Family of 4 Tackles DC April 14-23,00

Dec 23rd, 1999, 07:22 PM
  #1  
Felicia Gilboa
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Family of 4 Tackles DC April 14-23,00

I have been reading some other post and is it the consensus that Dupont Circle is a good central location? Our family of 4 (husband and 2 girls ages 10 and 12) will be in DC during spring vacation. We will fly into BWI on the 14th at approx. 10opm. Would it be better to stay at a hotel close to the airport and make our way into DC the next day, or can we easily/reasonably cheaply get to DC the same night? Also I am leaning toward the Radisson Barcello, any thoughts? On our way out of town sometime about the 19th or 20th we plan to get a car and go to Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown...any thoughts. Also how long will it take me to get back to BWI for my return flight home from Williamsburg/Jamestown. I am a "virgin" poster to any forum, so I apologize if I have made any mistakes or violated any unwritten rules. Thank you very much in advance. Felicia
 
Dec 23rd, 1999, 09:49 PM
  #2  
Emily
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I've stayed at Dupont Circle when I'm in D.C. It's not really "central" -- you can't walk from there to the major sites of interest. But it is a nice area with good restaurants and you can easily take the Metro (subway) to the Mall, the government buildings, etc.

As I recall, it took about 45 minutes to an hour to get to D.C. from BWI by shuttle van.
 
Dec 24th, 1999, 07:58 AM
  #3  
jud compton
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If you'd like to read how a couple walked Washington, try . . .
http://www.geocities.com/judcomp
Click on Washington, DC.
You probably know that your congressional representative can help you get some tours?
Also, on the same web site, click "state links" for a Washington web site.

 
Dec 24th, 1999, 04:38 PM
  #4  
ilisa
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Felicia, what a nice time of year to be in DC. The Radisson Barcelo is an excellent location and a good hotel. While Dupont isn't in walking distance of major sites, there is a metro station there which will get you downtown in a matter of minutes. Dupont is also known for its excellent selection of restaurants. It's one of the livelier parts of town. Many parts of DC are like a ghost town in the evenings and on weekends. Contact your congressperson right away and see about getting tickets for a congressional tour of the White House. Congressional tours are guided whereas the regular public tours are not. Also, see if a staffer in your congressperson's office will be able to give you a tour of the Capitol. Much better than the regular tours. While in DC, stop by the gift shop run by the US Secret Service Uniformed Division Benefit Fund. It's located in DAR Constitution Hall at 18th and D Sts., NW. Previously, the Benefit Fund operated a small shop in the Old Executive Office Building which was only open to White House staffers. However, they have recently made the merchandise available to the public. You can get some unique White House souvenirs. They also have a website at www.whitehousegiftshop.com. I just ordered some stuff from there which arrived in just two days. Anyway, I digress. There is so much I could tell you. If you have any questions about DC, please feel free to email me.
 
Dec 25th, 1999, 09:12 AM
  #5  
Joy in Virginia
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Feel free to email me with any questions re Williamsburg, Jamestown. Be sure to do the Smithsonian & the zoo in DC. I enjoy shopping around DuPont Circle area. You can take the Metro most anywhere, even to Arlington Cemetary.
 
Dec 26th, 1999, 07:05 PM
  #6  
Joy
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Joy, thank you for your nice response. I am wondering what you think of the Embassy Suites, also in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. As you know with kids its nice to have a suite type of set up. Is there any other suite type of place I might consider. As far as the contacting my congressman's office I have done that and should receive all of my reservations in a package is a couple of weeks.
 
Dec 27th, 1999, 07:38 AM
  #7  
Larry
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All of the local airports (Dulles, BWI and Reagan National) are very close to DC. National is a about ten minutes and the others are 20-30, depending on traffic. No need to stay overnight at an airport property. Nothing in DC is really "central" to everything. If you were able to camp at the Washington Monmument, you be in the middle of the mall and the Smithsonian museums, but you would not really be near any stores or restaurants. I agree that DuPont is a great location, metro distance to the attractions on the mall, walking distance to great restaurants and Georgetown and near almost anything else in DC you want to do.
 
Dec 27th, 1999, 08:10 AM
  #8  
cheryl
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New Hampshire Suites near Dupont Circle is quite nice and relatively inexpensive. We always stay there, and have paid anywhere from $98 to as low as $59 for a suite that will sleep 4, and includes a very nice continental breakfast. If you run a search for the hotel on this forum you will find several ways to book. I have found the website address to be the cheapest.
 
Dec 30th, 1999, 06:14 AM
  #9  
Ruth
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There's also a suite hotel called, I believe, the River Inn on 24th Street two blocks from the Foggy Bottom Metro stop. Don't know if they have two room suites. Williamsburg is about 4 hours from DC and add about another hour to get to BWI. Traffic on I95 can be horrible and if you hit a problem, it could cause you to miss your flight. Depending upon what time your flight leaves, you might consider heading back from Williamsburg the day before. Enjoy DC--it's a great place.
 
