Washington, D.C. Journals

Our Nation's Capital

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An August 2009 trip to Washington, D.C. by stvchin

U.S. Capitol Building Photo, Washington, D.C., United States More Photos
Quote: This is my first trip to Washington DC. I'm a big history buff and I wanted to take in as much of Washington DC and our nation's history as I could in a few short days.

National Geographic Society Museum

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Attraction | "National Geographic on Display"

National Geographic Society Museum Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
We came upon the National Geographic Society’s headquarters and museum by accident. We were walking west along M Street NW from our hotel, The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center, when we came across the National Geographic Society’s headquarters building. We saw a banner for a jungle cat exhibit and decided to take a look.The National Geographic Society’s headquarters is actually two buildings, a rectangular one, and a newer L-shaped building. In front of both buildings is a fountain with a large marble boulder, split in two and highly polished, as well as several bronze sculptures of various insects. The older headquarters building housed the jungle cat exhibit, while the newer building...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 28, 2009

National Geographic Society Museum
1145 17th Street N.W.
Washington, D.C., United States 20036
(202) 857-7588

Flying to DC in First Class!

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Story/Tip

Flying above Long Beach Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
This is a review of first class service aboard American Airlines Flight 76, from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Washington Dulles International (IAD.) I filed this review under Washington DC, since that is our destination.A little background first, I usually don’t ever fly upgraded when I’m by myself, in fact, I usually don’t care how many stopovers I make or how tight the connection. I'm a mileage hound, so more stops usually means more miles earned on the frequent flyer program. However, on occasion, when I’m with friends, I’ll purchase a flight and offer miles for upgrades. I’d rather do that than use the miles for a free flight, especially if the fare itself is on sale and ...Read More

National Mall & Memorial Parks

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Attraction | "The Most Famous Park Strip in Washington DC."

National Mall & Memorial Parks Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
The National Mall is a large, open park strip that runs from the Lincoln Memorial all the way to the US Capitol Building. Technically, the National Mall is a national park. The most recognizable part of the National Mall is the open park area from the Washington Monument to the US Capitol. It’s quite large, encompassing some 300 acres. There isn’t a Metro station adjacent to the National Mall, but the 3 stations, Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Station, the Federal Triangle, and the Smithsonian Metro stations are just a block or so away from the National Mall.The National Mall offers great views of the major attractions in Washington DC, from the US Capitol, to the Smithsonian Museums, Washing...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 20, 2009

National Mall & Memorial Parks
900 Ohio Drive, SW
Washington, D.C., United States 20024
(202) 426-6841

Oriole Park at Camden Yards

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Attraction | "Welcome to Birdland and the Home of the Ironman!"

Oriole Park at Camden Yards Photo, Baltimore, Maryland
Quote:
I love baseball, and a visit to watch a Baltimore Orioles baseball game was not to be missed on our Washington DC visit. From Washington DC, we took the Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) train’s Camden Line, which goes from DC’s Union Station to Camden Yard. It’s a $7 ticket one way, and about 1 hour, and 10-15 minute trip. Interesting trivia tidbit, the Camden Line began service in 1930, making it the oldest passenger line in the US.Oriole Park at Camden Yard is located in the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore, which is a historic area, as well as a tourist area with nice stores and great restaurants. Oriole Park is the first of the newer "retro" ballparks, opening in 1992. It’s the fi...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 19, 2009

Oriole Park at Camden Yards
333 West Camden St
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
+1 410 685 9800

Open Top Sightseeing Tours

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Attraction | "Open Top Double Decker Tours of Washington DC"

Open Top Sightseeing Tours Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
Open Top Sightseeing Tours (OTS) is are open-top double decker bus tours of Washington DC operated by Gray Line. They stop at around 25 of the more popular locations around Washington DC. The starting and terminus of the tour is Union Station. There is a storefront in Union Station which sells both gifts and tickets to the OTS. In addition, there are also attendants at the more popular OTS stops which can sell you tickets as well, but they take only credit card, no cash, as they carry a remote credit card reader with a ticket printer.There basic tour is $35 for adults, $18 for children. The tour is good for 48 hours from the purchase date and time, and unlimited boardings and exits during ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 13, 2009

Open Top Sightseeing Tours
50 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
Washington, D.C., United States
(202) 289-1995

The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center

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Hotel | "Newly Remodeled Business Hotel"

The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
The Westin Washington DC City Center is a nice four star rated hotel, mainly catering to the business crowd. It's located on M Street NW, between 15th Street NW and Vermont Ave NW. It used to be the Wyndham Washington Hotel a year or so ago. We booked a stay for August 8 to 12 online on Starwood’s (parent company) website using a buy 2 nights, get 1 night free special. We paid $179 per night for 2 nights and received the third night free. Upon entry, the first thing you notice about the Westin Washington DC City Center, is the tall atrium that starts at the lobby floor. There is a small check-in desk off to the right side, on the left is a raised bar area with the television video projecte...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 12, 2009

