Please help with Washington, DC itinerary

Old Aug 6th, 2014, 10:48 AM
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There are a few places in NYC that make a decent croissant, but there is only one place that makes a decent brioche.
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Old Aug 6th, 2014, 10:50 AM
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IMDonehere, sorry about that...HV=Hudson Valley
I love sweets of all kind but I detest standing in line for them.
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Old Aug 6th, 2014, 10:52 AM
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OK two places that make a good brioche.
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Old Aug 6th, 2014, 11:01 AM
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B&W is a coffee & baked goods place, among which wonderful cupcakes are included in the sweet and savory offerings. They brew, among other things, Stumptown coffee and that alone is a reason to go there. Which I do far too often. It's a very small place with two sides to purchase: 1) baked, all sweet including the cupcakes and 2) wired, the coffee/tea and savory items with a a few sweets. I'm a big fan of the chorizo & cheddar biscuits. Good with the pumpkin bread too.

When there is a line on the weekends it's usually for the sweet side. Line on the coffee side is much shorter.

Nothing wrong with Georgetown Cupcakes. Nothing at all.
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Old Aug 6th, 2014, 11:09 AM
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I get excited about cupcakes if they're free.
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Old Aug 6th, 2014, 11:36 AM
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Georgetown Cupcakes still give free cupcakes everyday @ at all their locations to the first 100 people who mention the cupcake of the day or whatever they call it. You can check their FB page or follow them on twitter and they announce the cupcake each morning around 9:30-9:45. they're usually all gone by noonish or thereabouts.
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Old Aug 6th, 2014, 11:51 AM
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I live here (well, NoVa, but still ...).
Spy Museum is great fun and an antidote to too many art museums.
Zoo is great too, do not miss it.
Catch a ballgame at Nats Park (they are home 8/21 to 8/24)
Look for farmers markets (e.g., I think they have one at Eastern Market on the weekend)
If you have a chance to get blue crabs (hard-shell) this is the right time of year to sample this Chesapeake delicacy ... we usually go to Annapolis for that but I believe there are places within reach by metro.
Enjoy!
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Old Aug 6th, 2014, 12:41 PM
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Thanks for the HV Hudson Valley.
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Old Aug 6th, 2014, 01:25 PM
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the Kennedy Center tour was great and really interesting if that is your thing. we had a terrific guide who gave us all kinds of great stories and insight. The Newseum was one of the biggest surprises to me. spent 6 hours there (i'm a new junkie). just looking at all the front page headlines for each year took over an hour and was fascinating. You are probably too late for a White House tour, but the Capitol now has a visitor's center that you just go to for tours. if you are there, don't miss the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress. and yes, of course the monuments. The Lincoln, Vietnam, WW II and Korean are all in the same area and walkable.
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Old Aug 7th, 2014, 01:24 PM
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Wow. I'm overwhelmed – thank you all so much for your kind suggestions and comments.

To answer a couple of questions: We are from Canada – so arranging White House tours is a bit of a chore, have to go through embassy, takes much longer – and they’re not even accepting applications. I suspect the sequester continues to affect foreign visitors.

The Supreme Court is in recess, so no live action to see (as is Congress).

So, taking a lot of cues from here and other research, this is my “first draft” itinerary. Just please remember, there are 2 teenagers in the picture – which means, among other things, we would typically leave the hotel at around 10ish in the morning (if we’re lucky).

I haven’t added Changing of the Guard and National Portrait Gallery, but would like to fit in if possible.

Please help me fine tune/add/subtract. Once, again, I am so grateful to all you wonderful, helpful people.

Thursday, August 21 (arriving midday).
1) Arrive at hotel (1-2 PM)
2) Quick bite (suggestions welcome!)
3) Rent bikes or Segway tour for (not in order):
White House
FDR Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
Jefferson Memorial
Martin Luther King Memorial
World War II Memorial
4) Sculpture Garden (late afternoon bite at the Pavillion Café)
5) Dinner at Oyamel

Could add paddle boating if on the Segway tour.

Friday, August 22
1) Museum of Natural History
2) Dinner at Hill Country BBQ Market

Saturday, August 23
1) Brunch at Market Lunch, Eastern Market
2) Air & Space Museum
3) Dinner for us with friends (kids on their own – I suspect they will want to go to Shake Shack or someplace like that, relatively close to the hotel. Otherwise, we could send them off somewhere more interesting, they’ll have cell phones anyway so no worries. Suggestions welcome!).

Sunday, August 24
1) My son and I are watching a baseball game that afternoon, so the girls will likely go to the National Portrait Gallery (or shopping). Their call.
2) Dinner at Al Tiramisu

Monday, August 25
1) The Capitol (we have a tour booked for noon).
2) Late lunch at Good Stuff Eatery
3) Library of Congress
4) National Archives
5) Newseum
6) Dinner at Montmartre

Don’t want to spend too long at the Library and Archives, so hopefully this is doable.

