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Old 09-21-2011, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Winston Salem
66 posts, read 84,225 times
Reputation: 41
Default Parking downtown!

We are staying in Bethesda...and want to tour downtown. What is THE CHEAPEST place to park near downtown?? We want to take the metro...but to be able to run back to the car when needed. HELP!!!
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:01 PM
 
1,109 posts, read 899,783 times
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The cheapest place to park is any spot on the street you can find. If you're going on a weekday, usually it becomes significantly easier to find a spot after about 7:30 pm when rush hour is over. You don't want to be driving in downtown DC during rush hour anyway.
Make sure you have change to fill the meters, which are usually hungry until about 10 pm depending where you are. Some take credit cards but not all. They don't need to be filled at all on Sundays.

Why do you want to tour downtown? There really isn't much to see there except office buildings.

I also don't understand why you say you're going to take the metro. If that's the case, why not forget driving and just take the metro from Bethesda? It's only a 15-20 minute ride from there to downtown. That seems a lot simpler if you're already going to be taking the metro anyway.
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Winston Salem
66 posts, read 84,225 times
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I think my motel is 4 miles from metro! :/ Sucks. We are going to the Whitehouse, Monuments at night, smithsonian, and the true crime museum....the zoo if time allows. We're pretty speedy! That stuff isnt downtown? I also wanted to check out Chinatown! <3
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:22 PM
 
Location: DC
2,567 posts, read 1,875,690 times
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The collection of Smithsonian Museums, the Capitol, the White House, the various memorials. Right nothing to see downtown?????????


Don't try to drive downtown. It's a mistake. Take the metro or cab it.
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:30 PM
 
1,109 posts, read 899,783 times
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The Mall and Capitol Hill are not part of downtown. I guess the White House does fall within downtown.
I have never heard anyone from this area say "let's go downtown" when they mean the monuments or the Smithsonian. Obviously I don't blame the OP for that because she doesn't live here.

But anyway, yeah, if you drive, you'll end up either spending too much time looking for a spot and feeding the meter, or paying a lot of money to park in a garage. Take a cab to the Bethesda metro and then take the metro in. That would save you time and/or money.
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Winston Salem
66 posts, read 84,225 times
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I hear weekends is mostly free parking and easier to commute than the weekdays. Are those things downtown, or elsewhere?
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:43 PM
 
1,109 posts, read 899,783 times
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Yeah it is easier on the weekdays, but you're still likely to have to walk a far distance to where you want to go because there is no guarantee you will find a spot close to any of the places you want to see. If it's a Saturday, you'd have to keep coming back to that spot to feed the meter because usually they have a two-hour time limit. If you're coming on Sunday, it might be a good idea because street parking is free that day.
I just don't see the advantage overall if you already plan on taking the metro once you get there. You're going to be paying for the metro either way. A four mile cab ride to the Bethesda metro would be fairly cheap.
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:44 PM
 
9,387 posts, read 7,048,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollatjagirl View Post
I hear weekends is mostly free parking and easier to commute than the weekdays. Are those things downtown, or elsewhere?
I suggest you take the metro to all of the sites you listed. D.C.'s metro system is actually very good and connects well inside the downtown and nearby areas.

By contrast, parking in D.C. is often hard to find (you'll go around in circles) or too expensive (parking garages).
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:41 AM
 
227 posts, read 178,829 times
Reputation: 71
Park along Potomac River.
There are free parking lots, with no time restrictions, and walkable distance to the MALL
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:42 AM
 
227 posts, read 178,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofnature View Post
Yeah it is easier on the weekdays, but you're still likely to have to walk a far distance to where you want to go because there is no guarantee you will find a spot close to any of the places you want to see. If it's a Saturday, you'd have to keep coming back to that spot to feed the meter because usually they have a two-hour time limit. If you're coming on Sunday, it might be a good idea because street parking is free that day.
I just don't see the advantage overall if you already plan on taking the metro once you get there. You're going to be paying for the metro either way. A four mile cab ride to the Bethesda metro would be fairly cheap.
Downtown DC is pretty much all ParkMobile these days.
No need to feed the meter, pay via smartphone.
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