MUST see/do in DC?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by LMichele, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. LMichele

    LMichele Cohort

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    Jul 19, 2012

    BF & I are spending an extended weekend in DC in August. We'll be getting there in the early afternoon on day 1, will have two full days, and leave in the morning on day 4.

    Since I'm home for the summer & he's still working, he gave the "homework" to research places to go & things to do while we're there. There's so much to do that narrowing it all down is overwhelming! We have baseball tickets for one night we're there (since they are playing our hometown team & that was a big reason why we chose this weekend to go), & I think it's restaurant week also while we're down there.

    But what are the things that we absolutely have to see & do while we're there? We're staying in Dupont Circle.

    TIA!
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 19, 2012

    First of all,you are staying in a great area...so multicultural, so many diverse restaurants!:p

    My must sees include:
    Monuments and memorials...I haven't been recently enough to see the MLK memorial or the WWII memorial...most are around the mall area so you can hit most in a day

    The Smithsonian museums...I like Air and Space and the Art museum, but they're all awesome...
    Haven't been to the Holocaust or Spy Museums, but heard they are both worthy of a visit

    Arlington National Cemetary...try and get there for the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown...beautifully significant and moving

    National Zoo

    National Cathedral

    Side trips to:
    Georgetown
    Alexandria Va
    Annapolis Md
     
  4. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Jul 19, 2012

    A big yes on the Holocaust museum. I also loved the Library of Congress, but I'm a huge history nerd!
     
  5. jd019

    jd019 Companion

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    Jul 19, 2012

    I agree about Arlington!
     
  6. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Jul 19, 2012

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE DC.
    Holocaust Museum (I've been twice, it is the experience of a lifetime).
    Vietnam War Memorial
    Library of Congress (most beautiful in DC).
     
  7. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Jul 19, 2012

    I think you can pretty much spend one whole day wandering the National Mall and seeing all the monuments, memorials, and Smithsonian museums. There is a lot of walking involved and it'll be hot, so you'll want to take your time. I don't know if this applies to you but the one kind of food that DC has a lot of that we don't on the west coast authentic Ethiopian. If you like trying new foods as much as I do, definitely worth a shot! Restaurant week should be fun too. There are a ton of really great restaurants there. :)
     
  8. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Jul 19, 2012

    Wow! Sounds like fun.

    I suggest, if you want to see all of the monuments/memorials check into the tourmobile. It makes stops at most of the places. You can check on-line before you go. It takes a lot of the walking out of it. When we did this it was so hot and humid that it made it well worth it.

    What you see will highly depend on what your interest are. Museusm are diverse. Also, if you want to go up in the Washington monument you need tickets. Pay the extra fee and get them on-line.
    Enjoy.
     
  9. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jul 19, 2012

    I haven't been in MANY years... but I would agree about the changing of the guards, the wall (ask your parents or gparents if they know anyone on the wall... we found someone from our hometown...even more meaningful) & museums went to the air one and the one that had the stuff like Fonzi's coat, the ruby slippers.

    I would say you have to see Lincoln Memorial...I don't think you can appreciate the size of it until you are next to it!!!

    I would also throw in Ford's Theatre... I'm a history buff...so this place gave me the chills standing where a President was killed and what it must have been like....
     
  10. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jul 19, 2012

    Go see the pandas at the National Zoo!!! Only 5 zoos in North America have pandas, so it's a big deal. :)

    The Vietnam Vet Memorial moved my whole family to tears. It's absolutely beautiful, especially if you have a vet in the family.

    Definitely go to the Smithsonian and the Holocaust Museum. Both have pieces of history that every person should see.
     
  11. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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  12. LMichele

    LMichele Cohort

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    Jul 19, 2012

    Thanks for your ideas everyone! Keep them coming as you remember. I'm not tutoring tomorrow so I'll looking into each and every idea here. I gave my BF a list the other day of places, but he sent me back to get more info-location, how to get there via public transportation, operating hours. He's a tough teacher! Haha

    BandNerd..I'm pushing for the zoo! He thinks with the heat it'll be too smelly though.
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 19, 2012

  14. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Did you show him the panda cam?! How can he say no?! LOL
     
  15. HWilson

    HWilson Comrade

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    Jul 19, 2012

    We just went to DC about 3 weeks ago. We enjoyed the Smithsonian natural History Museum the most!!! It's a must. We spent 3/4 of the one of our days in there. The zoo was good as well. We went out to Arlington cementary and took the trolly tour and stopped to watch the changing of the guards... That was good. We hit all the memorials and this was my first time seeing the WWII and MLK memorials and I really enjoyed the WWII memorial. You can sit with your feet in the fountain for a break and to cool off.

