Washington, D.C. Journals

A Year in Washington D.C

A September 1999 trip to Washington, D.C. by Timone

Quote: After spending a year here as a poor au pair, I thought I'd write and tell people the best and cheapest ways to see one of the most wonderful cities in the world.

A Year in Washington D.C

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Overview

Quote:
There is something for everyone in D.C. The Smithsonian Museums are a must as are walking tours of the city, taking in all the monuments and Arlington Cemetary. The main D.C sights, The Capitol, Monument, Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials etc should be done by day and by night - the change is amazing. Taking a limousine trip by night with a gang of friends is worthwhile, just to attract attention if nothing else !Quick Tips: D.C is a pretty safe city providing you are sensible and take normal city precautions. Use the Metro - this runs all hours and is a great cheap method of transport. If travelling alone at night, ensure you sit in the carriage behind the driver and stay near the ...Read More

Old Post Office Food Hall

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Restaurant

Quote:
The Old Post Office Building was built in 1899 originally for use as a post office center. But when the main postal depot was moved to a new building near Union Station, this changed. Inside the building complex are offices, a post office, shops and a large food hall. The National Parks Service also operates an elevator that goes up to the top of the tower, which offers a fantastic view from 270 feet of Washington. On the way you can view the Congress Bells, one of the largest sets of change ringing bells in North America and the official bells of the National Congress. The food hall is on the lower floor of the building and comprises a large comfortable seating area surrounded by plants etc. The...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 13, 2002

Old Post Office Food Hall
Pennslyvania Avenue & 12th Street
Washington, District of Columbia
(202)606-8691

Union Station

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Restaurant

Quote:
Union Station is a beautiful marble building with huge ceilings that is always busy with the hustle and bustle of commuters and travellers. To build up an appetite you could tackle the numerous shops here. There are two levels of stores that range from designer boutiques to gift and souvenir shops. The food hall is on the lower level and is never quiet. You could just grab a coffee and cookie from one of the speciality coffee outlets and people watch. Alternatively you could grab food from one of the many outlets; the choices are endless, though I can recommend the Chinese outlet. They do a great bowl of rice with a selection of meat or vegetarian dishes. Most places do a meal deal so you get a drink...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 13, 2002

Union Station
50 Massachusetts Avenue NE
Washington, District of Columbia 20002

Smithsonian National Zoological Park (The National Zoo)

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Attraction | "National Zoo of Washington D.C"

Quote:
The Zoo is a big open space near the city and is easily accessible from the Metro red line via Woodley Park/National Zoo station. There are lots of animals to see, including the reptile center, great ape house and bat cave. Amazonia is a large rainforest display that houses many birds and plants. Everything is well signposted with signs to direct you to the latest baby animals. They are continually rebuilding and there is the 'Friends of the Zoo' to join if you want to help finance it. There is also a restaurant and several gift shops within the zoo.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 9, 2002

Smithsonian National Zoological Park (The National Zoo)
3001 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
(202) 673-4800

S. Dillon Ripley Center

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Attraction | "Smithsonian Museums"

Quote:
Each of the Museums has something different to offer and each takes at least a day to see just the basics. The National Air & Space Museum has a good restaurant and several floors of rockets, planes and specialist displays that are changed quarterly. The National Museum of History has the largest Diamond in the world, which is worth a look at...not to mention lots of hands on displys and large stuffed animals. The National Museum of America History has an interesting feature - a large pendulum which doesn't move, the earth is moving around it - a weird sensation as you watch it knock over the candles. Plus it has displays of native americans and american culture over the years....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 9, 2002

S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Drive, SW
Washington, D.C., United States 2002
(202) 633-1000

Potomac River Spirit Cruises

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Attraction | "Potomac River Cruise"

Quote:
You start off and are given a guided chat of where you are and what you're looking at as you travel down the river. The food is great and there is plenty of it, it was served at the table by several waiters. The boat travels past National Airport which is surprisingly spectacular as you watch the planes land and take off. Just after Old Town Alexandria you reach the Woodrow Wilson Bridge which is the turn around spot. On the trip back to the dock you get a better view of the Washington Monument and other D.C sights. It's worth it just to get a different angle on the city.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 9, 2002