Tuesday, August 26
1) National Gallery of Art
2) Dinner at Dinner at Tabard Inn or Ben’s Chili Bowl

Wednesday, August 27
1) Museum of American History
2) Dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill

Thursday, August 28
My son and I leave – so girls will make their own plans (they leave the next morning).
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Old Aug 7th, 2014, 01:47 PM
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A few hopefully not-too-disorganized thoughts:

On Friday, I doubt you will want to spend all day at the Museum of Natural History, even if the exhibits are right up your alley. You might want to go to another museum, perhaps the Air & Space, or the National Gallery of Art, or the Museum of American History, since they're all nearby,--probably two museums in the day should suffice. Keep in mind that they're all free, so if something doesn't suit, you can move on.

On the Saturday, if weather permits, you could walk back from Eastern Market and pass the Library of Congress and the Capitol on your way to the Air & Space Museum--so you might consider throwing in one or both of those here, since your Monday is probably too jam-packed.

On Tuesday, once again, a whole day in one museum might be a bit much, but as on Friday, you can throw in any others that interest you. Ditto Wednesday. Unless those were the afternoons you were thinking of going to Dupont Circle, Georgetown, etc.??
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Old Aug 7th, 2014, 03:30 PM
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Thanks NewbE,

For Natural History and Air & Space, I don't intend the spend the whole day at all! Those are simply the days I've got nothing else planned so far, so I'll be adding something to those. Also don't intend to spend more than an hour each at the Library and Archives, but we'll end up spending a bit of time at the Capitol (because of the tour and cgoing back and forth). I will work some more on this. Thanks again
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Old Aug 7th, 2014, 03:37 PM
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Even with only a short time at the Archives and Library of Congress, you have too much planned for Monday. Your trip to the Newseum could easily last 4-6 hours, even with teens. So move Library of Congress and the Archives to Tuesday, and its a better spread.
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Old Aug 7th, 2014, 06:02 PM
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I am a pretty fast museum goer so I can confidently say that you will need about 2 hours to see the Archives. Remember that every building that you go into you will have to go through security and August is much more crowded than when I went in November.

On the other had, I saw everything that I needed to see at the Newseum in about 2.5 hours. You know your family better than us. The ticket for the Newseum is good for 2 day so you can go back the next day.

Just do not miss the changing of the guard at Arlington. It may be warmer to go in the afternoon but it is we;; worth it.
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Old Aug 8th, 2014, 08:06 AM
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Mindful that you have teenagers, I think your itinerary is too museum heavy. We took our kids to DC when they were 5 and 7 and, to this day, they say the highlights were the Lincoln Memorial, going to the top of the Washington Monument, and Tomb of the Unknown Solder guard ceremony in Arlington National Cemetary.
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Old Aug 8th, 2014, 02:41 PM
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Like your restaurant choices. I would choose Tabard Inn over Ben's Chili Bowl.
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Old Aug 8th, 2014, 03:48 PM
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I agree about Tabard Inn over Ben's. Ben's is a DC institution but it really is chill on a dog, a burger or in a bowl. Limited seating. IMO, better for lunch or post bar closing munchies.

Monmartre and Oyamel are excellent choices. I wouldn't steer anyone away from the Old Ebbitt (good modern american food, won't break the bank, right around the corner from the Willard) but I think there are far more interesting places to eat in DC, including a bunch in the neighborhood where Ben's Chili Bowl lives.

Also on your arrival day: If the moderate weather holds (and we all hope it will) I can see you all doing a bike or segway tour of the monuments you listed. But if it's the more typical hot and humid DC afternoon, your interest in that might flag a bit.
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Old Aug 8th, 2014, 06:57 PM
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Completely agree on Old Ebbitt, Grill but it seems to get quite the tourist draw. It's oyster festival is great..
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Old Aug 16th, 2014, 10:55 AM
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As a northern Virginia resident of 40 years, I would recommend not trying to see so many of the monuments on one day. Yes, they are close together, but August is generally hot and humid in Washington, and there's no sense making yourself miserable with the heat. My favorite monument is the Viet-Nam wall, and I like to go to the Jefferson and the Roosevelt at night.

Consider the hop-on, hop-off bus companies that will take you to all the tourist sites (including Arlington Cemetery).

Do take the Metro up to the Zoo unless you live near a good zoo. There are dozens of interesting restaurants at Connecticut and Calvert.

I would recommend these two for a French and a Spanish meal:
Café du Parc at Penn & 14th St (very near the Willard)
José Andres' Jaleo on 7th near E St
Go to the Washington Post and the Washingtonian magazine restaurant reviews for an over-abundance of restaurant ideas.

Enjoy your visit to Washington. Most important of all in August - hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and get in shade any chance you have.
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Old Aug 16th, 2014, 12:11 PM
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When you are at the Lincoln Memorial, you are also right next to the Korean memorial which is IMO one of the most interesting and powerful.
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