Oct 8th, 2001, 05:33 AM
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Planning a trip to DC next week. Is it safe? Which areas should I NOT stay in?

Harrington Hotel near Metro stop-safe area??

Any recommendations?

Thanks-leaving soon.
Oct 8th, 2001, 06:54 AM
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Well, you definitely shouldn't stay at the Hotel Harrington because it is an absolutely vile pit.
Oct 8th, 2001, 07:01 AM
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hotel washington.......great hotel...resonable price.......great breakfast locale....and close to mall area.
Oct 8th, 2001, 07:55 AM
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Unless you're desparately trying to save money, don't stay at the Harrington. The area's not too bad, but I don't care for the hotel itself.

Regarding your safety question, are you asking about the city in general, or the city in light of the recent attacks? One thing people seem to forget is that the Pentagon is NOT in Washington. It is in Arlington, Virginia. Regardless, DC's as safe as any other location in the U.S., in light of the attacks. Otherwise, if you stick to the regular tourist areas in the city, you'll have no problem with safety. As in any other large city, use your head.
Oct 8th, 2001, 08:11 AM
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Yeah, the Pentagon isn't in DC so that makes all the difference -- it's like two minutes across the river, so what, there's no magic wall that therefore makes life in DC safe. What a bizarre response -- the White House, Capitol etc ARE in DC, it's the seat of our govt, geez. Safe enough, obviously they are on guard and have more security measures in effect, but it's clearly not as safe as "anywhere" in the US.
Oct 8th, 2001, 08:26 AM
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My sister-in-law stayed at the Harrington --- yep, it is a dump and in a sort of shady area. If you go to, you can book a room at the Wyndham for 99.00. According to the Washington Post (last Sunday), hotel prices in Washington have gone down drastically. Foggy Bottom/Dupont Circle are also nice areas that are also convenient to the Mall.
Oct 8th, 2001, 11:16 AM
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Thanks to all who replied.

When I meant "safe" area I meant as in neighborhood, not as in what's going on in the world!

I'm cancelling my trip to Europe and spending my money here in this great country-ashamed to say I've never really visited the captal of the country I was born and raised in!!

OK-enough "flag waving"!!

Any help/suggestions as to neighborhoods to go into our stay out of would be appreciated.

Oct 8th, 2001, 11:33 AM
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I'll take people's word that the hotel is a dump inside. The hotel is located in the old downtown which is reversing its thirty years+ decline. Why the decline?- 1) Rise of the Washington suburbs after World War Two 2) Some damage from the riots after ML King's murder in 1968. Parts of DC have never really come back; old downtown wasn't hit as hard as some places but residual effect was felt. Today, old downtown is making a comeback due to new construction that was part of the general construction boom in DC in the nineties, the renovation of the National Press Bldg., and the building of the Abe Pollin sports arena which is actually closer to Chinatown. I would be wary that some of the rowdier clubs for twenty-years old interested in "hooking up" are located in the old downtown. Fortunately, very little violence but a lot of young men and young women high on ecstasy will be slinking down the streets.
Oct 8th, 2001, 12:19 PM
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Ameican, don't worry too much about neighborhoods, almost all the museums and attractions are in the Northwest quadrant of the city, all of which is as safe as any city gets. Don't wander too far east of the Capitol. The main hotels are in the safe areas that are full of tourists and business travelers.. Get a street map of the city that includes the main attractoins, and you'll seee what i mean about their distribution. Areas like Foggy Bottom and Dupont Circle are safe day and night.
Oct 8th, 2001, 02:38 PM
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Thanks to all who posted!
Oct 11th, 2001, 01:04 PM
Stephanie P.
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Hi American:

And so am I. Even if people don't like the Harrington, their breakfast buffets are really good - I worked for the FBI a long time ago and ate there. I'd go to and see what the rates are. It is ridiculous to stay at a $99 a night hotel, plenty of chain hotels - I remember looking at Ballston, VA there was a Best Western or something for like $79 and under and it was a block or two from the subway. I would suggest that everyone try staying in Bethesda, Alex, Arlington and Ballston areas. The subway is clean and convenient and trip in suburbs no more than 40 minutes long - and that's stretching it. If you really want to blow money stay at the Marriott at The Shops that is about 2 blocks from Harrington.
Oct 11th, 2001, 07:15 PM
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Most of the sights in the DC area are in safe neighborhoods. It's good advice to stay north of the Mall and west of the Capitol. There are good restaurants/clubs in other neighborhoods, but the areas south of the mall and east of the Capitol are spotty and you don't want to wander at night if you're not sure where you're going.

As for hotels, if you want a reasonable rate (especially on a weekend) and want to be on a metro, try the Crystal City area of Arlington (near National Airport, on the Yellow Metro Line at the Crystal City stop). This is a business area so has all the big chains (Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, Sheraton etc.) and I know they run specials on the weekends and are probably running deeper discounts because they rely so much on business travel. Crystal City is near the Pentagon and about a 5 minute train ride to the mall and Smithsonian.
Someone on this forum found a good deal at the Radisson Barcelo on P Street near Dupont Circle. I've been by it, never seen the inside, but it is in an excellent location. Dupont is very lively, lots of bars/restaurants and activity, also within walking distance of Georgetown.

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