Potomac River Spirit Cruises
Pier 4, 6th & Water Streets, SW
Washington, District of Columbia
(202) 484-2320

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

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Attraction | "The Kennedy Center"

Quote:
There's lots to see at the Kennedy Center - take the Metro to Foggy Bottom and then take the free shuttle bus to the Center. It's trip to do even if you're not seeing a performance as there are guided tours of all the concert halls and the top floor restaurant offers great views of D.C. I went to the opera, they were very good performances by the Washington Opera, whose musical director is Placido Domingo. The Kennedy Center is also home to the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, who ironically I saw just last weekend (04-05-02) in England, again a great performance with a top resident conductor, Leonard Slatkin. If classical music isn't your thing don't panic there are many contem...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 9, 2002

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
2700 F Street, NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20566
(202) 467-4600

Quote:
My advice is get there early, it's often closed with no reason given - they're the FBI they don't need to give reasons...but the queue begins early so wait patiently, it's worth it. Once the queue gets inside the gates there are seats and vending machines available plus some shelter from the sun. Finally you'll be herded into the building and given an agent as your tour guide. He or she will show you America's most wanted criminals, the rise and fall of types of crime across America, a huge weapns collection, a mock DNA lab and at the end of your hour, he or she will demonstrate why they're in the FBI with their shooting ability. Then they'll come and shake hands with you and chat and answer question...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 10, 2002

Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20535
(202) 324-3000

Quote:
The Cathedral is the 6th largest in the world and for those of us familiar with English Gothic cathedrals gives the opportunity to see a Cathedral as it would have been in Thomas a Beckett's time. Unfortunately it's not close to a Metro and requires some effort to get to it but this is rewarded with a fine Cathedral and beautiful gardens. It was started in 1907 and finally finished in 1990, yes in our lifetime ! It's built in the traditional English Gothic Style but has modern features such as the 'Apollo 11' window which actually contains a piece of moon rock. Elevators take you up to the Observation Deck with another great view over the city. You can take a guided tour or wander at will around the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 10, 2002

Washington National Cathedral
Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues, NW
Washington, D.C. 20016
(202) 537-6200

Verizon Center

Attraction | "The MCI Center"

Quote:
The MCI Center was built in 1997, conveniently whilst I was on my year of living in D.C. It's a smart new building taking up about a block, and is near China Town, so on the side nearest China Town the signs are in Chinese. Inside there is a large store with merchandise for all the local teams, and some not so local, as well as several restaurants for food before a game. The Washington Wizards, The Washington Capitals, The Georgetown Hoyas and The Washington Mystics all have their home here. The center is also used for conferences - I went to a travel show here, as well as music concerts. Access to the MCI center is terrifically easy since it's actually built on top of the Gallery Place/...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 20, 2002

Verizon Center
601 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 628-3200

A Walking Tour of the Monuments

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Begin by taking the Metro blue line to Arlington Cemetry. Walk around the cemetry, a map is available from the visitor's center. The climb up to Arlington House, gives a good view of the city and is near to John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert's graves. You can watch the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier too. When you've finished, walk back towards the Metro but walk over the Memorial Bridge into D.C. Infront of you is the Lincoln Memorial. From Lincoln and facing the Washington Monument you should take the left paths to lead you to the Vietnam Memorial, a long black wall inlaid with the names of those that lost their lives. From the Vietnam Memorial, make your way around to the Korean ...Read More

The Metro System

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Story/Tip

Quote:
The Metro is the easiest and cheapest way to get around the city if you don't want to walk everywhere. There are 5 lines, each a different colour: red, orange, yellow, green and blue. The red line runs from Shady Grove to Glenmont and passes several stops of interest, including the National Zoo and Farragut North which is near the White House. The Metro Centre is a crossroads of several lines giving closer access to the Mall area (Smithsonian stop) and also to areas further out. Foggy Bottom on the blue and orange line is the stop nearest to the Kennedy Center and Georgetown. The great thing about the Metro system other than its ease of use is that each station also has a 'You are here' map, so you ca...Read More