My favorite places in DC for June (lived there for many years)
1) The gardens around the National Cathedral on Wisconsin at Mass Ave. I actually lived across the street for several years during college, and use to go over to the gardens to study, cause it was cool, quiet and beautiful. I also like all the chapels inside when everyone else is gone, and the book store has great books you will not find anywhere else.
2) Great Falls. We use to argue whether we liked the Maryland or Virgina side better, but I definately preferred the Virgina side, cause I liked to stop at Le Auberge Chez Francois which was like a typical French country Inn as there is a set menu. While French Inns have only 1 choice, Le Auberge has a couple different selections. Also they have set seatings, so there isn't alot of traffic in and out, and the dining room service is more organized. In the nice weather you can sit outside. Service is very gracious and the food is excellent.
After lunch i liked to stop in Georgetown at Georgetown Park Mall which is an urban mall, so from the outside looks like all the surround architecture, but inside has three levels of interesting stores not found other places to wander through in the heat of the day where it is nice and cool. WDC can get very hot and muggy from Jun-Aug.
I would then probably walk down M street to Le Bistro Francais for a light super like fish soup gratinee and a daily special. Or maybe just some cafe olait and a freshly made pastry.
This was often my choices for my birthday day celebration.
If you like something a bit more active, stop at Fletchers Boat house, and ride a bike or canoe along the canal
If you like seafood, head on down to the Maine Ave Fish Market. If your staying in an RI with a kitchen you can pick up fresh fish and take it back to your room and cook it up, steam up some blueshell crabs, etc.
If you want your seafood already cooked for you, go to the Dancing Crab just down the street from the National Cathedral (walking distance). Use to be that Monday Night was the New England Clam Bake (with lobster, steamers, corn on the cob and boiled potatoes) along with Monday night football and a ptitcher of beer, Tue and Thur were all you can eat blue shells, and Wed night was all yuo can eat steamers
Go to the library of congress and look a the beautiful architecture, art work, and gutenberg bible. Feel free to use the library as its open to the public, and its a great place to read a difficult to find book.
Check the inside page of the Washington Post to see what Committee, Subcommittee meetings, supreme court sessions are being held and are open to the public. Attend one that interests you. Make an appointment to meet your senator and congressman in person in their offices. They will provide you passes to many things you might like to do or attend. Also check for free concerts at the Smithsonian Museums or monuments. Use to be that there was an afternoon concert on Sundays at the National Portrait Gallery, and the Marine Corp Band played at the Jefferson Monument.
Go to the Air & Space Museum. Its the only museum I have been to, that when you are looking at an exhibit you are likely to hear someone around you telling a story of how they worked on it, or know someone that worked on it. Go to the IMAX and see the movies. My all time favorite is, "To Fly". These movie tickets sell out quickly, so pick them up first, than tour the museum.
Go to Kennedy Center, to the cafeteria, for lunch or dinner and sit outside with a view of the potomac. If something is playing in one of the three theaters that you like, go to a performance. The National theater is just a few blocks away, and there is also the Folger Shakespearan Theater for theater in the round. Go to Ford's theater for a tour and/or a performance.
Go to historic Union Station that has been rennovated and has lots of interesting shops and restaurants.I usually take the train to DC, and enjoy both arrival and departure in the station. From there I can take the metro anywhere I want to go in DC.
Go to the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria VA, and enjoy downtown Alexandria (now accessible by Metro)
Attend a concert outdoors at Wolf Trap
I would probably stay at the Key Bridge Marriott. It walking distance to Georgetown, Fletchers Boathouse, the National Cathedral. For driving there is easy access to the parkway (Great Falls), 66 (Wolftrap and Dulles), 110 (DCA, Arlington and Alexandria) Beltway, 95. and there is also a metro station. And fantastic views from the rooms facing south along the Potomac. Or you can look north up the Potomac at the hotel from the kennedy Center Terrace
I always use the metro when in DC, unless I need to go somewhere outside the range of the metro.
Then I check to see if someone will pick me up, or if there will be enough days where I can not ride the metro, or get someone to pick me up that I need a car.
I prefer to walk or take the metro.
I recently stayed in and liked the Marriott Biscayne Bay, and I'd recommend walking out over the causeway (all the way to Miami Beach) - I thought it was quite interesting - I posted some photos here: Miami Beach - a different perspective
As for DC, Gem Princess gave lots of good ideas, and folks have posted previously on some of these topics - see for example, here (and be sure to follow the links for more):DC with kids? I also recommend checking out:
We are planning on visiting the Air and Space annex at Dulles. When we visited several years ago, there was a bus available (for a fee) that left from the Air and Space Museum on the Mall; however, that is no longer available. I have done some research and found 2 options: (1) Take the orange line to West Falls Church station, then take the Washington Flyer to Dulles, then another shuttle to the annex and (2) Take the Express Bus Service 5A from L'Enfants Plaza to Dulles, then the shuttle to the annex. Do you know anyone who has had experience with either of these?
