Trip to DC in 2 weeks--need help/suggestions

Old Sep 10th, 2008, 05:57 PM
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Trip to DC in 2 weeks--need help/suggestions

Hello all!
My husband and I are going to DC in 2 weeks and I would like to get some information and suggestions on things. We are flying into BWI and I need the best/quickest way to get from the airport to the Residence Inn in Alexandria, Old Town--near the King Street Metro stop. Any suggestions?

We fly in on Friday morning and leave Monday afternoon. We are looking for dinner suggestions for Friday night in Alexandria, since we'll be staying in that area. We really like quaint wine bars and all kinds of cuisines--Italian, French, Mediterranean, etc--we are big foodies! We don't need anything very expensive that night or too fancy, but anything that is 'different and eclectic' is right up our alley. Any suggestions?

My husband has never been to DC and he wants to spend the majority of Saturday at the Air and Space Museum. However, Sunday is my birthday so I get to do what I want to do and I want to go spend most of the day in Georgetown. I have been there before but it has been 10-15 years, so I have pretty much forgotten where to go. I love to shop and exploring lots of cool little shops, and I know G'town has lots of those. Any suggestions?

I made reservations for dinner Sunday night at Ristorante Piccolo in Georgetown. I read it was a really good, romantic Italian restaurant, but if anyone has a better suggestion, we are completely open. I was looking for something quaint and nice, but not too expensive or overly 'fancy'. Any suggestions?

Thanks everyone for your help!


meishad is offline  
Old Sep 11th, 2008, 02:21 AM
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Some ideas in Old Town.

Bastille - French
Vermillion - modern
Farrah Olivia - American, modern

Not sure of any wine bars in Old Town, but there are a ton in DC. In Georgetown there is Mendocino Grill and Wine Bar. Downtown there is Proof (although more modern than quaint), Cork (focus on Italian and French wines), and I also like Vino Veritas up by Dupont. My favorite wine bar is Talulla, but it is in Arlington and a bit of a walk from the Clarendon metro.

The quickest way from BWI to Old Town would probably be a cab/limo if you are not traveling during rush hour. Otherwise, you'd have to take the train/bus to the metro, and change trains to get on the blue/yellow lines.

Can't help on the shopping...
kaudrey is offline  
Old Sep 11th, 2008, 04:46 AM
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There are tons of threads about getting from BWI to DC. They all really apply to Alexandria. A cab would be the quickest, but most expensive. You can take the train or public transport from the airport to DC, then tsxi or Metro to Old Town.
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Old Sep 11th, 2008, 05:05 AM
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From BWI, get yourself to the Greenbelt, MD Metro station either by taxi or the B30 express bus.

From Greenbelt Metro you can either:

1) Take a Green line train and transfer to a Yellow line train at the Archives Metro station (Archives is mostly empty and has plenty of benches). The Yellow line train will take you to the KIng Street station. The King St. station is two blocks from your hotel.

or

2) Take a Yellow line train from Greenbelt all the way to King St.
This option is valid only if you arrive at Greenbelt by 9am on weekdays.

In Alexandria, I'll second Vermillion. Great food, very casual, laid back, super friendly.
Not cheap - dinner entrees are in the $30 range.

http://www.vermilionrestaurant.com/

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Old Sep 11th, 2008, 06:04 PM
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Thanks for the advice about restaurants in Alexandria and the help in getting from BWI to our hotel--greatly appreciate it!

Does anyone know about Ristorante Piccolo in Georgetown? Is there a better place (in G'town) that would be romantic and nice that we should try? Has anyone ever been to this restaurant?

Thanks for all the help!
meishad is offline  
Old Sep 11th, 2008, 08:20 PM
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U might find Georgetown a bit different today than 10-15 years ago. There are not nearly as many small, independent stores as there used to be, but by walking up M St and Wisconsin Ave as well as the neighboring side streets u will undoubtedly come across lots of somewhat interesting stores. I can't think of a great, romantic restaurant in Georgetown that isnt very expensive. It's really no longer a prime restaurant scene. Haven't been to Piccolo in years -- my daughter and her friends used to go in High School for special events and it always had good, not great food.
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Old Sep 11th, 2008, 08:45 PM
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It may be low brow but I am a huge fan of the Fish Market in Old Town.

I would tell your man that a whole in the air and space m. is a little much.. To each their own but the mall, history m., and arlington n.c. is more moving.

Don't forget about Annapolis. Have a beer at Middletons' just like GW.
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Old Sep 12th, 2008, 03:57 AM
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I not sure where you read about Piccolo. My dozen or so trusted local sources never had much to say about it so I've never bothered.

