Trip suggestions in DC

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Mar 14th, 2001, 08:10 PM
  #1
sheri
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Trip suggestions in DC

We are taking a 4 day drive to DC at the end of March. Wondering if anyone had any tips ideas about the city/area. Also looking for some good places to eat...any suggestions would be helpful - thanks!
 
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Mar 15th, 2001, 09:47 AM
  #2
Cindy
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Sheri, I just saw your post, and I'd like to help. Can you give us some more specifics? Any kids? What are you definitely planning to do? First visit? What interests you? What kind of food do you like, and where are you staying?

 
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Mar 15th, 2001, 11:16 AM
  #3
Cindy
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Dear Cindy,

I saw your response to someone else yesterday wanting ehlp with planning a trip to Washington DC and wonder if you could help us? We're planning a DC trip 4/9-4/18 with my 13-year old who loves history, literature, Shakespeare, musicals. We've went to DC several years ago so I know about the major museums. We will be going to the Holocuast Museum this trip cause she's now old enough. Any additional ideas for us?

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Mar 15th, 2001, 02:27 PM
  #4
Sheri
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Cindy: I am a teacher, and my husband and I have only been to DC as children. Would like to see as much as possible in 3 days - mostly the "history" aspect of the town. As for restaurants - we love "new" American cuisine (like the cooking channel type food). We fould a hotel in Gathersburg, MD, and don't mind the commute - heard anything bad about that area? Thanks for your help - Sheri
 
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Mar 15th, 2001, 04:45 PM
  #5
Cindy
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Sheri, I'll defer on restaurants, because most of the folks here can give great advice, and the restaurants I visit are in Bethesda, and you'll be in Gaithersberg.

Gaithersberg ought to be plenty safe. It is a suburban area 20 miles (?) north of D.C.

If you only have three days, I would devote one day (your first day, if the weather is nice) to simply strolling along the mall and taking in the big monuments. I have really enjoyed the Capitol tour and the Supreme Court tour (really more of a lecture while you're seated in the gallery).

On your second day, you might pick one or two favorite Smithsonian museums. The American History museum is awfully nice. It has an exhibit on First Ladies' dresses, and I think they now have a great exhibit of presidential personal effects. Holocaust Museum is also very well done and worth a visit.

My other underrated favorite is Ford's Theatre (where Lincoln was shot), because they have a great, intimate museum underneath (e.g. the gun that shot Lincoln, the clothes he wore, etc.) Oh, and don't miss Arlington Cemetery. You can catch a TourMobile tour of the grounds that avoids the substantial walking required.

Have a great time! The city ought to be beautiful for your visit.
 
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Mar 15th, 2001, 05:35 PM
  #6
joe
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Sheri, go online to :

www.washingtonpost.com
www.washingtonian.com

Both archive restaurant reviews for the area.
Call your congressman for tickets to some of the tours at capitol and white house.

have a great time
 
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Mar 16th, 2001, 07:07 PM
  #7
jean
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Hi Sherri,

Having spent many summers there as a child, and now having spent several trips there in recent years, I can tell you unequivocably that one of the most impressionable things I saw is the Bureau of Engraving! That's where they print all of our $$$$, and do you see tons of it!

When I went with my husband (his first trip several years ago) I insisted that it was a "must see". He did, he agrees, and we've been taking people there each trip. You can buy bills (uncut). I have a strip of 4 $2 bills which I have framed--floating on a green background which still to this day is a great "conversation starter." Your kids (regardless of age) will love it!

Enjoy,
Jean
 
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Mar 17th, 2001, 07:19 AM
  #8
Sheri
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Thank you all for your great ideas - how nice you all are!
 
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Mar 19th, 2001, 11:06 AM
  #9
Jim
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Gaithersburg isn't even really a suburb--it's more of an exurb. It's a LONG way from downtown D.C. My old company used to have a satellite office up there, and everyone used to dread the twice-a-year meetings they'd make us go to up. Traffic's horrible even going "against" rush hour, and there's just not anything to do in Gaithersburg.
 
