Washington DC itinerary - please review!!!

Old Jun 1st, 2009, 04:00 AM
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Washington DC itinerary - please review!!!

OK, so I'm looking for some input in to how the following would work out:
Friday night arrive in DC @ approx 7.00 pm via car - drive around to see city at night? Drive to FDR Memorial? Go straight to hotel? (L'enfant Plaza). Oh, and somehow we need to eat.....!
Saturday a.m. - Metro to closest station to White House (which is..??). The family just wants to be able to walk past it and take pictures...
Then walk to Lincoln Memorial and also see the war memorials.
From there, head to the Mall where we will split the family up- Hubby and Son want to see the Air and Space Museum, and possibly American or National History museum. My daughter and I want to go to the National Gallery for sure and possibly the Natural history museum. Anybody know the summer hours for these?
Hubby and son then want to go to Spy Museum, which I believe is open a little later. Question on Spy Museum - I read somewhere that you should get tickets in advance. Is that really necessary?
Again, at some point we'll need to eat - breakfast, lunch and dinner!!

Sunday a.m. - is there anywhere on the waterfront (which I am told is a 5 minute walk from the Hotel) for breakfast? We will be heading to see a ball game (1.00 p.m. game), so not trying to do anything other than that on Sunday, but thought we might have time for a stroll on the waterfront if it's worthwhile and if we can get breakfast there...
Head to Nats game via metro, leaving car @ the hotel.

I know we're trying to cram a lot in, so any suggestions greatly appreciated.
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 04:47 AM
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Summer hours for the Smithsonian are 10-6:30. I would just pick 1 and plan on that one. Saturday seems way to busy. I always assume 4 hours per museum (in general) but build downtime in case I want more. I would definitely recommend advance tickets for the Spy Museum as based on Trip Reports here, there are usually long lines.
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 04:50 AM
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As you may know, there are not a lot of dining options right by your hotel so my suggested plan has you eating in neighborhoods that are closeby (a few metro stops away).


FRIDAY:
I would go straight to your hotel and park the car. There will still be a lot of traffic at that time (7pm). Then, depending how hungry everyone is, take a taxi or the Metro to 7th & G NW (about 10 blocks north of your hotel). The Metro stop there is "Gallery Place". There will be about 50 dining options to choose from with two blocks of that intersecrtion.
If everyone needs to eat right at 7:00pm, then you may may as well eat at the hotel (only because it's right there).

After dinner, the streets around the memorials will have cleared out and you can easily drive to the FDR and Jefferson (both have parking), and do a "drive by" for the WWII, Lincoln, and Capitol (west side).

SATURDAY:
Metro to Farragut West (17th St. exit) or McPherson Square (Vermont Ave exit) and walk to Lafayette Square and the White House. Here are maps:

http://www.stationmasters.com/System.../farragtw.html

http://www.stationmasters.com/System.../mcphersn.html

I suggest you pick up some food before continuing to the Vietnam Veternas and Lincoln Memeorial. Head west on Penn. Ave and get some sandwiches at Potbelly, Au Bon Pain, or Breadline and then head south on 18th to the Vietnam Veterans. A good picnic spot is the Bicenteniel Pond (has picknic tables!) or the reflecting pool (large benches).

http://www.visitingdc.com/memorial/r...hington-dc.htm

Eat again (seperately) at the museums for lunch. The National Gallery of Art has the best food of the museums you listed but they are all pretty good these days.

I would eat dinner in the Gallery Place Metro neighborhood again today. It is right by the Spy Museum and there are lost of options in various price ranges.


SUNDAY:
The DC waterfront is not much - not even 1/10th of Baltimore, Boston SF and miost others. I would skip it. Instead, I would take the Metro to Capitol South eat breakfast somewhere on Penn Ave SE between 2nd and 4ht and then see the Library of Congress and Supreme Court which are right there. Then head to the ball game by foot, taxi, or Metro.

http://www.stationmasters.com/System.../capitols.html

After the game, take the Metro (Green Line) from Navy Yard Station to L'Enfant Plaza Station.

http://www.stationmasters.com/System.../navyyard.html
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 05:00 AM
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Excellent advice, bardo!

