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Washington, DC

Here are notes about how you can have more fun, faster, easier, for less in my favorite city in the world. This is a companion to my other web pages on traveling.


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  • Strategies
  • Guidebooks
  • Transportation
  • Downtown
  • Nightlife
  • Beyond DC
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    Set screen Guidebooks

    Set screen Sites

    Tours Coordinates Destination Address Phone Lead time
    10-2 M-F last tour begins 1:15p 38.88977 N
    -77.000913 W
    U.S. Capitol - 202.225-6827 Capitol Tour Line
    10:30, 11:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30 M-F 38.88676 N
    -77.00468 W
    Library of Congress The world's largest library. Tours begin in the Madison Building at First Street and Independence Avenue. The 6th floor cafeteria is less crowded and has a view of SE DC. Get a library card to skip the tourist line next time. Groups larger than 10 people should make a reservation for a specific tour. Closed Sundays and federal holidays. Concerts in the Coolidge Auditorium. 202.707-5458
    9:30 - 3:30 M-F   The Supreme Court The highest court in the land. First Street and Maryland Avenue, N.E. Open M-F, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tours are every hour on the half hour, except when Court is in session. No tours on Federal Holidays. 202.479-3000
    *** 38.89751 N
    -77.00616 W
    Union Station Massachusetts Avenue and First Street, N.E. Rail station, metro stop, specialty shops, restaurants, cinema, and more. Open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. M-Saturday; Noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. -
    *** 38.89763 N
    -77.03657 W
    White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW The White House is not currently open for public tours. A picture of it is on the back of each $20 bill. Visitor's center is South. Tours 9-12:30 (arranged through your Congressman or Senator) assemble on the SouthEast corner. Don't bring a purse nor camera. 202.208-1631
    *** 38.89235 N
    -77.02276 W
    National Archives The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are displayed here. 8th and Constitution Avenue, NW M-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 1 through Labor Day open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. 202.501-5000
    24 hours daily 38.88925 N
    -77.04929 W
    Lincoln Memorial West Potomac Park at the foot of 23rd Street, NW It's on the back of each $5 bill. 202.426-6841
    24 hours daily 38.88138 N
    -77.03642 W
    Jefferson Memorial South bank of the Tidal Basin. Rent a paddle boat at the Swan Boathouse and cruise around the Tidal Basin. 202.426-6841
    24 hours daily   Vietnam Veterans Memorial Henry Bacon Dr. and Constitution Ave., NW The more than 58,000 men and women of the armed forces who gave their lives, or remain missing, are honored by their names being listed chronologically on the Wall. 202.426-6841
    8a - Midnight, 9-5 Sep-Mar 38.89249 N
    -77.03006 W
    Washington Monument On the Mall at 15th Street, NW 202.426-6841
    ?   Treasury 15 St. and Hamilton Place, NW, Closed Federal holidays December 24-January 4. 202.622-2000 2 wks
    9-2 Tours   Bureau of Engraving and Printing (The Mint) 14th and C Streets, S.W. Closed Federal holidays December 24-January 4. 202.622-2000
    ***   Federal Bureau of Investigation Enter rear of FBI building on E Street between 9th and 10th Streets, NW Open M-F from 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., except Federal holidays. A 60 minute tour leaves approximately every 15-20 minutes. 202.FBI-3447
    ***   Ford's Theater and Lincoln Museum 10th Street between E and F Streets, NW Open daily, except Christmas, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Theater is closed when matinee is scheduled or rehearsal is in progress. 202.426-6924
    ***   Old Post Office Pavilion 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. This former city post office houses offices, restaurants, shops, and a miniature golf course. Glass enclosed elevators carry visitors to the Observation Tower for a splendid view of the city. Tower is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., April through September 8th, 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Doors open M-F, 10:00 - 9:00, and Sunday, 12:00 - 7:00. 202.289-4224
    *** 38.88682 N
    -77.03255 W
    U.S. Holocaust Museum This moving museum tells the story of the Holocaust through artifacts, films, photos and oral histories. Tickets for the permanent exhibit, which are free, are available for specific times and must be obtained the day of your visit. It is recommended that you arrive early to ensure your ability to obtain tickets for the permanent exhibit. 202.488-0400
    *** 38.93057 N
    -77.05486 W
    National Zoo 3000 block of Connecticut Ave., NW Open daily April 1 - October 15; grounds, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. October 16 - March 31; grounds 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., buildings 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Group tours available. 202.673-4717
