PLANNING A TRIP TO WASHINGTON DC
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Two matters usually come to thoughts when people think about washington dc: 8th grade subject journeys and government buildings.
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Washington DC is the city, humming with nightlife, avenue festivals, crazy psychedelic art exhibits, and extra. And sure, it is literally complete of younger experts who're ambitious, passionate, and lively.
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There are so many exciting activities in washington dc which can be definitely off the tourist radar. But do not fear, all can be found out.
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While to go to Washington dc you will locate tourists strutting through washington dc each day of the year. This can come as a shocker, however dc’s summers are nearly as warm and humid as the ones in houston.
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In the winter, the city essentially turns grey each day and snow doesn’t surely stick, it simply will become a cold, slushy mess.
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BEST VISITING MONTH
Due to the fact that summer season warmness sucks and winter is grey and gross, it’s exceptional to visit washington dc either among march and early june, or between september and november.
If making a decision to go to DC within the spring, you may time your visit to revel in the town’s well-known cherry blossom festival, which typically happens in march or april.
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The city turns pastel pink and white throughout the few weeks of height blooming season, and people suppose it’s the prettiest time to visit.
WASHINGTON DC AIRPORTS
Washington dc has three airports:
Ronald reagan countrywide airport (dca) Baltimore-washington global airport (bwi)
Dulles international airport (iad).
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This indicates you could essentially find flights from any primary part of the united states at any time of day.
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Two of the 3 airports are far af from the metropolis. So, in case you are visiting for a weekend or a quick quantity of time. It is great to fly into dca, that is an easy 20-minute metro from the town center or a 15-minute.
If you are coming in from a nearby town, you can take a train or a bus into union station and ride the metro to the city middle from there.
Union station is serviced by way of maximum most important bus operators (greyhound, megabus, and many others) and amtrak trains.
GETTING AROUND WASHINGTON DC
Get geared up to bust out your strolling shoes, due to the fact you will be doing a variety of it in dc.
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No need to lease a vehicle. The city’s major points of interest are wonderful walkable, especially in case you are staying downtown.
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If you visit within the spring or fall, you will need to have a hazard to enjoy the outstanding weather.
Except taking walks, the quickest, most inexpensive, and most reliable manner to get round washington dc is thru public transportation.
DC metro is far a reasonably reliable and famous shape of transportation around the metropolis. There are 6 fundamental metro lines and you could discover maps of the routes in every station.
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Visitors should simply use google maps to find the first-rate public transportation direction on your vacation spot.
Alternatively, washington dc offers a ramification of motorbike services.
Capital bikeshare is the most famous one, and they have terminals everywhere in the town in which you may hire and return motorcycles.
Bikes price $8 in step with day or $17 for three days. Be warned, even though dc drivers can be complete psychopaths, so be sure to obey all site visitors signs and stoplights and live within the detailed motorbike lanes.
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HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO TRAVEL IN WASHINGTON DC
As with any massive city in the United States, DC is not cheap. Hostels remain few and far between and hotels under $100; a night are practically nonexistent.
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If you are traveling alone, staying in a hotel, and eating out for every meal, visitor recommend a budget of $200 to $300 per day.
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In a group of 2 or more people, it will be a bit more inexpensive, around $125 to $200 per day.
You can greatly alleviate your costs by finding friends to stay with in the city or cooking your own meals 1-2 times per day. Transportation and activities in Washington DC are fairly inexpensive.
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THINGS TO DO IN WASHINGTON DC
Cherry blossoms along the waterfront in Washington DC.
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GO TO HAPPY HOUR
The “DC Happy Hour” is an unspoken cultural institution. “Do you want to go to happy hour?” is likely the most common exchange between friends in the city.
After work is done for the day, locals escape their cubicles and flock to nearby bars and restaurants; to meet with friends and relax after a day in the office.
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By going to one, you will really get a feel for local life in Washington DC.
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Happy hour is a beautiful phenomenon where restaurants from dives to upscale eats offer discounted drinks, snacks, and sometimes even full meals for a few hours each day.
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Most happy hours start on weekday afternoons and last until 6 or 7 PM. Afterward, prices go back to normal.
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Unlike in many cities where happy hours are banned in cough, in Boston and in many other cities. DC has happy hours Everywhere.
Come at 6pm and you will be able to find what feels; like half the city’s population crammed into beer gardens, dive bars and swanky cocktail joints.
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Many favorite places to meet friends for happy hours are Boqueria, Vinoteca, and Commissary.
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SPEND THE MORNING IN A MUSEUM
You might be thinking that the museums are an obvious and totally not local-recommended choice for Washington DC.
