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Washington D.C. itinerary please comment

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Jul 14th, 2011, 06:58 AM
  #1
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Washington D.C. itinerary please comment

We are visiting D.C. in August with our children ages 10 and 12. We have three days and we are staying at the Embassy Suites on 22nd St, NW where we stayed a few years ago when we visited. On our last visit we saw most of the museums on the mall so this time we are not visiting the same museums.

Day 1: Arrive - dinner near or in Georgetown (suggestions?) husband and son going to Nationals game while daughter and mom stay in Georgetown to shop : )

Day 2: We have White House tour tickets at 8:30. After tour head to Postal Museum and then Union Station. Lunch @ Union Station. We have a tour of Congress at 1 pm. After tour head to Library of Congress. Dinner in Dupont Circle.

Day 3: Bureau of Printing and Engraving and National Archives. Lunch. Metro to National Zoo. Return from Zoo. Dinner in Dupont Circle. Monument tour at night. I am still debating whether we should book a tour or do it ourselves on foot. Is the moonlight tour bus worth it?

I welcome any comments and any restaurant suggestions. Pizza Paradiso in Dupont Circle was recommended to us for dinner.

Thanks!
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Jul 14th, 2011, 07:15 AM
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Day 3 seems a little too busy. Having never been to the Printing & Engraving or National Archives, but I would go to the zoo first thing in the morning then those in the afternoon as the zoo is open very early (buildings open later). This would also put you closer to the night tour. I feel its worth it as the monuments are a long walk from each other. Plus it may be very hot. I don't think its very convenient to go to Dupont Circle for dinner that night.
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Jul 14th, 2011, 07:31 AM
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Thanks tchoiniere. Do you know if any one bus tour is better than the other?
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Jul 14th, 2011, 07:33 AM
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We did the nightime tour of the monuments and we loved it. I think trying to walk on your own, particularly with children at night will be problematic since the kids will be tired after a long day of sightseeing and as I recall there is a lot of walking.

You might want to consider Old Ebbit Grill for Lunch or Dinner it's on 15th Street NW and has been around since 1856. It's an historic property and although not inexpensive, they do offer sandwich and burger menus and a Kids menu along with a full Lunch or Dinner menu.

http://www.ebbitt.com/main/home.cfm?...Category=Menus
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Jul 14th, 2011, 07:40 AM
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We did the OnBoard Night tour last time and really liked it. But we are looking at all options as we are coming again in August. Just watch the itineraries online to make sure that they go to the monuments you want to see.

We are looking at the 2 options listed here.
http://www.allwashingtondctours.com/...tours/sbc-4006
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Jul 14th, 2011, 07:46 AM
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Day 1
Georgetown is a tough place for good restaurants, especially family friendly. I would suggest you go to the Georgetown location of Pizza Paradiso on Day 1 with your daughter. The Georgetown Dean & Deluca also has plenty of good stuff for both parents and children. You'll have many more varied options nearer to your hotel in the Dupont neighborhood.

Day 2
Unoin station has a lot of chains and some other pretty bland, overpriced places ("America"?, bleh!). I cannot recommend any table service restaurants inside Union Station.

You may just want to go for the open food court in the lower level.

Some good options not IN Union station but VERY nearby are:
http://www.johnnyshalfshell.net/ or
http://www.toscanacateringdc.com/ or
http://www.dublinerdc.com/ (Yes, it's a pub but kids are welcome).

For Day 2 dinner in Dupont area you can easily (and should) discover your own dinner gem. Walk along P st. between 22nd and 20th as well as Conn. Ave between Q. St and S st. Your only trouble will be deciding among all the excellent options.

Day 3
There is nothing and I mean NOTHING worth eating near Engraving and Printing. Very close to Archives, there are many, many excellent places. My favorite is http://www.jaleo.com/ (one block away from Archives). I also love http://www.oyamel.com/ (also one block away from Archives - best Mexican. Period.) Otherwise just walk up 7th St. between D st. and I st. - endless varied choices.

After lunch, take the Red Line from Gallery Place and get off at the CLEVELAND PARK Metro stop. When you leave the Zoo walk down the hill to the Woodley Park/Zoo station to return home. The Zoo is located mid-way between the Cleveland Park Metro and the Woodley Park/Zoo Metro stations. By arriving at the Zoo via Cleveland Park and departing via Woodley Park/Zoo, you'll avoid walking uphill so much.

Day 3 dinner - go to one of the places you spotted on Day 2 evening walk. There will have been a few you wanted to eat in the previous night but sadly had to choose just one.
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Jul 14th, 2011, 07:48 AM
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Hello

Your plan seems reasonable to me, assuming a quick dinner near your hotel on day 3. I haven't been to much aside from Starbuck's, a few bookstores around Dupont Circle and a brunch place I wouldn't particularly recommend in recent years, although remember liking Teaism a while back.

Enjoy! Daniel
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Jul 14th, 2011, 07:52 AM
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Here's a recent review of Old Ebbitt Grille by our local food writer/critic. I must say I concur completely - the raw oysters ARE good. Everything else ..???

http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/re...tml#reviewNum1
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Jul 14th, 2011, 08:30 AM
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I agree with the recommendation to flip your day 3 options - August can be beastly hot here and while much of the zoo is shady, that heat is not much fun to wander around in. Plus the animals are often more active early in the morning (they don't like the heat either!)

I also agree that the Georgetown restaurant scene really isn't very worthwhile, a lot of pretty mediocre, overpriced places. You might want to consider the short walk over to the Foggy Bottom/West End area, where I would recommend the Blue Duck Tavern (especially the amazing side dishes!) or Ris.

I have mixed feelings about Old Ebbitt's Grille - it's a Washington institution, so attracts both tourists and locals alike, but the food is not as good as it used to be. I actually think the best meal they serve these days in breakfast - so you could go before or after your White House tour (you'll be right there). You don't say if you'll be here on a weekday or not, but they open for breakfast Monday-Friday at 7:30.

On Day 2, unless you really want to go back to your hotel, you might want to consider dinner nearer to the Library of Congress. A pretty lively restaurant scene has sprung up around the Eastern Market area - some good choices are Matchbox, Acqua al 2, and Cava. If you're set on Dupont, my personal favorite there right now (and all good family friendly but still good for adults choices) are: Urbana and Firefly. Pizzeria Paradiso has been a good choice, but my experiences there recently have been not as good as in the past. I actually disagree with the advice to wander around and find your own dinner gem. There are a lot of pretty bad restaurants around Dupont, too.

Not to harp on the heat yet again (there's a reason we locals all leave in August! ) but I might book the monument tour via bus because you may just be very drained from wandering around in the heat all day. Also, on really hot days, while it cools down some in the evening, it can still be pretty miserable and humid. And buggy!

I'm also a season ticket holder to the Nationals (Go Nats!) and my advice to your husband and son is: 1) if they're metroing, but enough money on the fare cards for the round trip journey or they will be standing in line forever!; 2) bring bottles of water - if they're unopened, they can be brought into the ballpark, and you'll need the water in August; 3) while I can go either way on the burgers at the Shake Shack, the milkshakes are worth every penny!; and 4) root loudly for the Nationals!

Enjoy your trip!!
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Jul 14th, 2011, 09:14 AM
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We always do an evening walking tour with our visitors and they enjoy being able to spend as much time as they like at the various monuments--not something you can do on an organized bus tour. If you have questions, there are Park Rangers at each of the monuments who can answer them for you. Also, I think that the evening monument tours are a bit of a budget-buster for families, but you may have to do it with all the walking you have planned for Day 3. If you do opt for a bus tour, look for one with live commentary, stops where you can get off the bus as opposed to just drive-by's and perhaps one that goes to Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington as well as the monuments on the Mall.

Oh, and for lunch on Day 2--unless you have a great desire to go to Union Station, you could eat lunch at one of the House or Senate cafeterias before your Capitol tour. They are open to the public and any House or Senate security guard can give you directions to the one in their building. We ate at the Longworth HOB cafeteria a couple years ago after our tour. There was a wide variety of meal choices and it was certainly budget-friendly. The Longworth Cafeteria is considered the best of the lot.
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Jul 14th, 2011, 09:52 AM
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Thanks everyone for your comments. We booked the moonlight monument tour because I agree the kids will probably be pretty wiped out by the end of the day. I booked it for Day 2 and decided to take Longhorn55's suggestion and have lunch at a House or Senate cafeteria before or after our Congress tour. Since our moonlight tour leaves from Union Station later that evening I figured we won't be heading back to Dupont Circle and we can have dinner around Union Station. Based on bardo1's suggestion, I made a reservation at Johnny's Half Shell. Their menu looked great! I figured we can stop for ice cream at Union Station before or after the tour.

Thanks DoctorCarrie for the suggestions about the baseball game. I will tell my husband to buy the round trip Metro ticket and bring plenty of water. We are South Floridians and they are pretty used to watching baseball in heat and humidity. They are playing the Marlins so I can't tell you they will root for the Nationals especially since they are die hard Phillies fans and haven't quite gotten over Jason Werth's departure.

I appreciate the recommendation about visiting the zoo in the morning as well. Its not fun to go to the zoo in the afternoon heat!

Thanks again!
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Jul 14th, 2011, 10:07 AM
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Make sure you book your tickets for the National Archive now and choose a reasonable time as there will be a long line.

Hopefully they will enjoy Nationals Park. It is a very nice stadium and a lot of fun. That is the reason that we are coming back (at least 2 games - 1 against the Reds and 1 against the Phillies...)
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Jul 14th, 2011, 12:35 PM
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I booked the National Archives for 3pm on a Friday. This permits us to visit the zoo have some lunch and head over. I hope having the tickets saves some time. I have heard that the lines can be crazy!
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Jul 14th, 2011, 01:17 PM
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After the zoo, consider Woodley Park for lunch. There are some nice places right near the Woodley Park Metro stop. I enjoyed the Woodley Park Grill but there are many other ethnic places too.
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Jul 14th, 2011, 02:11 PM
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My restaurant recommendation is Rosa Mexicana, near the Gallery Place metro stop. A friend originally from San Diego took me there, and we both thought the food just as good as in what used to be home.
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