What to do around PA and D.C. this summer

Feb 24th, 2008, 10:55 PM
  #1  
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What to do around PA and D.C. this summer

My summer is already filling up with out of state family events this year! Looking at going to a family reunion in PA (near Hershey) and would LOVE to check out Washington D.C. and the Smithsonian and other attractions. Been to PA before but not D.C., any recommendations on things to see or related to the Smithsonian?
lenleigh is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 12:18 AM
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Washington DC is filled with interesting places to visit - the White House, Capital Building, monuments, etc. The Smithsonian is actually made up of many museums, each with a different focus. Check out the Smithsonian museum website to narrow down which places would interest you most.

I recommend checking the Destinations section of this website and heading to a library or bookstore near you to start exploring the many sights Washington DC has to offer.
KTtravel is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 04:25 AM
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Each summer the Smithsonian sponsors a folklife festival which features the food, music, dance, history, culture, etc. of several countries/states/groups. I just checked their website and this year the festival runs on the Mall from June 25-29 and July 2 - 6 and is featuring Bhutan, NASA and Texas.
I haven't been to the festival in years, but as both a Texan and a space nut, I'll have to head over this summer! Check their website for more info: http://www.folklife.si.edu
longhorn55 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2008, 12:49 AM
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Thanks for the info about the festival longhorn but we'll be there around July 19th. I looked at the Smithsonian's website and think we'd be interested in the aerospace museums. Is the zoo worth visiting? I really liked the Egyptian and roman artifacts at the British Museum so anything similar at the Smithsonian? I thought they also had an area that has pop culture things on display?

lenleigh is offline  
Feb 26th, 2008, 04:54 AM
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Sorry you won't be here for the Folklife Festival. As you probably noted from the Smithsonian website, there are two Smithsonian aerospace museums. The older and more well-known is the Air and Space Museum and it's located on the Mall. The other is the Udvar-Hazy Center which opened a few years ago and houses the "big" stuff like a space shuttle and a Blackbird. It's located out by Dulles Airport, about 45 minutes from D.C. Note that admission to all of the Smithsonian museums is free, but there is a $12 parking fee for the Udvar-Hazy Center.
The Smithsonian does not have a collection of Roman and Egyptian artifacts like that of British Museum.
The "pop culture" items which you mentioned are part of the collection of the Smithsonian's American History museum. This museum is currently undergoing renovation and will not be open this summer. Part of the museum's collection is on display at the Air and Space Museum, including some of the "pop culture" items.
The National Zoo is a nice zoo, but not on par with such zoos as the San Diego Zoo. They have recently opened a new section called the Asia Trail and, as you probably know, there are giant pandas at the National Zoo. Admission to the zoo, like all of the Smithsonian museums, is free.
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Feb 26th, 2008, 09:42 AM
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Okay -at the risk of being politially incorrect - just wanted to let you know that you aren't going to see the Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Syrian, etc type ruins you see in the British Museum. As much as I LOVE the British Museum - it is the result of centuries of plundering.

The Smithsonian museums are wonderful to visit. I have never been disappointed by any of them. Even the newer American Indian museum was good (GREAT cafeteria).

If you want to try something different. Try the International Spy Museum (walkable from the Smithsonian area). There is a fee - and it might seem steep - but it's a great museum!
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