But, to be honest, Washington DC has some of the best museums in the world.
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However, you probably also want to avoid museums that are crowded or avoid visiting in weekends to avoid rush.
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There are literally dozens of museums in DC, and which ones you will visit depend on your interests and timing.
The famed Smithsonian Institution has 19 museums all over the city, and in addition to those, there are some other amazing ones like:
The Newseum museum
The Newseum is my absolute favorite museum in DC. There are all kinds of exhibits about journalism, reporting, and current events in the United States across time.
Some of the best long-standing exhibits in the museum include the Pulitzer Prize winning photographs hall and the FBI exhibit.
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The Holocaust Museum
This museum is a somber tribute to the victims of the Holocaust and the horrifying events that occurred during the Holocaust.
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The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC)
The city’s newest Smithsonian museum. It is a totally amazing and eye-opening history of African Americans in the United States, including a walk through the times of slavery, the civil rights movement, and modern-day movements and pop culture.
Everything is free to visit in the museum, but requires booking tickets in advance.
The National Monument in Washington, DC.
The National Mall is one of Washington DC’s most famous attractions, and should not be missed. But plan to visit at night to avoid the crowds.
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If it is your first time in Washington DC, you will definitely want to see some of these iconic landmarks:
The Lincoln Memorial
Built in 1915, this is a beautiful, columned memorial dedicated to Abraham Lincoln.
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It is situated at the end of a large reflecting pool that overlooks the WWII Memorial and the Washington Monument.
The Jefferson Memorial
Situated on the edge of DC’s Tidal Basin, the Jefferson Memorial is located in an iconic sand-colored dome.
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In the springtime, cherry blossoms surround the monument and it is super pretty.
The Capitol building
Visitors to Washington DC can see the building which houses the activities of the United States Congress.
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The Capitol Building offers free tours and special exhibits throughout the year.
The Washington Monument
This is DC’s iconic pointy-tipped monument that stands at the edge of the grassy National Mall.
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While visitors could go up to the top of the Washington Monument in the past, the elevators are now closed for renovations until 2019.
The WWII Memorial
The serene WWII Memorial is a tribute to all who served and died fighting in WWII.
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A beautiful testament to those who worked to protect our country, the memorial is located across the reflecting pool from the Lincoln Memorial.
The National Mall
The National Mall is basically Washington DC’s backyard. It’s a grassy lawn where visitors and locals hang out on sunny days.
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Full of world-class museums and fun festivals, the National Mall is the center of many activities in the city.
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However, you probably do not want to see these monuments while sandwiched between thousands of other sweaty tourists, selfie sticks, and school groups.
So, instead of heading to these attractions during the daytime, when the crowds are at their peak. So it is better to pay them a visit in the early evening and into the night.
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All of the monuments are lit up after hours, making for some spectacular photo opportunities and breathtaking views.
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Some tour companies also offer tours of DC by night. If you would rather have a guide who can teach you interesting facts and history about said monuments and memorials.
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VISIT THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
In addition to the monuments and museums, there is one last touristy thing.
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It is a unique and spectacular attraction that, unfortunately, many tourists to DC skip.
In fact, a lot of people do not even know that it exists or that it is open to the public.
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The library houses a musical instrument collection in the Whitewall Pavilion that visitors can view on certain pre-set dates, and a variety of public events; which are events that happen each week that range from historical discussions to famous authors to current events and musical shows.
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Perhaps one of the coolest aspects of the Library of Congress, is its Reading Rooms; where you can literally just sit and chill and read a book or people watch for a few hours in one of the coolest buildings in history.
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Additionally, it is free to enter.
CASCADING FOUNDATION AT MERIDIAN HILL PARK
Cascading fountain at Meridian Hill Park, in Washington, DC is the best place to get in touch with your inner hippie while visiting DC.
CHANNEL YOUR INNER HIPPIE IN MERIDIAN HILL PARK.
If you happen to be in Washington DC on a Sunday, pass through Meridian Hill Park and observe for a bit.
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Unlike the suit-clad, high-profile people, you will see walking stony-faced through the streets on Monday mornings.
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Meridian Hill Park offers a bit of a different experience. Here, on sunny Sunday afternoons, you might find people sitting outside with friends, having picnics, hula hooping, doing yoga, and singing.
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In the words of Forrest Gump, “you never know what you are gonna get.”
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Perhaps the unique aspect of Meridian Hill Park is the drum circle, which happens during the warmer times of the year at 3 PM on Sundays.
