Trip to Wash DC - some questions remain

Old Jan 28th, 2009, 03:15 PM
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Yes, I can switch the reservations if something comes up.

Definitely planning on the zoo in the early morning regardless when we do it.
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Old Jan 28th, 2009, 09:32 PM
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I'm so glad I read this post. We're planning on a trip to DC this summer and my boys would love to see a MLB game. The Nationals are playing the NYY while we're there. The Nationals website doesn't show any tickets are available. I guess I could pick some up on ebay?
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Old Jan 28th, 2009, 09:36 PM
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Nope I read the schedule wrong - they are away in NY we would have to see TOR.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 01:57 AM
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Barbara, tickets haven't gone onsale yet for Nationals games, or for most teams.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 04:58 AM
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You can buy tickets outside the stadium or just get them at the window. It really is a nice stadium -- we have a friend with club level season tickets ... he's giving them one more season.
You might leave your schedule a little loose -- never know what the weather will be.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 05:37 AM
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The Omni Shoreham Hotel is on Connecticut Ave with a metro stop very close by and a few blocks from the zoo.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 06:36 AM
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I'm not familiar with the location of the Red Roof Inn, but I would estimate it would take you at least 40 minutes to get to Smithsonian from Huntington, including time spent waiting for the train and switching lines, and perhaps more on the weekends when trains run less frequently. I second the caution you've already received regarding Metro parking lots filling up early. Also, you will have to buy a SmarTrip card to pay for parking - see Metro's website for details. If you can find something that works within your budget, staying in DC or Old Town Alexandria would be much more convenient.

A couple of thoughts on your itinerary:

For the nighttime monuments tour, if your friend is mobile, you may want to consider doing that on your own - the bus tours, tour groups, etc. all seem to converge down there at the same time, which can be a zoo. I would say that the 7:30-9:30 time frame is the most crowded. If you are willing to go a little later, like 10 or 10:30, and walk a bit, it will be a much less crowded and more pleasant experience (and still safe to metro, plenty of people around, etc. at that time).

A full day at the zoo is probably too much time, unless you are really die-hard zoo people - it is not that large. I'm also not sure I could take a whole day at the Air & Space Museum (or any museum for that matter), but perhaps you're planning on some down time on those days?

Old Post Office...the view from the top is nice, but with so many other things to see, I might skip this, especially if you're planning to go up in the Washington Monument.

If you like museums, one of my favorite Smithsonian museums that always seems to be overlooked is the National Portrait Gallery/American Art museum. It is a beautiful building (recently renovated) with a nice atrium, and has some really interesting exhibits - the presidential portrait gallery is great, they've currently got some really interesting photography exhibits, and the Shepard Fairey painting of President Obama was recently hung there. It is not on the Mall but at the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro stop, which is a great neighborhood in its own right with lots of good restaurants, etc.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 06:44 AM
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Thanks for the replies. So you think we wouldn't have any problem just showing up and getting tickets just before the game?
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 08:20 AM
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Barbara, you'll be able to show up and get tickets, definitely. I went to the home opener last season, which was also the home opener for the new stadium, and it was about half full.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 12:02 PM
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Re the zoo, in the summer there is usually a shuttle that runs from the bottom of the hill about 3/4 back up the hill.

Re your itinerary, I'd probably think about regrouping some things. It's a fair distance from the White House to the Capitol, or from the Holocaust Museum to the Archives.

This bus could be useful for you:

http://www.dccirculator.com/routemap.html
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 12:19 PM
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As an Alexandria resident, I vote that you pay a little extra and stay somewhere else unless you want budget accommodations at the expense of charm, convenience, anything nice at all.

This Red Roof Inn is literally right next to the beltway interchange, in an area that is pretty much strip mall central and a bit skanky at that. Nothing wrong with a nice strip mall when you need to stop by Target and get some Starbucks, but this isn't that sort of place. If all you want is a bed and a parking lot, then it would suffice, but it won't be anything nice.

If you would like to be in the charm of Old Town Alexandria, there is a newish Hampton Inn right down the street from the King Street Metro, amid nice restaurants and shopping.

There are also hotels right near the stadium. Check out this website that lists all hotels near all stadiums: http://nationalspark.stadiumhotelnetwork.com/

Good luck!
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 01:10 PM
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I've stayed in that Hampton Inn that the PP was referring to, and it is in a great location and is very nice.
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Old Jan 31st, 2009, 09:43 AM
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hlg22, we definitely tried to build some downtime into our schedule. The National Portrait Gallery is definitely 1 that we want to go to but aren't sure if we will be able to fill it in. Depending on the A&S Museum, we may try it that day. The reason that I have a full day for the A&S is that 2 of us work at Pratt and Whitney designing Jet Engines so we may need all day.
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Old Jan 31st, 2009, 10:47 AM
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Well it's certainly possibly to spend an entire day in A&S especially if that's a special interest of you and your friend. Gotta say though that the new portrait gallery is wonderful and would be a nice breather from all that technology. Hope you can fit it in.

Also, I agree with the poster who mentioned the Hampton Inn at the top of King Street in Alexandria. If you can get a room there for $100 or less, grab it. That might be a stretch as it's a moderately priced hotel in an excellent location.
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Old Jan 31st, 2009, 11:38 AM
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If you are interested in airplanes, you might look at the new Udvar-Hazy air and space museum out at Dulles. It has much more than the one in the Mall

It is worth a day on it's own

http://www.nasm.si.edu/UdvarHazy/
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Old Feb 2nd, 2009, 10:19 AM
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http://www.flyingcircusairshow.com/schedule.html

If like antique planes and the countryside, the Flying Circus Airshow in Bealeton, VA is a blast. It's an old-time airshow with wing-walkers, antique planes, a nostalgic announcer, etc. A full-day trip from DC and you need a car, but a blast if you like planes/aviation.
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Old Feb 4th, 2009, 10:07 AM
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When I go in March, I'm staying at the Red Roof Inn (by China Town Metro stop) for a night and then the Hotel Lombardy for 5 nights, which is 2-3 blocks from the Farragut West station. I could have staying the 'burbs for cheaper, but I'd rather be staying close to everything....
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Old Feb 6th, 2009, 05:54 AM
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Rich, thanks for reminding about that. just looked at the website and saw that they have the X-35B
http://collections.nasm.si.edu/code/...h=A20030172000

That is the engine that I work on. Will be going there. How possible is it to do both in 1 day?
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Old Feb 6th, 2009, 06:25 AM
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You might could if you had a car . . but we spent a whole day there and still did not see it all.

The thing is huge and getting huger.

There must be a shuttle that runs between the mall and U/H but we were driveing so I did not check into it at all.
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Old Feb 6th, 2009, 08:18 AM
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Rich--"might could"? You must be a Carolinian.
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