What are the must-sees in Washington DC, Virginia, etc?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by TennisPlayer, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. TennisPlayer

    TennisPlayer Cohort

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    We want to start planning a trip to the NE part of the United States to see the famous historical buildings and would love to hear some more recommendations on places to visit. I'm interested in seeing "famous" homes in particular. Can you walk around inside any of them?

    Also, what time of the year is the most comfortable to be outside there for a vacation?
     
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  3. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    October is great in DC and surrounding. The tourists are mostly gone, the blazing heat is gone and the leaves are starting to turn, but weather is mostly very pleasant.

    In Virginia, Mt. Vernon and Monticello are great, but expensive. If you were only going to visit one, I think I would pick Monticello but that would be a tough call. Colonial Williamsburg is nice, but unless you have money to burn, I wouldn't get the pass to go into the buildings--that costs a fortune. Jamestown is my favorite though, and since it is a national park and not private, is reasonable entry. Yorktown and museum are also worth a visit. There are several plantations around Northern Virginia, but I am blanking on the names. There is a nice one near Ft. Belvoir.

    Natural Bridge off of I-81 in the Blue Ridge is fabulous, although be warned it is owned by fundamentalist Christians who do not allow anything about the geology of the area to be discussed around the site. You would need to do your own research in advance. It makes me ill that one of the greatest geologic wonders on the east coast is a tourist trap and the science and natural history are absent from the site. Jefferson (who discovered and owned it) wouldn't have approved. Luray Caverns is wonderful too, although also a tourist trap.

    If you call or visit the Virginia or DC historical societies, they can probably steer you in the direction of all the great houses that are open. I know there are great house tours, but I think they mostly run in the spring.
     
  4. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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  5. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    When we took our kids this past June to DC my favorite place was the Museum of the American Indian, the newest Smithsonian museum.
     
  6. Securis

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    The Holocaust Museum is a high impact place to visit. Explicit but very educational.

    Actually, anything on the National Mall is really awesome. Museums galore, monuments galore. Miles and miles of trekking across the city.

    The Fredrick Douglas house you can visit. It's a really nice place. I don't know if you need to schedule an appointment or if you can walk-in. I get a sense that you should probably call ahead.

    Ford's Theater, obviously, is something memorable.

    As to weather, on an mid to late fall day, the temperature should be down but there's no guessing it. Evenings should easily be cooler by then. Rain? You could always check the Chamber of Commerce site for D.C. to get that information or get ideas on how to get that information.

    Good Luck and enjoy.
     
  7. Ross

    Ross Comrade

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    Since you want to visit famous homes, go to Arlington National Cemetery.

    Confederate General Robert E. Lee's home still stands on those magnificent grounds high on the hill.

    While there, walk the grounds. Do not take one of the tour buses that rush through the cemetery.
     
  8. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    All of the Smithsonian, but esp. Air and Space and Natural History. The Newseum. The monuments, and there are a ton of them. Monticello.
     
  9. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    BTW, Monticello is a few hours outside DC. Check out Charlottesville for things to do in the area. James Madison's estate is open and nearby (forget the name). Also, you can visit UVA, although as a Hokie, I can't truly advocate this path. :haha:
     
  10. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    You have to go to the "Mall" area... the monuments are just AWESOME!!! I can tell you the "Wall" was very neat, but I teared up as my mom found people she knew on it & when you see the gifts left behind.

    I also think the Ford's Theatre is a MUST!!! LOVED being there.
     
  11. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    I love Colonial Williamsburg! Teachers get a discount so even better!
     
  12. kelbel7583

    kelbel7583 Rookie

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    I agree with ecsmom. Colonial Williamsburg is the best. In fact, with teacher identification you can get a basic pass for free. If you go, be sure to do some of their evening programs and eat in their historic taverns. Also, their summer institute for teachers is incredible. If you ever get the chance to go- GO!! They treat you like royalty and the teaching resources are fabulous. Plus you get to go behind the scenes at Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown.

    If you go to DC, the Holocaust Museum is a must. Just be prepared for the emotional impact it will have on you.
     
  13. Echo

    Echo New Member

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    Aug 7, 2009

    agreed I love the Holocaust Museum and I am not that big on museums. Kelbel is right too its very emotional!
     

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