Family of 5 Needs Help Please

Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 10:37 AM
  #1  
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Family of 5 Needs Help Please

Hi Everyone! We are planning a trip to DC in mid-July - 2 adults and 3 kids (ages 6, 11 and 13) None of us has ever been there before so please help us if you can. We definitely want a suite hotel and from my research it looks as if Summerfield Suites/Embassy Square looks like a good place to stay. Is it centrally located to all of the typical "touristy" places and in a safe neighborhood? In waling distance of anything? We don't care about a lot of amenities just a nice, safe place that's easy to get around. Any other advice or comments appreciated. Thank you!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 10:40 AM
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Sorry - I haven't posted before and I didn't realize I needed to put the destination in the title. It is Washington, DC. Thanks again!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 11:46 AM
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I haven't stayed there but have a family member who did. The suites are pretty big and include a kitchen and dining room; they're clean and nice. It's located about 2-3 blocks from the DuPont Circle Metro station (see http://www.stationmasters.com/System.../dupontci.html), which should be an okay walk for everyone in your group.

The hotel isn't close to The Mall or major monuments but you can get to those easily on the Metro (subway). The neighborhood is good, meaning it's fairly safe and has a lot of shops and restaurants nearby. As with any location, be careful at night when out walking.

D.C. may be pretty hot in July (anywhere from 90-100 degrees), and is pretty much a "walking" city, but if you are aware of that in advance and plan accordingly (i.e., indoor museums or the hotel pool during the heat of the day!) everyone should have a good time.

Most of the major museums have food service inside, which makes it easy to feed the kids. Otherwise there also are street vendors with carts serving hot dogs and the like. The kids might like the ice cream parlor inside the Museum of American History...

Check out the Metro website to learn how to navigate the subway before you go: www.wmata.com.

Enjoy!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 05:42 PM
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Check out the Spy Museum too. It's near Gallery Place metro, as is the MCI arena (don't know what kinds of venues are in July).
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 05:47 PM
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Summerfield often has good discount rates if you pay in advance. check their website and click on "webrates".
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 07:57 PM
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bluestructure
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HOTEL SEEMS KINDA FAR, ESP IN THE SUMMERTIME, RIDING ON SUBWAY(WITH TRANSFERS)WITH KIDS. LET ME LOOK AROUND AND GET BACK TO YOU.
 
Old Apr 23rd, 2003, 05:34 AM
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Thanks everyone for your help. I would like to be within walking distance of at least some attractions (Capitol, Monuments, Museums, etc..) We know it will be hot and we do expect to do a lot of walking. Can anyone suggest a better located hotel with suites and an outdoor pool that is clean and safe?
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Old Apr 23rd, 2003, 07:05 AM
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A better choice for your family might be the Capitol Hill Suites. They are one block from the Capitol South Metro on the Blue/Orange (3 metro stops down from Smithsonsian station) Being two blocks away from the Capitol building, you would be hard pressed to find a safer hotel. The hotel is in a quiet, upscale neighboorhod and is also close to a whole range of restaurants. The restaurants are one block north, spread along Pennsylvania ave. If it's a cool day (below 95!!!) you can even walk to the national Mall (about a ten minute walk)Here's more info: http://www.capitolhillsuites.com/
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Old Apr 23rd, 2003, 08:13 AM
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We stayed at the Summerfield Suites/Embassy Square two years ago and were very satisfied with it. The location was our favorite part as we loved Dupont Circle (great restaurants and shops) and the Metro was a five-minute walk away. The Metro was one of our son's (he was then 12)favorite things to do in D.C. so remember that for the kids.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2003, 08:59 AM
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If you do a search on DC here, you'll see that advice on where to stay falls into 2 categories: stay in Dupont, b/c you'll be able to walk to all sorts of restaurants in all price ranges, and ride the Metro to attractions; or, stay on Capitol Hill, walk to attractions (a long walk to the monuments, but that's the way it is), and deal with more limited (but not nonexistent) dining options and a (very) slightly dicier neighborhood. Riding the Metro, with or without kids, isn't hard at all, I have no idea what bluestructure is talking about. Either way, be prepared for lots of walking and muggy heat--and I hope you enoy it, b/c it really is a splendid city!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2003, 09:14 AM
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We stayed here last October. The location is great - a quiet, safe, upscale neighborhood. It's about 10 minutes to the nearest Metro stop, and very close to all the Dupont Circle action. The rooms are spacious, and there is a nice outdoor pool. On the minus side, you will need to take the Metro to get to any of the major sights.
Also, the free breakfast buffet at the Sumerfield is very meager indeed.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2003, 11:14 AM
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washingtondchotels.com often has good rates on hotels and you can shop around and see what is available for how much money.
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 05:41 AM
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I feel compelled to respond to E's description of Capitol Hill as a "slightly dicier neighboord":
Come on! This purposely misrepresents this wonderful, undiscovered treasure. While it may be true in some blocks east of 15th street, in NO way is it true of any part of capitol hill likely to be seen by a tourist. The Capitol Hill Suites, btw, is located at 2nd & C street, SE. Someone staying there would be absolutley fine wandering through this beautifule area of million dollar historic townhomes. Even walking eastward to Eastern Market would only bring them to 7th & Independence. E, if you really feel this area is "slightly dicey", I suggest (for the sake of our country's safety) that you inform the hordes of U.S. senators, congressmen, judges, and cabinet secretaries living on the hill that they consider moving.
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 08:13 AM
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Maybe not dicier, but Dupont Circle area is a lot more convenient for restaurants, shopping and fun at night. Truly a very good tourist location. Trips to all sights in July should start with Metro or you'll be dead by mid-day! Have fun.
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 10:04 AM
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droots,
I generally agree. Dupont circle is a great hub of nightlife, shopping, etc. The exception would be families travelling with young children, or anyone else that wants a quieter, less hectic (but still convenient)location.
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 10:46 AM
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Thank you all for your advice. Let me see if I have this straight now... Dupont Circle is a good play to stay and although it isn't within walking distance of most of the mounments or museums it is a lively neighborhood with shops and restaurants. Capitol Hill is also a good place to stay to be close to the tourist attractions but pretty much a quiet, residential neighborhood. Is that correct?