gillybrit, the National Gallery of Art is open until 5:00 on Saturday.
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 05:01 AM
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Bardo has excellent suggestions. However, instead of driving to see the monuments at night, you might look into one of those night tours. I think if you look at other DC posts on this forum, there is a company listed. If you don't know where you're going, driving will be stressful for everyone.
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 06:03 AM
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Anybody know how the Spy Museum tickets work - do you have to get for a specific time?
I did look in to the night tour but limited budget!
Any recommendations for the Gallery Place Metro eating spots - again, we're on a fairly tight budget - and we have picky kids with us, so needs to be fairly standard fare. Trying to avoid the chains, but they like places like Chilis, Red Robin etc.
What can we see at the Library of Congress and the Supreme court on a Sunday a.m. that would appeal to kids (ages 10 and 15)
Thanks for all the help.
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 06:09 AM
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Gillybrit -- perhaps the info about Spy Museum tickets is on their Web site.
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 06:16 AM
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They give you a specific time for admission. But you can enter any time within that hour. IE: if you're ticket says 2:45, you can enter at any time from 2:00-3:00
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 06:21 AM
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What happens if you get the tickets and are late for your assinged time? Anybody know?
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 06:24 AM
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It is best to check attractions' own web sites for accurate factual information, especially when it's changeable such as hours of operation.

Here's a link to a page that the Smithsonian has put together, showing hours of operation for all their locations; Natural History is open until 7:30 and after June 12 so is American History.

http://www.si.edu/visit/hours.htm
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 07:08 AM
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Just a few Gallery Place area restaurants your family might enjoy:

http://www.matchboxdc.com/

http://www.capitalqbbq.com/

http://www.austingrill.com/locations/washington_dc.html

http://www.nandosperiperi.com/index.cfm

http://www.ellaspizza.com/

http://www.teaism.com/Restaurant/PennQuarter7.html

http://www.busboysandpoets.com/ (5th & K location)

RE. SUNDAY: Actually, the Sup Ct. and L of C might just be a wlak around the outside. They are important institutions, IMO. Tell your boys it's "good for them". I would also walk a little bit in the neighborhood east of the Capitol building(maybe some of the area bordered by 3rd St., Constitution Ave., 7th St. and Independence Ave.), Also Eastern Market (7th. St. SE between Independence Ave. and Penn Ave.)
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 07:17 AM
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And a map of the Gallery Place area (use one of the 7th St. exits):

http://www.stationmasters.com/System.../gallrypl.html
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 07:27 AM
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Thanks Bardo1!
I did also check the Spy Museum website but couldn't find anything about my ticket question...
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 07:54 AM
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The Spy Museum Web site says you have to enter within your hour: "Guests may enter at any time within the hour printed on their ticket."
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 11:37 AM
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If your husband and son have their hearts set on visiting the Spy Museum, I would definitely get the tickets in advance. I've walked by there on a summer day and seen the line just to buy tickets going out the door. If they wait until Saturday afternoon to get tickets, they might all be sold out. You can either order online or get there when they open on Saturday morning to buy tickets for later in the day. I think you wouldn't have any problem getting late afternoon tickets for the same day, but you might have a long line to wait in. (BTW, the website says that the "length of visit" is 2 hours and that's pretty accurate based on our visit. But you might want to add some time for looking around the gift shop, which is pretty neat.)
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 12:24 PM
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Thanks Longhorn55. I'm thinking I should order at home for a 4.00 p.m. time slot...
Did you go with kids - my son is 10 and based on what I've read in guide books that's an appropriate age, but the website says 12 and up is best. He's a smart kid,though, and has always been interested in spy stuff.
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 03:56 PM
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We went to DC with our 3 boys a few summers ago (boys were 17, 13 and 11 at the time).
Their favorites were:
Ford's Theater
Washington Monument (going to the top)
National Archives & Library of Congress (watch "National Treasure" movie)
Washington National Cathedral (son's request - we all loved it)
US Capitol Building tour
Holocaust Museum (we know survivors so it really hit home)
Hard Rock Cafe (next to Ford's Theater)

Only OK:
Spy Museum - lots of reading (yes, get timed tickets ahead)
Air & Space Museum (didn't particularly like it)

We went in July and it was very hot (108!) and we sought air conditioning!
Enjoy!
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