Washington Christmas week

Nov 23rd, 2007, 05:45 PM
  #1  
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Washington Christmas week

Flying out on 12/24, arriving after 10 PM.

Anything restaurant likely to be open that late? How late does the Metro run, if I want to take the Metro from DCA to my hotel, the Four Points Sheraton near Franklin Park?

Christmas day, everything will probably be closed but weather permitting, should be able to walk around the Mall.

Then actually get a chance to go inside some of these sites on Wednesday or Thursday.

Any other suggestions?
scrb is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2007, 06:02 PM
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You should be able to get the Metro at that time. It doesn't stop running until about midnight, although it will be coming less often at that point. Just take the Blue Line to McPherson Sq. and walk a few blocks. If it's cold and you are tired, a can won't be that expensive.

I wouldn't expect any restaurants to be open that late, altho you never know. DC is not a late dining city and Christmas Eve will be tough.

You are right that no much will be open Christmas, but it will be a great time to walk around the Mall. The monuments will all be open. It's a beautiful time of the year.

It is a wonderful time to be in DC. Few crowds, the weather is cold but not horrible, the holiday decorations will be up.
MikeT is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2007, 08:09 PM
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Oh I remember reading about flat cab fares, based on different zones in DC.

Is that still the case?

DCA is only suppose to be 4 miles from "downtown" DC, wherever that is?

How far is McPherson Square metro station?
scrb is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 01:31 AM
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According to their website (wmata.com) Metro will be running on the evening of December 24; the ride from DCA to McPherson Square is about 15 minutes and will cost less than $2. On the DCA website, the approximate taxi charge from the airport to your area is $11.

About the only tourist attraction I can think will be open on Christmas Day is Mount Vernon, George Washington's home. Mount Vernon is beautifully decorated for the holidays, but is not easily reached by public transportation. Like the previous poster said, the mall and all of the outdoor memorials can fill the better part of a day.
fourfortravel is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 06:10 AM
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Check out this map for how to walk from the Metro station to your hotel, which is shown on the map. You want to exit the station at the 14th Street exit, not the White House. Late at night, I would walk on the streets as opposed to cutting across Franklin Square.
http://www.stationmasters.com/System.../mcphersn.html
Ruff is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 06:39 AM
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DC still has zone cabs, but not for much longer. But from DCA, you start out in Virginia which means you will have a metered cab from the airport. It's probably $15 to the Four Points.

Your hotel is probably a 5 to 7 minute walk from the Metro, depending on how much you are carrying. The park is perfectly safe, but there will be a lot of homeless even in the middle of winter. You can always walk around it instead of cutting through it.
MikeT is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 06:57 AM
  #7  
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Wow, that's a great map, more detailed than any I've found so far.

Thanks all for the suggestions.

I guess it'll depend on the weather. If it's dry, I'll try the metro but if it's raining or snowing, I'd try to avoid pushing my luggage through the sidewalks.

$15 isn't bad for a transfer from the airport but it's only 4 miles too.

My departure isn't until 2:25 PM. So for that, I would probably be more inclined to get through the Metro, weather permitting of course.

Is there like a day-pass for the Metro? Do they clock it by 24 hours or does the day-pass end at midnight or something?
scrb is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 08:13 AM
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Info about Metro passes.
http://www.wmata.com/riding/passes.cfm

There is a day pass but I don't think it's a very good value at $6.50, since as a tourist you might only make two trips a day if you're sightseeing on the Mall (one way in, one way out). If you're there for 4 or 5 days the $22 pass might be worthwhile.

I just visited and found myself wishing I had left myself open to taking the Metrobus instead of the Metro Rail. You might want to look at the schedules and see if there's a convenient bus between your hotel and the Mall.
mlgb is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 02:44 PM
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I believe Corduroy Restaurant
http://www.corduroydc.com/
is in your hotel and it always get good reviews...never eaten there, but have heard good things about the food. It may be open late and on 12/24. You could look on Open Table and plug in the date and time and it will list restaurants accepting resevations on the 24th. Also ethnic restaurants tend to be open on both Xmas Eve and Xmas Day.

A wonderful monument is the FDR Memorial. Also the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial is very striking and somber. You'll find plenty to occupy yourselves just walking around all the outdoor memorials and monuments and checking out some of the buildings. Enjoy your visit to DC.
yestravel is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 06:21 PM
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I thought the rail pass could be used on buses but apparently not.

Do the buses get around efficiently or is there too much traffic?

I'm about 3-4 blocks from the Mall, just east of the White House. So I was planning to walk but is that too much?

Maybe a bike rental would be something to look into.

That restaurant looks like a good choice but it closes normally at 10:30 and my plane is scheduled to touch down at 10:15.

Maybe I better see if any of the airport restaurants are open at that hour.

