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Unread 07-16-2008, 10:05 AM
 
4 posts, read 79,762 times
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Default Wanting safe places to stay while visiting Washington

Hi
I was all set to just pick a place (looking at using priceline.com) and book a hotel in Washington for 3 days. I went to my family doctor for an appointment and mentioned it to him and he told me that his brother stays in Virginia and takes the subway/rail to Washington due to the crime/unsafe places to stay. Yikes!! I am from a small place in Canada (similiar to Bangor) and I don't know why I didn't even think about safe or unsafe..but I didn't!! I am not used to big cities and just didn't really think about that aspect! My husband and I are planning to drive (late July) through the states til we reach Washington. Where would a very safe place to stay be? Which area/which hotels? Or should I stay in Virginia and take the rail to Washington? If that's the case, where in Virginia..what city or place should I book a hotel? There looks like there is so much to see and do in Washington, that I really want to go!! Other concerns: If in a "safe" area, would it be safe enough to walk out at night? Are there tourists areas that I should avoid? When I did a search..places that looked interesting were the Smithsonian Institute, Holocaust Museum, Museum of Crime and Punishment, Lincolm Memorial, White House, and the Washington National Cathedral. Probably won't get to all these places. We also wanted to drive over to the Luray Caverns as I read that it was only about an hour's drive. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
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Unread 07-16-2008, 10:15 AM
 
Location: DC
3,196 posts, read 6,937,817 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAnn12 View Post
Where would a very safe place to stay be? Which area/which hotels? Or should I stay in Virginia and take the rail to Washington? If that's the case, where in Virginia..what city or place should I book a hotel? There looks like there is so much to see and do in Washington, that I really want to go!! Other concerns: If in a "safe" area, would it be safe enough to walk out at night? Are there tourists areas that I should avoid? When I did a search..places that looked interesting were the Smithsonian Institute, Holocaust Museum, Museum of Crime and Punishment, Lincolm Memorial, White House, and the Washington National Cathedral. Probably won't get to all these places. We also wanted to drive over to the Luray Caverns as I read that it was only about an hour's drive. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
If you stay in either Virginia or DC, you'll be fine. I don't know of particular hotels, but if you stay near the National Mall, Gallery Place, Downtown, Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom, Georgetown, Farrugut Square, etc. you'll be perfectly safe. I'd advise against Georgetown, purely because the metro stations are fairly far away. As for places in Virginia, look near Pentagon City, Crystal City, Clarendon or Courthouse in Arlington, or (for a little longer of a metro ride, but a cute area) Old Town Alexandria. Really, it depends on your budget and preferences. You can look at WMATA's website to see travel times for the metro.

All those tourist sites are very safe. Really, the unsafe areas are the ones that have little of interest to you, so don't worry about it. Also, you may want to double-check Luray, I thought it was closer to 2 hours away.
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Unread 07-16-2008, 10:44 AM
 
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All of the places you mention are in extremely safe areas, in part because they are tourist areas and hence have a very high police presence. Only the Cathedral lies outside of the federal enclave, and it's in a very upscale (and safe) neighborhood.

There are any number of fine hotels in DC itself that would be perfectly suitable to your purposes, but many people do choose to stay in Virginia and rely on Metro to get them around. For the most part, Metro is a quick and convenient option in that regard, and VA hotel prices can be a little cheaper. One among several options in Rosslyn, VA, is the Hotel Palomar. It's right across the river from DC, a short walk from Metro, and offers some wonderful views of the river, Georgetown, and downtown DC. Here is what one C-D poster thought of it a few months ago...

Hotel Palomar

The same people (Kimpton) run a number of hotels in DC proper (Topaz, Helix, Madera, Monaco, etc.), and there are dozens and dozens of other high quality, very safe, alternatives as well, so I'd go by what your tastes and preferences are. The above are all sort of modern, so-called "boutique" hotels, but if you prefer an older, more historic setting, there are plenty of those to choose from as well.

Basically, your doctor's brother may have a fine time when he's in DC, but he's a tad overly concerned about this safety thing. There are other, more important considerations to take into account.

Luray meanwhile is going to be more than an hour from downtown DC. Probably not a whole lot more though, and it's both a worthwhile drive and visit. Very scenic along the route west, and the caverns themselves are a nice thing to see...
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Unread 07-16-2008, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
401 posts, read 491,991 times
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Default anywhere

to be honest, anywhere you are looking at staying is safe. the areas of dc that arent safe dont have hotels. staying in arlington county va is also a good bet. check the marriot in crystal city va. right across the river, near dca, pentagon city mall, crystal city underground, and has a tunnel directly linking the hotel with the metro. less than 10 minutes to downtown. i think it is pricey though. the further out you stay, the cheaper it is. fairfax has some reasonably priced hotels.
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Unread 07-18-2008, 02:15 PM
 
209 posts, read 661,830 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nva79 View Post
to be honest, anywhere you are looking at staying is safe. the areas of dc that arent safe dont have hotels.
While that's mostly right, those motels on NY Ave seem to have a lot of tourists in them and that's not a particularly safe area.
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Unread 07-18-2008, 02:58 PM
 
1,199 posts, read 2,082,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAnn12 View Post
Hi
I was all set to just pick a place (looking at using priceline.com) and book a hotel in Washington for 3 days. I went to my family doctor for an appointment and mentioned it to him and he told me that his brother stays in Virginia and takes the subway/rail to Washington due to the crime/unsafe places to stay. Yikes!! I am from a small place in Canada (similiar to Bangor) and I don't know why I didn't even think about safe or unsafe..but I didn't!! I am not used to big cities and just didn't really think about that aspect! My husband and I are planning to drive (late July) through the states til we reach Washington. Where would a very safe place to stay be? Which area/which hotels? Or should I stay in Virginia and take the rail to Washington? If that's the case, where in Virginia..what city or place should I book a hotel? There looks like there is so much to see and do in Washington, that I really want to go!! Other concerns: If in a "safe" area, would it be safe enough to walk out at night? Are there tourists areas that I should avoid? When I did a search..places that looked interesting were the Smithsonian Institute, Holocaust Museum, Museum of Crime and Punishment, Lincolm Memorial, White House, and the Washington National Cathedral. Probably won't get to all these places. We also wanted to drive over to the Luray Caverns as I read that it was only about an hour's drive. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
I do priceline all the time for friends and family. The order of places I would choose would be White House Downtown, Dupont Circle-Woodley Park, Georgetown-Foggy Bottom, and the Crystal City Zones.

The Arlington, Convention Center-Capitol Hill, Alexandria, and other zones are too big and you might get stuck in an undesirable or inconvenient location (i.e. the Hyatt on D St., NW which is right next to a homeless shelter or the Mark Center Hilton in Alexandria which is nowhere near any public transportation). Good luck.
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Unread 07-21-2008, 12:21 PM
 
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okay thanks for all your info. I had checked back to this site and then booked and wished I had checked back here before actually booking. I would have taken Slim04's advice for sure! I ended up getting the Hyatt Regency thru priceline and then discovered that there are major renovations going on there and that it is located near a homeless shelter. Now I'm concerned about being out at night and the "safe" factor.
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Unread 07-21-2008, 12:31 PM
 
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If you mean the Hyatt on New Jersey Avenue - rest easy, that area's safe.
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Unread 07-21-2008, 01:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevbros View Post
If you mean the Hyatt on New Jersey Avenue - rest easy, that area's safe.
Just don't walk from the Hyatt along D Street west to the Judiciary Sq. metro. If it is late at night, take a cab or a Hyatt shuttle if it is offered. If you want to walk to a metro, use Union Station (D St. East, then North on Capitol).

The shelter is one long block West of the Hyatt, I would avoid that area. As many as 50 homeless men and women congregate in front of the shelter during warm weather. Most will be respectful, but you can encounter a few schizophrenic men that will harass you. Other than the shelter, the area is very nice with some very good restaurants. My favs are Billy Goats Tavern for fast food or Bistro Bis for fine dining.

If you don't believe me, ask the concierge or bellmen at the Hyatt. I have feeling they will give you similar advice.
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Unread 07-21-2008, 04:57 PM
 
9,871 posts, read 7,851,123 times
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I think your doctor's brother might have a little too much news media hype in his head.

As mentioned above, the places in DC you're going are very safe and have people everywhere. Just like any big city, just keep aware of your surroundings.

I would recommend, if you're interested, getting beyond the monuments and museums and checking out the city itself. Perhaps art galleries in Dupont Circle or an Ethiopian restaurant in Adams Morgan. It's really a nice city and the dangerous parts are more on the edge.

Enjoy!
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