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Old 07-24-2017, 04:00 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,221 posts, read 19,525,937 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labonte18 View Post
Has anyone ever been to the National Museum of Heath and Medicine?

That's an.. Out of the way museum.. I've never been to it, but thought it might be interesting.
I live in the DC area and haven't even heard of it. lol. BTW, I recommend adding Baltimore and Annapolis to your list. The Inner Harbor is a nice day trip.

And I second the National Gallery of Art in DC. Impressive collection. There are also many DC neighborhoods to explore if you're up for it - incluidng 14th Street, Penn Quarter, DuPont Circle, Shaw, H Street, U Street, Georgetown, Adams Morgan and Capitol Hill.
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Old 07-24-2017, 08:02 PM
 
3,499 posts, read 4,955,295 times
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The National Geographic museum, after being free for over 45 years, suddenly imposed, I think, an $8 admission fee.

Someone mentioned a toll on I.95. I think theyre mistaken about this. Were they thinking instead of the HOT lanes of i.495, or the Dulles greenway?

Be aware that parking at metrorail lots, completely fills up early on weekday mornings, especially Tue. Wed, Thurs.
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Old 07-24-2017, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
21,155 posts, read 11,761,610 times
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We went last summer, my son was almost 12. I would definitely keep Udvar-Hazy on your list, we enjoyed it a lot. And I would add in the National Cathedral, that was really interesting plus with the Washington Monument closed, you get the best available view of the city from the observation deck. We did several of the other things on your list as well - my son loved the Spy Museum, that was his favorite for the whole trip, I think. And we both loved the Monuments by Moonlight tour. We did the daytime trolley tour too, it was a great way to ride around and see things even if we didn't have time to go into everything. Taking the Circulator bus around the Mall is also a good way to get a nice view of things esp. if your feet need a rest! lol!

We skipped the Holocaust Museum - even though we are Jewish, I just wasn't sure my son was old enough to handle it. Next time.

And I'm jealous you got White House tour tickets, we didn't. But we did take a tour of the Capitol with a staffer from our Senator's office. They don't really take you into secret places anymore, but you get to go with a smaller group than the regular tour so that was nice. Didn't see that on your list, so not sure if you were planning on visiting the Capitol building or not.

I do think your itinerary is a bit ambitious so I would go ahead and prioritize the most important things and then you can know what you are ok with letting go of if time starts to get short.
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Old 07-24-2017, 10:52 PM
 
9,423 posts, read 7,071,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emm74 View Post
We went last summer, my son was almost 12. I would definitely keep Udvar-Hazy on your list, we enjoyed it a lot. And I would add in the National Cathedral, that was really interesting plus with the Washington Monument closed, you get the best available view of the city from the observation deck. We did several of the other things on your list as well - my son loved the Spy Museum, that was his favorite for the whole trip, I think. And we both loved the Monuments by Moonlight tour. We did the daytime trolley tour too, it was a great way to ride around and see things even if we didn't have time to go into everything. Taking the Circulator bus around the Mall is also a good way to get a nice view of things esp. if your feet need a rest! lol!

We skipped the Holocaust Museum - even though we are Jewish, I just wasn't sure my son was old enough to handle it. Next time.

And I'm jealous you got White House tour tickets, we didn't. But we did take a tour of the Capitol with a staffer from our Senator's office. They don't really take you into secret places anymore, but you get to go with a smaller group than the regular tour so that was nice. Didn't see that on your list, so not sure if you were planning on visiting the Capitol building or not.

I do think your itinerary is a bit ambitious so I would go ahead and prioritize the most important things and then you can know what you are ok with letting go of if time starts to get short.

I did the White House tour in the 80's.. I wish I still had it, but a friend and I, around 13 years old, went into DC for a day during our summer break just to do something and we wound up having a poloroid (80's remember) taken with a cutout of Reagan that really looked real.. For the time, at least.

I just checked my email that I got back in February. It is a tour with a member of Jeff Duncan's staff. So, maybe I will go on that tour after your thoughts. I had considered skipping it.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing, that's another I've been to, but back in the 80's.. That one is rather hard to get into. They start giving away tickets at about 8am and they're usually gone by 9am.

Washington Monument.. Yeah.. That's disappointing. But.. It's REALLY not all that great. The best part, for me, was always the elevator ride. Seeing the stones inside. Back in the 80's, they didn't have that fancy new elevator that apparently is the reason it's closed now. Personally, I'd love to go up the steps.

I think the kids will get more of a kick out of the Zoo and Natural History museums. I love Air and Space, but so many of the things in there are things they didn't grow up with.. I was born right after the Apollo missions, but I remember so much about Voyager and Pioneer and the first shuttle missions. And I'm STILL mad about the Faucault pendulum being removed from American History. Yes, I know it's been gone 20 years.

