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Hop On Hop Off D.C. Double deck bus-recommend??

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May 22nd, 2010, 06:06 PM
  #1
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Hop On Hop Off D.C. Double deck bus-recommend??

We will be traveling to D.C. from July 1 - July 6. Does anyone have an opinion about the hop on hop off double deck bus? I'm curious about long lines to board at the various stops and if it is difficult to find a seat on the bus. This is, of course, during the July 4th weekend. Our 11 yr old likes to idea of the bus but I wonder if it works efficiently for sightseeing.
Thanks!!
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May 22nd, 2010, 06:40 PM
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I would advise against them due to the time spent sitting in traffic. Given the hordes of people potentially in the city that week, there will be lines at each stop.

Look at a Monuments by Moonlight Tour, it will bring you to each monument at night but you stay with the same guide / bus so no lines to deal with. I did it last year and it was great.
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May 23rd, 2010, 05:55 AM
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I didn't even consider the traffic factor. That's a great point to consider. I did look at the Moonlight Tour also. We'll give this serious consideration. This should satisfy the curiosity of the bus Thanks!!
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May 23rd, 2010, 03:07 PM
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I would do the night tour towards the beginning of your trip and then figure out which monument if any that you want to go back to. We spent the most time at the WW2 monument. Am coming back to DC and am looking at other options. I do think that the night tour was the way to do it but the tour didn't end until 11:30. We may look at the Duck Tours this time.
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May 23rd, 2010, 05:23 PM
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We are considering the Duck tour for our trip too. Seems like sort of a silly thing to do.
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May 23rd, 2010, 05:40 PM
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Definitely silly but you are on vacation. Who cares!!! I like the combo of land and water. Will never actually use the quacker though...
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May 23rd, 2010, 06:27 PM
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Duck tours have always been a great experience for us. You get a light-hearted but very informative tour of the city on land and water. If you take this tour when you first get there you get ideas on where you would like to go back to. We've taken duck tours in Wisconsin Dells, Hot Springs, AR., Memphis, and Boston. We were in DC during cherry blossom festival this year and couldn't fit one in. We did ride a double decker for awhile and couldn't get everywhere on the route because of the congestion. For what we got it was expensive but I would so tired of walking by the time we rode that it seemed like a real bargain to me once we made it to the top.
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May 24th, 2010, 06:45 AM
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The doubledecker would be great for an overview of the city, Embassy row, National Cathedral, etc, in addition to the monumental core. I would not recommend hopping off and on during a busy weekend (they do not operate at all on July 4), as the waits cold be long, but boarding at Union Station and staying put for the whole itinerary (2.5 to 3 hours) could be informative and breezy.

http://www.dctours.us/?event=offer.detail&offerId=11681
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May 24th, 2010, 09:48 AM
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For the duck tour, the web site says that the tours for the day generally sell out by noon, and while you can buy tickets online, you can't buy them for a specific time. So does that mean that someone has to go down to the Duck tour booth at Union station first thing in the AM and secure spots on the tour that we want? I'm not really getting how that works.


tcho - I definitely agree that vacation is the time to do the silly things. I made a list of things to and see in DC and sent it to those who are going with us - it is a trip with my husband and I, my mom, and 3 of my mom's siblings. Of ALL the things on the list, my mom wants to go to the Spy Museum and on a Duck tour. She wants to see other things as well, but those are at the top of her list. So those are on the itinerary - LOL.
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May 24th, 2010, 10:03 AM
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Thats definitely how it works. Thankfully my hotel is next to Union Station.
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May 24th, 2010, 04:32 PM
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Thanks. We only have 2 days in DC, so I want to make sure I plan well. I wish we had more time, but finding the time when everybody could go was difficult, so we take what we can get. I'm just glad that I have convinced my work-aholic mom to actually take a vacation.
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May 24th, 2010, 04:43 PM
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2 days is definitely tight. In your case, the night tour may be best so that you can do museums during the day / monuments at night.
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May 25th, 2010, 06:27 PM
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This is off subject, but what about the Bureau of Printing (money)? That's another place that seems elusive to get tickets for the tour. I went there as a child and I really want to take mine, but what a pain to get the tickets.

Thanks for the duck tour info too. I was not clear on how these worked either. It seems odd to purchase a ticket online that who knows when, or if, we can use it.
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May 25th, 2010, 07:45 PM
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We were given tickets to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing by our Congressional office. We saw people who had waited for hours to get them. In my opinion unless you just have a thing for money there are so many other things to do in DC that this would rank far down on my list, especially in a short time span.
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