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Early May in Washington DC crowded?

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Apr 23rd, 2012, 07:14 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Early May in Washington DC crowded?

We planned to visit DC in the first week of May , but have been warned it's not a good time to visit due to crowds.

We were there 10 years ago in mid-May, and cannot recall it being especially crowded. Has something changed, or should we ignore the warnings?

Someone suggested that September would be a better time to go. We don't want to deal with crowds, so now we're rethinking. Anyone know whether the crowds are really that bad? Thanks for any help.
WanderWoman is offline  
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Apr 23rd, 2012, 07:36 PM
  #2
 
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Heed their advice, it's not that fun to visit DC when it is crowded. September would be fine.
erikko is offline  
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Apr 23rd, 2012, 07:43 PM
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We do get lots of school groups in D.C. in early May, but not the hordes of tourists that you'll find in the summer months. The museums and monuments will be busy, but I don't consider them excessively crowded.

That said, September is a wonderful time to visit D.C. There are fewer visitors and the weather is about the best that we have all year.
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Apr 23rd, 2012, 11:46 PM
  #4
kja
 
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I generally prefer May to September in DC. Although it varies dramatically, my experience is that May is a bit cooler, especially early May, and there are generally still flowering shrubs in bloom. As longhorn said, there may be school groups, but there won't be as many tourists as there will be once school is out.

Hope that helps!
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Apr 24th, 2012, 04:52 AM
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It will depend on the DAYS OF THE WEEK. Lots of high school trips in May but weekends are already a lot busier than weekends and with the weather improving I suspect the usual trend will continue.
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Apr 24th, 2012, 04:53 AM
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Sorry, obviously I meant that weekDAYS are less busy.
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Apr 24th, 2012, 05:26 AM
  #7
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Thank you everyone for your thoughts! You have put my mind at ease. We are really looking forward to the trip! I can always count on Fodor-folks for advice! Thanks again!
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Apr 24th, 2012, 11:43 AM
  #8
 
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I guess it would depend on your idea of "crowded." Inauguration=crowded in my book, where there are so many bodies you can't see the sidewalk.

I typically visit DC the second week of May (I tag along with a family member who attends the National Association of Realtors' annual conference), and I believe Georgetown University has their graduation on the Mall in May. National Law Enforcement Memorial Week is also in May, but it's later this year due to Leap Year.
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Apr 24th, 2012, 12:23 PM
  #9
 
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Several large universities in DC hold their graduations in mid-May, and it is still prime convention season, so between grads' families and business travelers, hotel rooms may be scarce. But if you complete your visit before Mothers Day weekend, you'll probably avoid the worst of it.
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