Friday when we get in.. I'll probably just drag them rather local.. Probably be tired after the car ride, but.. We'll go out to eat, drive through Fairfax and show them Robinson (High school #1) and the area where I used to live there (Unfortunately, Angie's in Fairfax has redecorated and taken the picture of me with Big John Studd down. He was a pro wrestler who used to live in the area and loved that restaurant about as much as I did. I happened to be there one day while he was there and they took a pic of us. SUPER nice guy, and a freaking giant, at least to a 10 year old) .. Then perhaps over to Manassas to see high school #2 (Stonewall Jackson) and where I lived there. Take the kids for a treat at the Dairy Queen that was my first 'real' job. Saturday is going to be the three main Smithsonians.. Air and Space, American and Natural History. Then the moonlight tour. Sunday, rough plan of the Zoo and Ford's Theater and Arlington Cemetery. Monday, that'll be the day for the tour of Congress at 2pm.. Might do Udvar-Hazy in the AM to hopefully let Vienna metro clear out a bit before going in. Then.. Maybe the Portrait Gallery or Art Museum, or Holocaust Museum later in the day.. Tuesday is the White House tour at 10am. Maybe the Spy Museum and some pickup after that.. Wednesday will be the Luray trip.. We're scheduled to return home on Thursday, but, I have that penciled in as getting a hotel, perhaps in DC, and staying an extra day. I mean, literally, we could come back on Saturday if we wanted.

The good news.. Weather doesn't look bad. Mid to high 80's and about 60% humidity while we're there.
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Old 07-25-2017, 05:05 AM
 
9,773 posts, read 4,995,849 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowlane3 View Post
Someone mentioned a toll on I.95. I think theyre mistaken about this. Were they thinking instead of the HOT lanes of i.495, or the Dulles greenway?
There are HOT lanes on I-95 (Stafford to Alexandria). They are reversible, depending on the time of day (NB during the morning rush, SB during the evening rush)
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Old 07-26-2017, 01:03 PM
 
7,958 posts, read 9,699,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labonte18 View Post
Might do Udvar-Hazy in the AM to hopefully let Vienna metro clear out a bit before going in.

The Metro lots don't "clear out" in the late morning, they fill up.
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Old 07-26-2017, 01:26 PM
 
9,423 posts, read 7,071,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spencgr View Post
The Metro lots don't "clear out" in the late morning, they fill up.
Ah.. I see what I had read.. It was that at 10am, they opened the reserved parking spots.. But, apparently Vienna doesn't have that many.. From what I see, West Falls Church has an overflow lot that never fills up?
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Old 07-26-2017, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Georgia
4,562 posts, read 4,090,588 times
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The National Cathedral is fascinating. For example, one of the stained glass windows has a moon rock embedded in it. One of the gargoyles is shaped to represent Darth Vaders head. Helen Keller's ashes, along with her teacher Anne Sullivan's, are interred in a crypt in the Cathedral -- it is so moving to see the brass rubbed shiny by thousands of fingers reading the Braille on the plaque by her crypt. They used to have a lunch where you could go and have a tour of the gargoyles from the roofline -- fabulous views, and a view that not too many people have.

Spy Museum is good, but it can take a LOT of time -- lots of small, little spy gadgets with descriptions to read.

I LOVE the Newseum! They have the day's front page of a city from every state in the country posted out front each day - interesting to see what's important around the country. There's a piece of the World Trade Center inside as part of the 9/11 exhibit, as well as all the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs. There's also a part of the Berlin Wall in an exhibit about the Wall, and lots of other rotating exhibits. I ended up spending a lot of time in the room that houses newspapers through the years, reading the front pages of newspapers covering famous events. Lots of interactive exhibits, too. I'm always a little frustrated when I leave the Newseum, because there's SO much there and there's never enough time. :-)

Also, stop in and visit one of your senator or congressperson's office - you'll have to go through some security at the door, but otherwise, you can pretty much walk in the reception room of almost any office and say hi. They're usually good for a little souvenir, sometimes. :-) Check with the offices for the reps/senators from your state, and ask if a VIP tour of the Capitol is available. It's usually done by interns or low-level staffers, but they do it a lot, and you can scoot by some lines by ducking in and out of doors marked "Authorized Personnel Only" -- you might even score a ride over in the underground tram. :-) It's usually much easier to arrange when Congress isn't in session. Call them first to check availability.

And if you don't have one yet, get an Uber app set up -- they are lifesavers.

Last edited by dblackga; 07-26-2017 at 08:22 PM..
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:16 PM
 
Location: NoVa
2,125 posts, read 2,909,278 times
Reputation: 2929
If you're touring the Capitol Building, swing next door to the Library of Congress. It's one of the most underrrated places in DC (IMO). You can't go into the reading room anymore without special badge but you can view it from above, very beautiful. They have free guided tour at certain hours throughout the day - check their website.
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Old 07-27-2017, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Ithaca, New York
360 posts, read 248,306 times
Reputation: 214
M street is a popular street, there are lots of people during the weekend.
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