Places to stay in Washington DC

Discussion in 'Community' started by JBReed, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. JBReed macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    #1
    We're planning a family trip to Washington DC. Any recommendations on places to stay? Parts of the city safer than others?

    Thanks for any thoughts.
     
  2. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    washington dc
    #2
    how much do you wanna spend? there are a million places to stay here in town, all over the city. depends on what you want to do. are you going to focus on downtown? the meuseams? or the surrounding areas?

    i have a big fold out couch downstairs ;) :D
     
  3. Hoef macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #3
    More info such as budget and purpose would be nice ..... If you don't go into DC, because of cost, try to stay in a hotel along the metro line. In Northern Virginia: Rosslyn, Courthouse, Clarendon or Ballston (all Arlington county) or towards Crystal city. My dad had a good deal in Rosslyn (priceline), very close to DC, 5 mins with metro. DC folks from Maryland please chip in.....
     
  4. lordmac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2004
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    #4
    i agree

    I agree with this both because its cheaper and sense the metro is right there you don't have to drive. Driving in this area is a huge pain in the ass well I suppose the gridded parts of dc are ok but everywhere else it's horrible. This is do to very bad and confusing traffic signs. :)

    Hope you come soon as the weather here is really quite amazing right now. Its was 60° on news years day(ie really really weird for here.) Oh ya here are the closest apple stores: Clarendon in Arlington, VA and Mclean in Tyson's corner (a mall), VA and there are 2 in Bethesda, MD one in a mall :D
     
  5. phonemonkey macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia
    #5
    I would consider staying in Silver Spring, which is just on the maryland side. There are plenty of places to shop, a variety of hotels. They also have a Metro stop right on the border for easy access to the city..
    Oh yeah they also have Blair High, GO BLAZERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  6. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #6
    I'm originally from Alexandria, myself - and Old Town's quite nice, but any of the cities on the Virginia side will work and they have great views of the city across the Potomac.

    It all depends on how much you want to spend....in most cases DC isn't that much more than VA. Connecticut Ave, in and around Dupont Circle isn't that bad. Right downtown might be a little more, but there are a few places around the Mall off of 14th-12th that are quite nice.

    Have fun and let us know where you plan on going, I can give you a ton of good restaurants if you're looking for some suggestions.

    D
     
  7. Hoef macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #7
    I'd be interested :D
     
  8. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    washington dc
    #8
    stay in the city... you dont want to mess around with metro all day long to get to where you're going. the entire city is walkable at night, and its nice to be able to get back and forth to your hotel easily.

    good restaurants: cafe milano, mendocino, ardeo/bardeo, occidental grille, thaiphoon
     
  9. jywv8 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    #9
    I agree: stay in the city. I was in D.C. this spring and stayed at the Marriott downtown. The room was so-so, but the location was fabulous.

    For food, I recommend Occidental, as well. Bobby Van’s Steakhouse is great. Sequoia (K Street in Georgetown) was nice.
     
  10. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    washington dc
    #10
    yeah... i left out sequoia... used to be you payed for the view (fabulous, of the potomac and the kennedy center), but lately i've heard good things. i had a bad meal there a year ago and hadnt been back. i'd check it out though, good suggestion!

    my favorite place to stay in town is the woodley park marriot/wardman towers. located near the zoo/dupont/adams morgan area of town. beautiful old hotel (wardman park side). fantastic views of downtown, or of the national cathedral if you're on the other side of the building.
     
  11. JBReed thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    #11
    Thanks for all the thoughts. We're going to be doing the tourist thing. My son is 13, very much into doing "stuff", likes history, so is a perfect age for seeing the sights (it'll be his first trip there). We will probably look at staying in the city to minimize travel but will definitely be using the metro to travel (or walk). How significant a difference is travel time if one stays in VA versus in DC? Ease of travel (time and convenience) is important. Leaning toward staying in the city for now.

    Is safety an issue staying anywhere, areas to avoid, or is common sense the rule?

    Thanks for all the ideas about restaurants. That's definitely good information. My wife's been to DC several times when she was working in AIDS research but I've never been either so I'm also really looking forward to it.

    Any other specific places to stay in DC people would recommend?

    Any suggestions on must see sights beyond the usual?
     
  12. jywv8 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    #12
    I don't know if it is beyond the usual, but we went to the Internation Spy Museum (http://www.spymuseum.org/index.asp). Seem like it would appeal to a 13 year old boy. I thought it was cool, and I'm a 30 year old gal.
     
  13. joetronic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Location:
    New Oxford, PA
    #13
    I agree, many nice places in SP. I can't think of any names at the moment, but I have stayed in some nice places that didn't empty the wallet.
     
  14. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #14
  15. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #15
    Its a great place, definitely go if you have the time. But if you haven't been to the Air and Space Museum, that's a must see as well - especially for a 13 y.o. boy.

