Old Nov 16th, 2008, 08:14 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 66

We will be arriving DCA for 2.5 days in D.C. and will be staying at the Hilton Garden Inn in Franklin Square.(We need to use our points) Please comment on our itinerary:

6/6/09: Arrive D.C. late afternoon
6/7/09: Air & Space Museum (buy IMAX ticket before touring the museum)
Hop on and Hop off
1-2 monuments/memorials
6/8/09: National Museum of American History
National Archives
Rest w/a glass of wine
1-2 monuments/memorials
6/9/09: Check out of hotel
Drive to Arlington Cemetery
Drive to Williamsburg (about 3 hour drive?)

I'm assuming that it will be warm and muggy when we go and that we will encounter tons of students on their trips to D.C. Any suggestions on avoiding the throngs of students?
pichulita is offline  
Old Nov 16th, 2008, 09:14 AM
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With all the places to see, how did you narrow it down to three museums?

We are planning a short stay as well and I'm overwhelmed with all the choices.

The weather should not be sweltering, June is really nice in the midAtlantic.
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Old Nov 16th, 2008, 05:44 PM
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island breeze,
How I narrowed it down: we've been to so many museums of natural history here in the West Coast and in NYC. We went to a lot of Indian museums in New Mexico. My hubby and I frequently go to art museums and galleries here in the San Fran Bay Area, so I figured we would see something that perhaps we haven't seen before or of which we have not seen a lot.

I wanted to go to DC in the very beginning of June so it's not so darn hot and humid, but I'm now wondering if the students "descend upon" DC during Spring Break or late spring around the beginning of June. Do you know?
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Old Nov 16th, 2008, 05:56 PM
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Yep, it will be hot, but I don't think there's any avoiding that. Most museums have a decent cafeteria, so you can always duck inside a Smithsonian museum to find a bathroom/water and snack.

The first thing that jumped out at me was driving to Arlington. Your hotel is nicely located right beside a Metro stop, so there is really no need to drive anywhere in DC. Trust me, the Metro will be your friend.

I really recommend seeing the Lincoln Memorial at night, it's quite amazing. And with the addition of the nearby Korean War memorial, I think you will like the effect of the night lighting.

You seem to be pacing yourself and not trying to do too much - so that's good.

Check the Smithsonian website for changing exhibits - and that may narrow down the museum choice for you.

Also, consider the Spy Museum, you have to pay for this one, but I thought it was pretty cool.
SavTrav is offline  
Old Nov 16th, 2008, 06:06 PM
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Don't miss the Roosevelt memorial. To my mind, it's the most moving of the memorials.
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Old Nov 17th, 2008, 08:13 AM
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Don't worry too much about school crowds in June. Many schools are already closed by Memorial day, others are busy with year-end activities in June, so the crowds of middle- and high-schoolers should have dropped off considerably from their mid-March to mid-May peak.
Weather is at its worst from late June to mid August, but ugly hot blasts have occurred in May and early June too. It could be either delightful or hot and sticky on the days of your visit. We'll hope for the former.
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Old Nov 17th, 2008, 06:54 PM
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Sav Trav,

The reason we thought of driving to Arlington is because we would check out of the D.C. hotel that morning, drive to Arlington and do the tour, have lunch somewhere in that area and then head straight to
Williamsburg. (Our friends who are meeting us in DC are driving from NJ, so they will have a car anyway). We don't plan on using the car on 6/7 or 6/8.

Would we be going waaaaaay out of the way if we drove to Arlington and then Williamsburg? It doesn't look like it from the maps.

pichulita is offline  
Old Nov 18th, 2008, 04:57 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
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I guess driving would make sense then, have a great time in DC

By the way, when you get to Williamsburg - I highly recommend the Blue Talon Bistro, right off the historic area and we really enjoyed it.
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Old Nov 18th, 2008, 06:35 AM
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It does make sense to drive to Arlington after checking out of your hotel, but you won't find anyplace for lunch nearby. The closest spot with parking would be Pentagon City or Pentagon Row (adacent to each other and with vast garages), I guess, but that tangle of highways around the Penatgon intimidates me. After leaving the cemetery, I'd probably just head for the highway and find a lunch stop well outside the beltway.
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Old Nov 18th, 2008, 06:45 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
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From my experience, there are many more student groups in May than in June. You'll see more tourists overall in June, but not as many huge student groups. If you want to avoid the students/tourists, then avoid the places they eat! They always pack into a couple huge food courts near Pennsylvania Avenue, though they are rarely found at the Reagan Building foodcourt, which I recommend to out-of-town guests. It will be full of office workers, especially between 12 and 1 p.m., but I haven't seen many student groups there.

I don't see a problem driving to Arlington if you're checking out that day and heading further into Virginia. But if you do decide to switch up your itinerary at all, it is extremely easy to take Metro to the Cemetery, and you avoid the maze of roads. I don't know if you've ever driven in DC/NoVA before, but the roads in Arlington are extremely confusing. It took me a long time to figure them out, and I've lived in there for almost 6 years now!

As for the weather, June can be hot, and June can be chilly--it really all depends. It most likely will not be "sweltering" though.

I also second the recommendations to see the Lincoln Memorial at night. I also recommend WWII, Korean, Roosevelt, and the WWI memorials (WWI is a little bit hidden, and not many people go there, which makes it my favorite).

Waffle is offline  
Old Nov 18th, 2008, 04:08 PM
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Thank you for all of your input. I'm hoping to avoid some of the confusion while we drive, so I'm taking "Helen", my GARMIN. She should be able to "sniff out" places to eat once we leave Arlington and get on the highway.
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