If so, then let me ask you this. I looked at the Metro map and it seems to look easy to navigate - is it really? We are from Smalltown, USA so it will all be quite new to us. I really like what everyone has had to say about the Embassy Square/Summerfield Suites so I would like to stay there if I can feel comfortable about getting around the city. I have to admit I am nervous about it. Thanks again!
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 10:51 AM
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Mom, the Metro really is easy to navigate. There aren't any express trains or trains that don't stop at all stations, so if you get on a train in the wrong direction, you get off at the next stop, cross over to the other side, and begin again. It's all color-coded, and while rush-hour crowds may daunt you at first, you'll be fine--consult the maps in the stations, and don't be afraid to ask questions, DC residents are very used to tourists. Enjoy!
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 10:58 AM
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Now, as for you, Bardo: feeling slightly defensive today?? I never said there weren't million dollar homes on Capitol Hill. What I said was that the neighborhood is very slightly dicier than Dupont, and I stand by that, because: Capitol Hill is one of those neighborhoods where you can easily wander onto a bad block by making just one wrong turn; in Dupont, you would have to walk quite far off the beaten path for that to be true. Therefore, I believe it's a slightly less desirable area for uninformed tourists. The irony of the Hill has always been that the grandees of the Capitol live just steps away from slums. I'm not saying it's a snake pit. My exact words were "(very) slightly dicier". So untwist those knickers!
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 11:51 AM
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As far as Capitol Hill goes, the word on the street around DC is that tourists shouldn't go further east than Eastern Market.

Tips for Metro:

1. Try to avoid the business rush periods (let's not say "hour"). This means ride between 9am and 4pm. Certainly you may ride at other times, but between 7-9am and 4-6:30pm there will be a lot of people, which might intimidate your younger children.

2. The metro $5 Day Pass is a good thing for tourists - you can get on and off as much as you want for the $5.00 pass. Valid for one day of unlimited Metrorail travel on weekdays after 9:30 am or all day on Saturdays, Sundays or federal holidays.

3. Each member of your family will need his/her own farecard. You need it to enter the station and when you exit.

4. Escalator tip: standing on the right, walking on the left.
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 01:39 PM
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Hi there. I just booked our week (the first week of July) and got a great rate with the webrates on their website. I have done a lot of research and have heard good things about Summerfield for families on a budget (like ours). I like the location close the metro and Dupont Circle and so far, two phone calls there with lots of questions have yielded friendly staff. You will have probably already booked by the time we get back, but I will post here and give the lowdown!

Have fun!
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