family trip to washington dc in july

Old Feb 21st, 2011, 02:49 PM
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family trip to washington dc in july

we are planning a trip to DC in July with our 2 children. I have been there before but could use some suggestions for the best hotels that are closest to the mall/smithsonian. Thanks so much
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Old Feb 21st, 2011, 03:02 PM
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The Metro Center Marriott and the Grand Hyatt are both pretty close.
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Old Feb 21st, 2011, 03:08 PM
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Thank you for the suggestions.
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Old Feb 21st, 2011, 03:23 PM
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Depends entirely by what you call best and the age of your children. I would be looking for a hotel near a METRO stop not necessarily in DC. If you are arriving by air, check out hotels near Reagan National which has its own METRO stop.
July can be very hot in DC with possible thunderstorms.
The other airport you can consider is BWI which has a shuttle bus to the BWI Amtrak station. The Washington Amtrak station is on top of a major METRO station. I have walked from Union Station to the Capitol Building in less than 15 minutes.
Having a rental car is not a good option if all you want to see is the mall an Smithsonian. Last time I went in was from the Greenbelt Station and left a car parked there all day.
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Old Feb 21st, 2011, 03:24 PM
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I didn't stay near the mall, but the hotel I did stay at was about a block away from the metro and the metro takes you directly under the mall.
I stayed at One Washington Circle Hotel. The big sell here is the rooms have kitchens, great for snacks and breakfast for the kids, they also have a nice resturant downstairs. Close the the National Geographic museum. Would stay there again!
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Old Feb 21st, 2011, 03:28 PM
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We stayed at the Grand Hyatt and loved the fact that the Metro was under the hotel.. we walked everywhere, the Smithsonian.. We drove in but never used the car while there.
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Old Feb 21st, 2011, 03:30 PM
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lol, The Metro Station was in the Hotel .. I also loved the Metro in DC ... I rode a NYC subway once in the 30+ years that I lived there .. :- )
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Old Feb 21st, 2011, 04:23 PM
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Here's a list that have what you are looking for. I would absolutely stay in DC. All are in good neighborhoods but some stand out due to the number of great restaurants, shops and other neighborhood amenities.

Hotel Monaco (somewhat expensive, but if that's not an issue it would be my 1st choice). 1/2 block to Gallery Place Metro and a 10 minute walk to the National Mall - http://www.monaco-dc.com/ (great neighborhood)

Courtyard Marriott Convention Center 1 block to Gallery Place Metro and a 10 minute walk to the National Mall - http://www.marriott.com/hotels/trave...ention-center/ (great neighborhood)

Grand Hyatt - 1/2 block to Metro Center Metro and a 15-20 minute walk to the National Mall -http://www.grandwashington.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp

Marriott Metro Center - 1/2 block to Metro Center Metro and a 15-20 minute walk to the National Mall - http://www.marriott.com/hotels/trave...-metro-center/

Hilton Garden Inn
Marriott Metro Center - 1/2 block to McPhearson Square Metro and a 20-25 minute walk to the National Mall- http://hiltongardeninn.hilton.com/en...tyhocn=DCACHGI

Dupont Hotel - 1 block to Dupont Metro and a 40 minute walk to the National Mall - http://www.doylecollection.com/locat...ont_hotel.aspx (great neighborhood)
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Old Feb 21st, 2011, 04:55 PM
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The Hilton Garden Inn has a great location across the street from the Metro and a couple blocks from the White House.

I love the Dupont Circle area - fun neighborhood, very laid back with a lot of residential foot traffic. Lots of restaurant choices too. The metro ride to the National Mall area is pretty quick.

We stayed at the Dupont Hotel, which was great for a couple, put not sure about with kids. The room was one of those open concept rooms with a lot less privacy than I'd want with kids in the room - there was a glass partiton between the bedroom and the bathroom and then another glass (fortunately frosted) partition between the sink area and the toilet and tub.

However, there are several other hotels in the vicinity.
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Old Feb 21st, 2011, 05:10 PM
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It's been almost 7 years since my family visited DC. My kids were teenagers and we stayed for about a week. Coincidentally, we were there in the days leading up the the National WWII memorial which I think is awesome.

We stayed at an Embassy Suites away from the mall area but only a few blocks from 2 different metro stations. I would highly recommend the hotel. I don't know the ages of your children or your budget, but you get a separate bedroom with either a king or 2 queens and a living room with a sleeper sofa. There is a microwave and a small fridge and 2 TV's (which can be helpful with kids!) They have a cooked to order extensive breakfast and a reception in the evening with free drinks and pretty nice snacks. The hotel is in an area with lots of dining options.

Embassy Suites Washington D.C.
1250 22nd Street NW, Washington, District of Columbia
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Old Feb 22nd, 2011, 07:39 AM
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Everyone has given me great recommendations. My children are 14 and 10. i am so grateful for the metro info. We are driving in from Florida, so I know we will have to park at the hotel. I would really appreciate any restaurant recommendations for dinner and also how are the Smithsonian restaurants?
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Old Feb 22nd, 2011, 07:58 AM
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The Smithsonian restaurants are convenient because any other option involves walking some distance away from the Mall (or eating waterdogs from a cart), but the only one with a culinary reputation is at the National Museum of the American Indian.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2011, 08:04 AM
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Continued. . . The National Gallery of Art has a very nice cafeteria. Nice variety and not cheap, but again, very convenient -- saves time over walking to and from off-Mall restaurants.
The Embassy Suites (22nd and N) is very ppopular with families. It is convenient for Metro to the Mall and for walking to Georgetown and Dupont Circle for dinners.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2011, 08:26 AM
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The two best museums for food on the Mall are the Cascades Cafe and the Mitsitam Cafe. The Cascades Cafe is underground between the National Gallery of Art East and NGA West buildings. I like eating here next to the indoor waterfall and the neat "moving lights" art installation. I don't find the food expensive for museum food and it's good quality. You can check out their menu and prices at: http://www.nga.gov/dining

I haven't made it over to the Mitsitam Cafe, but it gets great reviews. The food is not your typical museum fare and it's a bit pricier than museum food, but you may find it a great experience. Check out their menu at: http://www.nmai.si.edu/subpage.cfm?s...third=mitsitam

You should be able to find some family friendly restaurants around Penn Quarter. We enjoy the pizza at Ella's and Mexican food at Austin Grill.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2011, 10:01 AM
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I agree the National Gallery of Art and Museum of the American Indian are the two best options for dining at the Smithsonian. I think the National Gallery of Art has the best of the two, opinions vary.

Also very close to the Mall (a few blocks away at 7th& E NW) is Jaleo http://www.jaleo.com/ HIGHLY recommended.

I'll wait on other specific restaurant recommendations until you have decided on a hotel. DC is is big place and knowing your home base would narrow it down quite a bit.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2011, 10:08 AM
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How is the Washington Circle area?
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Old Feb 22nd, 2011, 10:29 AM
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nice
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Old Feb 22nd, 2011, 01:12 PM
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Less expensive, OK if that's all the budget allows.

FWIW, In my 25+ years I've yet to hear anyone say anything along the lines of: "Let's go hang out in the Washington Circle area". Ever.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2011, 02:41 PM
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bardo1, we are on a budget but what area would you suggest
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Old Feb 22nd, 2011, 03:33 PM
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reference my post from Feb 21 above: I would look at the Courtyard Convention Center, The Dupont Hotel, and the Grand Hyatt - in that order. Don't know what the budget is, but the Monaco is probably too expensive. The others are good backups.
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