Wash. DC itinerary--Comments please

Old Jun 14th, 2005, 05:55 PM
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Wash. DC itinerary--Comments please

Hello all.
I'm continuing to plan my family's trip to DC July 11-17. Family includes myself, husband, daughter 17, son 14.
First time trip to DC.

I've made lots of "touring" plans, but we will only do what we can without wearing ourselves out. It is still a vacation so we want to enjoy it and not feel like we have to complete the tour plan.

I am now looking for feedback on travel plans such as cab, bus, metro etc. Also, comments on my suggested eating places for an inexpensive everyday fare. I do have two picky teenagers. And any other comments that you guys feel might be helpful. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Well, here it is:

Trip Itinerary—Washington D.C.—July 11-17, 2005

Monday July 11

Arrive at Washington Reagan Airport 4:56pm
Shuttle? or Cab?….to hotel Renaissance Mayflower
Dinner…..someplace quick and simple
MetroBus or cab? to US Naval Observatory for 8:30pm tour
MetroBus or cab? back to hotel

Tuesday July 12

Breakfast near hotel
7:40 get picked up at hotel for Gray Line All Day Combo Tour 9hours
Return to hotel following tour sometime between 5:45 and 6:00pm
Metro to Union Station for Tourmobile Wash by Night Tour.
Buy tickets and grab a snack at Union Station
Boarding begins 6:30. Tour departs at 7:00pm.and lasts 3 hours.
Metro back to hotel.

Wednesday July 13

Breakfast (Cosi ? food court at Farragut No. Metro?)
Metro to A& S Museum
10:00am Air & Space Museum tour on own.
Cab or Metro (which one?) to Eastern Market for lunch and browsing.
(Will there be much to browse around on a Wed?)
Meander through Capitol Hill Neighborhood towards Library of Congress
Library of Congress tour 45 minutes, then browse on our own
8:00pm Arrive at the Capitol Bldg West Terrace for Marine Band free concert
Return to hotel……….cab?

Thursday July 14

Tour White House if it can be scheduled
Lunch…………at Capitol Bldg Cafeteria?
1:30-3:00 Tour Capitol Bldg (scheduled thru Congressman’s office)
Metro? To Dupont Circle…..Kramers Books etc.
Dinner at Kramers or someplace at Dupont Circle
Metro to hotel

Friday July 15

Breakfast...maybe around M of Am History? or just stick with the food court at the Farragut metro station? Take Metro to M of Am Hist.
10:00am Tour Museum of American History
Lunch Walk to Old Post Office. Eat there and tour around.
If there’s time and energy, walk to Ford’s Theater/Peterson House.
Walk to Museum of Natural History and tour.
Dinner at National Gallery of Art?
Tour Archives open til 9:00pm
Metro back to hotel

Saturday July 16

Breakfast around hotel
Metro to Asylum Skateboard shop (819 7th St. NW) to get skateboard.
Travel somehow to Shaw Skatepark at Logan Circle
Rest of day open

Sunday July 17

Check out of hotel and cab or shuttle? to Washington Reagan Airport for 12:15 flight home

I know it will be real tight on Tues. to get to Union Station in time for the Night Tour that leaves at 7pm. I figured we could go and if we are too late then we'll just browse around and have dinner.

Thanks again for your help. Kathy

marthashealth is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2005, 06:06 PM
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You can use the Metro in DC to get to just about any sightseeing destination including Arlington Cemetary. It's also cheap, I believe $21 or something like that for a weekly pass. The map that came in the most handy for me was those pocket sized pop out maps you can find in most bookstores.

Here's the website for the DC metro:

Also Dupont Circle has no shortage of places to eat. Your trip to the Air and Space museum should be a little longer. There are usually lines to get in. Trust me, each museum will easily take 2 hours if not more, so bear that in mind.

Another place to consider is the National Zoo, which has a metro stop on the red line.

Hope this helps!
missjanna is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2005, 07:02 PM
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I would strongly recommend that you do not do the 9-hour all-day tour AND the 3-hour night tour on the same day -- especially the day after you arrive in the city ay 5 PM after traveling. Are you sure the two tours don't overlap a lot?

Kramer's isn't the sort of place I'd pick for a family dinner, but do visit them and there are plenty of wonderful places to eat elsewhere in Dupont Circle. My own teenage daughter would gladly eat at Cosi every day.

The museums of American History and Natural History are both huge -- if you had the time and stamina, you could spend a whole day at either one. So I'd recommend that you plan your time in advance -- go to and choose what you'll do with your time there.

If you do decide to go to the zoo -- go one stop past the "official" zoo stop (Woodley Park) and get off at Cleveland Park so your walk to the zoo will be downhill rather than uphill. Then when you leave, turn left, go downhill to Woodley Park. The zoo grounds open very early. They are part of the Smithsonian so you can get further info at the same web site.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 09:39 PM
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Saturday looks like your best day...
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 02:42 AM
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There's really nowhere to eat b-fast near the A&S museum, although it does have a food court, so you could eat IN the museum, but you'd probably be better off getting b-fast near the hotel that day.

Since your hotel is only a few blocks from Dupont Circle, I'd probably eat up there more for dinner. Pizzeria Paradiso has some of the best pizza in DC - I highly recommend it.

