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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
Dad and I are going up to Washington, DC, Arlington and finishing off the trip with a tour of Smith & Wesson in Springfield in a couple weeks. We're staying on the road for a few days... I guess how ever many it takes. So far here are my preferred visiting spots for Washington:

National WWII Memorial
Vietnam Memorial Wall
Washington Monument
Library of Congress
Supreme Court
National Cathedral
Mt Vernon
Town of Alexandria
Ford's Theater

International Spy Museum
Smithsonian Castle
Capital Bldg
Pentagon
Town of Georgetown
Union Train Station

The second set are some of Dad's suggestions that I'm not totally into. I've already been to the Pentagon and Capital Building (even sat across Ted Kennedy on the underground VIP tram... and survived). Do you have any suggestions? Any advise for visiting the crime capital of the US? Of course we can't carry there... which sucks but, that's a whole other subject. I want to take pictures while there so I'm trying to think of a safe way to carry my camera (Nikon SLR). I'm thinking of using a back-pack and basically keeping it as light as possible.

Thanks!!
 

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A few years ago we spent a week plus there and liked:

The National Archives displays the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence.
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Bureau of Engraving and Printing

The Vietnam War memorial is quite an experience, I going to tell you strait out, bring something to wipe your eyes. We walked to the wall, seeing it from a distance then up close really made an impression, that is until we saw how high and how long it is and how small the text to fit all the names.

BTW, we stayed in in hotel in Chinatown close to the subway station. It worked out very well. Folks there were actually very polite and if we took out a map, almost every time some one would ask, "Where do you want to go?"
 

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I went there a couple of years ago took AmTrak and it was fun esp for my wife.
Honestly you can skip the spy museum. I thought it was the worst place I had been to.
They start out ok but they barely cover spy stuff into the Vietnam era.
I expected a lot more for what they charge.
Have reservations for the Washington Monument and the White House as well as anything in the Capitol.
Reservations are a must.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes! I forgot to mention the NRA museum in Fairfax. In fact, this whole trip idea started with the NRA museum in mind. We are also going to tackle the Smithsonian in some way. I missed it last time we were there, so I'm not sure what to expect... but I know it's huge. Also, we aren't going to the White House. We went last time and walked around the fence, got to the gate right when Bill and a column of security rode out and into the city. He waived to us... how exciting. Luckily, no one was impregnated.
 

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Don't forget you can contact your Senator and they will send staff to show you around the capitol and you won't have the *****y
employees making sure you can't take any pics because you have to line up against the wall. This happens mostly in the dome
but will happen in other rooms as well.
If I had it to do again i would try and get my overpaid reps to send staff to give me and my family a private tour.
They have unpaid interns who do this so it's not like it costs anything.

As much as I hate Washington as far as the BS politics and crap we are going through with our Illegal alien in chief.
Washington DC has a fantastic history and I really felt a sense of pride when visiting many places.
You also should take the bus tours. You can hop on and off whenever you like. Although the buses can get very full
and have some long lines depending on the time of year. It's cheap and you can get just about everywhere you
want to go.
Also keep in mind that tripods are not allowed and they will not let you take a tripod into most museums.
I use a Trekpod that looks like a walking stick and has a small tripod built in that they can't see.
Works great esp for getting high shots but if you leave a tripod out some kid WILL run into it.
Lesson learned.
 

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Ive been to DC a few times in recent memory. I highly suggest parking outside of DC and taking the metro in. The metro will connect to most of your major points of interest.
As far as where to go here are some suggestions.
The smithsonian, only stick with the museams with "National" as the others are hit or miss. The Nat'l Art, Us history, Natural History, And air and space are all very good.
Avoid the "aquarium" it cost about 10 bucks and is nothing more than a glorified pet shop.
if you are planning on eating there you should try and find the Raegan building. Its a federal building you will need ID to get into, but it has a mall food court inside and is a decent place to sit and eat without needing anal lube for the prices.

Lastly if you are driving i would suggest a brief detour on your way back and hit up one of the caves in western VA. Like lurray, or endless caverns. There are a few those are the ones ive been to personally.
 

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Lastly if you are driving i would suggest a brief detour on your way back and hit up one of the caves in western VA. Like lurray, or endless caverns. There are a few those are the ones ive been to personally.
Im not far from lurray... There is a sign for it by my house. Never been. Perhaps I will go check that out now.
 

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Didn't read through everyone else's posts, so sorry if I'm duplicating anything, but here's a few things of possible interest that you've left off your list:

Arlington Cemetery
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Museum of American History
National Archives

Also I assume you will want to make the rounds to all the monuments and memorials. I would recommend seeing as many of the monuments as possible after dark when they are lit up.

Aside from outlying places (Arlington, Pentagon, Mt. Vernon, etc.), don't plan to do too much driving. Traffic is a nightmare and parking is non-existent.
 

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Arlington National Cemetery~ Must See
National WWII Memorial~ Must See
Wash DC WW! Memorial~ Run down, but nice!
Korean War Memorial~ Very nice.
Vietnam Memorial Wall~ Must See
Washington Monument(closed for repairs from earthquake)
Library of Congress.....maybe if time permits
Supreme Court.... if you are gonna sit in on hearings, yes.
National Cathedral(partially closed due to earthquake)
Mt Vernon~ MUST SEE if you have never been there.
Town of Alexandria~ Take a guided tour for $20.00 to see the hidden stuff. Otherwise just like most "Old Towns"
Ford's Theater~ Yes, only limited tours available...really only one place inside that everyone wants to see. The house across the street where Lincoln was taken is available to tour.

International Spy Museum~ maybe.
American Museum Of Natural History
Smithsonian Castle
Capital Bldg~ Call your senator for a tour. Apparently, many senators' staff are backed up months for tours.
Pentagon~ Drive by, or stop in to see the 9-11 memorial AT NIGHT! Stunning!
Town of Georgetown~ bars and expensive boutiques and cupcakes! skip it
Union Train Station~ METRO pops up here. It's nice, maybe if time permits


Must eat places:
Ben's Chili Bowl~ only down side is BHO eats there
Matchbox~ Modern
Elephant & Castle~ English/Irish
Cap City Brew Pub~ Sports/Upscale Brew House
Old Ebbitt Grill- Brunch
Jaleo~ Authentic Spanish tapas
....and many more.
 

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Love the dc ww1 memorial, if you are at ww2 memorial walking towards Lincoln, it is on your left, they should have finished the revamp, it used to be pretty hidden but you should be able to find.

nra museum is worth it, live up the street and still go in almost every time I hit the range. About 30 min outside dc.

Make sure to hit the giant Albert Einstein statue right off the mall if you have kids, they love to climb on him.

2101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20418 - Google Maps

the constitution garden is nice too, right off the mall but you will miss it if you do the straight Capitol to Lincoln to Jefferson walk

Washington, DC 20024 - Google Maps

they also put in the mlkj memorial recently, worth looking at but I did not think it was very well done. And the fdr memorial if you are walking towards Jefferson.
 

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Years ago, my sister's office was very near the National Geographic office.. they had a nice museum also...
I have not been there in years, but I would check it out
 
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