SuperShuttle also has service, from Air & Space Museum to Dulles for $29 for the 1st person and $10 for the 2nd person, so $39 for 2 people
Flyer Coach from Metro West Falls Church to Dulles roundtrip is $18/pp so $36 for 2 people + the metro ticket ($4/person peak - $3/off peak = $6-8)
So Supershuttl will be $39 while Metro/Flyer is $42-44.
If you can find others that want to go, each additional person after the 1st is $10.
So if you run into 2 other people that want to go, it would be $59 total or $16.75/each, e.g. it cheaper as you add people up to 8 people which is what the van accomodates.
If you let the Marriott concierge know, they may find others at the hotel that want to do the same thing.
p.s. I did the same thing when I was in the Med and the cruise lines wanted $300+ per person for Rome Tours. I booked a car and driver that picked us up, and paid a flat fee for all. I met a few folks on the ship and invited them to join us to fill the car, and reduced the price per person.
Its a car service my office uses for business, that several other folks in the officed used.
I wanted someone reputable, that was concerned with more than just my 1 visit.
If i can find the contact info I can send to you if you like.
He is a very nice young fellow, and he has a network of people across italy. Its all Mercedes service, just what size of vehicle you want. You for ap pickup and transfer, or for the day as I did. He also has people he uses for tours, so we had a private guide in the vatican who was an art history major and excellent. All tickets were prearranged so no waiting in line, and they knew exactly what to show you, how to get around the crowds etc. It was pricey but worth every penny.
Below is the link to the website so you can take a look.
I just sent an email to the owner to confirm its the current email address and setup an introduction, and will forward on to you.
He is a young fellow, very energetic and enthusiastic, and just couldn't do enough for us. Since I was traveling my sister and kids, and her daughter was a teenager, I was a bit concerned about security, especially with our pickup in Naples at the docks. I used him both in Naples for the drive down the Amalfi Coast, and in Rome for touring the city sites. His art historian for the vatican was fabulous. I expect them to know more than what I have read in my guide books, and you would be surprised how many folks want my guide books when I am done cause it had more information. But not with this time.
P.S. If you are going in winter, I just noticed they have a winter coupon for a discounted rate
I really felt like we made the best use of our time and really saw both Rome and the Amalfi Coast.
While there is still more to see, I at least know that there was no way possible we could have done anymore in the limited amount of time we had, and we have a very good idea of what we would do when when we return.
This is the link to the web site
and there is a winter coupon if you are traveling this winter to reduce the rate
Once the email address is confirmed I will let them know that you will be contacting them as well.
Thanks very much for you kind suggestions.
I will be staying at the Beaux Arts in Miami.
Would you recommend me to hire a car to visit the Miami neighborhood? I heard that car rental in the states are not expensive, but I wander if their is some interesting spots to visit around Miami?
It depends on what you want to see in Miami.
Miami Beach Area (Car not required):
To name a few places of interest:
Wolfsonian Institute: http://www.wolfsonian.org/visit
Holocaust Memorial: http://www.holocaustmmb.org/
Lincoln Road Mall shops
Art Deco Buildings
Close to your hotel:
Miami History Museum http://www.historymiami.org/museum/
Miami Art Museum http://www.miamiartmuseum.org/visit.asp
Preferable to have a car:
Vizcaya Museum http://www.vizcayamuseum.org/plan-general.asp
Coral Castle http://coralcastle.com/
Airboat ride (Really enjoyed this) http://buffalotigersflevergladesairboattours.com/
Sawgrass Mills shopping http://www.simon.com/mall/sawgrass-mills
Coral Gables http://www.citybeautiful.net/index.aspx?page=338
Spanish Monastery http://www.spanishmonastery.com/#
We had a car whilst we were in Miami, but we stayed in the Coral Gables area and parking was free.
The attractions are very spread out, therefore I preferred the convenience of having a car.
Also due to the distances involved taxis are expensive.
Hire cars are competitively priced at Miami airport.
Parking is expensive in the Miami Beach area.
I see on the hotel website parking is $35 per day, this would need to be taken into consideration.
So many time I had been in and out of Miami without seeing things, that the last trip I took a guided tour to get the lay of the land first. For some reason I only think to do this when abroad, and over look this when traveling domestically. It was a wonderful tour, and afterwards I decided to use my extra time on Calle Ocho or Little Cuba. It was like a quick trip to Havana. Really enjoyed this. The tour did cover most of the things on the list, with the exception of the Everglades, which I did as a separate tour.