    I also suggest buying one of the passes online for the tour bus or trolly. It will take you to all the sites and given you lots of info along the way. After DC we went to NYC and bought tickets there and looking at their pamphlet they also offered the same type tours in DC and we said we really wished we would have done that. It is well worth the money.

    Also, my husband and I had gotten off the metro at all the popular stops for the museums etc so our last day on the way back to the hotel we decided to get off at a stop we hadn't gotten off yet. It was a more local part of town (not the downtown, mall type stops) and we walked the streets there, got a late lunch from a food truck, stumbled across a cupcake shop that happened to be a winner on Food Networks Cupcakes War and bought cupcakes and macaroons. That was a real treat since the DH is a chef and the TV is always on FN!!! That stop on the metro was the "Eastern Market" stop and the cuupcake shop was "Sweet Lobby" the macaroons were t o die for!!!! It was nice to get away from the touristy places and see the actual lifestyle of the locals.

    We also looked for some "hole in the wall" type places that had been featured on FN to eat. We hit Bens Chili Bowl and a couple of other restaurants like that.

    Tip: take a bottle or two of water with you. The drinks on the streets are expensive. There are plenty of water fountains around to refill your bottles.

    Hope that helps and if I think of more, I'll let you know. :)
     
  16. HWilson

    HWilson Comrade

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    Jul 19, 2012

    The metro is REALLY clean and a lot of fun if you don't get the subway experience often (like me). The metro you will need runs often. Typically you can expect a trin you need in no more than 6 minutes. You MUST download the app for the metro to your smart phone. That was very helpful. Depending on how much you plan to ride, you may consider a 7 day pass. We worked out the numbers and how much we would be riding and it worked out to be cheaper to buy a 7 day metro card for the 4 days we were there than to pay per ride. All the major attractions aren't too far from the metros. And everything was pretty easy to find our way to and from the metro.

    The hours for the museums usually close at like 5 or 7.

    My husband wants to stress you need to go to "sweet lobby" as I posted above. It is right there when we get off the metro. Not far at all and so yummy.
     
  17. LMichele

    LMichele Cohort

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    I will show him the panda cam this weekend! Haha
     
  18. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    Jul 20, 2012

    A lot of people have already suggested a lot of great 'touristy' activities but here are a few more (I live in the area):

    -If you are able to drive a little, make sure you visit the National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD. It's 10 min outside of DC and its a great "date-spot" filled with restaurants/bars, small shops, elegant hotels, and you can do a boat tour there too as it sits on the Potomac River.

    -Along with seeing all of the other memorials, pay a visit to the newest memorial: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. It is phenomenal and very moving-it's also pretty to see it at night as it sits on the water across from the Jefferson Memorial.

    -Have a cupcake from Georgetown Cupcakes, indulge in some crap dip from Clyde's on 7th St near the Verizon Center and catch a show at the historical Howard Theatre. :)

    -In regards to riding the metro, buy a pass as that will always be cheaper. Keep in mind that the prices rise during rush hour which is from 3pm-6pm. Download the app on your smart phone as it gives you arrival times/any delays that are happening.

    I'm sure you both will enjoy yourselves and have fun visiting the City!
     
  19. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jul 23, 2012

    Sweets and I spent a long weekend in DC and had a wonderful time. We went in early February so we didn't make it to the memorials, but I wish we could have toured them.

    This is what we did:
    *Holocaust Museum-It is very emotionally taxing, and by the time we got to the last floor we just needed to leave. It was absolutely worth it though.
    *Basilica of the National Shrine on the campus of Catholic University. We went here for Mass, but even if you aren't Catholic it is a beautiful building and worth a look. We took a taxi there and the train to Arlington after.
    *Arlington Cemetery-Be prepared to walk hills. I think there is a shuttle that will take you around as well. We found the Kennedy plots, graves of the unknown soldiers, and some other famous folks.
    *Filomena's-This is an Italian resturaunt in Georgetown. It is AMAZING! All of the pasta is made on site by hand. We were able to get in right away because it was Superbowl Sunday during the game, but there is usually a lengthy reservation list. Call ASAP to see if they have any openings when you are in town.
    *I would have liked to have visited Ford's Theater, but we didn't make it. We did go to the Capitol building and took a tour. You need to know someone (senator, representative, or one of their employees) who can give you the tour as they are not open to the general public. We got to see where various secretaries have their offices, the Rotunda, the old Senate area, and sit in the galleys of both the Senate and House. Not much was going on in either, but it was kind of cool all the same. If you get to do this, be ready for lots of security checkpoints.

    Have a great time!
     

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