DC Tours, Washington, DC

Old Sep 1st, 2016, 01:42 PM
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DC Tours, Washington, DC

Travel Zoo just posted a newsletter with, what looks like, a great deal for the DC Tours Hop on Hop off bus. Two days, $25.00 per person (actually 48 hours). I guess the clock starts ticking when you purchase the ticket. It's a huge discount of 50%.

Since this is our first visit to the Capitol, I was wondering to myself, if there were several companies that provide this type of transportation. If anyone has first-hand knowledge of this particular company, I would appreciate hearing your comments.
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Old Sep 1st, 2016, 06:26 PM
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TTT
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Old Sep 1st, 2016, 07:02 PM
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I live in DC so I won't be much help except to say that the two HOHO buses I see most frequently are the Big Bus and the Trolley Tour. If this deal is for the DC Trails HOHO, I recommend you read the reviews as they seem pretty poor.

DC is a very walkable city and many of the things you're likely going to see as a first time visitor are clustered in the area of the National Mall. One downside to any of the bus tours is that area is also slammed with traffic in the morning and afternoon rush hours.

If you're willing to forego the tour narration, DC's Circulator Bus has a monument route.

http://www.dccirculator.com/explore/...national-mall/

One thing we do encourage our visitors to do is a bus tour of the monuments at night when the traffic is light and it's nice to have someone ferry you around.
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Old Sep 1st, 2016, 07:30 PM
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I agree with obxgirl. I have been to DC several times and never thought that the HOHO bus sounded like it would work very well for what I wanted to see and when I wanted to see it. I did use the Metro a lot and probably only spent $30 for a 4 -5 day visit.

I do recommend taking the Monument tour at night. They take you to a few places that are not easily reached by public transportation. On is the Jefferson Memorial. Yes it is right there near the Lincoln Memorial but in reality I believe it is about a mile walk. After walking several mile to see other things, that one mile is pretty long.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2016, 07:30 AM
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Actually, the DC Trolley Monuments by Night tour does NOT go to the Jefferson Memorial. Rather, it goes to the Iwo Jima Memorial, which is also difficult to reach by public transport. While I enjoyed the tour, I felt it was a bit overly long and was disappointed that I couldn't finish the Jefferson Memorial. So just an FYI.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2016, 08:10 AM
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obxgirl, I opened the link for the Circulator bus map and it looks like there is a stop close-by our hotel - the Grand Hyatt.

gardendiva However, with heavy traffic it might be better to walk. We are daily walkers and used to heat and high humidity living in south Florida. Although, I am hoping the weather cools down during our visit September 30- Oct 4.

A Metro stop is right at the Hyatt (I believe they have aa tunnel/passage-way inside the hotel) that leads you to boarding the Metro).

doug_stallings, I do want to visit Arlington Cemetery as well as the Iwo Jima Memorial. Should we just take a taxi cab?
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Old Sep 2nd, 2016, 08:16 AM
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I wouldn't do a HOHO in DC (though I've done it in other cities and enjoyed) because DC traffic is ridiculous. I did a Segway tour with friends a few years back and it was a neat way to see the monuments. We saw at least a dozen- some I'd never even heard of and I've lived in the area my entire life! We used Capital Segway but there are others. I believe we paid $60 each for about a 3-4 hour tour. Totally worth it and a fun way to get an overview of the area and choose what you want to visit more in depth later.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2016, 08:43 AM
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Hobbert, do you have to have good balance to do one of those Segway tours? I don't, although I walk, hike and bike, but those things have always scared me. I'd love to try it among the monuments though.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2016, 09:17 AM
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doug_stallings, I do want to visit Arlington Cemetery as well as the Iwo Jima Memorial. Should we just take a taxi cab?

No. You can walk to the Iwo Jima memorial and the Netherlands Carillon from the Rosslyn Metro station in under 15 minutes.

If you want to combine Iwo Jima with a visit to Arlington, walk back to the Rosslyn Metro and take the blue line one stop. The Visitor's Center is across the street from the Arlington Cemetery Metro exit.

