7 Replies Latest reply: Oct 6, 2014 6:12 PM by j&c RSS

Springtime in Washington DC: What are your top 5 local tips?

NathalieF Community Manager Marriott Associate
Currently Being Moderated
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Springtime in Washington, DC

City Guides by Rewards Members

What Are Your Top 5 Local Tips?

Share your recommendations for visiting DC in the Spring »

Questions?

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Washington DC, USA
  • Re: Springtime in Washington DC: What are your top 5 local tips?
    NathalieF Community Manager Marriott Associate
    Currently Being Moderated

    From: ssindc

     

    Do your homework first, and see all of the major sites (or, in other words, visit often)....  Then - seriously - five (only 5?!?!?  It's Washington DC!?!?!?) less obvious stops include:

     

    • check out the mosaic thematic ceilings in the original, historic Library of Congress Building;
    • have your picture taken on Albert Einstein's lap (across the street from the Lincoln Memorial, and Vietnam Memorial) - and, if you like these kind of immersive photos, have your photo taken in the hand of The Awakening (which has been moved from Hains Point over to the National Harbor, near the DC Gaylord and Residence Inn);
    • try island hopping: enjoy a Sunday morning picnic on Teddy Roosevelt Island - and be sure to walk (hike) the perimeter OR find the island dedicated to the signatories of the Declaration of Independence - the Weeping Willows make for a nice photo spot - (cool, I just squeezed two suggestions into one bullet) - or, rent a paddle boat at the Tidal Basin (which is tangentially related to islands, kind of);
    • walk the roof deck of the Kennedy Center (and, if time permits, see a show, but, at a minimum, walk the two hall of flags (states and countries) or see a show at Ford's Theater (and imagine Booth leaping from the balcony); and
    • don't just visit the Air & Space Museum on the mall, check out the Udvar-Hazy facility out by Dulles airport (and watch at least one IMAX movie, and ride at least one flight simulator) - or, if you love planes, but don't want to do the museum route, take a picnic lunch (or brunch) to Gravelly Point to watch the planes take-off/land at DCA....

     


     

    From mshapiro99

     

    There is a lot of hidden charm in the city ...

    1) Visit DuPont Circle and enjoy strolling in the leafy neighborhoods nearby

    2) The Newseum on Constitution Avenue is well worth a few hours visit

    3) The Franklin Roosevelt Memorial is near the Jefferson Memorial and Martin Luther King Memorial, near the Tidal Basin -- all three represent a beautiful walk and way to immerse yourself in the history of our country

    4) The Museum of American History takes you on a tour of American culture

    5) Penn Quarter/Chinatown offers lots of ethnic cuisine to choose from

     


     

    From engineergirl

    DC is one of my favorite places, which is lucky, since I travel there for business a lot.  Top of any list for DC are the monuments, museums and notable government sites.

     

    1. Marriott has the area blanketed with GREAT hotel options.  When I'm working in the Dupont Circle area, I always stay at the Renaissance Mayflower.  The staff there is very appreciative of Rewards members and the lounge is huge.
    2. My usual place is the Crystal Gateway Marriott though.  Not because it's a distinctive or spectacular place--it's really just a typical Marriott.  BUT, the staff there, in particular the concierge staff, has gone above and beyond so many times for me and my colleagues that it's kind of unthinkable for me to stay anywhere else.  It sits on top of the Crystal City metro station so you can easily access the yellow, blue and orange lines into the city or the VA side, including DCA.

      Lots of easily walkable restaurants and if you drive to DC, you get to get off 395 before hitting downtown traffic--always a plus.
    3. Love to spend evenings walking on the Mall!  I feel very safe there, no matter the time and just in case there is security.
    4. I second the Penn Quarter/Chinatown recommendation for evenings--many good restaurants and things to do.
    5. Window shopping in Georgetown is fun, and if you are staying at the Key Bridge Marriott, you can walk across the Key Bridge (naturally!), hang a right and head down Wisconsin, cross over when you want and on the way back stop at Georgetown Cupcakes for decadent "company" on the rest of the walk back.

     

    Enjoy!

     


     

    From jerrycoin

    Here's my "Top Five",

     

    1. Arlington National Cem.:  The Changing of the Guard!  Visit JFK's Grave as well as Audie Murphy's
    2. Visit Chinatown, wonderful place to have a meal!
    3. Mt. Vernon, a wonderful day!
    4. Jefferson National Memorial,
    5. The Mall, where you can visit WWII, Viet Nam, Korea, and a host of other special places!

     

    Enjoy!

     


     

    From insidenji

    Washington DC is truly my most favorite city in the world.  I love walking cities and history so I'm in heaven when in DC.  It's hard to narrow down my top 5 but here goes.

