WASHINGTON D.C. TOURIST
I moved into the Washington D.C. area in 1978.
Back then there was not a lot to do but also there was not a lot of traffic. Be
prepared to face the second worst traffic jams outside of L.A. My best advice
is to get a hotel room in Northern Virginia , which saves some on the room tax,
and use the subway to get around. Here is some of the links that you can use to
check out the area.
Be advised that the only Metro stop near the
Mall is the Smithsonian station near the "Castle" building. The rest of the
Mall is a long walk away from any station. In fact the next station near the
Mall is "Arlington National Cemetary".
One of the most important things I need to
stress is that you should wear sneakers and plan on a lot of walking. The mid
to high nineties and high humdity are the hallmarks of a Washington D.C.
summer. You need plenty of sun screen , a hat and a large size refillable water
bottle. If you have kids then it is just like going to Walt Disney World
because they will burn out about 2:00 PM and want to stop walking.
Something that most people don't
realize is the the entire Mall from the U.S. capitol to the Lincoln Memorial
and over to the Jefferson Memorial is considered a National Park. I highly
suggest that even if you don't visit Washington D.C. you should look at
The National Park Service web site. Click on
"Visit up your parks" and then "find on Map". You then pick out an area by
either location or desired information. An example is I clicked on "District of
Columbia" and got all of the parks in the area. You can click on it yourself to
see what it shows.
Instead of spending Big bucks on a tour bus I
highly suggest the Old Town Trolley and DC Ducks for a tour of DC. It is easier
to take one of these tours and then decide what you want to see. This
web site that has several
of these sites.
Here is a good quick
quick map of the MALL area
of Washington D.C.
Here is the main home page for
Washington.org that gives you links to
many varied locations for accomidations , theathers , sports , Smithsonian ,
Art galleries , Area atractions and how to get from here to there plus
Unless you know your way around here then I
highly suggest you get a mapeasy map
because it shows many locations to visit and the prices for them. It is a very
handy map because it shows a lot of locations that are not on the regular
This site for
the Washington Metro and will answer any questions that you may have. The
subway is a great way to get around however areas like the Lincoln and
Jefferson Memorials are at least a mile from the nearest stations. Actually the
closest is at Arlington National on the Blue Line and you walk across the
Memorial Bridge. A strong word of advice is that the minimum one way charge is
$1.10 so splurge and get a round trip ticket. It is not uncommon to see crowds
40 deep standing in front of the machines at the Smithsonian stop trying to get
their tickets. The cards used on the metro are like debit cards. You put a
value on it and the machines calculate where you start from and end up at and
deduct that amount when you exit the metro. Also it is ONE CARD per person so
DAD don't throw $20.00 on one card and try to get the family through because it
This web site gives detailed information about
the areas around each of the METRO rail stops.
www.stationmasters.com Just click on the station "NAME" location that
sparks your intrest and it will give you information on "everything" in the
immediate area. You can also purchase a copy of this guide from them to carry
around at www.stationmasters.com
If you are in DC for a stay of at least a week
then I highly suggest a visit to Baltimore for an
Orioles game or a Baltimore
Ravens game. Here is the
Baltimore Convention Center. You can travel between Baltimore and D.C. on
MARC and also the MTA which is the
subway system in Baltimore.
Here is the
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial which is located on the Red line
subway in Washington D.C. at the Judiciary Square Subway stop.
If you are in town and want to visit the
Smithsonian Air and Space museum. then this
is the site to check out.
If you want to do some research while in town
visit the National Archives. The main
location has moved to Archives II which is off of Adelphi road on the
University of Maryland campus. You can also do some research at the location
across from the MALL. They offer a free shuttle bus to the Archives II location
from the MALL archives location which is across the street from the
NAVY/ARCHIVES Metro station on the yellow and green line.
The Smithsonian offers
Photographic services that you may want to
use. You can get photos of Washington in the seasons that you missed.
Now if your tired of the MALL then shopping may
be the break that you want. Try Potomac Mills Mall which is south
of Washington on I-95. They have bus service every day but Tuesday for $12.00
For those of you that might be travelling by RV
and want to be near DC but not staying in one of those Ghetto specials I highly
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