Alternately if you are in at the Lincoln Memorial (western most end of the National Mall) you can walk to Arlington Cemetery across the Memorial Bridge in under 30 minutes. You will get some iconic views of DC.

The Circulator National Mall route does stop at the Jefferson Memorial but I don't know how late it runs in the evening that time of year. If your trip allows for both, do see the Lincoln, Korean War, and WWII memorials at night. It's a different experience than during daylight hours.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2016, 09:48 AM
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sf7307, I'd say no more than using a bicycle. They had a little practice session in the store and at a park across the street before we set off and nobody decided not to go on the tour. Our tour was all adults but ages ranged from college age to seniors and everybody did really well. I was surprised at how safe I felt and how easily I could control the Segway.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2016, 10:44 AM
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"Alternately if you are in at the Lincoln Memorial (western most end of the National Mall) you can walk to Arlington Cemetery across the Memorial Bridge in under 30 minutes. You will get some iconic views of DC."

This is so true. I did this on my last trip. A beautiful view of the Potomac and the bridge over the Potomac..

"Actually, the DC Trolley Monuments by Night tour does NOT go to the Jefferson Memorial."

I did not take the DC Trolley tour. However, I have taken 2 other tours so perhaps I have the tour company confused. There are several companies that off the after dark tours. The one I took did go to the Jefferson Memorial and to the Iwo Jima memorial. When making reservations, make note of exactly what monuments are visited.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2016, 07:34 PM
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If you can find a night tour that hits both the Iwo Jima and Jefferson Memorial it would definitely be worthwhile. Arlington Crnetary is easily visited by Metro. I've done it twice that way.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2016, 08:03 AM
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doug, I think you are on the right track for us, especially if the daytime hours are hot and humid. Did you buy your tickets for the night tour online or wait until you were actually in DC?
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Old Sep 4th, 2016, 05:29 AM
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Old Town Trolley tour. The Monuments by Moonlight tour is very nice.
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Old Sep 4th, 2016, 06:26 AM
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There is usually a small discount if you purchase your tour tickets online.
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Old Sep 4th, 2016, 01:24 PM
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I want to thank everyone for their input - all of it was helpful. Now, I'm onto booking restaurants. I do have the Old Ebbit Grill reserved for September 30th.
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Old Oct 17th, 2016, 04:15 PM
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We ended up eating at the Old Ebbitt Grill twice over the weekend. The location, food and staff was everything we were looking for on this short trip. Our reservation at 8 p.m. was ready and we were seated within minutes. Our waitress was attentive, but did not hover over us. I asked for a table in a quiet area (hearing problem) and got what I asked for.

Tosca Ristorante was a bit expensive and looked lovely albeit a bit formal. We quickly won the wait staff over with our down-to-earth approach to conversation. The result was a fun evening with attentive wait staff and very good Italian food. It is a easy walk from the Grand Hyatt.

701 Pennsylvania Avenue Restaurant was a huge disappointment. The reservation was 7:30 p.m. on a Sunday night and there was no one at the bar and only three tables with guests. We looked at the menu, which didn't appeal to us (somehow it was different from the online menu.) We didn't linger, left the restaurant by excusing ourselves and got a taxi back to the Old Ebbitt Grill. Great evening. No complaints whatsoever.
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Old Oct 17th, 2016, 04:23 PM
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Glad you enjoyed Tosca, sorry 701 didn't work for you. Thanks for letting us know!
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Old Oct 17th, 2016, 05:43 PM
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I would like to add that when we left 701 Pennsylvania Avenue Restaurant and got a cab to the Old Ebbitt Grill at 7:10 p.m., there was a 45-minute wait for a table. The place was jumpin'. The bars (I think three of them) were jammed, so we bought two glasses of wine and hung around the entrance and watched the "show."

True to their word, we were seated at 8 p.m. in a lovely area of the restaurant. Food was great, service was terrific and, luckily, our nextdoor neighbors so to speak were delightful!
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Old Oct 17th, 2016, 09:03 PM
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And I'll add that you asked us to recommend quiet places,
http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...hington-dc.cfm
which it seems that you found at 701 and not Old Ebbitt.

Again, I'm glad that you found options that worked for you.
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