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Washington DC Aug or Sept

house kitten 6,899 June 3, 2016 at 05:24 AM in Travel (4)
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Last Edited by house kitten June 3, 2016 at 06:42 AM
Jet Blue is offering $49 flights to DCA from Boston and I am going to take advantage. I am sure August is unbearable so thinking I may go in September. Hoping to stay in Arlington due to more choices for dining and better rates. Any suggestions as to places to go and also dining. We were in Arlington a few years ago and found a great Thai restaurant at courthouse metro. Love that area but will consider all.

Maybe I should ask where the best places to eat are? Pentagon City, Crystal City, Arlington or Rosslyn?

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#2
September is the better month to come down. Museums and landmarks generally have smaller crowds from Sep - Feb. I don't know if you're into it but if you'd like to tour the White House make a reservation through your congressman and Capitol Hill through your representative. Some places, like the U.S. Mint, only offer tours if you can manage to secure a free ticket early enough (they're very limited and go quickly). Plan your museum trips in advance with this in mind, all the major museums are within a pleasant walking distance of each other. Memorials are always open and the least busy on Sundays but there shouldn't be too many people in September during weekdays. Wherever you decide to stay, D.C. and the Northern Virginia (NoVa) area both have great places for dining. I hope you have the Yelp app, it's an invaluable tool for deciding what and where to eat (there's just so many places). TripAdvisor is helpful as well. Also, although Georgetown Cupcakes is famously known, Baked N Wired is better according to most + they're a couple blocks away from each other so you can compare! Stick Out Tongue Matchbox, Mike's American Grill and Founding Farmers are great places but a reservation is recommended. Also, we have a tremendous Korean scene in Annandale, (Northern) Va. I suggest Yechon or Kolgiya for a cool Korean BBQ experience, they're open late too! Also, I think BonChon fried chicken is a must try. Vietnamese pho is a good lunch as well from many places around. King St. Alexandria is a cool historic place to stroll around. Everyone around here is super friendly as well so don't hesitate to ask a local for a recommendation on something! If anything, feel free to ask me. I hope you enjoy your stay here with some of this info.
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#3
Quote from icingh View Post :
September is the better month to come down. Museums and landmarks generally have smaller crowds from Sep - Feb. I don't know if you're into it but if you'd like to tour the White House make a reservation through your congressman and Capitol Hill through your representative. Some places, like the U.S. Mint, only offer tours if you can manage to secure a free ticket early enough (they're very limited and go quickly). Plan your museum trips in advance with this in mind, all the major museums are within a pleasant walking distance of each other. Memorials are always open and the least busy on Sundays but there shouldn't be too many people in September during weekdays. Wherever you decide to stay, D.C. and the Northern Virginia (NoVa) area both have great places for dining. I hope you have the Yelp app, it's an invaluable tool for deciding what and where to eat (there's just so many places). TripAdvisor is helpful as well. Also, although Georgetown Cupcakes is famously known, Baked N Wired is better according to most + they're a couple blocks away from each other so you can compare! Stick Out Tongue Matchbox, Mike's American Grill and Founding Farmers are great places but a reservation is recommended. Also, we have a tremendous Korean scene in Annandale, (Northern) Va. I suggest Yechon or Kolgiya for a cool Korean BBQ experience, they're open late too! Also, I think BonChon fried chicken is a must try. Vietnamese pho is a good lunch as well from many places around. King St. Alexandria is a cool historic place to stroll around. Everyone around here is super friendly as well so don't hesitate to ask a local for a recommendation on something! If anything, feel free to ask me. I hope you enjoy your stay here with some of this info.
Thanks very informational. This is not my first trip to DC. I have been twice previously. Once we stayed at he Sofitel in Lafayette Sq and next time at HI in Rosslyn. The Sofitel was very nice but I hated the fact there no place to eat nearby (except a steak house selling $35 steaks). The HI needed upgrading and got sick of the same reheated breakfast everyday.
We did eat at Founding Farmers and it was great (hoping to return) and will try your other suggestions. Have been on King Street but will return. We have done all but MLK monument. Last time we got a pass from Jeanne Shaheen and has a terrific underground tour of the Capital complete with guide and golf cart. Awesome! We plan on trying to get a pass to the mint. Never got in to see Ford's Theater so may do that. Was wondering if we should just focus on the Virginia (Pentagon, Arlington Cemetery(can never get enough), 911 memorial, etc). Is there enough to do in Arlington to stay on that side of the river?

Thanks so much for the help. I love DC/VA. Next time we come we plan on renting car to do My Vernon and possibly some war sites.
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#4
I can't add to icingh's museum suggestions or time to go. Actually Sept is probably the best month to go as school field trips don't usually start that early in the year. We went in July or August a couple of years ago. It was very hot. We stayed in Alexandria near the King Street Metro Station. We relied totally on the Metro. There were 4 of us and we bought a weeks pass and it was a good deal.

The neighborhood is good. The Hilton was right across the street from the station -- should be reasonable enough if you book it soon. We were at the Wyndham Old Town in a timeshare exchange. It was next to the Hilton and the two hotels shared some fitness facilities when we were there. If you are hHonors, there should be some sort of discount code or promotion.

We loved the Old Town area as it was great to walk around. We felt safe as we are not late night party people and were usually out during the day and returned right after supper. The area has lots of restaurants, shops, art, and activity. Even though we did some simple meals at the hotel, we found lots of places to eat with good food. There's a Thai place a few blocks down that was very good. There's even a Whole Foods grocery within walking distance where you could hit the food bar or grab a pizza slice.

I believe that JetBlue flies into DCA (Reagan) where you can hop the metro. It was an easy hop from the airport to our hotel on the metro at that time, but there is metro construction going on now through March 2017. If your plan is to rely on the metro, you may want to check this link and plan your hotel stay accordingly. http://www.flyreagan.com/dca/metrorail-station

We looked on Groupon and did a guided kayaking trip on the Potomac in the evening. That was a lot of fun. You might want to check Groupon for sightseeing activities or for restaurants -- but as icingh suggested, also check TripAdvisor or Yelp for reviews.
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#5
Thanks Thumper, great ideas. Maybe I will look into a time share also. Checked ebay but no success there.

As far as school groups I HEAR YOU!. Last time we were there in May and then again in June the place was crawling with school groups (a walk into the Air & Space Museum left me holding the door for 60 kids who had to stay together and no sense to assist. DH swore never again in May or June). We are flying into DCA and the hotels we have looked at both off shuttle service so we won't have to bother with luggage on metro. We have passes from last time so will just load them up with additional funds and reuse (unless something has changed). Originally we thought we might stay at the Residence Inn in Pentagon City or the RI Capital View. I am a Hilton Honors member so may check into that also but a timeshare rental would be ideal.
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#6
Just a correction, I said the Mint offered tickets when in fact I meant the Bureau of Engraving & Printing, across from the Holocaust Museum.*

Arlington offers the Marine Corps/Air Force Memorials and I think the tour to Teddy Roosevelt Island as well. It's in close proximity to D.C. Just a bridge crossing or metro into town so not a bad place to stay. Alexandria has the Torpedo art Factory, Port City brewery with good beer, Masonic Memorial and boats to Maryland's side of National Harbor.

If you're into architecture, the National Cathedral, Basilica, Franciscan Monastery and Anderson House are all detailed.

Just others that popped in my head, I believe you can tour the FBI HQ but you'd need permission in advance. The Marine Barracks and Navy Museum are cool to visit. Also the newly constructed National Museum of African American History and Culture will be opening on the 24th of September, directly behind the Washington Monument. D.C. Is populated with museums of every kind.

If you decide to stay in D.C. there are some good breakfast places around hopefully within walking distance of you or else it probably isn't worth it.

If/when you do explore Virgina further, I have to recommend a quaint, historic little town called Occoquan. They have great restaurants and a bakery.
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#7
I've had some luck on Redweek.com picking up rentals for timeshares. You might want to check vrbo or Airbnb too.
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#8
Quote from icingh View Post :
Just a correction, I said the Mint offered tickets when in fact I meant the Bureau of Engraving & Printing, across from the Holocaust Museum.*

Arlington offers the Marine Corps/Air Force Memorials and I think the tour to Teddy Roosevelt Island as well. It's in close proximity to D.C. Just a bridge crossing or metro into town so not a bad place to stay. Alexandria has the Torpedo art Factory, Port City brewery with good beer, Masonic Memorial and boats to Maryland's side of National Harbor.

If you're into architecture, the National Cathedral, Basilica, Franciscan Monastery and Anderson House are all detailed.