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Mar 19th, 2001, 11:26 AM
  #10
ilisa
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I live near Gaithersburg. It is approximately 28 miles from the Mall (I used to be a docent at Air and Space and tracked the mileage). Why on earth would you want to stay out there? The commute during rush hour, excluding driving time to and from the metro, will take you about 40 minutes or so. However, if you plan on driving to the Shady Grove metro and riding in, you need to be at the parking lot by 7:15am to get a space (I do it every day). The area is fine to live in, but why would you waste precious time on your vacation commuting in?
 
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Mar 19th, 2001, 12:21 PM
  #11
Kay
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Just joining in for a question in anticipation of our family's trip to DC in June, do they give tours of the Library of Congress?
 
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Mar 19th, 2001, 01:09 PM
  #12
Jean
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Sheri, why oh why Gaithersburg??? A horrible commute, 40 minutes NOT in rush hour, 90 minutes in it. And rush hour is 7:00 am till 10:00 am and 3:30 pm till 7:30. STAY IN TOWN!!!!!
 
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Mar 19th, 2001, 03:41 PM
  #13
Shannan
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Shery, Just in case you check in before you go... Kids and adults share love for the American History, Natural History and Air and Space Museums. Call your Congressperson ahead of time and ask for a pass to see Congress and the White House. The cherry blossoms should be starting to bloom around the time you go. What a treat. As for restaurants, I love The Mark (nar the theatres. It is continental cuisine. There are a million good restaurants. Talk to your hotel about your tastes. If you want ethnic food head over to Adams Morgan area.
 
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Mar 20th, 2001, 11:30 AM
  #14
Christina
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I would suggest for very good lists of restaurants, recommendations and types of cuisine, you look at the restaurant articles in www.washingtonian.com. You'll find plenty under budget, best, by area, cuisine, etc. I just don't know exactly where you would eat if you are staying in Gaithersburg or how you are going to do that (train or car?), as it is so far away from the city, it's halfway to Pennsylvania, almost. I have a cousin who lives there and it takes me probably 45 min at least to get there outside rush hour and I live in Silver Spring area (north of DC in Maryland). Well, I think 1-2 hrs each way is probably about right, closer to 2 during rush hour which lasts 3:30-8 pm, it seems to me, nowadays (it's getting worse, I am in it on beltway in Maryland). It is certainly safe though, so the bad things are just that it is a quiet bedroom community of Washington with shopping malls but is so far away from DC I can't understand why anyone would stay there as a visitor (unless they had relatives in the area). I don't know how using the metro would work due to the parking problems as someone else mentioned, unless the hotel had a shuttle to the metro stop, I guess that might work okay if you didn't mind spending two hours a day on the train. In that case, there are good places to eat around metro stops, look for restaurants in the Woodley or Cleveland Park areas, that would be a good spot for the red line to Gaithersburg, or Bethesda where there are tons of good restaurants (and being without a car is an advantage). I don't watch cooking channel so am not sure, but I think some good modern Am restaurants might be DC Coast downtown and New Heights in Woodley Park, maybe Bethesda Cafe. In Montgomery County there are good ethnic restaurants, especially Asian--Gaithersburg has a few decent restaurants, one is Italian and one is too expensive probably for itself and on some small manmade lake there, I think (I'm fuzzy on that, I don't ever go to Gaithersburg if I can help it).
 
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Mar 20th, 2001, 12:01 PM
  #15
Kim
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Kay--I'm not sure about tours of the Library of Congress. I'm sure they have a website where you can get the kind of information. I do know that you can't do too much wandering around on your own. Even to look at a book, you have to submit a request and have the book brought to you.
 
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Mar 20th, 2001, 01:10 PM
  #16
Polly
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lol @ Gaithersburg being half way to Pennsylania. I guess everything is relative (I live near the Gaithersburg Metro and can get to downtown tourist sites via auto with my house guests in about 45 minutes). BUT...I would not RECOMMEND it as a lodging site for a trip to see the sights in DC. I suspect the place you are staying (Shady Grove Road) is close to Metro and in that sense will not be so bad. It is a safe area and at least 45 minutes on Metro to the Mall area in DC.
 
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