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Old 08-28-2007, 02:53 PM   #1
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Washington DC

I've been there a number of times before, but this is the first time I'll be there as a single adult.

I'll be there ~9/6 through ~9/11. (I'll be flying out of National on United Airlines on 9/11. That's just how it worked out. I thought about changing my return flight, but if I did, then the terrorists have won.)

This will sound like a naive question, but any suggestions on what to see?

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Old 08-28-2007, 03:20 PM   #2
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It depends what you like to do. The spy museum is kind of cool but you have to pay to get into that. You have all the Smithsonian's you can check out for free. Plan on doing a ton of walking, take some comfortable shoes. If you have a car I would recommend going to Carlyle Grill for dinner or lunch, it is located in Shirlington a section of Arlington, VA. There is no easy way to get to it by metro.
I lived there for 8 years and it's sad to say I can't think of a "must do" thing. The zoo is good too, if your into zoos.
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Old 08-28-2007, 03:43 PM   #3
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the first time I'll be there as a single adult.
Hmm, single adult in DC. What to do, what to do?
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Old 08-28-2007, 03:48 PM   #4
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The war memorials are moving and worth seeing.

Given your time line, I would do the memorials and what seems interesting to you at the Smithsonian. I am a child of the space race so I loved the National Air and Space Museum. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Homepage Enjoy all the walking. Go bother your representative and put in a good word for national health care.
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Old 08-28-2007, 04:15 PM   #5
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gonna just miss you there 2cor. will be there following thurs/friday/sat. have cousin with townhouse on cap hill. gonna get me a parking sticker & everything woohoo. will have bike in tow to tour district.

if you've never seen arlington cemetery i'd definitely schedule that. very moving. just hanging out and walking around the mall is excellent. and georgetown is very nice. get some maps from tourist boards and historical societies and do some self-guided walking tours. oh yeah, if you've never been in the capital i'd definitely suggest a tour of that. stunning building, great history.

getting around is very easy. you can just keep your car parked for most of it and take taxi & subway around. last i was there a taxi was only 6 bucks to just about anywhere in town.

i was there about 6 years ago. this time i want to see the wwii memorial. also want to see the new american museum. found a really excellent interactive map of area. Washington DC City Map

if you want to have fun with my people the gay rodeo will be in town while you are there. bet that would be hoot. http://asgra.org/
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Old 08-28-2007, 04:31 PM   #6
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My personal favorite is the National Gallery.
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Old 08-28-2007, 06:11 PM   #7
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It's been a while since I was there, but I really liked sitting in the House and Senate galleries, and sitting in on the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court won't be in session, but perhaps the House and Senate will. If you can actually still go to the galleries in the post 9/11 world.

The Lincoln memorial and the Vietnam memorial both impressed me greatly.

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Old 08-28-2007, 06:49 PM   #8
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I go there almost annually since I have friends and family there.

My choices are
The Smithsonian (Air and Space or American History are favs but I have been to them all) (also the Air and Space Annex at Dulles)
National Gallery
The various memorials including the Korean, WWII (Kilroy) and Einstein statue
Spy Museum
Mount Vernon
Corcoran Museum
Bureau of Printing and Engraving
Avoid the CIA or NSA. Do not climb over the White House fence.
National Zoo
Drive around the beltway
Great Falls National Park
Ride the Metro
Go out to Shenandoah
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Old 08-28-2007, 07:02 PM   #9
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Funny, after living in the DC area so long, we no longer do the tourist things, guess that's the way it is with locals everywhere.

From National Airport you can walk to the Metro and take either the yellow or blue lines to the Smithsonian. From there you can walk to the Mall and see all the major Smithsonian museums- Space and Air, Natural History, American History, Art. You can also walk to the Capital and White House though you can't get in unless you've made pre-arrangements. You can also walk from the Mall to the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the new WWII memorial, and of course the Vietnam Memorial.

