC. But it depends on where you want to go in DC.

Remember Metro Center and Gallery Place. These are your 2 main transfer points to other train lines.
mcnyc is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2008, 05:52 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,050
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Shady Grove is the last stop at the northwestern end of the Red Line, which also stops at popular stations like Smithsonian and Union Station. As mcnyc pointed out, all the Metro lines go into the center of the city.

http://www.wmata.com/metrorail/systemmap.cfm
Anonymous is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2008, 05:54 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
OK - good advice about Gaithersburg. So, I've found tons of Holiday Inns and am deciding between:

Holiday Inn DC with nearest Metro station 4 1/2 blocks (Dupont Circle Station)

Holiday Inn Georgetown

Holiday Inn Rosslyn @ Key Bridge

Hoiday Inn Nat'l Airport/Crystal City - leaning towards this one! Free shuttle to/from Reagan Nat'l, free shuttle to Metro which is 7 blocks away. It's on Jefferson Davis Hwy - Arlington.

Opinions? Thanks so much! This is all so helpful!
andicat is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2008, 06:08 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,050
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Searching by hotel chain isn't as productive as searching on some of the larger booking sites like Hotwire. You might also want to become more familiar with DC neighborhoods; many of us would rather stay in the Dupont or Georgetown areas rather than in Crystal City or near the airport. Which airport are you using (DC has 3)? National Airport has its own Metro stop.
Anonymous is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2008, 06:12 PM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm not shopping by chain. I took some recommendations from Fodor's, used Expedia and then also am left to shop by price. These were the last few with rooms left and in our price range (less than $200 per night). I also want close to Metro stations. We are flying into Reagan Nat'l.
andicat is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2008, 06:14 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,484
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Gaithersburg Comfort Inn may well be only 2 blocks from Metro. I would not want to walk it. I assume they have a shuttle. But...that stop is the last stop on the Red Line and will take at least 45 min to get to Metro Center. Spend more money and stay closer. (I am very familiar with that G'burg area.)
pollyvw is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2008, 06:14 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 18,802
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It is more than 20 minutes - From Shady Grove station to the Smithsonian station it is over 40 minutes, plus you have to include time getting to the station and waiting for a train. As others have said, dont depend on a hotel shuttle. Also, there is really not much out there near the Comfort Inn it would just be a place to sleep.

Your problem is that your dates coincide with the Cherry Blossom Festival so hotels near DC tend to sell out early and raise prices too. None the less, there are some places in your price range for those dates closer in than Gaithersburg. I saw some on Orbitz that may be suitable. Remember, from Gaithersburg you are talking about $12/day in metro fares for 2 people and maybe even more depending on the hours that you travel. BTW without a car, Gettysburg is not practical.
basingstoke2 is online now  
Old Mar 9th, 2008, 06:33 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ttt
andicat is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2008, 08:34 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 274
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
With so little time, I would want to stay in as central a location as possible. With the Holiday Inns you have suggested, just based on location (can't speak to rooms, amenities, etc.) I would suggest not staying at the Crystal City one. While it is metro-convenient, the area is not charming at all - I drive down Jeff. Davis Hwy. every day to get to work. It's a bunch of big interchangeable hotels. There are a few decent restaurants but its pretty dead at night. The HI in Georgetown is in very north Georgetown and not at all near a metro. The HI Dupont...where exactly is it? I work in Dupont and am not sure where that would be- unless it is the one on Rhode Island Ave? If so, it's a great location with lots going on but more than 4 1/2 blocks to the Dupont metro. I work right at the Dupont metro and have friends who live right by that HI...and it's about a 10 minute walk. You could also walk to the McPherson Square metro which I think is about the same distance. The Rosslyn HI is very close to the Rosslyn metro and also walkable to Georgetown across the bridge, but I think the HI on Rhode Island has the edge, and that is the one I would pick unless the walk to metro puts you off.

Re Virginia wineries, there are many that are lovely, but you'd need a car. A very nice day would be driving to Harper's Ferry taking some of the smaller back roads, and then visiting some wineries on the way back. But with only four days in DC and no car I would focus on the city.
hlg22 is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2008, 08:51 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,337
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'd stay in Dupont for the ability to do stuff in the neighborhood of your hotel. There are tons of great restaurants around there. My foodie friends swear by this website: www.chowhound.com.
kgh8m is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -