Washington DC in October!

Old Sep 6th, 2008, 04:30 PM
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Washington DC in October!

I'm an avid fodor's reader, but this is my first post!

My boyfriend and I are teachers and will be traveling to DC for our Fall Break, October 6th-10th. We are staying at the Omni Shorewood. Please, help me evaluate our itinerary. Any suggestions are welcome. We like to keep meals less than $30 a plate. We are teachers, after all.

Monday:
Fly
Check into hotel
Dinner? (suggestions)Maybe picnic?
Self-guided tour of monuments at night

Tuesday:
Air and Space Museum
American Indian Museum (lunch in food court)
Natural History Museum with IMAX
Dinner in Dupont? Maybe Pizzeria Paradiso?? Suggestions?
Explore Dupont

Wednesday:
National Zoo
Lunch?? Maybe Five Guys, though we have one in our home town. Other suggestions?
African Art Museum
Holocaust Museum
Dinner with my aunt and uncle who are locals. They will choose a spot.

Thursday:
Engraving and Printing
National Archives or Washington Monument or another "must-see" ??
Lunch at Ben's Chili Bowl
Evening Prayer at National Cathedral (Has anyone been to this service? What should we expect? How early do we need to arrive for a 4pm service)
Dinner?? Possibly at ESPN Zone. Any other guy friendly ideas? I want to have at least 1 boy-friendly night.

Friday:
Arlington National Cemetery
Lunch??
A little time to see something we missed
Fly Home

Just a few more questions. Would you suggest a 7-day metro pass ($39) or should we simply pay the fee each time we ride? Do we need to buy advanced tickets for any of the attractions we are planning to visit (aside from Washington Monument)? I have seen many people recommend tickets for Holocaust, Printing and Engraving, etc, but according to their websites these are not needed during fall and winter. What do you think?

Thanks in advance for your help!!

wander4life is offline  
Old Sep 6th, 2008, 05:59 PM
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Your days are very full, but basically reasonable as long as you won't be disappointed at not seeing everything in each museum.

The Zoo grounds open at 6 AM, and many of the animals are at their most active and interesting early in the day. The Omni Shoreham is an easy walk from the Zoo, as you probably already know.

The Metro fares are zoned; typical fare will be under $2, so it's a tossup whether you'll use it enough in 5 days to justify the cost of the 7-day pass. Which airport will you be using?
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 06:50 PM
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Thanks for the response! We know our days are busy, but we estimate spending only about an hour in many of the musuems... except for Natual History.

We will be flying into Baltimore and taking the metro into the city. Does that help justify buying the metro pass?
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 07:18 PM
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You can take the B30 Express Bus from BWI to the Greenbelt Metro station but I don't think you'll be able to get a Metro pass at BWI. Check the www.wmata.com web site; I'm almost certain that you'll be able to use the pass if you take the B30 bak to the airport, which does help justify the cost of 7-day pass.
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 08:04 PM
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I would say settle down on the planning, I love DC we go there once a year and I am always excited. However, my favorite times are laying in the mall, people watching looking foreward seeing washingtion/lincoln and looking back seeing the Cap.

Take your time and feel the power and the vibe.
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 08:08 PM
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What would you cut?
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 08:08 PM
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Some people don't get to go every year and have to make the most of the available time.
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 08:20 PM
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I agree that not everyone gets to go every year. wander4life especially as teachers you could spend a whole day at the history museum. The Holocaust museum is a most but keep in mind it will put a dark cloud over the rest of your day.

I would ditch the zoo, national cath. and the engraving and art.

IMHO spend more time in the mall. If your looking for guy things, a great bar in Old Town Alexandria is the Fish Market. Also by the capital in Union Station is Capital City Brewery, great views, and great beer.
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Old Sep 7th, 2008, 03:50 AM
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As an Episcopalian, I would not ditch the National Cathedral!

Take a bus getting there, and you will see a lot of the nicer parts of the city, so the journey as well as the destination will be a treat. Sorry I can't tell you which one!

All the exploration of Dupont Circle that you will need to do can be done while walking around reading restaurant menus. I wouldn't commit to one until I knew the weather, how hungry I am, what smells good, etc. There are a ton of them, and Adams Morgan is within walking distance if you don't find anything in Dupont Circle.

You don't mention any of the art museums. The Philips Collection, housed in a mansion near Dupont Circle is brilliant, not overwhelmingly large and a good prelude to eating in Dupont Circle.

October is a great time to go.
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Old Sep 7th, 2008, 08:26 AM
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Get a good meal/glass of wine, and then go to Lincoln Memorial in early evening when its dark or just getting dark. Sitting on those steps you can look out over the entire mall to the lit up monuments and the capital....one of the best views in all of DC.

Arlington and the tomb of the unknown is fantastic.

Georgetown has great dining...Neyhla I think is Lebonese, but its phenomenal...
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Old Sep 8th, 2008, 07:14 AM
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The Lebanese Taverna on Connecticut near your hotel is a great place for dinner, maybe your first night. A friend of Lebanese descent swears by the food and it is well within your price range. Second heartily the recommendation to visit the monuments at night, especially Lincoln--awe-inspiring!
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Old Sep 8th, 2008, 07:29 AM
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I think your schedule, for the most part, is totally do-able, although busy. The one exception to that is the Holocaust Museum - it's a pretty intense experience and set up so that you're sort of forced to see it in order. It's not the kind of museum you can do in an hour and rush through.

For guy friendly eating pursuits - how about Fogo de Chao? Meat on sticks, what's not to love? It's a Brazilian churrascuria and costs around $30 per person, all you can eat.
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Old Sep 8th, 2008, 03:27 PM
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Fogo de Chao sounds like a wonderful idea. Sadly, after some google searching, I find that it is actually $45 a person. Anyone have any cheaper ideas?
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Old Sep 8th, 2008, 04:39 PM
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wander4life,
my husband and I (ex-teachers too) will be staying at the Omni in DC until leaving on the 6th!
I have a list of restaurants close to the hotel that have been recommended somewhere on the internet! Understand that I haven't eaten at any of these, but I thought this might help.
We are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary!

All of the following are quotes:
One of my favorite restaurants in the immediate neighborhood of the Omni Shoreham is the Afghan Grill, on Calvert St. I also like the Lebanese Taverna and Petits Plats & directly across the street from the Omni is Open City for breakfast & light meals.

I enjoyed Mr. Chen's Chinese on Calvert, and in Adams Morgan there was a place called The Diner that I also enjoyed (especially Roxies Raspberry Lemonade!)

Happy to endorse the suggestions of Lebanese Taverna/Petit Plats, 2 of my faves

The best restaurant in the area is New Heights, on the other side of Calvert Street between the hotel and Connecticut Avenue (it's upstairs, so look carefully for the door). Trattoria Italiano is just up Connecticut, just past Lebanese Taverna. Both are good. Petits Plats (just up from Trattoria Italiano) is also supposed to be good, but I haven't eaten there so I can't say.

Open Table, diagonally across Calvert Street from hotel good for breakfast or lunch.

Lebanese Taverna which is reasonably priced; dinner reservations are accepted for early seatings, up until 6:30 (which probably suits you fine anyway); ask for a table outside unless it's blistering hot:

www.lebanesetaverna.com/restaurants/dc/

McDonald's across the street which is great for breakfast. Our favorite find was "Chipolte" which I believe was on Conneticutt Ave -- you get a huge Burrito (one is big enough to fill an adult) or 3 tacos for about $4.00. Most of the restaurants near the OMNI were ethnic (Mediterranean, Thai, etc...). Do not hesitate to jump on the Metro Rail which is right behind the McDonalds and ride to the restaurant of your choosing.


Oops, forgot to include the Woodley Park restaurant list:

tourofdc.org/restaurants/byneighborhood.php…
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Old Sep 8th, 2008, 04:58 PM
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I agree with others that you have alot of things planned to do in such little time. I would cut the list in half. Please take into account travel time between stops and security to get into museums. I 100% agree with the post that said to just lay back, explore at a leisurely pace, and let the power and vibe of DC come to you. DC is most alive when you are done seeing the monuments and museums and actually enjoy the city AS a city where people live, work, and conduct their daily lives. One of my favorite restaurants is Famous Luigis on 19th St NW, and it is near the Chipotle mentioned in another post. Luigis is an affordable Italian restaurant, great atmosphere, and lively! Make it an evening stop or for lunch. I also like Capitol City Brewing. I thnk the tip to sit on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at dusk is awesome. I will take my first-time visiting friends there later this month when we visit.
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Old Sep 9th, 2008, 08:07 PM
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I think this is very ambitious, particularly the idea of spending only an hour in a museum. I'd personally skip the zoo (unless you've never seen a zoo) and Ben's Chili Bowl (which isn't close to where you are coming from and going to that day).

Also, as a question for the locals, didn't John Wabeck leave New Heights recently? Can anyone report on the new kitchen?
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Old Sep 10th, 2008, 02:39 AM
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As for restaurants near the hotel you can walk or ride the metro up to Cleveland Park which is one stop up from where you are staying. Try Dino's, Ardeo or Bardeo. It is an easy walk of about 20 minutes.

Good, cheap Italian...Senso, Senso which is on opentable. Located on 18th and N I believe...Farragut North Metro Stop
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Old Sep 10th, 2008, 03:37 AM
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If you find yourself with some time in the evening, consider taking a night tour of the monuments/memorials. When lit they are even more magnificent.
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Old Sep 10th, 2008, 08:29 AM
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bookmarking - will be in DC in Oct as well.
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Old Sep 10th, 2008, 08:38 AM
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"Senso, Senso"

Sesto Senso?

http://www.sesto.com/
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