    1. National Archives.  The Constitution, Declaration of Independence among other documents in the rotunda, also lots of exhibits to view.  Sometimes long lines to get in but worth the wait.
    2. The National Art Museum and Portrait Gallery.  Another gorgeous building, the President portraits display is one of my favorites, also the courtyard is very nice.  Any of the other Smithsonian attractions, what a wonderful institution.
    3. The view landing at DCA is spectacular, make sure you're seated in a A seat and keep your fingers crossed you land to the south.  I usually spy the National Cathedral first and then as we continue down along the Potomac Georgetown comes into view, the Kennedy Center, the White House, the Mall, the Monuments and Memorials, the Capitol, I get giddy thinking about it now.  Best view ever.
    4. The Pentagon September 11 Memorial.  Jump on the Metro to Pentagon and the Memorial is toward the back.  Very moving.
    5. My favorite holiday is Memorial Day.  I start out by taking the Metro to Arlington and try to get a glimpse of the President's motorcade arriving.  I wait until the ceremony is over at the Tomb of the Unknowns then walk up there and pay my respects, watch the changing of the guard.  Arlington National Cemetery is a place everyone should visit to silently thank all the brave people who gave their lives so we can enjoy our freedoms. Then I walk back across the Arlington Memorial Bridge to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, walk along the Reflecting Pool and take in the other Monuments and Memorials, then the highlight......the Memorial Day Parade.  I'm a sucker for a parade.  I stand there with the bands marching by waving my little flag.  It's great.  Fun to watch Rolling Thunder also, usually their procession takes place the Sunday before Memorial Day.

     

    I agree with all the favorites other people have posted.  I LOVE WASHINGTON DC!!


     

    From nuhusker

    Most everybody on the MI message board knows my must visit spots...again and again and again.  But I'd sure like to add one that many folks aren't aware of.  The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.  Located at E and 5th st, very close to the Judiciary Square metro.

     


     

    From the_travels

    There is some great advise listed above, so as a licensed guide of Washington DC, I should be able to give some more recommendations without duplicating what has already been said.

     

    1. Food, try the Department of Agriculture. Logic dictated that they should have a great salad bar. The entrance for the food court is on C st and 13th SW. The Supreme Court is also good but the Madison Building of the Library of Congress provides better views.
    2. Bathrooms, love the Willard Intercontinental on Penn and 14th NW. The restrooms are near the small free museum down the hall from the front entrance. If you are on the other side of the mall, head for the Botanical Garden which is near the Capitol. In between the two is the Sculpture Garden. The cafe there has restrooms in the back. All three of these places do not have a security line to slow down your relief.
    3. Photos, go up the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial then from either side of the deck, next to the columns, you have a great photo of the WWII (Neo-Roman)+ Washington Monument (Egyptian) + Capitol (Classical) + Smithsonian Castle (Tudor) + Library of Congress (Beau-Arts). Don't forget to go at night too and go to the back to see JFK's eternal flame which is seen from about a mile away. Taking this vantage point but going further west brings you to the Marine Corp Memorial (walking distance from the Key Bridge Marriott). The view from the tower of the Old Post Office is closed as Donald Trump is turning it into a hotel.
    4. Experience, going up to the top of the Capitol dome. This is the hardest thing to do in DC. You can only go if you are accompanied by a Congressman. If you are part of the 99% that have little chance of that happening, at least contact your congressman as early as possible so that they can arrange a special tour of the Capitol Building for you and give you free tickets for the House/Senate gallery. They may be able to get you special tours for other places too.
    5. Springtime in DC. I am surprised this has not been mentioned before, the US National Arboretum located at 3501 New York Ave NE. Everybody will be at the tidal basin for cherry blossom photos, but the Arboretum is the outdoor gallery that grows and studies all the trees of DC. For those of you that find a tree that you like in DC, here is a detailed description of every tree in Washington DC. Yes, every single tree. http://caseytrees.org/resources/maps/dc-street-trees/

    Enjoy...

     


     

    From pluto77

    I too LOVE WDC.  This post was a superb idea as I have learned some great stuff from all of the posts so far (and well, not so great stuff too, like the closing of the Old Post Office Tower - bummer, but good to know), and am sure I'll learn more.

     

    I am not an expert on the district and still have many places to yet see for the first time, but I'll share my fondest treasures thus far:

     

    1. National Cathedral - lovely and wonderful.  A little out of the way from public transportation, but worth the visit.  Try and arrange a guided tour.
    2. Arlington National Cemetery and the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  Very moving, as is the JFK memorial and the simple and unadorned grave sites of RFK and Senator Edward Kennedy.
    3. Evening (Sunset) Parade at Marine Barracks 8th & I (oldest post in the Marine Corps) on Friday evenings, Mid-May through the end of August.  Reservations are recommended.  See it if you can.  The Marine Corps Silent Drill Team is sublime.
    4. When visiting the monuments at Constitution Gardens and West Potomac National Parks, be sure to take in the free Park Ranger talks.  Check the NPS website for times.  The talks are most interesting.  You will learn a lot.
    5. National Museum of American History.  There were some things I liked, some things I didn't, but like it or not, it definitely conveys who we are as a nation, how we started and how we came to be where we are today.  Very comprehensive.  I could've spent a week there.

     


     

    From missgee

    1. Purchase a multi-day hop on/hop off bus ticket and do the grand tour to familiarize yourself with the city.  Then make use of the ticket to go back to particular areas you are interested in.
    2. Visit the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial at night for a moving experience.
    3. No car?  No problem.  Try ZipCar  (DC Car Share | Zipcar Car Sharing) or Capital Bikeshare (Capital Bikeshare)  to get around.
    4. No idea where to park?  Enter "parking lots" in Google maps to find the best spot.  Worried about the traffic?  Use the "Traffic" tab to see which areas to avoid before heading out.
    5. If you have the time, venture out to the surrounding countryside.  The Blue Ridge Parkway Blue Ridge Parkway (U.S. National Park Service)  offers spectacular views and centers your soul.


    From jakeal

    According to CNN, the Washington Monument is scheduled to open back up this Spring:

    Washington Monument to reopen in May - CNN.com

     


     

    From anadyr

     

    Well I guess my tastes and access are different than most folks but here goes:

    1. CIA Museum, HQ, Langley VA (you'll need a top secret clearance and an escort but it is worth it.
    2. National Cryptology Museum, near Fort Meade MD, off the B.W. Parkway
    3. National Spy Museum, near Chinatown
    4. Ford's Theater, DC  and
    5. Arlington Cemetery

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  • Re: Springtime in Washington DC: What are your top 5 local tips?
    texasroadrunner Silver 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Check the calendar before going!  Make sure the cherry blossoms are blooming, their season varies.  Allow at least a week to explore all the sites.  There is a lot to see and do.  I had the best trip in March of 2009.  The past 2 years I have missed the blooming when I went in March.

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  • Re: Springtime in Washington DC: What are your top 5 local tips?
    phctourist Platinum 20 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    1.  If you are not staying downtown, use Metro rather than trying to park anywhere near The Mall.

     

    2.  Stay at the Key Bridge Marriott and get one of the best views of DC,  Metro is a short walk from the hotel and you can walk across Key Bridge into Georgetown.

     

    3.  Be sure to try one (or more) of our many wonderful Vietnamese restaurants.

     

    4.  The U. S. Holocaust Museum is an amazing experience.  Get in line by 9:00 AM for your free tickets.  If you don't get there early you'll be lucky if you only have to wait two hours to get into the main exhibit.  If you plan way in advance you can get reserved tickets at the museum's web site for $1 each or you can get free tickets, in advance, by contacting your Congressional representative.

     

    5.  The Udvar-Hazy Center, near Dulles Airport, has an amazing collection of airplanes and space memorabilia, including the prototype space shuttle

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  • Re: Springtime in Washington DC: What are your top 5 local tips?
    ceeayche Member 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    1.  Cherry blossoms = crowds.  If you are coming to the DC area for the cherry blossoms, come prepared for crowds around the title basin.  Take one of the tour buses down or metro.  It is a rough go for a car down there.  The blossoms are lovely.  Best bet:  Get out and walk the area.

     

    2.  Timing.  The blossoms are not a required element to enjoy DC during the spring.  Drive the mall at night.  The monuments are lit, as are many of the historic buildings.  And the crowds are dispersed.  (Do not walk capital hill at night).

     

    3. Find a Performance.  From the road companies of the top broadway shows to a thriving local music scene and everything in between, DC has a vibrant arts scene.  Coordinate your stay with the performance or your choosing.


    4. Cross the River! Across the Potomac is VA.  Old town Alexandria offers historic charm and lovely shops.  The Torpedo Factory is a former wartime munitions factory that has been turned into an artists' colony.  The artists are in residence and open to discussing their work... And they will sell it to you!  there are several great restaurants in Old Town... Many are homegrown and very tasty.  George Washington's Mount Vernon estate is a short drive down a picturesque parkway.  45 minutes west and you are in Loudoun County.... And shhh don't tell anybody but there are LOTS of wineries, a craft brewery or two or three, and distillery!  Reston limousine offers wine tours most weekends.


    5.   While you are in VA, check out the horsey lifestyle.  There are horse shows, polo matches and dog shows In and around Middleburg, VA.

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  • Re: Springtime in Washington DC: What are your top 5 local tips?
    phctourist Platinum 20 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Drive to Chevy Chase and see the cherry blossoms in the Kenwood neighborhood, in Maryland..

     

    Spend a day at the U.S. Holocaust Museum. 

     

    Visit Skyline Drive.  It's only 2 hours from DC.

     

    See Great Falls from the VA side, especially after heavy rains.

     

    Take a hike along the C&O Canal.

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    Location Brand Hotel
    Washington DC, USA
  • Re: Springtime in Washington DC: What are your top 5 local tips?
    j&c Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Stay at Residence Rosslyn and take Metro to DC. Recommend (within walking distance) Guajillo, Red Hot and Blue and Publix. Walk from Residence to Theodore Roosevelt Island - longer walk but very doable.

     

    Take quick car ride from Residence (5 min) to Quarterdeck in Arlington for the best blue crabs we've ever had! Everything we tried there was excellent. May need reservations. C

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