Posts Tagged ‘tourist hints’

Summer in the City

August 5, 2009

Washington DC is a city that attracts a lot of summer tourists and we’re delighted you’re here visiting the nation’s capital. It’s a great time to come as many residents are on vacation and things are a little quieter. Here are a few hints to make your stay more enjoyable:

It’s called “rush hour” for a reason

DC is also called a “city that works” and it’s one of the few places where people brag about the number of hours they put in at the office. Do yourself a favor and stay downtown (we’ll immodestly suggest the Hamilton Crowne Plaza, located within easy walking distance of the White House and the Smithsonian museums) or stay off the metro until after rush hour ends at 9:30 a.m. Either enjoy a leisurely breakfast or explore your neighborhood. Then buy an all day Metro pass so you don’t have to worry about how much is on your farecard – you can ride all day after 9:30.

It’s still summer

While Washington is enjoying a wonderfully temperate season so far, it is still summer, and shade can be in short supply on the National Mall. Bring hats and sunscreen and try to plan your day so you’re inside at least part of the day.

Don’t try to do too much

Many people don’t realize that the Smithsonian isn’t a single museum, it’s actually 13 different museums all over the city (and Udvar-Hazy Center is actually almost an hour outside the city) and the offerings range from the Postal Museum to the National Zoo. If you want to be sure to hit the highlights, check out this Scavenger Hunt from the Smithsonian.

Some things need to be arranged in advance

If you plan to visit the White House or your Congressional representatives, be sure to make those arrangements well in advance by contacting your Congressional representative. Even if you are unable to arrange a White House tour, you should still stop by the White House Visitor’s Center and walk by the park in front of the White House for a photo.

Not everything is expensive

There are plenty of free (and nearly free) things to do in Washington including daily free concerts at the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center; National Theatre offers free family-friendly performances on Saturday mornings; visit Old Stone House  in Georgetown, the oldest building in Washington DC built before the Revolutionary War; or take a bike tour with a National Park Ranger on the National Mall (bikes not included).

Have fun!

Most of all, have fun while you’re here and enjoy.


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