Also, I'm not sure what shuttle you are talking about to get to the hotel, but you can metro from the airport to Farragut West and walk the 3 blocks to there (Farragut West and F. North are only a block apart).

If you have a night where the parents want a cocktail before dinner, the bar at the Mayflower makes great martinis. They are not cheap, but they are big and yummy. If you catch Sam (the bartender) on a good day, you can probably get him to do magic tricks for you.

Have a great time!

kaudrey is offline  
Old Jun 15th, 2005, 04:32 AM
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Monday July 11:
These are all very sort cab rides and will be quite inexpensive
($10-$15). By far the best way to go for these 3 trips.

Tuesday July 12:
A lot of riding but that's OK - save your legs for the rest of the trip.

Wednesday July 13:
Looks fine. Everything on this day is easily reached by Metro. I would walk to the 19th&L Cosi' for breakfast and then pick up the Farragut WEST Metro at 18th& I. This is an easy walk and you won't have to transfer trains. There are a lot of restaurants close to the Library of Congress on Penn Ave. Here are two moderate choices: BAROLO (Italian) at 223 Pennsylvania Ave. SE; MEYHANE (Turkish) 633 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Ask your LOC tour guide for other suggestions. For dinner: in addition to Kramerbooks, P st. between 20th and 22nd is ground zero for great restaurants in that area - just read the sidewalk menus to decide.

Thursday July 14:
I'm not sure which bldg. your congressperson is in - you'll might want to eat in his/her particular bldg. to save time. Otherwise the Rayburn House Office Bldg. has good food. Ask any security gaurd for directions though the maze of hallways.

Friday July 15: just fine

Saturday July 16: Consider Logan Tavern for a break after skating. There is also a cafe in the Whole Foods market across the street from Logan Tavern. Consider continuing west on P st. to Dupont to check out the Dupont East neighborhood. There are some great restauants on and close to 17th st. there. Check out Hank's Oyster bar at 1624 Q St NW.

Sunday: Take a taxi to DCA - less than $15.

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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 04:35 AM
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Luna Grill has good breakfasts near the hotel (about 2 - 3 blocks away, toward Dupont Circle).
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 04:55 AM
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Luna Grille on Conn. Ave just above N St. (very close to Mayflower) is a great breakfast suggestion. From there, it's one block up Conn. Ave to the Dupont Metro station. Make it one of your first breakfasts places - you may not want to go anywhere else for breakfast the rest of the week.
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 07:08 AM
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Good post. I am going to be in DC with my family same week and may steal a few ideas from you! Hope you don`t mind!
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 10:57 AM
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When we took our children in March for their first visit, they both loved the National Gallery (even our 9 year old son!) I would cut back on one of the Smithsonian museums and take them to the Holocaust Museum. The entire family needs to see this. My 15 year old daughter and I were very moved by the experience. You can order timed free tickets on line. I would highly recommend this. There is a small service charge. Our daughter also spent 4 hours in the Hirshhorn but she is very interested in art.

Be prepared for the length of blocks in Washington. They are extremely long. It will be crowded and hot so plan for that with breaks. I hope your children have lots of stamina for your itinerary. Mine would never be able to do it. I would seriously consider a few nights with nothing but an early dinner and relaxation. Does the Mayflower have a pool? Utilize the metro as much as you can - it is fabulous and very easy to negotiate. Enjoy! It is a very special city and remember you don't want to do it all so that you will want to go back.
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 11:13 AM
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Meant to add for Monday July 11:

<<Dinner…..someplace quick and simple>>

Luna Grille:
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 04:37 PM
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These suggestions are all great. Just the kind of info needed.

seahatch: Steal away. That's what I did. Searched other poster's itineraries, then read their trip reports, then decided what to include in my tour. Needless to say, I like to be prepared and my family gives me a hard time about it. But we always have a good time!

I have to cancel the tour of the Naval Observatory as there are no openings on the one Monday that I'll be in town. So we will be able to get into town and just gawk at our surroundings. Maybe wander up Dupont Circle way and get a leisurely dinner.
The Metro from the airport would be fine, but we will have a luggage for 4 people and don't think I want to wrestle with it on the Metro. Think we'll take a cab. I will, however, plan to get the week's pass for metro. Think it will be worth it.

Good idea about checking out the museums on line before we go. I remember in NYC we kind of just wandered around those museums. No telling what we missed by not checking it out ahead of time.

bardo1: Just a note of thanks....the way you post your answers and comments regarding each day of my it. is very helpful. I'll be checking out the Luna Grill on line, and Cosi(if it has a site)
Logan Tavern sounds good, as well as Whole Foods. I own a health food store and it's always helpful to see what other stores are doing. (Even if I am on vacation!)

DownSouth: thanks for the mention of the long blocks. I'm trying to build up stamina before we go so I can keep up with the kids. And it looks like I will have more time in evenings to relax since the Naval tour is cancelled and we may not make the Tues WASH by Night tour.

Thanks for mentioning the Pizzeria Paradiso in Dupont Circle. I'd heard of it on another thread but thought it said Georgetown. We'll be sure to look it up.

O.K. Guess I'm rambling now, but am excited about all this good info. We're really looking foward to our trip and your postings here will make it much more enjoyable and less stressful. I'll post again if I think of more questions.

marthashealth is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2005, 04:04 AM
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FYI - Pizzeria Paradiso has two locations: one in Dupont Circle and one in Georgetown.
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