Don't think Four Points Sheraton has room service and it would probably not be something I'd want.
scrb is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 06:56 PM
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I think a combination of walking and taking an occasional pay as you go Metro, bus or taxi would be a good idea. I'm guessing that you are going to find that there isn't much street traffic between Christmas and New Years, because the politicians and staffers are gone. However I noted that the Metro was very busy on this Friday after Thanksgiving with museum-goers and shoppers.

If you're going to go out to the far end of the Mall (past the Smithsonian Castle), there aren't really any close Metro Stops anyways. There is some type of Circulator Bus around the Mall, but it's only running on weekends now. A bike would be handy if you can ride it on ice and snow!

Maybe you could call your hotel concierge ahead, and for a list of restaurants that should be open.
mlgb is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 10:59 AM
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If you are walkers, you'll be fine. Otherwise, as suggested the metro or buses are the way to go. As mentioned the week between Xmas and NY is generally lighter with traffic, but there still is a fair amount during the day.

In terms of weather, December is variable. Rarely are there big snow storms or ice that sticks around. It can even be downright balmy in December..u never know, a bike could work for you.

I think restaurants are closed at DCA by 10ish. Good idea to check with your hotel in terms of what's open nearby.
yestravel is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 11:07 AM
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Yeah I may have to eat something or buy it and take it on board at MSP.

My flight will sell food on that flight, only give you snacks.

But the food they sell is often cold and overpriced.

It would be nice to be able to rent a bike but then you have to worry about locking it up as you stop at various places on the Mall.

Probably too much to try to go from one end of the Mall to the other, stopping at various places, in one day.
scrb is offline  
Nov 26th, 2007, 06:19 AM
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One attraction that is always open on Christmas day is the Botanic Garden, at the foot of Capitol Hill near the American Indian museum. It is a good place to stop in late afternoon, just before dark, for both the indoor displays and then the outdoor displays with their holiday lights.

Details here:

http://www.usbg.gov/whats-happening/...t-the-USBG.cfm
kayd is offline  
Nov 26th, 2007, 05:05 PM
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Great suggestion on the Botanic Garden.

I remember going to DC for a high school trip. We started out early one morning in February. It was freezing.

We hadn't planned to but saw the Garden so ducked in for an hour to get out from the cold.

When we got out, it was like 20 degrees warmer outside and we were sweating profusely.

But I recall seeing cacti inside while it was so cold outside.

Another thing I remember from that trip was going to Jamestown, which was set up like an amusement park of sorts, with crafts people including glass blowers, dressed like the 17th century.
scrb is offline  
Dec 20th, 2007, 10:45 PM
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Is Mt. Vernon worth a half a day?

Which are the best sites out worth venturing out of the city center?

Guidebook I picked up lists places like Bethesda, Harpers Ferry but also National Cathedral.

These don't seem to be reachable easily with public transport however.
scrb is offline  
Dec 21st, 2007, 04:48 AM
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Yes, Mt. Vernon is worth half a day. Harpers Ferry is too, but difficult to get to without a car. I think there is a way to get to Mt. Vernon by public transportation -- perhaps someone else knows. I wouldn't bother with Bethesda. The National Cathedral is still in DC and worth seeing, and easy to get to by bus either up Massachusetts Avenue or Wisconsin Avenue.
Ruff is offline  
Dec 21st, 2007, 05:22 AM
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Actually, if you go on a weekday, the commuter train (the Brunswick Line) takes you from Union Station in downtown DC to the center of Harpers Ferry, WV. The Harpers Ferry commuter train station is much closer in than if you drove and had to park in the remote car lots.

Two one way tickets will be $9 each - just get your ticket at Union Station and Harpers Ferry. You can also pay CASH on board the train.

http://www.mtamaryland.com/services/.../brunswick.cfm

I also recommend the National Cathedral.

From your hotel, walk to 15th & I st. NW and catch a #34 bus toward Frendship Heights. Get off the #34 bus at the National Cathedral.

Alternately, you could catch a Red Line Metro train to the Tenleytown stop and take a one mile taxi ride, bus ride (or walk) to the Cathedral.
bardo1 is offline  
Dec 21st, 2007, 09:38 AM
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The MARC won't help for a daytrip to Harpers Ferry - the trains only run in the rush hour direction. The first train from DC to Harpers Ferry leaves at 4:55 PM and last train from Harpers Ferry back to DC leaves at 6:56 AM.
SPQR is offline  
Dec 21st, 2007, 10:42 AM
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How about getting out to Mt. Vernon by public transport?

I can't seem to find any easy way other than maybe a coach or boat tour. The boat tours are closed for the season.

Coach tour, sounds like they don't give you enough time to look outside as well as inside, even though they do include admission.
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