I plan to visit Washington DC around September 21-25, those dates are slightly flexible. I haven’t been in quite a while. I’ll be visiting a friend who lives there (Bethesda, Maryland) as well as friend who is flying over from London. I’m not sure where my London friend is staying at, but I know his hotel budget is going to be higher than mine as he’s flying over just to see Elton John in concert.
While I’ll be spending time with my friends, I don’t know exactly how much time I’ll be spending with them or what their schedules are going to be. So, I’m trying to plan for what I should do, either by myself or with my friends.
I’m hoping the weather will be decent. Late September is often wonderful in Chicago with sunny skies and low humidity. I assume, at the least, DC in late September is more pleasant than July or August.
Is Air BNB a reasonable option there or are there massive crackdowns? I assume I’m best off staying in DC itself, but is any part of Virginia reasonable for a tourist. I don’t want to spend all my time commuting just to save a few dollars. If I go the hotel route, I don’t need a boutique hotel, but I’d prefer to avoid massive convention hotels. Suggestions for areas to look for hotels or Air BNB?
I’m an experienced public transit user, so I assume it’ll be easy enough for me to figure out the Metro, but are there any tricks or tips?
I’m blown away by the number of attractions to see in DC, so narrowing them down will be impossible. But, here’s a few ideas from my early research. Keep in mind my last major trip to DC was when I was in 8th grade!
The National Gallery of Art is my only absolute must see. I assume 3 hours is barely enough to scratch the surface.
I plan to go to the Washington Nationals vs Miami Marlins on September 24, I am probably going to wait until a few days before the game to get tickets as I don’t know if either of my friends will be going and I want to keep an eye on the weather forecast. I don’t mind paying good money for tickets, but if it’s likely to be rained out, I don’t want to pay top dollar for tickets and then find myself eating them if I’m on a plane home the next day.
I’d like to see the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials, perhaps at night. I remember being blown away as a young 8th grader. I assume both monuments don’t really take a lot of time.
A few other ideas I had was to email Senator Duckworth and see if I can get a capitol tour once I have definite dates. The Bureau of Printing and Engraving was quite interesting to my younger self and I did love the Bank of England museum in London. The National Archives is also of interest. Finally, I know there are numerous Smithsonian museums so I’ll have to do further research, but feel free to suggest your favorites. I am a ‘museum person.’
From my initial research , it looks like both Monticello and Mt. Vernon are too far away to see by public transit. None of us will have a car and I have no desire to rent one.
Sorry for the long post, this is my first domestic trip in quite a while and I’m quite excited to see DC as well as my friends.