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Old 04-17-2016, 10:12 AM   #61
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I hear you on that. But that's one of the reasons for signing up ahead of time for these tours. We have time slots so theoretically no lines. And the DC stuff doesn't cost anything... just some paperwork and requests ahead of time.

You don't have to do this for the statue of liberty - unless you want to climb to the crown AND avoid the lines. You have to pay, regardless if you arrange ahead of time or not.
Pre-booking what you want to see works well. It's a great way to avoid the lines. And we only do this for things we really want to see. The way I look at it, there's two different ways we vacation. We are either site-seeing or exploring. If it's site-seeing, then I try to come up with some plan of what we want to see and pre-book as much as possible. If we're exploring, then we might have a list of things we want to do, places to see, but figure it out when we start the day depending on how we're feeling.

We went to DC/NYC last summer. DC was great because it didn't cost anything to see the attractions and there are ton to see. We were limited on time, so we hit the highlights, but I wish we had an extra day so we could have biked along the Potomoc, probably to Mount Vernon. If I was doing it over again, I'd figure out a way to squeeze it in.

We went to the crown at the Statue of Liberty and it was worth it. I was surprised at how little space is up there. We were lucky, or maybe it's intentionally spaced out, but there was nobody behind us so we didn't need to rush down after we got up. There are national park rangers staffed in the crown, which gives you the opportunity to ask questions, etc.

The highlight of NYC for me was The Met. The Modern and Contemporary Art collection was fantastic. You can easily spend hours going through the museum. The 9/11 Memorial was well done and also worth seeing. On our last day, we went to the Brooklyn Bridge. If we had more time, it would have been nice to walk to the other side. And earlier that day, I took a solo trip to see the HighLine. Nobody in my family wanted to go so while they were still busy getting ready in the morning, I went to the HighLine (through Chelsea Market) and walked it for a few blocks. I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way to visit the HighLine, but if you're in the area it's worth seeing.
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:47 AM   #62
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Thanks, kiki I agree completely on the Met. When I lived back east I used to take the train up from Philly - spend the day at the Met, then come home that evening. (And I also spent a huge amount of time at the Philadelphia Museum of Art - which is often overlooked because of the Met and the Smithsonian.)
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Old 04-17-2016, 01:59 PM   #63
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I'm finding that the list of things I'm willing to "queue up" for is short and getting shorter...
I just rode past the Supreme Court on my bike. There are already about 30 people camped out in chairs waiting to see tomorrow's immigration case. Kinda like wonkland's version of a Stones concert?
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:16 AM   #64
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I just rode past the Supreme Court on my bike. There are already about 30 people camped out in chairs waiting to see tomorrow's immigration case. Kinda like wonkland's version of a Stones concert?

They're about the same ages... 😜
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Old 04-18-2016, 02:24 PM   #65
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You've gotten some great advice.

Consider getting up early to join the Today show patio crowd, followed by the NBC studio tour. My teens enjoyed both when we visited a few years ago.

NYC has a CityPass deal that can save some money if their attractions are on your list. Official New York CityPASS® | Visit 6 New York Attractions for $116

One time management tip that will work with teenagers but not with younger kids is to pick nighttime for the destinations that are open late.

Some places, like the Lincoln Memorial and Times Square, are probably better at night anyway. I personally prefer the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock at night - the crowds are smaller and the view is just as amazing.
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Old 04-18-2016, 06:18 PM   #66
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Not really a "must see", but it is a cool thing to do if you are in the vicinity. A really great view up and down the East River. And it's cheap!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roosevelt_Island_Tramway
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Old 06-12-2016, 09:40 AM   #67
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We scored a Whitehouse tour!!!! Woo hoo. The only downside is the timeslot is in direct conflict with our Bureau of Engraving and Printing tour. We'll try to get day-of timeslot the next day at BEP.

I'm excited about the Whitehouse tour. Our congressional aide (who submitted the request for us) said they are hardest tour to get because there are far more requests than time slots.
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Old 06-12-2016, 10:02 AM   #68
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We scored a Whitehouse tour!!!! Woo hoo. The only downside is the timeslot is in direct conflict with our Bureau of Engraving and Printing tour. We'll try to get day-of timeslot the next day at BEP.

I'm excited about the Whitehouse tour. Our congressional aide (who submitted the request for us) said they are hardest tour to get because there are far more requests than time slots.

That's awesome!

We tried to get the tour last year with no luck. That would have been a definite highlight of our trip to DC. Even walking around the Whitehouse outside was interesting.

If you get a chance, post a follow-up after the tour. I'd be curious to hear how it goes. Congrats!
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:08 AM   #69
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We're wrapping up the DC portion of this trip. The tip on Capital Bike Share was awesome - we rented them twice... Once to get back from Fords Theater (by way of the WWII memorial) and this morning to do another loop around the mall and tidal basin. We headed out early this morning - so not a lot of tourists - just joggers and bike commuters. So pleasant to ride past and visit all the major memorials (Lincoln, King, FDR, etc.)

On to Philly and NYC.
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:23 AM   #70
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In DC Ford's Theater, National Archives (great to see those documents you have always heard about), Arlington Cemetery (just walk around, you will be amazed at the graves of people you know).

In NYC, Radio City Music Hall. Really enjoyed that tour. More than I thought I would. UN, Ellis Island, go to Liberty Island from NJ instead of NYC.
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Old 07-10-2016, 07:17 AM   #71
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Fortune article on D. C.
http://fortune.com/2016/07/02/washington-dc-travel-day/
Mentions Kennedy Center free concerts.
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