Washington DC Must sees

Jul 8th, 2003, 07:18 AM
  #1  
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Washington DC Must sees

Will be in DC for only two days. Does anyone have info on preferred night tours or must sees? My only must see so far is the Lincoln Memorial. What is your favorite Smithsonian buiding?Thanks
applejaxs is offline  
Jul 8th, 2003, 08:17 AM
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The Holocaust Museum is a must see. It easily takes three hours.
PamSF is offline  
Jul 8th, 2003, 08:19 AM
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Dan
 
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I like the Air and Space Museum but it tends to get very crowded at times.

I think the National Archives is a "must see." Just viewing the Declaration and Constitution gave me goosebumps.
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Jul 8th, 2003, 08:30 AM
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I agree with Pam about the Holocaust Museum being a must see as far as the Smithsonian museums go.

As an aside, you say your only must see is the Lincoln Memorial. Does this mean you have considered other things and deliberately not added them to your must-see list or you are trying to find out what's in DC to see?
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Jul 8th, 2003, 08:40 AM
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apple:

I'd say George Washington's home, Mt. Vernon. At the Washington Monument there are tour trolleys booth and they have tours there. You will not regret it - such a beautiful place just a few miles down the Potomac River.
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Jul 8th, 2003, 08:41 AM
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Don't miss the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial. Very, very moving.

My favorite Smithsonian museum is American History, but they are all great!!

reneeinva is offline  
Jul 8th, 2003, 08:51 AM
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You might want to see the memorials on a night tour so your days are open to see other things. I'm not sure why you specifically state the Lincoln Memorial, but a twilight tour will take you to all of the main memorials in DC.

I liked the Air and Space Museum (does get crowded, but what doesn't in DC?) and the Holocaust Museum. The Museum of American History was good, but I think there is too much there to be seen in a limited time. I also like the Capitol building, the Supreme Court building, and the Library of Congress. All three are very close to each other, making them easy to visit. I found Mt Vernon to be a special treat as well.

I agree that the National Archives would be an absolute "must see", however it is still closed for renovations until mid-September 2003.

As far as the Smithsonion is concerned, it really depends on your personal interests. If you don't care a fig for space or aviation, spending a couple of hours at the Air and Space museum would be a complete waste of time. I would say visit their site and determine which museums would be of personal interest to you - most are assembled on the Mall so they are easy to get to.
Chele60 is offline  
Jul 8th, 2003, 08:59 AM
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Since you only have a few days, you can be overwhelmed. Definitely plan on a full day (or two half days) at the Smithsonian museums on the mall. Which ones you choose are your own taste - Air and Space is a must if you have boys with you; Natural History - if you enjoy nature, dinosaurs, minerals, etc. American History for pop culture, history, transportation, etc. National Gallery of Art if you enjoy any kind of art. There are several others on the Mall, and ALL of them are very well done, and are free. The Holocaust Museum is very emotional, and may be too intense for young children. Also try and see the Capitol , which I would consider a must. Another spot to consider (especially if you have kids) is the National Zoo.
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Jul 8th, 2003, 09:02 AM
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Chele's advice is very good; rather than take a popularity poll, why not learn more about the possibilities and match them to your own preferences, as only you can?

For instance, I myself have never had any interest in either the Holocaust or Air and Space museums, but really enjoy the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum, the Building Museum, and the Postal Museum (which I think is also a Smithsonian). To each his/her own!

As others have advised, see the monuments in the evenings, for 4 reasons: They look fabulous lit up at night, the weather will be cooler, they will be less crowded, and almost everything else closes at 5:30. The only monuments I prefer in daylight are the Vietnam Memorial and FDR.
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Jul 8th, 2003, 09:04 AM
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P.S. Dave, I'm pretty sure the Holocaust Museum isn't part of the Smithosonian.
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Jul 8th, 2003, 09:11 AM
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gc
 
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Agree with reneeinva's note about the Vietnam memorial. The symbolism is devastating, and if you are of a certain age you will gain a new perspective on a dark chapter in our history.

On a lighter note, the National Gallery, Air and Space and national Archives will make you proud of your heritage.
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Jul 8th, 2003, 09:27 AM
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Stroll thru the seafood markets on Maine Avenue. Let me know how big the blue crabs are and if they are running this year.
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Jul 8th, 2003, 09:31 AM
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Maybe this is stating the obvious, but you should at least stop by to look at the White House and Washington Monument. Jefferson Memorial is nice, too. Although it is kind of a long walk, you can hit most of the major memorials in 1/2 a day (Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, Vietnam, Korean, with the White House and Capitol thrown in).

I'd also consider a visit to Arlington Cemetery, and possibly Roosevelt Island.
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Jul 8th, 2003, 09:31 AM
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Also, if you want a nice view, go to the top of the Hotel Washington for a drink.
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Jul 8th, 2003, 09:47 AM
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As a lifelong Washingtonian, my advice is jaded. Lincoln, Jefferson and Vietnam Memorials can be done in an hour- see 'em and get out of town. Places I'd want to see for beauty or historic purposes- Monticello in Charlottesville driving by way of scenic Skyline Drive. Luray or Skyline Caverns are out the same direction. Antietam Battlefield in Maryland is one battlefield not too scarred by suburban sprawl. Manassas battle sites are in the midst of the ugly northern Virginia sprawl. Fredericksburg, fifty miles south of DC, is home turf of several important battle sites. Annapolis, Maryland can be a quaint town for a few hours and a nice meal.
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Jul 8th, 2003, 10:05 AM
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Thanks for all the info! This is just what I needed at this stage of planning. I think we will do a night tour and visit the Vietnam Vet wall in the day as suggested.I really hoped to see the archives..oh well. No kids this time no zoo etc. We will just have to pick and choose at Smithsonian :-?. Hubby will have the full 4 days so he can give me the report!..any suggestions (got the Breadline one)on where to eat given I am spoiled by Napa and Sonoma?Thanks Again!
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Jul 8th, 2003, 10:16 AM
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gc
 
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Blackie's Steak House,
1217 22nd St., NW (bet. M & N Sts.)
Washington (202) 333-1100

I've always enjoyed the view from the lounge at the Key Bridge Marriott.
gc is offline  
Jul 8th, 2003, 10:21 AM
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Oh, dear, when I said that I preferred the Vietnam Memorial during the daylight, I didn't mean to advise a separate trip for it; as you'll see on the map, it's in the midst of the others and with such limited time you really should just visit them all at once. Since it's summertime, perhaps you can get there during the evening AND daylight!
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Jul 8th, 2003, 10:40 AM
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As long as you're in the monuments (Vietnam, Korean, etc.) area, you might want to visit the FDR memorial. It, too, is beautiful during both daylight and nighttime hours.
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Jul 8th, 2003, 04:02 PM
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We took a boat tour up the Potomac to Mt. Vernon. It was great and seeing Mt. Vernon from the river is awesome. I think the cruise line was Spirit cruises.
We also did the after dark tour, visiting the monuments we had also seen during the day, and really enjoyed it. We took the subway from Dupont Circle to Union Station and boarded the tour bus.
You definitely want to visit the Capital and the Library of Congress - they are very beautiful buildings. The Supreme Court is in this area and another place I would definitely choose to visit.
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