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Old 07-20-2017, 11:15 AM
 
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Just want to get others opinions.. Going to DC in about a week for about a week.. General plan of things to hit..

Smithsonian Air and Space along with the Annex in Chantilly.
Smithsonian American and Natural History
Smithsonian Zoological Park (National Zoo)
Nighttime monument tour which will get Iwo Jima and Jefferson Memorial along with others. This departs Union Station, so add that in.
Day trip out to Luray, VA for the Caverns and the rescue Zoo out there.
Various other monuments.. WWII, FDR, Vietnam, Lincoln, Washington (At least see the outside)
Ford's Theater
Got the approval yesterday for the White House tour.
Mount Vernon
Arlington Cemetery for Changing of the Guard, JFK and more.

We may get out to Bull Run.. That's sort of iffy right now. aka Manassas Battlefield.

Bureau of engraving and printing, pending on ticket availability.

National Portait Gallery and the Botanical Gardens likely will be visited during one of the trips between the other Smithsonians.

International Spy Museum is a possibility.

But.. Just wanted to throw it out there for others that have been if there's something that they went to that they really enjoyed. There'll be 5 people total.. Two Adults who have never been to DC, a 15 year old who has been before, a 12 year old who has not, and myself who used to live in NoVA.

Is there anything you've been to that isn't on my list that you'd really recommend?
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Old 07-20-2017, 01:24 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Holocaust,
Navy / Marine Museum on Pier
(was great 20+ yrs ago, maybe no longer there)
Bike trails (There are ~ 2000 miles of bike trails there) (Better in cooler weather)

When our kids were 10 and 12, we let them take the metro and explore where they wanted in AM, then we met for lunch at 2PM and spent the afternoons together. They found some real treasures and got lots of perks as youthful travelers (Private tours and such by Federal staff)

Long before cell phones, so amazing we were actually able to find each other.! IIRC there was great 'employee' cafe in the basement of US Immigration building where we met for lunch.
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Old 07-20-2017, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Lancashire, England
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Here are some offbeat suggestions, none of which I've personally seen.


DC Tourist Attractions and Oddities Index
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Old 07-20-2017, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Gallatin, TN
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Pentagon 9/11 Memorial might be a good thing to check out while you're at Arlington as they are in fairly close proximity.

Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington (especially in the evening when the sun is setting) is very cool.
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Old 07-20-2017, 02:48 PM
 
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That is A LOT to do in 7 days. Keep in mind that it's going to be HOT HOT HOT.

Personally, I'd skip Mount Vernon, Bull Run and Udvar-Hazy (Air & Space Annex) and focus your efforts in the District. I do think it's worth it, however, to make a day trip to Luray for something very different.
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Old 07-20-2017, 03:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonCorleone View Post
Pentagon 9/11 Memorial might be a good thing to check out while you're at Arlington as they are in fairly close proximity.

Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington (especially in the evening when the sun is setting) is very cool.
Ah yes.. Pentagon memorial is on the list. I actually worked at the Pentagon for a summer.. That was always funny to see people going for a tour (back in those days they did tours.. This would be early 90's) and see this 16 year old kid breezing through security. I got several weird looks then.

Marine Corp memorial is the official name for "Iwo Jima".. I've just always called it the Iwo Jima memorial, though that is incorrect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hertfordshire View Post
That is A LOT to do in 7 days. Keep in mind that it's going to be HOT HOT HOT.

Personally, I'd skip Mount Vernon, Bull Run and Udvar-Hazy (Air & Space Annex) and focus your efforts in the District. I do think it's worth it, however, to make a day trip to Luray for something very different.
It's really not.. Mt Vernon is 3 to 4 hours.. The Zoo is probably the same. White House tour is about 90 minutes.. Lincoln and Vietnam memorials being so close together, those we may just see as part of the night-time tour.. Now.. COULD you spend days on end at Air and Space? Yeah..

Arlington is 2-3 hours usually. Hit the changing of the guard, go by JFK/RFK burial sites.. I actually plan to do a little bit of my volunteer work with FindAGrave while i'm there.

Person who mentioned skipping Udvar-Hazy.. I rented a house in Centerville.. So.. That's going to be real close. Plus, that's a museum I haven't been to much, and not since they brought Discovery in. The one time I went they had Enterprise.

I suspect I won't get to everything I want.. One item I'd like to do is go up to Ben's Chili Bowl some evening. I've got a reservation for a tour of the Capitol Building as well, but we may skip that. Depends what the kids want.
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Old 07-20-2017, 04:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labonte18 View Post
It's really not.. Mt Vernon is 3 to 4 hours.. The Zoo is probably the same. White House tour is about 90 minutes.. Lincoln and Vietnam memorials being so close together, those we may just see as part of the night-time tour.. Now.. COULD you spend days on end at Air and Space? Yeah..

Arlington is 2-3 hours usually. Hit the changing of the guard, go by JFK/RFK burial sites.. I actually plan to do a little bit of my volunteer work with FindAGrave while i'm there.

Person who mentioned skipping Udvar-Hazy.. I rented a house in Centerville.. So.. That's going to be real close. Plus, that's a museum I haven't been to much, and not since they brought Discovery in. The one time I went they had Enterprise.

I suspect I won't get to everything I want.. One item I'd like to do is go up to Ben's Chili Bowl some evening. I've got a reservation for a tour of the Capitol Building as well, but we may skip that. Depends what the kids want.
Well, good luck. Personally, I think you're underestimating time at each site, transit times between each of these sites and the effects that the heat will have on you and your family. And I say that as a DC-area native. But if you think it's doable, rock on!
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Old 07-20-2017, 05:28 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
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I think your list is ambitious even for 7 days but nothing wrong with having lots of options. Engraving and printing, Bull Run, Mt. Vernon estate could be sort of boring for a 12 and 15 year old . Were these all your ideas based on your own personal interests or did anyone else have some input? I would ask each of the kids what their "must do" is and be sure to DO IT. How about the Newseum? Madame Tussauds? Spy Museum is a good idea. The Holocaust museum is a definite must see if you're into WWII history but it will definitely suck up an entire morning and leave you feeling a bit bummed.

You mentioned seeing two zoos. Do you not have a zoo close to where you live or is that something you'd all just really want to check out? Just curious

I would suggest breaking up the trip a bit with a shopping visit to Georgetown or Dupont Circle. (Both of those places appeal to teens) Maybe the National Cathedral afterward. Chinatown isn't terribly authentic but worth a look around, especially if haven't been to one before. You can find some yummy pho, dim sum, or duck.

Keep in mind that you'll probably be looking at a sizzling temperatures. Checking out the area around the national mall and tidal basin will be a suffocating and miserable affair for everyone as peak temperatures boil over. You will be quite a ways away from shelter with air conditioning, bathrooms, and cold drinks. One oasis, however, is the Lincoln memorial. If your legs need a break you can go inside, walk over to the wall on the right, and sit down (with your back against the wall) facing Lincoln. The wall will be somewhat cool to the touch but not ice cold. Union station is also a bit of an oasis and good place to go if it's raining.

Someone also mentioned the Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima memorial) around sunset which I second. Amazing at night too.

With as hot as it will be outside I would skip the Tidal Basin unless you really want to see the MLK memorial. It will just require a ton of walking in direct sun.


Last edited by tailsock; 07-20-2017 at 05:42 PM..
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Old 07-20-2017, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Florida
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A lot of years ago we took a ride on a canal barge up the historic canal that parallels the Potomac. It was a warm summer day and it was very relaxing after many sights in town. It is probably the thing I enjoyed the most about DC.
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Old 07-20-2017, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tailsock View Post
The Holocaust museum is a definite must see if you're into WWII history but it will definitely suck up an entire morning and leave you feeling a bit bummed.
Bummed is an understatement. I was in tears from the moment the elevator doors opened. I do highly recommend it but it took us a couple of hours and a stroll around the Tidal Basin in bright sunshine, to shake it off.
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