Just others that popped in my head, I believe you can tour the FBI HQ but you'd need permission in advance. The Marine Barracks and Navy Museum are cool to visit. Also the newly constructed National Museum of African American History and Culture will be opening on the 24th of September, directly behind the Washington Monument. D.C. Is populated with museums of every kind.

If you decide to stay in D.C. there are some good breakfast places around hopefully within walking distance of you or else it probably isn't worth it.

If/when you do explore Virgina further, I have to recommend a quaint, historic little town called Occoquan. They have great restaurants and a bakery.
Thanks for the suggestion of architecture. I worked 38 years in an electrical engineering office and have great interest in architecture. Is Occoquan reachable by metro? We don't plant to rent a car this time but in the future we will rent a car and explore Mt. Vernon, Williamsburg and other areas (when we stay longer).

When you said Mint, I knew what you were referring to (I call it the same). BTW no tickets required for September.
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#9
Unfortunately Occoquan is not reachable via metro. Though it is right off of I-95 tucked away on the river in between Woodbridge and Lorton (30ish mins from Arlington/Alexandria).

Glad you got it but the Mint is actually another building in D.C. which you can also visit. I just wanted to avoid any confusion/disappointment! Stick Out Tongue
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#10
Quote from icingh View Post :
Unfortunately Occoquan is not reachable via metro. Though it is right off of I-95 tucked away on the river in between Woodbridge and Lorton (30ish mins from Arlington/Alexandria).

Glad you got it but the Mint is actually another building in D.C. which you can also visit. I just wanted to avoid any confusion/disappointment! Stick Out Tongue
I was assuming you were speaking of Bureau of Printing and Engraving.
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#11
Definitely take a look at Airbnb they have some really cool historic looking places that you can stay in at a fair price.
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#12
Quote from house kitten View Post :
Jet Blue is offering $49 flights to DCA from Boston and I am going to take advantage. I am sure August is unbearable so thinking I may go in September. Hoping to stay in Arlington due to more choices for dining and better rates. Any suggestions as to places to go and also dining. We were in Arlington a few years ago and found a great Thai restaurant at courthouse metro. Love that area but will consider all.

Maybe I should ask where the best places to eat are? Pentagon City, Crystal City, Arlington or Rosslyn?
Rosslyn has no places to eat but it's the closest to the city and Georgetown too (lots of places to eat). Pentagon City is a mall. Crystal City has a lot of places to eat nearby, but half of them are chains. Why is it a hard requirement to have dining super close to the hotel? Just eat downtown when you're out sightseeing and then take a quick metro ride home.
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Last edited by 1hotsauce June 10, 2016 at 07:22 AM
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#13
Quote from 1hotsauce View Post :
Rosslyn has no places to eat but it's the closest to the city and Georgetown too (lots of places toe at). Pentagon City is a mall. Crystal City has a lot of places to eat nearby, but half of them are chains. Why is it a hard requirement to have dining super close to the hotel? Just eat downtown when you're out sightseeing and then take a quick metro ride home.
Where did i say close to hotel dining is required?
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#14
Quote from thumper1 View Post :
I've had some luck on Redweek.com picking up rentals for timeshares. You might want to check vrbo or Airbnb too.
Thanks. I did look into Airbnb but the choices are overwhelming. I also need to be near metro.
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#15
Quote from house kitten View Post :
Thanks. I did look into Airbnb but the choices are overwhelming. I also need to be near metro.
We loved Old Town Alexandria. The Hilton is across the street from the metro station. I saw it on hotels.com for about $165 a few days ago.

There were 4 of us spanning 3 generations when we went. We were lucky to find a 2 bedroom that slept 8 at the Wyndham resort next to the Hilton on Redweek a couple of years ago. I believe we spent about $200/night to stay there. It was great to have the convenience of being close to the metro and having space to escape each other when necessary and room to pull together to talk. Being able to eat in some of the time also offsets the extra condo expense. I've seen getaways on RCI or Interval in the DC area for $3500/week for this summer, so I think we did well.

There is another recent thread in this forum about airbnb that I commented on last night. All I know is that I have a friend who lives in central Mass and has a lovely home by the water that he rents on airbnb for what I consider a great price. However, when I recently tried to find a rental by the southern Maine shore in early Sept, I did not find anything that I thought was nice in the price range I looked at. I have had great luck with VRBO and have used them throughout the US, Caribbean, and Central America. I do read the reviews thoroughly and look at the bottom line for prices and fees.

I've always been cautious of Craigslist, but I do know people who have used it for vacation rentals.
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