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Advices for visiting Washington DC ?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by sbillard, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. ItsHardToKnow

    ItsHardToKnow Loaded Pockets

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  2. tdb

    tdb Loaded Pockets

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    I haven't been on this forum in quite awhile, but have to chime in regarding DC/Northern Virginia. I may repeat some stuff already said, but I hope you find some good new info!

    As has been said late September through most of October will likely be an excellent time for your visit as temps are usually very pleasant.

    This whole area is in general a very great place to visit and/or live. All of this talk about it being horrible at night is mostly over-exaggeration. There are some areas of the city to avoid at night, but downtown, The Mall, Dupont Circle, The Zoo aream Georgetown, Navy Yard, etc are all pretty safe and even more so when you pay attention to your surroundings. To compare most parts of DC with Chicago is ridiculous.

    Old Town Alexandria offers a lot to do. I think it will probably be one of your best places to look into staying. Look for a hotel that has easy access to King St/Old Town Metro station or Braddock Road Metro Station. Old town has great restaurants (and a Whole Foods), parks, historic sites, and offers easy access to DC and other parts of Virginia. There are some fun walking or ghost tours as well.

    Metro has had a lot off issues and delays lately, but is still a great way to get around most of the time. Another option that my family and I use fairly often is Uber or Lyft. Usually it is very affordable and if traveling with 2 or more people can sometimes end up being cheaper than metro.

    Here are a few places of my favorite places around here some have been mentioned above:

    George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens - Beautiful mansion and grounds and a well done museum. - various tour buses stop here as well as public transportation buses, or about a $20 uber ride from Old Town Alexandria.

    Jones Point Park in Alexandria - Very cool little national park. It is the site of one of the original DC boundary stones as well as an old lighthouse and WWI ship yard.

    Sharpshooters Range - Lorton, VA - This is probably the closest gun range to DC, but not very easily accessed via public transit. Shouldn't be too expensive to Uber/Lyft. I *think* they have guns that can be rented, but I am not 100% sure. Best bet would be to call them in advance. They will also likely have some EDC items, but probably not priced very well.


    Further out, could all be combined in a day trip ---

    F3 Tactical in Chantilly, VA (near Dulles Airport) - Large selection of EDC stuff and tactical gear. Not very easy to get to with public transit.

    NRA Firearms Museum/NRA range - Fairfax, VA - I don't believe they do any kind of gun rentals, but the museum is very interesting.

    Air and Space Museum Annex - Dulles - HUGE hangar full of aircraft and the Space Shuttle!

    Feel free to send me a DM if you want!
     
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  3. sbillard

    sbillard Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks again for so much advices ! :)

    Our trip is approaching. We booked an hotel close to Rosslyn station.

    Here is our schedule so far :

    Half Day (arrival) : Arlington cemetery, and or Roosevelt Island
    Day 1 : Mall, White house area, Air and space Museum, Spy museum
    Day 2 : Georgetown, C&O canal
    Day 3 : National zoo
    Day 4: Old town Alexandria, Mount Vernon
    Day 5 : 5 miles hike in Rock Creek Park (we hope to see deers and other wildlife)
    Day 6 : not sure yet

    That said I am not sure for some points :

    I wonder if the Mall area might need two days to be seen entirely, from Congress to Lincoln memorial and from White House to Tidal Bassin and Jefferson memorial ? We will only visit the air and space museum and spy museum though.

    I wonder if one full day dedicated to Georgetown might be too much ?

    I don't know where to fit some areas in our Schedule like the Pentagon, the National Cathedral, Air and Space museum annex in Dulles.

    I wonder if the Navy Yard and SW Water front area is worth visiting ?

    Another question : to transit between Dulles and Rosslyn what is better / quicker : Bus 5A or Shuttle + Silver Line ?

    Opinions welcome :)
     
  4. MCPOWoller

    MCPOWoller Loaded Pockets

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    Having worked in the Pentagon, visiting it is not super exciting unless you are a huge fan of architecture or how buildings are constructed. But, if you do go, you MUST visit the 9/11 memorial there and the benches outside where the plane struck. Benches pointing towards the Pentagon ==> are for people who died on the plane. Benches pointing away from the Pentagon <== are for people who died in the Pentagon. Pretty sobering.
     
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  5. sbillard

    sbillard Loaded Pockets

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    Well, we are interested in the Pentagon memorial (since we do sympathize with USA and the 911 tragedy, and visited Ground zero in NY) and by the exteriors only. For us non-american people, the Pentagon has a kind of aura given its role in modern history :)

    Also, is Pentagon City interesting for tourists, or is it just shops and restaurants ?
     
  6. MCPOWoller

    MCPOWoller Loaded Pockets

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    Pentagon City is 99.9% shopping malls and restaurants with the exception of the DEA Museum. I have never been but I hear it is outstanding.
     
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  7. sbillard

    sbillard Loaded Pockets

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    I didn't knew this museum existed, thanks ! Since the FBI cannot be visited easily by foreigners, it could be a nice alternative when ones want to visit a govt agency :)
     
  8. menace2sobriety

    menace2sobriety Loaded Pockets

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    The only advice I can give you is be very mindful of what you're carrying. The last time I was there I knew it would be silly so I wasn't carrying anything except I forgot my knife was in my pocket. So every museum or building we went into I had to hide my benchmade outside in some bushes and then hope like hell it was still there when I came out.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  9. variable

    variable Loaded Pockets

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    Bless those bushes - kept my SAK safe :Juggle: