DC...need help with best tourist route

Old Mar 19th, 2013, 08:31 AM
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DC...need help with best tourist route

We are headed to DC for the first time next week. We are hoping to stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Arlington (which is close to the Metro). We want to see all of the touristy stuff - monuments, national archives, capitol, white house, bureau of printing /engraving, smithsonan, Fords theater,cherry blossom , etc.. Now is there a stop on the metro that can get us to all of these sites? Is there a specific place to view the cherry blossoms? Do we need tickets to tour any of these places? How do we go about getting tickets? Are there any other places to visit that are a must see? How about restaurant recs?? Any help/tips are greatly appeciated!!!!
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Old Mar 19th, 2013, 08:43 AM
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I don't know if you have looked at a mpa yet, but here is one.
http://www.nps.gov/nama/planyourvisi...d/NACCmap1.pdf

The Tidal Basin is where you see the cherry blossoms.
http://www.nps.gov/cherry/index.htm

From the Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial is a little over 2 miles. You won't be going into the White House so you don't need anything for that.

You can reserve a ticket for the Capitol, Ford's Theater and the Archives online. I think Bureau and Engraving tickets are given onsite each day. You can google for more info to be sure.

You know the Smithsonian is several museums. No tickets needed. They are free.

You will have to be more specific if you want restuarant recommendations.

Do you have a guidebook?
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Old Mar 19th, 2013, 09:05 AM
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Do you have an iPhone? HopStop and Find A Metro DC are great app's for getting around DC and locating which Metro station (or bus) is closest to which point of interest. They will also tell you if it's faster to walk than ride.

>> Now is there a stop on the metro that can get us to all of these sites? > Is there a specific place to view the cherry blossoms?
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Old Mar 19th, 2013, 10:12 AM
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DC metro info here - plug in where u want to go and it will show your the times, metro lines to take and cost.
http://www.wmata.com/rider_tools/tri..._form_solo.cfm

If you are into the news and polities, the Newseum is fabulous It is not free like the NGA and Smithsonian museums.

Have a good time -- hopefully it will warm up and the blossoms will be in bloom.
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Old Mar 19th, 2013, 10:39 AM
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I just bought a guidebook.... gosh, I am overwhelmed! I went online to try to reserve tickets for the archives but it was only showing the tour guided tours (which by the way is booked til early May). Would I still need to get tickets for an unguided tour?
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Old Mar 19th, 2013, 10:44 AM
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We are going in June for our first time. I have found staying near the Blue/Orange line will take us to or close to most everything we want to see, pretty much the same places as you. I have had really good luck with TripAdvisor for reviews and advice too. Many recommendations for the “Night monument tour”. I am not a tour kind of person, but I am really thinking about adding it to our trip, we will only be in DC 4 days.
Thanks obxgirl, I just bought the find a metro DC app!
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Old Mar 19th, 2013, 10:58 AM
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DC is a great walking city -- it's relatively flat and easy to get around the main tourist sites that are mentioned above. Really taking the metro/bus from site to site is not likely to be be what you do. I would figure out what you want to see and then group them in terms of what is near each other. Google map will be very helpful to do this. Depending upon where you stay u might want to take the metro/bus from your hotel to the first site and then walk a bit and then take the metro/bus back to your hotel.

You can do a search on here and read TR's of other people who have gone to DC and what they saw and how they got around. Also do a search and you will find lots of restaurant recommendations for DC.
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Old Mar 19th, 2013, 11:08 AM
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http://www.recreation.gov/tourSearch...tractCode=NRSO
Under the guided tours is Timed Visit Entry
“Timed Visit Entry is offered every 15 mins. beginning at 10:15 a.m. to 90 minutes before closing, daily. Maximum 220 visitors per hour. Individuals may reserve up to 20 spaces and groups may reserve up to 100 spaces. Plan for a 90-minute visit including an 11-minute introductory film in the McGowan Theater, the O'Brien temporary exhibit gallery, the Public Vaults permanent exhibit gallery, the Charters of Freedom (home to the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights), and the Boeing Learning Center.”
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Old Mar 19th, 2013, 11:09 AM
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I like both of those app's, hope you find it useful.

>> have found staying near the Blue/Orange line will take us to or close to most everything we want to see, pretty much the same places as you.
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Old Mar 19th, 2013, 11:42 AM
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Heres my trip report from last year. If you click on my username, there will be a bunch from DC.
http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...5-168698-2.cfm
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