    There are a good many place for good food - but do you want something you need reservations for and could be a little more expensive, or are you more interested in something more casual?

    D
     
  16. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #16
    You did not say whether you were going to do a rental car or not. If you pick a good hotel, the car is not needed. Silver Spring is always a great location. But Falls Church has Metro Rail available and hotels close by.

    Check out the following site on specials on transit that are geared towards your family:

    http://www.wmata.com/

    Though I can not name any, I would suggest looking at some bed&breakfast places as well.

    For your son, take the Air and Space shuttle bus to the new facility in Chantilly Virginia. It is near the Dulles Airport. It is a $7 round trip ride I believe from the downtown Air and Space Museum. I would suggest taking the earliest possible bus if you take this option. Otherwise the parking fee is $12 a day at the Dulles facility.

    As to safety, this is much like any big city. I would say that any where that the Metro Rail can take you, you have a reasonable exception of safety.

    One of the things that you can do if you have time before your visit is to contact your local Senators or Congressperson for a meeting and private tours.

    By all means also take the TourMobile. It is a bus system that runs regular routes through the tourist areas. You can join the bus at any point during the day you buy the pass.
     
  17. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #17
    Can you tell us more of when you might want to visit?

    For depending on when the trip is, there is a great airshow at Andrews AFB in May.
     
  18. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #18
  19. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #19
    I've visited Washington DC twice so here's the tourist point of view

    The first time I stayed in Crystal City. It was handy for the Metro system (a few stops into the main downtown area and close to one of the big shopping malls - always important as a Brit coming to the US!) We came home very late after a football game and it was a little strange to walk around. Lots of concrete and the Metro station was through a small mall.

    This time, in September, I stayed near in the Hilton near Dupont Circle (mainly cos the NFL were paying for it! :) ) Round Dupont Circle was lovely - it was still easy to get around on the Metro (a stop from the Zoo and easy to get into downtown too). There were some nice restaurants and little shops around there too.

    I was disappointed by the American History museum - regardless of the first Mac in the basement. Many of the interactive aspects weren't working and the descriptions weren't that impressive. Air and Space was brilliant. The new Museum of the American Indian was also amazing - both architecturally and exhibitwise.
     
  20. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Northern Virginia
    #20
    Just a note that you need to get tickets before going to this particular museum now. Unless you become a sponsor.
     
  21. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

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    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Its not so much where you are as when you are.
    #21
    ...Does Blair actually have a football team this year? When I went they had to ship a team in from Cambridge so we could win homecoming...

    Anyway. I would definitely recommend someplace on the metro. If you fly in there are some hotels around national, right on the metro.

    The best plan is to catch the subway down to the smithsonian and just walk around there. Everything is in a 4 block radius.

    Stay in tourist areas. Do not go East from the capital building. Try to avoid being east of Rock Creek Park.

    Most of the museums are free. Parking is where you get screwed. DC cops don't have a quota, but they all seem to write 120 tickets a shift or more or else have evaluation problems... :cool:

    Driving in DC is like driving in NY, Philly or Boston. The roads are labeled in a mostly obvious manner.
     
  22. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #22
    Rock Creek Park is in one of the "better areas" of the city. And one of the higher income areas as well.

    It is harder to give straight answers as to where to stay a way from. The SE has the waterfront, which is nice to see . And the is home to FDR memorial.

    NE has the U Street area that is starting to become a strong area of the Arts and local dining.

    In the end any area that has tourist spots in DC can be considered safe IMO. Just use common sense. I would not suggest the O Street area SE (though not a very family friendly are to begin with). Nor would portions of the Shaw area be high on my list. But 10 to 20 years ago the Dupont Circle was considered a "marginal" area.
     
  23. Hoef macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #23
    I live right on the orange line, Courthouse stop and it takes less than 10 minutes with the metro to the national mall (smithsonian or l'efant plaza exit). Sometimes that is a 4 to 8 minute wait for the metro to arrive. We have tons of visitors and they love it.
    If you arrive after March, go to the Washington Monument (the giant obilisk - sp) in front of the white house. It has windows so you can see very far in all directions (need to see the pentagon from above) : http://www.nps.gov/wamo/home.htm
     
  24. JBReed thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    #24
    Thanks for all of the information. It is so fabulous to tap into the knowledge of the community. We're going to be going to DC the first week in April (spring break for my son). We don't plan on driving anywhere and prefer not using a rental car, just use the metro, cabs etc. as needed. Definitely plan to check all of the monuments, Air and Space museum, Smithsonian, spy museum sounds great for my son as well as the Indian museum, Holocaust museum (still learning all that's available). As far as food goes we'd probably be eating casual (13 yo boy again) primarily.

    the link to the metro site is very helpful. thanks.

    Appreciate any and all ideas.
     
  25. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #25
    You and your boy might like eating at the ESPN Zone then....
     

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