One place I can highly recommend for your particular needs is Bistrot Lepic.

http://www.bistrotlepic.com/
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Old Sep 12th, 2008, 06:40 AM
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I second Bistrot Lepic - had forgotten about them. Much supeior food to Piccolo.
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 07:26 AM
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Thanks to everyone for all the great advice! I canceled our Piccolo reservation and made one at Bistrot Lepic--it seems like a much better place.
I have been reading about Georgetown and things to do and see and I am concerned about how to get there. From what I have read it looks like there is no way to get there from the Metro w/o a long walk. Since we won't have a car and will be coming from Alexandria on Sunday morning/early afternoon, can anyone suggest a good way to get there w/o having to take a cab? Or, if we took a cab, any idea of how much that would cost?

Another question--I have convinced hubby not to spend the entire day at the Air & Space Museum, so it looks like we will be there until about NOON and then check out the major sites--WWII memorial, Lincoln memorial, etc--that way we can also get to the 'hot spots' of DC. Any suggestions for 'must see's' that afternoon? Also, any suggestions for a 'casual but nice' dinner Sat night? A place that is not to far from the mall area that has good wine list would be great!

Thanks again everyone for all your advice--I love learning from the 'locals' as to where to go, eat, etc because I HATE being a tourist!
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 08:27 AM
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I think you'll enjoy Bistrot Lepic more than Piccolo's, good u changed. Penn Quarter is the newish "hot" dining area in DC. Lots to choose from in that area. Proof is a causal restaurant with a great wine list
http://www.proofdc.com/. Zaytinia
http://www.zaytinya.com/ is always popular for mezzes. Wine list tends to focus more on Turkey, Greek and that area. Jaleo's is another good spot with a focus on tapas http://www.jaleo.com/

One of my favorite memorials is the FDR and the National Portrait Gallery is a nice one to visit. Lots of people like the Spy Musuem and the newly opened Newseum is getting good reviews.
http://www.newseum.org/ Both of these have admission fees unlike FDR and Portrait Gallery which are free.
For transportation to Georgetown from Alexandria, u could take the Metro to Foggy bottom station, walk a couple blocks and hop on the DC Circulator which is an inexpensive option to get around the city
http://www.dccirculator.com/
Not sure what is too much walking, but the walk from the Foggy Bottom Metro Station to Georgetown isn't that far especially on a nice day.

Enjoy DC, September is a great month to visit- usually beautiful weather and less crowds.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 08:42 AM
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Hello again!
Thanks so much for everyone's advice, it is greatly appreciated! Question on how much a taxi would cost and how long it would take to get from our hotel in Alexandria (Residence Inn on Duke St) to BWI? Our plane doesn't leave until 5:15 that Monday evening so we want to spend the day doing stuff but are not sure how much time to allow to get from our hotel to the airport. It appears that if we do the train/bus route, it will take about 2 hours or so to get there. So I am curious in order to give us more time to do things that day, if we took a cab from the hotel, how much it would cost (approx) and how long to allow that time of day on a Monday. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks guys!
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 08:49 AM
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"Question on how much a taxi would cost and how long it would take to get from our hotel in Alexandria (Residence Inn on Duke St) to BWI"

A lot. You might want to call cab companies for estimates.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 09:04 AM
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Generally in the $50-60 range for a taxi and allow nearly an hour in transit, maybe leave at 3:00 if you want to be at BWI a full 90 minutes before the flight. You could be plesantly surprised with a quicker trip but you are edging into rush hour anytime after 3.
Anyway, your hotel will have the most accurate info on this -- they probably get the question every day.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 09:16 AM
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A cab to BWI from Old Town will be $$$. When I've taken a cab from DC to Reston, it's been about $60...so you will pay more in the $80-$90 range. I confirmed this by going to the BWI website and checking ground transportation options and approximate taxi costs...but you can verify by calling a cab directly.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 10:23 AM
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BWI into DC has cost $60 - so more to Alexandria, VA. It's very hard to judge what the traffic could be. Accidents and various tie ups are not uncommon on the BW Parkway. U should miss rush hour if you leave b4 3 and that will help. If the weather is bad, it could take you up to 90 minutes to get to BWI and on a good day about 50 minutes to an hour. I agree to check with your hotel on times and best options. A shuttle may work and be cheaper than a taxi.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 12:10 PM
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I'm not sure I could spend an entire day in the A&S museum, but then I've never had the opportunity. I easily spent 4 hours--includes a lot of time in the "Great War" and WWII exhibits.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 12:50 PM
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If the weather is nice, it's a very lovely walk from the Dupont metro station to Georgetown. You walk right through Embassy Row - the Embassies are beautiful and many have really nice landscaping.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 06:11 PM
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You could take the Marc train from BWI to Union Station in DC and then probably hop a Metro subway to your hotel in Alexandria. Prices would be much cheaper that way. The Marc train runs only Monday thru Friday but does go from DC to BWI for $7.00 per person.

For info on it try MTAMaryland.com
and schedules can be gotten at 1-866-743-3682.

Enjoy your DC time and I think this should work quite well for you.
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