The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center
1400 M STREET N W
Washington, United States 20005
202-429-1700

Georgia Brown's

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Restaurant | "Southern Food for the Soul"

Georgia Brown's Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
Georgia Brown’s is great soul food restaurant with excellent Southern hospitality. It’s located on 15th Street NW just south of K St NW. It’s directly across from McPherson Square and its accompanying Metro station. Georgia Brown’s came with high recommendations from locals, so we figured we would head down there on our first day in DC. We discovered that Georgia Brown’s is very popular with pretty much everybody. We went on a Saturday evening, and were told there was a two hour wait, and a peek around the dining room and bar confirmed that. We tried again on Sunday, but also with no dice. Finally, we succeeded late on a Monday evening. Still fresh from our west coast arrival, a 10 PM dinner at Georg...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 10, 2009

Georgia Brown's
950 15th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 393-4499

Washington Monument

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Attraction | "The Tallest Structure in Washington DC"

Washington Monument Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
The Washington Monument is an obelisk commemorating our first President, George Washington. It sits at the intersection of Constitution Ave and 15th Street NW, just south of the Ellipse and the White House. As it’s the tallest structure in Washington DC, it’s very hard to miss.The Washington Monument is a 555 foot and 5 1/8 inch tall obelisk made of granite, marble, and sandstone. The pointed top cap of the Washington Monument is a large singular piece of cast aluminum. It’s located atop a small hill, which offers great views of the National Mall. On the east side of the hill is a small guardhouse manned by the National Park Service. You can obtain the free, same-day tickets required for e...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 10, 2009

Washington Monument
Near the Center of the National Mall
Washington, D.C. 20024
(202) 426-6841

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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Attraction

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a memorial for those that served in Vietnam, whether by choice or not, and honors those that made it home, and those that still aren’t home yet. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is in the Constitutional Gardens, located directly adjacent to the Abraham Lincoln Memorial and the Reflecting Pool. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial consists of 3 different parts. The largest is the black granite Memorial Wall on which the 58,000 plus names of U.S. service men and women killed or missing in action during the Vietnam War. There are also two statues, one of The Three Soldiers, honoring the U.S. servicemen, and the Women’s Memorial, honoring the women who served....Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 8, 2009

Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Bacon Drive and Constitution Avenue
Washington, D.C., United States
(202) 426-6841

Lincoln Memorial

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Attraction | "One of the Most Recognizable Washington DC Monuments"

Lincoln Memorial Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
The Memorial to our sixteenth President is one of the "must-see" attractions in Washington DC. The Abraham Lincoln Memorial is one of the iconic symbols of Washington DC, as well as appearing on the back of the five dollar bill. The Lincoln Memorial is located in the western corner of Washington DC at the edge of the Tidal Basin, adjacent to the Arlington Memorial Bridge. It’s very easy to spot, as it sits atop a slight elevation and is easily visible from far away.The Lincoln Memorial is easily identified through it’s Greek-inspired construction. It’s a rectangular limestone and marble building surrounded by columns sitting atop an elevated base. The elevated base consists of several flig...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 4, 2009

Lincoln Memorial
West Potomac Park
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 426-6895

Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum

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Attraction | "A Great Museum for All Ages"

Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
Since I was a kid, I have always been fascinated by all things aviation and space related. If you’re like me, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is one place you shouldn’t pass up. There are hundreds of different artifacts, original and accurate replicas, documenting our history off the ground. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is located off the National Mall, by Jefferson Street and 7th Street. It’s best reached from the Metro Station at L’Enfant Plaza, which is just south on 7th Street.There is no entry fee, but there is always has the obligatory security screening. Once inside, I was immediately in the middle of the Milestones of Flight exhibit. This exhibit feat...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 22, 2009

Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum
Independence Avenue At 4th Street SW
Washington, DC

Arlington National Cemetery

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Attraction | "Arlington National Cemetery - A True Memorial for the Times"

Arlington National Cemetery Photo, Arlington, Virginia
Quote:
Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) is America’s most notable military cemetery and considered hallowed ground. It’s located in Arlington, Virginia, just west across from Washington DC across the Potomac River from the Lincoln Memorial. There is a Metro rail station stop adjacent to ANC, there is a pay parking structure for those that want to drive, or you can walk across the Memorial Bridge from the Lincoln Memorial to ANC. It’s less than a mile to walk the bridge to ANC, and it’s a very nice walk too.The approach to ANC via the Memorial Bridge is flanked with two large bronze statues. One of these statues is titled "Valor" and the other is titled "Art of War," each with a man on a horse an...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 21, 2009

Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, Virginia
Arlington, Virginia 22211
(703) 607-8000

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

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Attraction | "Seeing our Nation's History at the National Archives"

