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Est. visit times for Washington D.C. attractions? (Zoo, LOC, Archives, Smithsonian, Arlington, etc.)

Est. visit times for Washington D.C. attractions? (Zoo, LOC, Archives, Smithsonian, Arlington, etc.)

Mar 2nd, 2006, 02:50 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 96
Thanks to everyone for your help! Here's the itinerary we've decided upon, at least for now:

Monday, March 6th
- National Zoo
- Lunch: National Zoo
- Library of Congress (guided tour, 1:45pm)
- Dinner: ESPN Zone
- Nighttime Walking Tour of National Mall/Monuments (Lincoln Memorial; Vietnam War Memorial; Korean War Memorial; World War II Memorial; Washington Monument; National Mall/Reflecting Pool; Lafayette Square/White House (North); Ellipse/Penn. Ave./White House (South))

Tuesday, March 7th
- National Archives (guided tour, 9:30am)
- Lunch: Old Post Office Pavilion
- Supreme Court (guided tour, 2:00pm)
- National Air & Space Museum
- Dinner: Zaytinya

Wednesday, March 8th
- U.S. Capitol/Dirksen Senate Office Building (guided tour, 10:00am)
- Lunch: Union Station
- Washington National Cathedral (guided tour and tea, 1:30pm)
- National Mall/Monuments
- Dinner/Shopping: Union Station/Shops at National Place

Thursday, March 9th
- White House Visitorís Center
- National Aquarium
- Lunch: Pizzeria Paradiso
- Walking Tour of Dupont Circle/Embassy Row
- International Spy Museum
- Dinner: Zola

Friday, March 10th
- Arlington National Cemetery
- Lunch: Five Guysí Famous Burgers and Fries
- Depart Washington, D.C. ~1pm

If anyone has any final suggestions, I'd of course certainly appreciate them... we're not leaving until around Sunday afternoon. I'll be sure to report back and let you all know how it goes! Thanks again!
PennStateMark is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2006, 02:59 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 203
Skip the aquarium! I love aquariums, but I found it very lacking and wouldn't go back...unless they have done major upgrading in the last 5 years. I would take that out and add back the History Museum. It is so huge that some construction won't matter.

Other than that, everything looks great! I'm jealous!
KatieL is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2006, 03:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,050
I agree absolutely, skp the aquarium.

Other details: There's nothing worth eatig at hte zoo, zo head up to the LOC and find lunch there. Also this day has two major walking items: Zoo and monuments; perhaps you could switch the monuments for another evening, or you'll be exhausted by the end.

Tuesday, after your Archives tour, you can pop into one of the Smithsonians that are right there (Natural Hisotry or American History). Then see the other one on Thursday after the White House.

Wed. afternoon's "national mall/monuments" item is vague -- won't you ave seen the mnuents already? The Mall is very very long.
Anonymous is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2006, 04:46 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,968
Mark, my trip has been cancelled, so please post back and tell me if you got to see the panda and what you thought of the zoo.

Have a great trip.
dsquared is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2006, 05:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,007
On your Wednesday where you have lunch planned for Union Station before heading to Cathedral...I would humbly suggest you consider eating at Two Amys pizza instead. I love Paradiso but think Two Amys is better...authentic Naples pizza and very close to the Cathedral. If you like pizza, you may enjoy taking a bit of a challenge and comparing Paradiso to Two Amys.

Union Station isn't very exciting in terms of food options. There is a food court there and a couple of mediocre restaurants. However, it is a beautiful building and well worth you checking out the interior.

Enjoy Zaytinya...LOVE it.
beanweb24 is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2006, 05:55 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 96
Thanks again for the input... I'll drop the Aquarium and add American History. Will we have enough time between the Archives (the letter I got reserving our tour time slot indicated the tour would run around 1.5 hours) and the Supreme Court to actually enjoy one of the other museums? I'm concerned that we'll have to rush through stuff.

On Wednesday, we're planning on seeing by day some of the sights we saw by night, definitely not all of them (probably primarily Lincoln and the surrounding area).

Any recommendations on relatively cheap places to eat near the Library of Congress?
PennStateMark is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2006, 06:07 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 203
You may have a little time, but I wouldn't plan on it. Enjoy your time at the archives, and stop by a museum for a little while only if you end up with some extra. You may want to consider walking up to Ford's Theatre. It can be a quick visit and I think it is a short walk from the archives. I'm not quite sure about the Old Post Office...don't have a map in front of me. Anyway, don't plan something, but if you can fit it in at the time, it will be a nice added bonus to the trip.

Does your tour of the SC include the museum? If not, you can arrive to the SC early and visit the museum. That way, you could leave that building immediately after the tour and have a better chance of seeing more of A&S.

Just some thoughts. I'd play it by ear.
KatieL is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2006, 06:13 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,215
I remember hearing the Library of Congress has a fairly good restaurant (can anyone confirm this?) I like your new plan much better and am glad you put American History (my favorite Smithsonian) back in.

We found the Vietnam War Memorial not as well lit as the other memorials at night so that may be one you'll wish to return to during the day.

Have a great trip!
KathrynT is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2006, 06:27 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 96
Ford's Theater is two blocks north and two blocks west of the Old Post Office Pavilion, so it'll be something to consider depending on how long it takes for us to get lunch.

I'm not sure what our Supreme Court tour includes, our senator's office set it up for us.

I was in D.C. for a few days on a class trip last October and what time we did have to do some sightseeing was in the evening, so I do know that the Vietnam memorial isn't particularly well lit... but that also adds to the emotional experience behind it, I thought. Also, it'll make for some particularly neat night-time photography (something that will be a big goal of mine when we're touring the monuments the first time).

I hope that I'm not seeming too obsessive-compulsive about planning this trip... a friend of mine is also going to D.C. over Spring Break and found it quite odd that I'm spending so much time making sure everything fits (so to speak), but I just want to make sure that we have enough time to visit the things we want to visit, especially since some of our stops have been predetermined for us and we're limited as far as hours of operation as well as mass transit schedules.
PennStateMark is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2006, 06:29 PM
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What do you guys think about, instead of lunch at Union Station (since we'll be served tea and afternoon snacks after our Cathedral tour and going to Two Amys right afterward), spending that time at the National Building Museum and then catching the Metro at Federal Triangle instead? I hadn't really considered the NBM but it might be a neat place to "pass the time".
PennStateMark is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2006, 06:51 PM
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>>>>Any recommendations on relatively cheap places to eat near the Library of Congress?<<<<

Yes! Since you're on Capitol Hill, look into the Tune Inn (331 1/2 Pennsylvania Ave SE) or the Hawk n' Dove (329 Pennsylvania Ave SE). Both are DC institutions, the former a dive and the latter a bar, both are Hill hangouts. Food is fine but the ambiance is totally DC politico.
obxgirl is online now  
Mar 2nd, 2006, 07:28 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 96
Cool... Hawk 'n' Dove got a brief mention on my fave TV show, "The West Wing," so I appreciate the rec as it gives me an excuse to go and check it out! And the prices on their site don't seem too unreasonable, at all.
PennStateMark is offline  
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