Washington DC itinary help

Old Jun 28th, 2006, 06:02 AM
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I'm so sorry, I mistyped! The website says 10 minutes of viewing (not 2!), and my ticket that I printed form the website says ten minutes (we are going July 28).
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Old Jun 29th, 2007, 12:22 PM
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We just returned from D.C. and would encourage your group to go to outdoor activities EARLY in the a.m. while it is cooler.

Audio Tour, Water Bottles - Arlington National Cemetery will be MUCH more interesting to you and the kids if you rent the Audio Tour (a cool iPod -- $5 at the Gift Shop in the visitor's center) and buy 2-day passes on the TourMobile for $35 which gives you unlimited on/off privileges in the cemetery and around the city. Water bottles are sold at the cemetery in the Women in the Military Museum for $2 - cheaper than most other places. Take the elevator to the roof for a great view of the cemetery and surrounding area. I disagree with the other writer who said that Arlington House (on the grounds of Arlington Cemetery) is a must. The view is a must, but skip the house -- the kids will be bored as it is "empty and boring" according to the kids with us!

TourMobile Shuttle - get tickets at the Arlington Memorial Cemetery (take the Blue Line Metro there)
The TourMobile shuttle makes it last pick-up at 4 p.m. , but you can take the Metro (subway/train) after the shuttle closes for the day. Each person will need their own Metro ticket. You can use cash or credit cards to purchase a Metro ticket for a day or for a value. You can add value, as needed at certain machines.

The TourMobile shuttle is the best way to get to the memorials for Jefferson, Lincoln, the Vietnam Veteran's, the FDR memorial (but you'll still have to walk about 5 min. to get to the exhibit) and to the Korean War Memorial -- all around Tidal Basin area.

There are great displays and gift shops below the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials - and an elevator. There is a catering truck set up between the Korean memorial and the Lincoln memorial that has really good food (I had the BBQ sandwich) and lots of cold beverages. You can sit on park benches in the shade (or on the ground) across the street from the Lincoln Monument. I would suggest that you NOT try to catch the TourMobile at the Vietnam Veteran's stop ... but rather backtrack to the Lincoln stop.

The Museum of American History is closed for renovation. Some of the displays are set up in the Air & Space Museum -- 2nd floor. The Natural History museum bug exhibit is temporarily closed, but some of the items are on display in another area of the museum. There are 2 places to eat inside the Natural History museum.

You can cool down and watch a 30 minute long video on TV screens in the White House Visitor's Center which gives you a great "tour" of the White House. They sell all kinds of stuff, including Christmas ornaments in the gift shop and there are tables of activities for the children -- coloring sheets, puzzles, and such. The Old Post Office has a museum in the basement and a place to eat and is near the White House Visitor's Center.

There is also the National Aquarium near the White House Visitor's Center. We didn't go there, but we did eat nearby at the food court downstairs in the Ronald Reagan International Trade Building. We were required to show I.D. to get in the bldg. -- the only place that asked for it. There is a Metro stop for Federal Triangle accessible from inside the building.

There is also an extensive menu available at the Kennedy Center -- KC Cafe. The view is incredible from the terrace -- especially at night. The view is free! The food varies from ready made salads/pizza to prime rib (which was pretty good). Take the Metro to Foggy Bottom and ride the free Kennedy Center shuttle to and from the Kennedy Center. It runs every 15 minutes.

I found a website that lists everything alphabetically. There are links to take you to the various sites.
It is the website from Congressman Jim Ramstad of Minnesota. Neat, clean list!

We were told that Ford Theater was closed.

The Holocaust Museum is 4 stories high and very crowded. I wouldn't suggest taking the younger children there -- stollers are difficult to manuever in there because of the crowd. Everyone is "herded" through hallways -- in fitting with the theme of the museum, perhaps and our group of 8 was seperated for more than 2 hours. There is a cafe near the exit that we ate at -- good soup and cookie bars.

I suggest taking one of those misters (got ours at a sporting goods store) so that you can cool off while walking around. Also, note that only water bottles that can be closed are allowed in the museums. Look for sidewalk vendors and some gift shops that sell water bottles.

Finally, we ate (after 1:30 p.m.) in the Capitol's cafeteria. There are two dining venues avaiable to the general public after 1:30 p.m. The buffet was a bargain and very good. The service was great and the atmosphere relaxed. The cafeteria was similar to what you'd find on a college campus. We entered through the Dirkson Senate building. Take the Metro to Union Station. (There is also a food court and shops at Union Station.)

Have fun and Happy Fourth of July!
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Old Jun 29th, 2007, 01:04 PM
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And ... here is a link to a map that might be helpful of the Capitol, the Dirksen building, Union Square, the Supreme Court Bldg. and Library of Congress, etc.

Also here is a link to the Arlington National Cemetery Audio Tour.

Happy Travels!
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Old Jun 29th, 2007, 03:39 PM
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One other great tool for visitors to DC -- the Washington Post has an on-line Visitor's Guide that is really terrific. At least as of today, the URL is

(sorry for the length of that! You can also find it from the home page www.washingtonpost.com and mousing over the "City Guide" button on the navigation bar, which will reveal a drop-down menu that includes a "Visitors Guide" link.

The Guide has both short-term and long-term information, and even a "Perfect for Small Kids" section...
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