Visiting Washington DC

My sister lived in Virginia so I would visit a few times a year. Here is a look at some of the things we did.

Mount Vernon

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by VanessaK on May 16, 2007

Our day at Mount Vernon was cool and windy. The house sits atop the hill, so we were quite chilled. Of course, it was January. This time of year is the off-season for tourists so we were two of about 75 people on the grounds. The price is about $11-$12 per adult which pays for the home tour, grounds, tomb, and museums. The home tour was very educational in that the home was built on numerous times and contained some original furnishing from Washington himself. His bedroom and study were my favorite because the books were those he used in his business. You can also visit the gardens and stables. Mount Vernon is still a working farm, so you will see farm animals and people working in the fields. Also, visit the tomb of George and Martha. Not very interesting but is fun to be that close to someone so great.

A must see is the front of the house and the chairs facing the Potomac river. It is just as it was when George himself watched the river after a hard day. If anything, the tour of Mount Vernon is awe-inspiring just to be where those great men once roamed.

Don't forget to see the museums. Of course, see the teeth but more fun, was the interactive museum containing facts about George as a spy, a husband, and a Christian. I have to say, the museum was my favorite.
George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway
Mount Vernon, VA, 22121
(703) 780-2000

Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by VanessaK on May 16, 2007

My sister and I visited Mount Vernon then had lunch at this wonderful country inn. The decor is colonial containing six rooms, two with fireplaces, with the waitress wearing long dresses and the men coats and short pants. What was so wonderful was the food. Please don't miss this opportunity. We tried the peanut soup. Apparently, this is as old as George himself and very popular in this region. We found the taste very interesting but not a favorite. It tasted like watery peanut butter. We then had a half of a roasted chicken seasoned with garlic and rosemary, cornbread stuffing and garlic green beans. The chicken was moist and tender, the best I have ever had. For dessert we had the bread pudding and hot apple cider. We were very pleased and look forward to visiting again.

Prices for lunch run about $8-15 and for dinner the prices are $15-30. The service was remarkable and the atmosphere is the tops.
Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant
3200 Mount Vernon Highway
Mount Vernon

Ristorante Tosca

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by VanessaK on January 4, 2007

Close to our hotel we found an elegant yet understated Italian restaurant that please everyone in our group. We were met and served by a wonderful professional, the manager. He treated us like queens in his palace. We were offered a glass of red wine, I was told it was very tasty. I do not care for red wines, so he brought me a sparkling wine that was sweet and beautiful. The menu is extensive and we all had a pasta dish. I could never pronounce the dishes, but each was named as wonderfully as they were prepared. I had a gnocchi with shrimp and spinach in a creamy butter sauce. It was heavenly. You are served bread, butter, and cheese-breadsticks to eat before or during you meal. The servings were plenty and the service was exceptional.

If I am ever in D.C. again, I would love to visit Tosca again. The decor was inviting and the food amazing. A great choice for dinner.
Ristorante Tosca
1112 F Street NW
Washington, D.C., United States, 20004
(202) 367-1990

Grand Hyatt Washington

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by VanessaK on January 1, 2007

We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Washington and I was very pleased with the rooms, conferences facilities, and staff. The location of the hotel is one block from the metro and within 15 minutes from the airport. You can reach the metro from the basement and never leave the hotel. This feature was wonderful because of the rainy and cold outside weather. My first impression of the hotel was how expansive and lush the lobby was, it reminded me of a beautiful hotel in Las Vegas. There is a fountain and lagoon. The piano is even on an island in the middle of the lagoon. Since this is a high end hotel, the price is not cheap. You will find the price range of $250-500.

The rooms were very contemporary and comfortable. My room was a queen room with a view of the side street. It was very large and had a desk and two comfy chairs in the sitting area.

The bed was plush with extra fluffy pillows and a pillow-top mattress. I have to say I slept very well. I was very pleased to find Portico Spa shampoo and soap. I felt very well cared for staying at the hotel.

The hotel has two restaurants and a sports bar. We found the sports bar to be crowded and noisy. The service was slow but the hamburger and fries was very tasty.

You can find this hotel at  

Grand Hyatt Washington
1000 H St.
Washington, D.C., United States, 20001
(202) 582-1234

D.C. Party Shuttle Tours

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by VanessaK on January 4, 2007

If you want something different from the usual walking tour of D.C., try the D.C. Party Shuttle Tours. This 3-hour bus tour gives you a comprehensive look at the monuments and buildings of D.C. They also have a day tour lasting 6 hours. They also provide a licensed, tour guide that gives you education and interesting facts on the people, buildings, and history of DC. Our tour guide, was a man by the name of Mr. B. He was full of information and very funny.

This is not a bus tour where you never get off the bus. We walked a total of about 3 miles and spent adequate time viewing the historical sites. Our guide took us right up to the monuments and educated us instead of leaving us on our own. This was wonderful because we were allowed to ask questions and have them answered at the monuments and on the bus. Since our tour consisted of 7 people we were able to spend more time at each monument and see a few things that are not on the regular tour. I had wanted to see the Vietnam Women's Memorial but found it was not on the tour. I am a nurse and have been touched by stories of nurses serving our armed services. To my surprise, Mr. B took us to see the statue, all I did was mention that 3 of us were nurses. I found the statue amazing and heartwarming. He did not know much about the story of the statue, but I did. I was able to explain the story behind the nurses and the brave women that fought to have the statue erected near the other war memorials. It was great to be able to see something so near to my heart. Thank you Mr. B.

This tour is also smaller than the other we looked at, we only had 7 people. This was small, most of their tours run about 15-20 people.

The night tour costs $30 and the day tour costs $60. This price seems steep, but the fun and education we received was priceless. You can find more information at
D.C. Party Shuttle Tours
Old Post Office
Washington, D.C., United States
(202) 756-1983

Legal Seafood

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by VanessaK on January 4, 2007

My sister and her husband raved about this seafood place that "had the best fish". So when I visited D.C., I had to try it myself. I love fish, crab, shrimp, etc., so local and fresh seafood was a must try. We actually visited the restaurant that is located in Reagan National Airport. The atmosphere had quite a bit to be desired. Most of the seating is out in the airport, so it is crowded and noisy. The tables were so close together that the waitress was constantly hitting my mother. The service was adequate. Our waitress was very busy and had, what I thought was, too many tables.

The menu had numerous kinds of fresh fish. My sister had a sampler plate that included shrimp and cod. The cod was tender and light in taste. My parents both had the white fish sandwich. Again, the fish was tender and tasty. I had the crab cakes. They were full of large lumps of crab and the cakes more or less fell apart because of the amount of crab in the cakes. They were very good.

Overall the experience was good. I did not like the location and the noise. I did like the food, but felt it was over priced for the amount of food you received. I would go back for the food, but next time I want to visit one of the other locations for a more relaxed dining experience.

Legal Seafood
704 7th Street North West
Washington, D.C., United States, 20001
(202) 347-0007

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