Dec 30th, 1999, 12:02 PM
  #10  
Beth
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Unless you plan to take a driver service from BWI into DC after your 10 p.m. arrival, I would stay near the airport. DC can be intimidating even to a local driver, and I would not want to try to find Dupont Circle in the dark. I am assuming from your message that you are new to the area.
 
Jan 1st, 2000, 11:09 AM
  #11  
Emily
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To all of you who have responded to my query, thank you!!! One more question... any suggestions for a hotel near the Baltimore airport. Since we are coming in relatively late (10:00p) it makes more sense for us to stay there and make our way into DC the next day. Thanks again for all your help.
 
Jan 2nd, 2000, 07:38 AM
  #12  
maria
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Felicia,

I think you will have a great trip as your kids are good ages to enjoy the sights of D.C. without too much fatigue. We did D.C. with our 4 kids (ages 15, 13, 12 and 10) last spring and it was great! We stayed in Foggy Bottom at the DoubleTree Suites which was extremely convenient, metro nearby, we walked to the monuments several times, suites had kitchenettes for quick easy breakfast and snacks, across the street was the Watergate complex with lots of little shops, takeout food and a grocery store.
Definitely, get as many VIP tour tickets as possible from your congressperson. We booked one of these tours every day first thing in the morning and it gets you into one of the top sights without all the interminable lines that are everywhere for tours. HINT: Don't be picky and selective about which ones they have, they are all good and things you will enjoy especially when there is no waiting in line. We loved the Library of Congress, Supreme Court, National Archives, White House, Congress, etc...we thought the FBI was overrated but we had to wait 2 hours in line so after that who wouldn't be disappointed! Also, our all-time favorite was the National Cathedral... an incredible building with wonderful tours and so many interesting things to point out in the stained glass windows, the crypts, historical speeches, carvings, gargoyles, etc...Good luck and write me directly if you need more specifics...Maria
 
Jan 2nd, 2000, 05:30 PM
  #13  
sophia
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Felicia, Dupont Circle is a central location more in terms of what I think for young couples. Very trendy restaurants/bars, but not too close (in terms of walking) to the museums if thats where you really want to be. When I take family down there, I always take them to Northern Virginia (Cities of Rossyln and Arlington). It's right across the Potomac river as well as being much cheaper than staying in DC, plus you can take subway into DC for EVERYTHING almost-heck you WALK to Georgetown from Arlington(rosslyn metro stop) in say 15 minutes. Also, if you're going to do the Museums, highly suggest NOT eating at the Museum Cafeterias (expensive and worse than mall food); don't forget the museums are free so you can go in/out with no problems. Go 1 block north of the museum strip (north of Constitution Ave) and you'll find tons of very affordable sandwich places as well as nice restaurants (think bertucci's). For other ideas, go check out the local city magazine www.washingtonian.com. Lots of stuff for the out of towner. and they even do a list of events that will occur in the next few months coming. I think they even have a very good "For Kids" section. Also, make sure to visit the website for the DC metro system. I think it's called WMATA. I think they offer a 5 dollar allday or all weekend pass. I think the kids really enjoy using the subway system plus it means you can leave the car parked somewhere because DC parking can get quite expensive. There's not much that you CAN"T visit using the metro system. Plus it opens till 12 midnight and if you stay in VA, many hotels do offer free shuttling service to the closest station. BTW, subway station is very clean and very safe and really easy to use, everything is color coded. Do still go around the area of Dupont Circle. Around that area are some beautiful homes that have been coverted into Foreign Embassies (hence the name Embassy Row). Some of them allow you to go into and take a tour. I like to take the kids there to guess what flag represents what country. Write me if you want more info. Hope it helps! : )
 
Jan 5th, 2000, 07:10 PM
  #14  
Beth
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Felicia - No one has mentioned the National Geographic Exhibit Hall yet. It's at 17th and M Streets, N.W. Small, only about 2-3 exhibits at a time but depending on what's there, should interest your children. And, of course, it's free. It's maybe a 5-10 min. walk from Dupont Circle.
 
Jan 6th, 2000, 08:52 AM
  #15  
Ruth
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Felicia, where you stay the night you arrive at BWI depends upon how you plan to get into DC. If you plan to take a cab, just go to DC the night you arrive. It will only take you 45 minutes at that time of night. If you plan some other mode--train from the airport for example, then by all means stay near the airport. There's a number of hotels there, a Sheraton, Days Inn just to mention a few.
 
Jan 10th, 2000, 06:39 AM
  #16  
Ruth
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Felicia,

I meant to say that it might be just as cost-effective for your group of 4 to take a cab directly from BWI to your hotel in DC as take the train/bus into DC and then have to get other transportation to the hotel. Check it out.
 
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