Quick 2 days in Washington DC

Old May 8th, 2012, 05:51 AM
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Quick 2 days in Washington DC

Hi all

Please could you advise us on the best sight-seeing company to use in DC.

Any particular places we should not miss to eat at or see that normal tourists miss out on?

Accomodation options? Affordable and clean.
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Old May 8th, 2012, 05:57 AM
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"Please could you advise us on the best sight-seeing company to use in DC."

None unless you want to take a night tour of the Memorials or something.

www.si.edu is the website for the Smithsonian museums. I suggest you look at it and decide one or two that appeal to you. www.nga.gov is the website for the National Gallery.

Many first time visitors do the 3 "M"s. Museums (above paragraph), memorials and monuments. Here is a map of the National Mall and downtown areas: http://www.nps.gov/nama/planyourvisi...d/NACCmap1.pdf

"Accomodation options? Affordable and clean"

If you want specific recommendations, you need to give specific info. EXACT dates, number of people and beds needed, and nightly budget in USDs. Otherwise, I recommend you look in DC in the areas of Dupont Circle, Downtown and the Penn Quarter. If you can't find anything there, try across the river in Virginia in Crystal City and Rosslyn.
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Old May 8th, 2012, 07:16 AM
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We had only 2 days in DC last summer. Stayed at the Embassy Circle Guest House which is a bed and breakfast located near Dupont Circle/Embassy Row. There were other lodgings closer to Dupont Circle like the Hotel Palomar that looked nice.

We really just did a lot of walking around on our own, went over to Georgetown, had some great Ethiopian food, Zaytinya (a tapas restaurant - fabulous!) went on an evening Segway tour of the monuments that was fun.

We had some family business at one of the embassies, so didn't really have time to visit the museums, but there's always next time!
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Old May 8th, 2012, 10:41 AM
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DC is an easy place to explore. There are more than 2 days worth of museums and monuments to explore and a great majority are short walks from each other. However, if you are short on time, or if you are not great walkers get a ticket for the trolly tour http://www.trolleytours.com/washingt...-tour.aspoffer a hop-on, which offers a hop off option. You can take them on the entire loop around the mall and they will talk about the monuments and places you pass by. Or, when they stop at an attraction, you can hop off and explore on your own and then jump on the next one of their buses/trollies that comes by. There used to be another operator, TourMobile, but they stopped doing this last fall. There may be another similar operator.

As for hotels, I can't offer much advice since I haven't stayed downtown much (we live in MD), just make sure you are close to a metro station to make getting around easier.

As for eating out, there is a really neat Morocan restuarant on NY Ave (not a great part of town, so take a cab) called Marrakesh http://www.marrakeshdc.com/ that has a great atmosphere, belly dancers and some delicious food. Things to note, you have to knock on the door to be let in, and I think you have to pay cash (at least that was the case the last time we were there years ago) but there is an ATM on site. DC has a plethora of dining options, so ask your hotel for suggestions.

Have fun!
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Old May 8th, 2012, 11:51 AM
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Here is a link to my trip report from October 2011:

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...gton-dc.cfm?35

Also, a link to inexpensive meal ideas:

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...r-in-dc.cfm?45

As others have said, you don't need a tour company for DC.

I'm not sure what your lodging budget is, but we stayed at the Americana Hotel in Arlington. It's about a block from a Metro station, has wi-fi and a decent continental breakfast, and fit in our fairly low budget. There's a link in my trip report.

Lee Ann
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Old May 8th, 2012, 04:50 PM
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Not sure when you are coming but if you want to see the White House or congress you will need to organize tickets through your embassy (assuming you really are from africa) - or your senator or representative.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 12:10 AM
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Hi all

Thank you for the feedback, I will go and follow all your leads.

nytraveler - I am definately from Africa... Sunny South Africa to be exact. We will be in DC on 12 and 13 July. Do you think that I will still need tickets as we are getting our greencards in June... our family will be relocating in Nov to the US.

The Lodging question: What is a reasonable rate per night that I should start looking at...??
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Old May 9th, 2012, 04:55 AM
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Everyone needs tickets -- either through your embassy or your member of Congress.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 06:19 AM
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1) Embassies no longer apply for tickets for White House tours on behalf of their citizens.

2) As others have recommended, you can tour D.C. on your own. The hop on/hop off buses are NOT a good choice if you plan to get off to do any sightseeing. The problem is, especially in the summer months, that the buses get so crowded that they often will not stop to pick up additional passengers. So you are stuck at the bus stop for a LONG time waiting for another bus with available seats. If your intention is just to stay on the bus and ride around looking at the sights, this would work but it would be rather pricey. Unless you have physical limitations, your own two feet are the best way to get around to see the sights.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 09:05 AM
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gfa,

A budget option for a room in mid-July would be about $200/night, a mid-range option would be around $300/night and a luxury option would $400+ per night.

You should reserve a hotel now - I just did a quick check of your dates - some hotels are already booked for 7/11-7/13.

Here are some you could look at - all clean, safe, and well located.
http://www.thequincy.com/ budget

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/trave...WT_Ref=mi_left mid-range

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/trave...-metro-center/ luxury (though quite nice still pretty basic - price is more reflective of its excellent location)


Tickets for what? Airfare you should get now. If you meant tickets for a tour, then you can wait until you get here or a few days before.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 04:08 PM
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If you embassy won;t do it then you can;t get into either the white house or congress - for security reasons people touring those places need advance tickets (far in advance) and have to be vouched for (as in by a group tour who knows participants or a govt official). You can still see from the outside.

As for the regular sights of DC - just get a good guidebook and a goo dmap and see what interests you most. A tour is simply not necessary - and is probably a waste of money (unless you have limited walking ability - many of the monuments and museums are along the national mall but it's a big area.)
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Old May 10th, 2012, 01:42 AM
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Thank you all.

We have decided to give the visit to congress a skip. And we will do the walk about route... Thank you for your time to help.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 02:01 AM
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One last thing though:
Seeing that we will be walking and might need to take the subway etc... which area is central to stay where it would be easy to go to these attractions?
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Old May 10th, 2012, 06:28 AM
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There is no area in D.C. that is central to all of the sights. Popular areas to stay in D.C. itself are Dupont Circle and Penn Quarter. Outside of D.C., where the rates may be cheaper, look for accommodations in the Crystal City or Rosslyn parts of Arlington, Virginia.

The important thing is to find accommodations close to Metro.
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