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Ajax
07-24-2012, 07:39 PM
The Air and Space museum was my favorite of all the museums. I also loved the national history museum and the spy museum.
I second the recommendation to save the Mall for the evening. Not only are the monuments beautiful all lit up but DC gets really, really hot during the day and it could be torture to be walking outside. So I'd suggest going to a (nicely air-conditioned! :D) museum in the late afternoon, break for dinner, then walk around the Mall after sunset.
If you have the time, the Adams Morgan neighborhood is really fun at night with tons of bars, ethnic restaurants etc. I'd skip Georgetown, there's not really anything of interest and most of it is just chain retail stores.
My parents are diplomats so I really enjoyed strolling along Embassy Row and seeing all the beautiful mansions representing all the different countries. It's a gorgeous neighborhood (much more interesting than Georgetown for sure!) but probably not something that would be of interest to that many people.

kwanfan1818
07-24-2012, 07:52 PM
Bug spray/ wipe is really useful before heading to the monuments at night.

cailuj365
07-25-2012, 12:42 AM
Georgetown is a very pretty (and wealthy) neighborhood. It's not very accessible by Metro though. The easiest and cheapest way to get there is to take the DC Circulator bus from Dupont Circle. Fare is $1, but it's even cheaper if you're transferring from other modes of public transit. I agree with the others that it's not the best way to spend your time if you only have a day or so.

Since you have a short amount of time, I recommend doing a bus tour of the monuments and picking maybe two museums that interest you the most. The Smithsonians are nice since they're all free, but your enjoyment of them will vary with your individual interests. One of my favorite museums is the Newseum. Admission is pricey at $20/person, but the exhibits are awesome. The 9/11 and Berlin Wall exhibits were particularly impressive and moving. The Holocaust Museum is great too, but be prepared to bring some tissues.

As for dining, Founding Farmers is a great place with hearty, yummy meals that isn't too fancy or expensive. Busboys and Poets is good too. For brunch/lunch, I like Madhatter because of the Alice in Wonderland decor. For late night, Kramerbooks Cafe in Dupont is fun because they have a live band playing. If you want to spend a little more money, I recommend Jaleo, which is a great tapas restaurant.

Enjoy DC!

Skaterx
07-25-2012, 02:53 AM
Another vote for the air-conditioned museums in the daytime and a monument tour at night. The metro is fairly user friendly but remember to stand to the RIGHT and walk to the left on escalators (major Washingtonian pet peeve). Busboys and Poets has fabulous vegetarian food and nice cocktails. Another place for a fun lunch is Ben's Chili Bowl (outstanding chili dogs and chili burgers). Have fun and bring patience and water. DC in the summer is unbearably hot and humid.

skateycat
07-25-2012, 03:15 AM
I recommend eating at the Mitsitam Cafe in the National Museum of the American Indian. It's delicious and it just won some big award for the casual dining experience out of all of the Washington DC restaurants. And the museum's pretty cool too.

skateycat
07-25-2012, 03:18 AM
The last time I was there, I had this huge combo plate with salmon and all kinds of side dishes. And a Mexican hot chocolate and oh my gosh I waddled out of there!

taf2002
07-25-2012, 03:55 AM
We stayed at the Carlyle Suites Hotel last year & thought it was very reasonable. It's very close to Dupont Circle which is near all the embassies. It was nice having a full kitchen (separate room), sitting area, & a dressing table & stool.

http://www.carlylesuites.com/

For the monuments we hired a taxi driver to take us around to all the monuments, Embassy Row, & Arlington. It took a couple of hours but it was well worth it. He got us as near to each monument as he could & waited for us, cutting down on the walking we had to do. It costs somewhere between $80 to $100, I can't remember exactly. Just get a driver who speaks good English. Ours was like a tour guide.

We needed to be carried around like that because we were worn out from the Smithsonians. My favs were the Amer History and the Air & Space. We only got to 5 or 6 museums so we really need to go back.

Marge_Simpson
07-25-2012, 05:47 AM
I recommend eating at the Mitsitam Cafe in the National Museum of the American Indian. It's delicious and it just won some big award for the casual dining experience out of all of the Washington DC restaurants. And the museum's pretty cool too.

I second that suggestion, the food is really nice and I can personally vouch for the tres leches cake. :) If you look through the previous threads you'll see my other restaurant recommendations, it seems as if all I did in DC was stuff my face!
I stayed at the Hotel Rouge last year and highly recommend it. Website here:
http://www.rougehotel.com/

I had such a good time in DC I am considering going back again soon, either in October or November.
(Note to self: do I want to see the Kirov Ballet, Washington Ballet, or San Francisco Ballet? :lol:)

PRlady
07-27-2012, 11:27 PM
This Canadian is going to Washington DC and needs some advice from the folks. So EXCITED:biggrinbo


All advice and help would be appreciated.

Welcome! (Belatedly.)

Here are a few of my favorite, not-expensive restaurants:

Masa 14 -- Latin/Asian fusion, on 14th Street between trendy Logan Circle and U Street neighborhoods. Go early or make a reservation on Open Table.

Policy -- also tapas, same neighborhood.

Rasika -- really good Indian, one's on Capitol Hill, the other near Dupont Circle.

Three a little more upscale: Brasserie Beck downtown (Belgian); Corduroy (Euro/near Convention Center right on Metro); and The Source (Asian/fusion next to Newseum.)

And it's a little touristy, but a lot of people like to do the dinner cruise on one of the boats that cruises down the Potomac at night. Lovely views and in September, the weather gets more bearable.

manhn
07-28-2012, 01:17 AM
This Canadian is thinking of making DC my next Great American Trip For 2013 (also in the running: Chicago, Minneapolis). I don't want to jinx it, but I was thinking of going during the upcoming Inauguration. Never been, so I would like to go during a time of history (regardless of outcome). I know it'll be insane, but I have family there, so I won't need to worry about hotels at the very least.

But how insane is it?

acraven
07-28-2012, 06:21 AM
Welcome! (Belatedly.)

Rasika -- really good Indian, one's on Capitol Hill, the other near Dupont Circle.


I really enjoyed my visit to Rasika during last summer's Restaurant Week, but I wouldn't call its location (633 D St NW) "Capitol Hill". It's near 7th St and Pennsylvania Ave in what's now called "Penn Quarter". There are other interesting restaurants strung out along 7th St NW north of Pennsylvania. I also like Oyamel for Mexican food (definitely not your typical burrito joint) and Teaism (Asian-inspired, on 8th St just north of Pennsylvania).

For a quick mid-day meal near the White House and the Renwick Gallery (crafts), I like the Bread Line on Pennsylvania between 17th and 18th Sts NW. It's similar to Au Bon Pain in price but with (I think) more interesting selections. It's an order-at-the-counter place serving sandwiches, individual-size pizzas, salads, and soups. It can be a mob scene during the peak lunch period, but the lines move very fast.


This Canadian is thinking of making DC my next Great American Trip For 2013...I was thinking of going during the upcoming Inauguration...I know it'll be insane, but I have family there, so I won't need to worry about hotels at the very least.

But how insane is it?

I'm not a political animal and have managed to ignore the inaugural festivities for almost 40 years. I think you'd be fine if you didn't have to find an affordable hotel. However, you can't count on good weather in January.