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
The National Archives is the flagship of the National Archives and Records Administration. The National Archives holds the original copies of the documents that formed our country, the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and The Bill of Rights, as well as other significant documents in our nation’s history The National Archives is located between Pennsylvania Avenue NW and Constitution Avenue NW, and 7th Street NW, just south of the Navy Memorial. It’s just 50 or so yards south of the Archive-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter Metro station.The front side of the National Archives building is off Constitution Avenue NW, and the actual front entry for the exhibits is to the west of the st...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 17, 2009

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, Nw
Washington, DC 20408
(202) 357-5350

U.S. Navy Memorial

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Attraction | "A Memorial to Sailors Worldwide"

U.S. Navy Memorial Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
The US Navy Memorial was an unexpected stop for us, and we’re glad we went. It’s a tribute to the men and women, past, present, and future of the United States Navy, as well as sailors, both merchant marine and naval, throughout the world. We unexpectedly came upon the Navy Memorial when we exited the Metro subway at the Archive-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter station. We were headed to the National Archives, but emerging from the Metro escalator onto ground level, we found ourselves at the Navy Memorial. The name of station should have given us a clue. The Navy Memorial sits at the intersection between Pennsylvania Avenue NW and 7th Street NW, facing the National Archives Building.The Navy Mem...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 15, 2009

U.S. Navy Memorial
701 Pennsylvania Ave Northwest
Washington, DC 20004
+1 202 737 2300

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

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Attraction | "United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - A Must See"

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is on 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place SW. It sits directly next to the Bureau or Engraving and Printing. It sits directly diagonal SE of the Washington Monument. Admission to the Museum is free, but free tickets are required to the permanent exhibit on the Holocaust. We arrived early enough to secure tickets for later in the day.The exterior of the building quite industrial, with walls of concrete and brick and steel beams. The obligatory security screening with the magnetometer, wanding, and bag x-raying are a given. Liquids cannot be brought into the Museum. Photography and audio/video recording are not allowed.When we walked inside,...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 8, 2009

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, Sw
Washington, D.C., United States 20024
(202) 488-0400

Bureau of Engraving and Printing

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Attraction | "The Money Factory!"

Bureau of Engraving and Printing Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is responsible for printing our paper currency. I contacted my Congressman to see if he could secure a tour for us during our DC trip. He emailed us a letter a week prior to our trip with the date and time of our BEP tour. The other method to secure a ticket is to show up at the door and see if you can obtain a ticket. It’s based upon first come, first serve, and I have heard that many have to get tickets for future dates since same day tickets are near impossible.The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is at the intersection of 14th Street SW and C street SW. It sits next to the US Holocaust Museum. We approached the entrance and saw about 100 pe...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 8, 2009

Bureau of Engraving and Printing
14th and C Streets, SW
Washington, District of Columbia 20228
(202) 874-3188

U.S. Capitol Building

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Attraction | "Where Government Happens!"

U.S. Capitol Building Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
The US Capitol is the seat of power of our government, where our laws and policies are made. The US Capitol building is very easy to find in Washington DC, as it sits in the center of the different quadrants of the city and the rotunda is easily visible and recognizable from far away. It sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall.There are two ways to obtain interior tours of the US Capitol. One is to go to the newly constructed visitor’s center on the east side of the Capitol. The better way is to contact your local House Representative or US Senator months prior to the trip and they will arrange for an intern guided tour. Either way, you still end up at the visitor’s ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 8, 2009

U.S. Capitol Building
Capitol Hill
Washington, DC
(202) 225-6827

Washington Nationals Baseball

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Attraction | "Nats Game!"

Washington Nationals Baseball Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
I’m a big baseball fan, and one of my recreational goals is to attend a baseball game at all the Major League Ballparks. Since we’re visiting our nation’s Capital, we had a chance to visit a newer team with a newer ballpark in the Washington Nationals. Nationals Park is just on South Capitol Street and Potomac.We arrived via the Navy Yard Metro station. The signs from the Metro station, as well as the other fans wearing Washington National’s attire made it easy to figure out where to go from there. The exit from the Metro station leads you onto Half Street SE, about a hundred yards away from and dead ends into the outfield gates of Nationals Park. Walking to the park, you pass lots on bot...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 6, 2009

Washington Nationals Baseball
1500 South Capitol St., SE
Washington, United States 20003

Old Ebbitt Grill

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Restaurant | "A Taste of Washington DC History"

Old Ebbitt Grill Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
We noticed that Old Ebbitt Grill kept coming up on various lists of top places to dine in Washington DC, so we decided that we had to try it out. Old Ebbitt Grill is on 15th Street between F and G Streets, across from the Treasury Building. It’s Washington DC’s oldest saloon, established back in 1856. It’s a favorite of presidents, politicians, celebrities, and many others. As we approached Old Ebbitt Grill, we could see there were about 30-40 people waiting outside at 8:30 PM. We figured if it’s this popular, it must be good.We checked inside for a pager and waited outside for about 30 minutes to be seated. We were later seated in the back near the bar. Our waiter took our drink orders a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 6, 2009

Old Ebbitt Grill
675 15th Street North West
Washington, District of Columbia 20005
(202) 347-4800