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DC in late June to August--What's worst time to go?

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May 26th, 2006, 10:35 AM
  #1
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DC in late June to August--What's worst time to go?

Hi All,
Well my plans for seeing Washington DC in early June may need to change due to a possible last minute work upset (still waiting to hear the decision-very aggravating). But after all the hard work and planning and waiting all this time to go, I'm still determined to make it happen.

My concern is, I know it gets rather hot over there and crazy with tourists once kids are out of school...Would going in late June be an absolute no no? How's early/mid July or even August?
Please let me know your thoughts on the weather, and any other pertinent issues that crop up at that time of year. Unfortunately I think I will only be able to go away at some point from late June to possibly parts of July and maybe August only. What do you guys think? Worst possible time of year to go walking and touring around?

I'd love to pick some time frame during the time of year I mentioned, and would really appreciate your expertise on this.
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May 26th, 2006, 10:54 AM
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I wouldn't want to go to DC in August. Hot, humid, hazy, and Congress is out of session so you wouldn't be able to see it in action.

The earlier to your original time frame would be my choice, though mabye around 7/4 to enjoy the celebrations.

However, I'll make a new suggestion: late September? Might not be as hot, and it's not a big tourist time (kids back in school, etc.) Could be easier to get tickets from Senator/Rep.

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May 26th, 2006, 10:56 AM
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Your only concerns regarding the weather are heat and humidity (can't worry about afternoon thunderstorms and tropical weather generally never has an impact here). No way of knowing, but generally, late July and August could be uncomfortably hot and humid. That said, you could be fine, and especially OK if you're going in a lot of air conditioned buildings. If you have your pick, I'd avoid mid-July and August. Tourists will be really bad around July 4th.

However, tourists are already pretty bad now - student tour groups EVERYwhere. I don't go to the museums and attractions (I just work in DC), so I can't tell you how bad the lines are now or how much worse they'll get - I can only tell you that there are a ton of tour buses and groups around already.
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May 26th, 2006, 11:27 AM
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Out of all your unfortunate options, later in June will have the fewest tourists and the greatest chance of tolerable weather. In late June, there is actually a bit of a lull between the school groups and the full onslaught of vacationing families. So, you'll be glad to hear: Go as soon as possible!
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May 26th, 2006, 12:06 PM
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It will be about equally hot and humid all times you mention. Advantage to August (when we went 4 years ago) is that it is less crowded - everyone leaves town since Congress is out, President is usually somewhere else, staffers also leave. Uncrowded enough for us to drive ourselves around in the evening. Even found parking spaces. This worked well for us - sure, we couldn't see Congress in session, but everything else was the same. And since it gets dark earlier, we could tour lighted monuments at a reasonable hour.

Got a private tour of Capitol from intern in our Congressman's office, shorter lines everywhere. Thru some fate of the weather gods, we never had temperatures over 80 - but that was extremely rare. (These are the same weather gods that rain on every beach vacation we have ever planned). So don't count on that.

Sure, it's hot. But people live there year round and they don't die. Many don't even have a/c in poorer areas. Just take it slow, drink water, etc.
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May 26th, 2006, 12:15 PM
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emd
 
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I live just outside of DC in Northern VA, have been here 20 yrs, and it is hotter in August than in early June. It is end of May now and very nice outside the past few wks, high 70s and low to mid 80s. And it will be like that next next week too. It is never like that in August! And the humidity is much higher in August.
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May 26th, 2006, 12:17 PM
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I agree with emd, obviously more of an expert than I, but OP is referring to very end of June and more likely July/Aug. What would be your guess July vs August?
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May 26th, 2006, 12:22 PM
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We went in late June last year, which was my first visit outside of Winter months. There were a lot of people, but the crowds weren't all that bad. However, it was sooooo hot, and I am from farther South than D.C. I would take the advice of going as early in your time frame as possible unless you can indeed wait until fall.
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May 26th, 2006, 01:08 PM
  #9
emd
 
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gail, I have thought about this and when it comes down to it, even I can't stand it here in July and August and that is why we go away to the beach for two weeks at end of August- because by then I have had it. I lived in Houston for 30 yrs before moving to D.C., and the house in Houston only had window units, but I think it was almost more tolerable there than in D.C. in summer for me.

Lotrup said he will only be able to get away from late June to possibly parts of July and maybe August. I still do think late June is generally better than August, but it depends. One yr. it is was so frigging hot at end of June that my friends who have lived in Houston came to visit and one of them passed out flat on the sidewalk at Mt. Vernon in 97 degree heat and 93% humidity. But other years it is very decent in high 80s w/lower humidity at end of June. However, gail is right, by time July gets here (I am thinking of all of our 4th of Julys) it is hotter and just keeps geting hotter still in August.
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May 28th, 2006, 08:18 PM
  #10
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Thanks for the expert advice on Washington D.C.

This is a quandry. Sounds like late June is already really pushing it, heat wise. It's tough, hope I don't have to make a choice and can keep my plans as is then. Fall is ideal but unable to do. The person I am traveling with doesn't/can't do a fall trip.
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May 30th, 2006, 02:09 PM
  #11
emd
 
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Weather report: We are having an early heat wave in D.C. now. It was nice last week but yesterday and today (and I understand next few days) is an incredibly hot 97 degrees, and it is just end of May...
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Jun 14th, 2006, 07:15 AM
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My philosophy: Travel when you can!

Summer is tourist season in DC, so there will be crowds whenever you go. They are not unbearable. Pick your favorite things to do, and try to get there when they open.

As for weather, late June is not as hot as July or August. Yes, DC summers are hot and humid, but you'll spend a bunch of time in air-conditioned museums, metro, taxis, hotels and restaurants. We still go out in the summer. Just make sure you bring water with you and take breaks when you need to. Also, you can visit the monuments at night when it's cooler, or the zoo early in the morning.

In late June/early July, there's the Smithsonian Folklife Festival (outdoor) which has great exhibits, food and music. And the museums are right there, so you can take a break to cool off if needed.

I think another poster mentioned this, but the Fourth of July is mobbed in DC. It's a great experience and I highly recommend it, especially if you can walk back to your hotel at the end of the fireworks. Getting into the area is usually not a problem, since people arrive at different times. But everyone leaves at the same time and the metro is mobbed! (Still doable, but be prepared to wait for trains, be pushed a little, and know where you're going.!)


Hope you make it to DC!
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Jun 14th, 2006, 07:54 AM
  #13
emd
 
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I am glad this post has come up again, because I have been thinking that I want LOTRHP to know that we are having SPECTACULAR weather here in D.C. I went to the Nationals game last night and it was a great evening for baseball (in spite of thier loss). It is like spring right now, cool, breezy, in the low 60s in the evenings and low to mid-80s during the day. Unusually nice for this time in mid June. Usually it is very hot by 4th of July but maybe, and hopefully, this great weather will hold out for awhile! It's so nice that instead of going away next week while both of my kids are gone for a few days at the end of the week, my husband and I ahve decided to go into DC for a day and night and stay in a hotel and be "tourists"...we are going to use some of the suggestions on a recent trip report by a poster who went over Memorial Day weekend to D.C.
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Jun 19th, 2006, 08:26 AM
  #14
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Oh well, that weather is over now. We went to the National game at RFK stadium yesterday (great 2 run homer by rookie Zimmerman to end the game w/Nats winning) and it was 95 degrees, sun blazing, although not bad humidity-wise. It felt hotter than that though.
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