Visiting the nation's capital

Off-topic discussion that doesn't fit anywhere else.
User avatar
mindtakerr
Minnesota Dwharves tosser
Posts: 14800
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:26 am
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Visiting the nation's capital

Postby mindtakerr » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:26 am

Hi all. The wife and I will be visiting Washington DC in a few days. What should we make sure to see while we are there?

User avatar
clintmemo
Paid to GM
Posts: 22428
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:38 am
Location: Louisville KY
Contact:

Re: Visiting the nation's capital

Postby clintmemo » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:30 am

My top suggestion would be whatever parts of the Smithsonian interest you.
2018 Goal: Learn to set goals.
Achievement Unlocked: Publish a Second Story
Sojourn Volume 2

User avatar
VaMinion
Hot Cherry Bendovers!
Posts: 5174
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 4:42 pm
Location: Occupied Virginia

Re: Visiting the nation's capital

Postby VaMinion » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:02 am

I've been told that the National Spy Museum is really good. I haven't been, but I've always wanted to go.

The newseum is basically a museum of the history of news and journalism. Another one I've never been to but heard good things about.

The Smithsonian. Pick one, or two, or six and check them out. If you're into aircraft and space craft, there's both the Air & Space museum in DC and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly (that'll require a 30-40 minute drive, but it's full of air and spacecraft you won't get to see otherwise).

We've got pandas at the National Zoo. They're kind of a thing.

If you get a chance at a tour of the West Wing, go for it. It's a really cool little tour and they don't do them very often. I think they run tours of the Capitol Building as well.

The various memorials are worth a visit. That's another case of "Figure out which you want to see, then go" because there's just way too many.

You should walk the National Mall if you get the chance. It's right smack between the Lincoln and Washington memorials, so it's pretty easy to work into a trip to either or both.

Chinatown is so corporate it's not even funny...good food though. I wouldn't visit it just to see Chinatown though.

If you're into Civil War history at all, you can't throw a brick without finding something in northern VA.

If you're into military history, there's the Marine Corp Museum in Quantico. That one's going to be another 30-40 minute drive though.

Protip for DC: get a smart trip card if you're using the metro. It costs $10 to get one, but that's $2 for the card and $8 of fare. Metro trips without the card cost an extra dollar last I checked, so the savings add up really quickly.
Cursing is like a spice. And sometimes you're making thai.

User avatar
tombombodil
3 for 3
Posts: 11625
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:43 pm
Location: Just south of the Barrow Downs
Contact:

Re: Visiting the nation's capital

Postby tombombodil » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:29 am

clintmemo wrote:My top suggestion would be whatever parts of the Smithsonian interest you.


Bingo. :agree: :agree: :agree:
Have you found the yellow sign?
Have you found the yellow sign?
Have you found the yellow sign?

User avatar
mindtakerr
Minnesota Dwharves tosser
Posts: 14800
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:26 am
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Visiting the nation's capital

Postby mindtakerr » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:30 am

Thanks for the tips!
VaMinion wrote:Protip for DC: get a smart trip card if you're using the metro. It costs $10 to get one, but that's $2 for the card and $8 of fare. Metro trips without the card cost an extra dollar last I checked, so the savings add up really quickly.

Is that better than getting an unlimited day pass?
Last edited by mindtakerr on Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
VaMinion
Hot Cherry Bendovers!
Posts: 5174
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 4:42 pm
Location: Occupied Virginia

Re: Visiting the nation's capital

Postby VaMinion » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:41 am

I'd have to do the math. I know if you're just doing 2 non-peak trips, the day pass is overly expensive. I think you can calculate fares on www.wmata.com.
Cursing is like a spice. And sometimes you're making thai.

User avatar
chriton227
Chris's Cane Boy and or Girl
Posts: 271
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:39 pm
Location: Blacksburg, Virginia

Re: Visiting the nation's capital

Postby chriton227 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:45 pm

I used to live in the DC area. Metro is definitely the way to travel, driving and parking in DC can be rough. The Mall is very nice with lots to do, but don't wander too far away from the Mall, there are some rough parts of town just a couple blocks away.

The National Aquarium in Baltimore is only about an hour away (depending on where in DC you are), if you like aquariums it is definitely worth the trip. The Maryland Science Center is also on the Baltimore Inner Harbor near the Aquarium, it's particularly good for kids with lots of hands on exhibits.

User avatar
mindtakerr
Minnesota Dwharves tosser
Posts: 14800
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:26 am
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Visiting the nation's capital

Postby mindtakerr » Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:44 pm

Aquarium sounds nice. It's a bit expensive, though, so we'll see about it. We actually won't have our kids with us because they are in year-round school.

We are definitely going to be using the metro though.

User avatar
Vinnie_Vidivici
Chris's Cane Boy and or Girl
Posts: 239
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: Elk Grove, CA

Re: Visiting the nation's capital

Postby Vinnie_Vidivici » Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:56 pm

Clan Vidivici (me & the Mrs., two teenage boys) spent two weeks there on vacation in 2011--about 2 weeks before the earthquake that damaged the Washington Monument. Oh, yeah--DC was also experiencing record-high temperatures. Yeesh.

Absolutely. Smithsonian. (And, they're all free admission!) If you're into spacecraft, the Udvar-Hazy center is the closest thing to a cathedral you're ever going to walk into.

I cannot recommend highly enough the Spy Museum. Plan on spending a day. It is by turns silly, and amazing, and sobering, and scary, and full of "huh!"

We made day trips to Monticello and Mt. Vernon that we enjoyed. The museum at Mt. Vernon was pretty good. I came home from that trip with a deep appreciation for Thomas Jefferson. Learning more about him and getting a feel for his life by visiting Monticello, and then standing in the Jefferson Memorial and reading his most important words left me deeply contemplative.

The National Zoo was a disappointment, especially if you've seen a really fine one like San Diego or--surprise!--the Chaffee Zoo in Fresno.

One bit of advice we got that was definitely worthwhile: on your first full day, take a touristy tour-bus tour of DC. You get your bearings, you have a goofy kind of fun, and you develop a list of things you didn't know you wanted to see. DC has lotsa trolly tours. We took one that started and ended at Union Station (quite a sight in itself) and the took the DC Duck--a military-surplus amphibious troop transport. Both were totally worth it.

One thing we did not get to do was get a tour of the White House and Congress. You have to get reservations for those at least three weeks in advance, and we didn't plan this trip that thoroughly, we just sorta winged it. That was disappointing. Check their websites for requirements.

Enjoy your trip!
“To day is a good day to die for all the things of my life are present." --Crazy Horse, prior to the battle of Little Big Horn

User avatar
Bai Shen
Skies of Glass Historian
Posts: 6707
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:09 am

Re: Visiting the nation's capital

Postby Bai Shen » Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:06 pm

Vinnie_Vidivici wrote:One bit of advice we got that was definitely worthwhile: on your first full day, take a touristy tour-bus tour of DC. You get your bearings, you have a goofy kind of fun, and you develop a list of things you didn't know you wanted to see. DC has lotsa trolly tours. We took one that started and ended at Union Station (quite a sight in itself) and the took the DC Duck--a military-surplus amphibious troop transport. Both were totally worth it.


I believe the Duck tours are no longer going on.
Vote Mumblebear/CHAINSAW


Return to “General Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests