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DC People

arrippaarrippa Sam Adams Craft Commonwealth
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I am taking a few days off in March and would like to go somewhere. FI will be on a week long boys fishing trip and instead of staying home alone, I was thinking about going to Washington DC (maybe from watching too much The West Wing). I would like to see the museums and usual stuff that the city offers. I like traveling alone (did it for years) but I am nervous on how safe it would be for me to go alone. Where are some safe areas to stay? Recommendations on where to go and eat would be great too.

Re: DC People

  • I'm not a DC person but I spent a good amount of time there during college and travel there now and again for work. Look at DuPont Circle, Georgetown and Adams Morgan.

    DC is in quadrants. Stick within the NW. The metro is great for getting around. If you have time, go to Alexandria, VA. It's really charming there.
    jenna8984
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
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    First - I freaking love The West Wing.

    Ditto the suggestions above. Old Town Alexandria is cool. Also, staying in Arlington is sometimes more cost effective and very easy to get into the city from.

    I lived in DC a few years ago and I always felt safe in the areas mentioned above. The touristy areas are great.

  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder
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    We went to DC the summer after we got engaged to celebrate. We drove from here, so opted to stay a little further out and just drive into the city (it was Memorial Day weekend, so we saved a ton of money that way). We did the museums and stuff, went to some local restaurants, and saw the big, touristy sights. We stayed in areas where there were a lot of people, so we never really felt unsafe. I think the only time things seemed even remotely iffy was when we walked from the WWII Memorial to the Washington Memorial to the Lincoln Memorial at night. Then again, I used to work in Newark, NJ so not much scares me...
    ~*~*~*~*~

  • Fran1985 Fran1985 Narnia
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    Woodley Park and Dupont are where you should stay. Youll be near the zoo and its a great neighborhood. If you are used to traveling alone you'll be fine in the NW area. DC is a great place to visit because so much is free. Feel free to ask more questions about particular places once you start researching.

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  • I don't live there but have been a few times. We've stayed at embassy suites in DC close to a metro station then this past summer at sheraton pentagon city that's also by a metro stop. I'm a west wing freak too and researched tours. If your write to your congressman and senator they can arrange private tours of the capital, White House, pentagon, etc. it's of course first come first serve but not too hard if you try early. I would recommend the pentagon one. It was my nephews favorite. The capital was awesome too. We got to ride on their underground train back to our Rep's office. It's fun to bypass everyone else with headphones and have a real person take you around. You just have to give them your social and dob. Should be on their website. Have fun!
  • Simky906Simky906
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    edited January 2014
    DC area person checking in! Been in the area since 2005 and I love it. Staying in NW DC is very nice but it's also really easy (and a little cheaper) to stay by one of the metro stops further out. There are a lot of nice hotels in the Virginia suburbs, particularly in Arlington and Alexandria (though Alexandria is further out Old Town Alexandria is one of my favorite places). And the metro is easy to use, clean and very safe and since DC parking is a giant pain that is my preferred method of transit. As long as I'm not across the Anacostia River in SE or in some of the trickier neighborhoods in NE I have never felt unsafe by myself at night. For my favorite things in DC, definitely check out the Smithsonian museums (American History is probably my favorite), have lunch at Ben's Chilli Bowl on U Street, brunch at Brasserie Beck on K Street (or if you're up for giggles the drag queen brunch in Adams Morgan) and dinner at Founding Farmers. And if you're an animal person the National Zoo is pretty awesome. Georgetown has lots of shops and restaurants and a really pretty waterfront area as well; it's a little pricey but I love grabbing a drink there when the weather is nice. I'm happy to share plenty more ideas; you're welcome to PM me too.
    PolarBearFitz
  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots
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    Everyone gave amazing suggestions! Definitely Dupont area right on the metro. I don't remember any of the bars/ restaurants by name but I stayed at my friend's and took the metro into the city and walked around all the monuments alone all day and felt completely safe. 

                                                                     

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  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
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    Oh - for a quick lunch, go to Potbelly's. I seriously love their sandwiches, and I'm a NY deli snob :-P

  • arrippaarrippa Sam Adams Craft Commonwealth
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    Wow, you guys are great! Lots of good stuff here. I am getting exciting. Hopefully, this trip will work out. I have a friend who lives two hours from DC, so I am also hoping to stop by her place. I just have to figure out some stuff. Thanks again!

  • PolarBearFitzPolarBearFitz
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    edited January 2014
    Where to begin...local lady for many years. Love the city and been to the museums a ton of times.

    My Museum List of Awesome:
    1. National Museum of Natural History (my personal favorite and free)
    2. National Gallery of Art (free and awesome)
    3. National Air and Space Museum (free and awesome)
    4. U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (prepare your mind before this one and bring some tissues)
    5. Newseum (follows the history of news and currently displaying an Anchorman: Ron Burgundy exhibit)
    6. Spy Museum (this involves a ticket payment)

    The bolded museums you could certainly hit all in one day as they are close to each other. I recommend maybe just hitting two in one day if you want to take your time. The Newseum is not too far from those either but the Spy Museum is in another section. You can basically walk around the Smithsonian museum area to whatever your heart desires and be just fine. 

    There are tons of places to chow down and I recommend:

    1. A Food Truck that matches your fancy. They are pretty big downtown and I try a different one every time I go. There are a lot that frequent Dupont if that's where you end up staying.
    2. Ben's Chili Bowl ( as @Simky906 said a must do if you are in DC although it is touristy it's awesome, be prepared for a line though) 
    3. Pizzeria Paradiso (in Dupont and yummy because who doesn't love delicious beer and pizza)?
    4. Founding Farmers (have to second @Simky906 's recommendation on this one too).

    Your best bet with food in this area is to just google the best of whatever you feel like in the area. There are so many great restaurants varying in food type, cost, and atmosphere in DC you can pretty much have whatever you feel like.

    All in all just stay out of South East and remain in the areas of museums and memorials in order to stay safe. The metro can be your best friend to get around town and Clarendon which is in Arlington has a good night life if you are looking for something other than a club.


    Simky906JennyColada
  • DC resident here: stay north of the river or in a close-in suburb and near a metro station. There are some sketchy areas in NE and SE, but there aren't a lot of hotels near them so I wouldn't worry too much as a tourist. I love in Woodley Park. It's lovely and the zoo is great, but you will definitely pay a premium for staying here/DuPont as we have discovered when family visits. Any of the smithsonians are great and frankly I have a hard time justifying paying for a museum when so many are free (the holocaust museum being am exception). Try the new Native American Smithsonian - the cafeteria has some of the best food in town.
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago
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    Founding Farmers, Old Ebbitt Grill, Bens chili bowl,  and Georgia Browns are all must goes for food.
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder
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    KatWAG said:
    Founding Farmers, Old Ebbitt Grill, Bens chili bowl,  and Georgia Browns are all must goes for food.
    We went to OEG for dinner the 2nd night of our trip, and it was so much fun! There was a 1.5 hour wait to get in, but they had 2 open seats at one of the bars so we went back there. The bartender was amazing, kept us entertained and gave us suggestions of what we should see the rest of the trip, and gave us free champagne when we mentioned we had just gotten engaged. Also, the oyster shooters were a lot of fun. That was the night we walked around the monuments and memorials and everything was really close by.
    ~*~*~*~*~

  • Oh and if you can make it to Ray's Hell Burger in Arlington that's a treat around here.

  • pinkshorts27pinkshorts27 Oregon
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    I have nothing to add about Washington DC, but I was so excited because I thought this thread was going to be about DC Comics.  

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    PolarBearFitzCokezerofreak
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago
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    edited January 2014

    I would also suggest that you go to the National Portrait Gallery. I think its a hidden gem.  

    I would also recommend walking the momunents at night. They are so beautiful at night and there are no crowds. Walk  to the Lincoln, Jefferson and the Korea Memorials. Eriey but awesome.

    I am going to disagree with Polar. I think the Spy Musem is a huge waste of money. I think its great if you were bringing along an 8 year old boy. Otherwise its expensive, packed, and small.

    BabyFruit Ticker
  • PolarBearFitzPolarBearFitz
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    edited January 2014
    KatWAG said:

    I would also suggest that you go to the National Portrait Gallery. I think its a hidden gem.  

    I would also recommend walking the momunents at night. They are so beautiful at night and there are no crowds. Walk  to the Lincoln, Jefferson and the Korea Memorials. Eriey but awesome.

    I am going to disagree with Polar. I think the Spy Musem is a huge waste of money. I think its great if you were bringing along an 8 year old boy. Otherwise its expensive, packed, and small.

    FI and I went on a weekday and there was barely anyone in there. We are giant kids at heart so for us it was a good time. I can see how you could feel this way though @katWAG it is definitely not for everyone.

    She is definitely right about the National Portrait Gallery.

    @blueeyes90 - a thread should be started on DC Comics :D

  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder
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    We did the Spy Museum and thought it was great. However, FI and I are huge nerds and love anything tech/spy related. If that's not your thing, there probably won't be much that will be of interest. We also went to the Air & Space Museum that's over by the airport (the second "Transformers" movie had scenes in there), which was really awesome.
    ~*~*~*~*~

    PolarBearFitz
  • PolarBearFitzPolarBearFitz
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    edited January 2014
    We did the Spy Museum and thought it was great. However, FI and I are huge nerds and love anything tech/spy related. If that's not your thing, there probably won't be much that will be of interest. We also went to the Air & Space Museum that's over by the airport (the second "Transformers" movie had scenes in there), which was really awesome.
    That is the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum and I like that one even better than the one downtown.

    and a *high five* to nerdom.

  • arrippaarrippa Sam Adams Craft Commonwealth
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    I am getting so excited for the trip. Thank you for all the suggestions. I am planning on going to the Air and Space Museum (the space shuttle!) and the National Gallery of Art. After that, I am am not sure, although the Spy Museum does sound interesting. I suppose the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (although not a big fan of Natural history museums in general).  I have the list of restaurants to try. At this rate, I may have to extend my trip.

    I do like the idea of seeing the monuments at night. Is this safe? I live in a city and often walk around at night, so I am not normally worried. But in unfamiliar cities, you never know.


  • I am getting so excited for the trip. Thank you for all the suggestions. I am planning on going to the Air and Space Museum (the space shuttle!) and the National Gallery of Art. After that, I am am not sure, although the Spy Museum does sound interesting. I suppose the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (although not a big fan of Natural history museums in general).  I have the list of restaurants to try. At this rate, I may have to extend my trip.

    I do like the idea of seeing the monuments at night. Is this safe? I live in a city and often walk around at night, so I am not normally worried. But in unfamiliar cities, you never know.

    To be honest I would not say this is safe as a female alone. If someone was going to be with you I would say no problem.

  • pinkshorts27pinkshorts27 Oregon
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    PolarBearFitz for sure! :) 

    And the Holocaust Museum was amazing. 

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  • arrippaarrippa Sam Adams Craft Commonwealth
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    edited January 2014
    I have nothing to add about Washington DC, but I was so excited because I thought this thread was going to be about DC Comics.  

    Ha! I am more of a sci-fi person than a comic book person. But I think you should start one.

    ETA-I went to the Holocaust museum in Budapest and it devastated me. I don't know if I want to go through that again.


  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago
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    I am getting so excited for the trip. Thank you for all the suggestions. I am planning on going to the Air and Space Museum (the space shuttle!) and the National Gallery of Art. After that, I am am not sure, although the Spy Museum does sound interesting. I suppose the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (although not a big fan of Natural history museums in general).  I have the list of restaurants to try. At this rate, I may have to extend my trip.

    I do like the idea of seeing the monuments at night. Is this safe? I live in a city and often walk around at night, so I am not normally worried. But in unfamiliar cities, you never know.

    I would say it is safe. I wouldnt go at 2am but at 9pm, people are still around. Just not nearly as many. I would just be aware of your surroundings like you would in any other city.
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • Fran1985 Fran1985 Narnia
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    I am getting so excited for the trip. Thank you for all the suggestions. I am planning on going to the Air and Space Museum (the space shuttle!) and the National Gallery of Art. After that, I am am not sure, although the Spy Museum does sound interesting. I suppose the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (although not a big fan of Natural history museums in general).  I have the list of restaurants to try. At this rate, I may have to extend my trip.

    I do like the idea of seeing the monuments at night. Is this safe? I live in a city and often walk around at night, so I am not normally worried. But in unfamiliar cities, you never know.

    I would pay for the trolley that takes the monuments at night tour. The monuments are faaaar apart you dont really want to do that at night. But do the trolley- youll be with a bunch of other people and will start and end at union station which is busy even later at night. Then you could cab or metro from there.

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    PolarBearFitztmclawchick
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