    8-5, -7 Apr-Sep - Arlington National Cemetery Changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier occurs hourly. 703.557-0613
    10-5:30 - Smithsonian Institution Museums are open daily, except Christmas Day Extended summer hours are determined annually. 202.357-1300
    or 357-2700
    *** 38.88838 N
    -77.01973 W
    National Air & Space Museum 6th & Independence Ave SW Smithsonian
    Closed now 38.88818 N
    -77.02486 W
    Arts & Industries Building 900 Jefferson Dr., S.W. Smithsonian
    *** 38.89111 N
    -77.01973 W
    Freer Gallery of Art Jefferson Dr. & 12th St., S.W. Smithsonian
    *** 38.88825 N
    -77.02282 W
    Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden Independence Avenue & 7th Street, S.W. Smithsonian
    *** 38.89110 N
    -77.01996 W
    National Gallery of Art 4th & Constitution Ave., N.W. Smithsonian
    ***   National Museum of African Art 950 Independence S.W. Smithsonian
    ***   National Museum of American Art 8th & G St., N.W. Smithsonian
    *** 38.89086 N
    -77.03000 W
    National Museum of American History 14th Street & Constitution Avenue, N.W. Smithsonian
    *** - National Portrait Gallery 8th & F Streets, N.W. Re-Opened July, 2006 after a 4 year rennovation. Smithsonian
    *** 38.89879 N
    -77.03907 W
    Renwick Gallery Pennsylvania Ave. & 17th St., N.W. Smithsonian
    ***   Sackler Gallery 1050 Independence Avenue, S.W. Smithsonian
    *** 38.88886 N
    -77.02587 W
    Smithsonian "Castle" 1000 Jefferson Drive, S.W. Smithsonian
    *** 38.88849 N
    -77.01651 W
    National Museum of the American Indian Jefferson Drive SW Lunch here for burgers made with buffalo, turkey, potato, and other foods indiginous to America. -
    *** 38.895777 N
    -77.05499 W
    John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts New Hampshire Avenue. Free shuttle busses from Foggy Bottom metro. Free tours daily every 15 minutes from 10-1 from the Tour Lounge, Parking Level A. Free 6 pm performances usually every day. 202.416-8340
    *** 38.87095 N
    -77.05577 W
    Pentagon I-395 South to Boundary Channel Dr. Exit (Arlington, VA). The Dept. of Defense and world's largest office building. 90 min. tours depart on the hour, M-F, 9:00 - 3:00, except Federal Holidays. Tickets usually go to those who arrive before 8:45. Notice on the North side a lighter color of wall where the Sep. 11 airplane crashed. 703.695-1776
    *** 38.89714 N
    -77.03325 W
    Hotel Washington Sky Terrace - -
    *** 38.88786 N
    -77.04820 W
    Korean War Memorial - -
    *** 38.89041 N
    -77.07020 W
    Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima Statue) Route 50 in Arlington, VA. The famous 78-foot memorial commemorates all the marines who have died in battle since 1775. Open 24 hours daily. -
    ***   Mount Vernon Home of George Washington; located 16 miles from Washington, D.C. on George Washington Memorial Parkway. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. From April to August, doors open at 8 am. From November to February, doors close at 4 p.m. Admission is charged. 703.780-2000
    *** 38.905509 N
    -77.02293 W
    Washington Convention Center - 202.537-6200
    *** 38.89900 N
    -77.04258 W
    World Bank Has a libary and a bookstore. -
    Sun. 8-5, M-Sa 10-4:30,-9pm thru Aug. 38.92653 N
    77.06377 W
    National Cathedral Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues, NW 14th century Gothic cathedral is sixth largest in the world, second largest in the U.S, and home to goofy gargoyles (including Darth Vader). May 5-6 flower market and Open House days are the only time in the year when the tower is open to (for $5) see bells and stand at the the highest point in all DC -- At 333 feet, it's taller than all other gothic style churches. 202.537-6200
    8-5 Daily Bonsai Pavilion 10-3:30   US National Arboretum Its best to drive there: Bladensburg Road and R Street, NE. On weekdays get a bus transfer exiting the Stadium Armory Station Metro Blue/Orange line so you can take Metrobus B-2 to Bladensburg Road. Walk two blocks to R Street, make a right on R Street and continue two blocks to the Arboretum gates on R street. On weekends and holidays take Metro bus X-6 marked National Arboretum leaving from Union Station operate every 40 minutes. The 15-20 minute shuttle is $1.10 one way and $.25 with a rail transfer. [ct] 202-245-2726
    ***   National Presbyterian Center 41st & Nebraska Ave NW -
    ***   Islamic Center Mass. Ave & Belmont St NW -
    ***   Franciscan Monestary 1400 Qunicy Street NE -
    ***   Hillwood Museum 4155 Linnean Ave, NW DC 20008 202.243-3941

    Set screen More on Sights in DC

    Archives Station 38.89316 N -77.02209 W
    Federal 38.89344 N -77.02807 W
    Metro Station 38.89524 N -77.02824 W
    Smithsonian Station 38.88854 N -77.02852 W

    Set screen Transportation

    Set screen Food in DC

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    Set screen Events in DC

    Set screen Calendar of Events

    Set screen Where to Stay in DC

    Set screen Nights in DC

    Set screen Beyond DC


    Set screen Shopping and Stores


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