If you've already done the popular attractions, we enjoy the new spy museum and the building museum, with exhibitions of how DC was built, and a huge inside forum used for Presidential balls. The waterfront in DC has some good seafood restaurants, such as Phillips. From there you can take a tour boat down the Potomac all the way to Mount Vernon, George Washington's home,and back.

Georgetown has many small boutiques, and also a nice waterfront. If you want to leave DC proper, you might go to old town Alexandria just ten miles south of DC along the Potomac. It is very historic and walkable, with many restaurants and shops. From there you can also take a dinner cruise on boats that travel up and down the Potomac, such as the Dandy.

There's plenty more things, but it really depends on your interests. For example I like the Congressional Library. And if you get lost, just find where the hot air is coming from, you will be downwind from Congress.
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Old 08-29-2007, 12:29 PM   #10
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The first day, buy a ticket for the trolley. It hits all the sights and lets you get on and off as many times as you want. Cuts down on the first day walking, and lets you choose what you want to come back to.
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Old 08-29-2007, 02:30 PM   #11
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If you like zoos at all, go early early in the morning. I'm not sure the gates ever close. If you go at 7am the lions and tigers are hungry, pacing, and NOISY. The roar of the lion had me checking just how good the barrier was between it and me. The pandas were out too. So you can go for an hour or so when nothing else is open anyway and see more activity than you would the rest of the day when it is warmer out and most of the animals are sleeping.
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Old 08-29-2007, 06:33 PM   #12
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I always thought the National Portrait Gallery was kind of interesting and it shares space with the Smithsonian American Art Museum. It's away from the mall and not too crowded. It's near the spy museum and Chinatown/MCI center area. There are some good restaurants and bars around there too.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:16 AM   #13
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First, avoid the beltway at all costs.

Second, check out The Washington Post's City Guide.

Third, get a metro map.

Fourth, be warned that the National Zoo [while free] is on a huge hill, so bring your walkin' shoes. Though it's not bad sans kids.
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:53 PM   #14
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Thank you to all for the suggestions! Many of them sound very good and I am sure I will check some of them out while I am there.

2Cor521
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:18 PM   #15
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This will sound like a naive question, but any suggestions on what to see?
2Cor521
I go to DC at least once a year and was in Maryland all last week, business meetings in windowless rooms for 10-12 hrs/day. This trip the schedule was so tight that we barely had time to pick a place to eat and get back to the hotel for blinky-bye. However, if there had been free time, I would have spent a day at one of the museums near the Mall. Even if you've seen them before, they do change the displays periodically, there is always something new to see. Went to the Holocaust Museum a couple of years ago, very sobering...
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:24 PM   #16
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National
.....make that Reagan National airport is a good choice. Terrorists prefer Dulles since there are more cross country flights there.

I am a native Washingtonian and get my share of of out of town business guests that want to see DC. What works best for me is downtown Washington at night.....no traffic, no crowds, beautiful to see the monuments lit up at night. The only place you can really go is the Lincoln Monument.........its open and busy until 11 o'clock at least. From there you can also walk to the war memorials.
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:11 PM   #17
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The Smithsonian has a new American Indian Museum.

If they are playing, try to catch a performance of the Capitol Steps - music and humor.

Viet Nam Memorial. Lincoln Memorial. Jefferson Memorial.

There's a new WWII Memorial on the Mall.
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Old 09-05-2007, 03:38 PM   #18
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If you go to the VV and Lincoln memorials, cross the street to the NSF building. The giant seated statue of Einstein is very nice, and you can easily climb up into his lap and get your picture taken there.
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:12 AM   #19
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What is the best and safest area to stay in while visiting Washington dc?
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Old 10-08-2007, 09:02 AM   #20
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What is the best and safest area to stay in while visiting Washington dc?
Charlottesville

j/k
The Crystal City area across the Potomac on the Virginia side is one choice for safety and convenience to the metro, with lots of hotels. Also just a couple of miles from National airport.
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