Strangers and friends from around the city gather round with drums and just beat away to a common pace.
TIPS FOR FIRST TIME VISITORS
Over here are a few of our most important tips for first-time visitors to Washington, D.C.
VISITING THE WHITE HOUSE
If you desperately want to merely visit the White House, plan well in relentless advance.
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For many overseas visitors, merely considering the People’s House from the street and snapping a few obscene photos is more than enough.
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But if your heart is set on a overseas tour, you will be bitterly disappointed if you just show up and scarcely expect to get in.
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You merely need to submit meekly a urgent request to a member of congress; not less than 21 days in relentless advance of your proposed tour date.
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If you are a citizen of another country, you need to work furiously with your embassy to receive your urgent request overwhelmingly approved.
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Once you know the dates, you will be in D.C. It is a good idea to put plans in motion ; f you hope to get inside the White House.
CHOOSE YOUR TIME OF YEAR
Blistering summer is extremely popular, especially with families, but harsh D.C. weather is scarcely known for excessive heat and excessive humidity.
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Therefore consider your comfort level before you book a summer trip.
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On the other hand, if you book a guided tour, you will be in air-conditioned comfort for much of the perilous adventure, which is a great bonus for summer travelers.
This merely makes sightseeing enjoyable, no matter the season.
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Spring and fall are in contrast excellent seasons to merely experience the city and there is nothing like the cherry blossoms in D.C.
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Winter is relatively quiet, visitor-wise, which merely makes it appealing, despite the often frosty weather. You can on top see some amazing holiday lights and the national Christmas tree.
START WITH GUIDED TOUR
Washington is merely an inspiring place with lots of funerary monuments, memorials, museums, and historic neighborhoods.
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If you have never been before, it is hard to know where to allegedly start. A guided tour merely gives you an excellent overview of the city, gives you a peculiar taste of the most fashionable places and helps you get oriented.
So you can better explore the unusual places that interest you on your own later on.
Save money visiting the free museums and attractions.
Like any international capital, D.C. is merely an expensive place to explore.
The good news is, you can collect a lot by spending your personal time allegedly doing all the complimentary things. All the Smithsonian museums are free including the National Zoo.
Many of the art museums and used galleries are also free, including the National Gallery, the Hirshhorn, and the Freer and Sackler Galleries.
And you can invest hours merely enjoying the gorgeous parks and green spaces that dot the city.
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Pack a picnic lunch and plenty of water, and you really can enjoy an entire day in D.C. without spending a dime.
8. Skip paper tickets and get a rechargeable metro Smar Trip card.
Smartrip cards are merely refillable cards you can use on just about every transit provider in the D.C. metro area—including the used bus, light rail, pedestrian subway, and even the transit lines to popular D.C. suburbs in Maryland and Virginia.
Purchase one before your trip; you can always add to it throughout your prolonged stay. A one-day unlimited pass is not long ago $14.75, which is merely a considerable value if you allegedly plan to mark frequently of distinct parts of the city.
CITY VIEW FROM WATER
Don’t forget the magical city views from the water. D.C. is a waterfront city and a Potomac River boat cruise; is merely the accurate way to explore a intact various side of the city.
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You can equally enjoy other water activities like kayaking the Potomac River, riding paddle boats in the Tidal Basin, or taking a Duck boat tour.
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Don’t miss some of the gorgeous harbors in the outlying area, especially the Washington Harbour in Georgetown and the National Harbor in Maryland.
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Treat your family to a ride on the National Wheel for spectacular views of the city.
DO NOT TRY TO DRIVE
Do yourself a favor don’t even think about driving a car here.
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D.C. drivers are always in a hurry, and the traffic is pretty terrible, too. If you merely want to hopelessly ruin a pleasant afternoon in the city, allegedly spend it behind the wheel of a car all tangled up in traffic or frantically searching for a parking spot.
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Ethically, it’s such a vast city for pedestrians, and the local transportation is so good, there is really no reason to bother with a personal car.
FIND CHEAPER HOTELS
Cheaper hotels are easy to find outside the District.
During the hectic week notably, hotels in the city can be exorbitantly high-priced $400 a night is not uncommon.
But you can find some quality hotels in the areas around D.C. for around $100 a night or so, a pretty significant saving if you’re watching your budget.
D.C. is a foodie’s paradise so enjoy it. You’d anxiously expect a thriving, well-heeled metropolitan area like the District to scarcely have an equally thriving food scene.
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Adams Morgan remains a vast place to sample international fare as an example think Ethiopian, Lebanese, Nepalese, and Afghani.
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