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Helping Aussies with Washington, DC lighted monuments and Metro to Old Town Alexandria

Helping Aussies with Washington, DC lighted monuments and Metro to Old Town Alexandria

Jan 1st, 2003, 12:08 PM
  #1  
Kay
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Helping Aussies with Washington, DC lighted monuments and Metro to Old Town Alexandria

I've been helping some friends from Australia who will be visiting DC in a few days, but they've asked me about some activities I haven't done, so I'm relying on the experts on this board:

Their hotel is in downtown DC. One day they want to go to Old Town Arlexandria--I found the Metro route then DASH bus. Do they get a transfer when entering Metro to enable them to ride DASH? What about return? How far is it to walk from King St Metro to Old Town? I assume they would just walk on King St to the visitors' center to get their start.

Monuments at night--walk? bus tour? city bus? hire a taxi and say once around the mall?

I've told them about free Friday night jazz concerts I saw on the web at one of the museums and the Capitol Steps as possible entertainment they might not have thought of.

They are coming from summer, so I told them to expect cold and wet. They'll want to get out and about, so one says she is bringing her wool coat/hat and the other says she is bringing a long microfiber raincoat/hat and hopes to layer enough underneath to stay warm outside but not roast indoors.
 
Jan 1st, 2003, 02:55 PM
  #2  
marie
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The weather is predicted to be in the 40s and rainy during the next week or so I'd vote for the microfiber coat with layers.

Old Town Trolleys has a monument at night tour. See this URL: http://historictours.net/acb/showdetl.cfm?&DID=11&ObjectGroup_ID=5&Product_ID=2 3&CatID=2

The King Street Metro is at the top (western end) of Old Town. Here's a good map of the area: http://ci.alexandria.va.us/link/redi...w.funside.com/ (pull down "Visitor Information" and then click on
"maps") There are lovely shops and restaurants along King Street and its side streets between the Metro and the "center" of Old Town which is the intersection of King and Washington. Most of the historical sights as well as many more shops and restaurants are east of Washington Street toward the river. King Street is a pleasant walk in good weather (maybe 30 minutes to the Potomac River). Don't know if you can get a transfer to the DASH from the metro (different jurisdictions) but rates are reasonable and it is free (I think) to Market Square on weekends. The Metro is also an AMTRAK train station so there will be cabs (five minute trip) available too.
 
Jan 2nd, 2003, 08:00 AM
  #3  
r-travels
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Kay - I think the free DASH bus that ran from King St Metro to the visitor Center is discontinued for the winter. You could call 703-370-3274 from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday with questions, or try http://www.dashbus.com/ (I didn't find any info about the free bus)

Regular DASH buses DO participate in the WMATA transfer program, so you could get a transfer slip at the station you BOARD the Metro, and pay only 25 cents for a bus down to Old Town. You could walk .. the area changes from new to old about two blocks from King St Metro, and it's a delight to stroll along & window-shop. They would have to pay the full bus fare ($1) upon return. At the visitor center get the map for the walking tour and do that if possible.

I've walked all around the monument area at night alone (I am a male) and felt safe at all times, I'm sure a group would be comfortable, other than it being chilly. As long as the weather is moderate, this is a great time to visit - less crowds and less "n'er-do-wells" hanging around too. We loved "Shear Madness" at the Kennedy Center.
 
Jan 2nd, 2003, 08:10 AM
  #4  
kris
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I would highly recommend some form of transportation from the King Street Metro to Old Town. It's a long walk.
 
Jan 2nd, 2003, 08:20 AM
  #5  
r-travels
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I guess "long" is a relative term. My nephew, on crutches with a broken leg, did it both directions. I think the best things to see are along the way. Sure, the Torpedo Factory, the conventin center, and Holiday Inn Old Town are at the end, but almost anyone should be able to walk one way, at least.
 
Jan 2nd, 2003, 11:54 AM
  #6  
ttttt
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ttt
 
Jan 6th, 2003, 09:26 AM
  #7  
Kay
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Thanks for the help. They are in DC and have given me the following feedback:

Although they have been cold, they loved the snow yesterday.

They have been enjoying the museums, as everyone does.

On a cloudy day they went up the Washington Monument even though they couldn't see anything just because there was no line and they could say they did it. They are hoping for better weather to walk all the monuments and Arlington cemetary.

The Metro to DASH bus worked great--they bought Metro tickets with estimated RT fare, got the transfer, DASH bus timed with the train arrival. They said a nice bus driver directed them to the right bus and that driver told them when it was time for them to get off. They enjoyed the contrast of Alexandria after being among the huge impersonal government buildings. They combined two walking tours (from visitor's center brochure and tour book), but they missed the guided tour in the a.m. They said they walked back along King Street until they got cold then watched for a DASH bus with Metro symbol and paid the $1 for the ride. They misjudged their return time and ended up in rush hour pricing on Metro so they figured out how to add value to their cards to get out. I think they are ready to provide Metro advice to other tourists now
 
Jan 6th, 2003, 11:29 AM
  #8  
r-travels
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Thank you for the feedback, Kay. It's always nice to know if changes are making advice given obsolete. Those fare cards in DC with time-of-day pricing seem to confuse so many travelers!
 
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