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  1. #1

    Default Washington, D.C. Dec 27 - Jan 4

    Hi all. We're 3 West Texans who want to tour the D.C. area after Christmas. We realize the trip will be weather-challenging, but would like any tips on what type of day trips anyone would suggest in and around D.C. We plan on doing all the monuments, memorials, etc. but is this feasible in a Tahoe, or is it best to park and ride the trolleys around town? We're driving cross country to see family and friends and this is my son's "dream trip." He's a history buff. Also, should we stay outside D.C. or in town at a hotel? Any ideas/suggestions/tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Are you starting in West Texas?

    It may not be all that weather-challenged -- it will be cold, of course, but the chances are good that most of the days will be snow-free. I love being in Washington, DC over the holidays.

    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!

    The last time I visited I stayed a few miles south of the city and commuted in via the train. But the next time I go, I am going to look for a VRBO in the community around the Library of Congress. So much goes on in the area!

    That time of year, you should find parking available at one of the parking lots along the Potomac River -- I would suggest looking at the lots near the George Mason Memorial. From there you can walk around the tidal basin taking in some of the sights and eventually up to Union Station -- it's easy to grab a cab there to drive back to your truck. I drove into Washington DC several times -- the traffic is tight, but really all that crazy.

    All of the museums along the National Mall are great.

    Are you driving from Texas?

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Day Trips for a History Buff

    As Mark has noted, the DC area really doesn't see all that much snow, even over the holidays, and what does fall tends to melt away in a day or so. Those would be good days to take in the many museums in town using the Metro for transport. On nicer days there are many historic sites and areas well within reach of an hour's drive. To the north, there's Baltimore with its Poe heritage and Fort McHenry. To the east Annapolis, the Naval Academy, and Chesapeake Bay. to the south, Mount Vernon, Arlington Cemetery, and Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania. To the west, Manassas, Fort Frederick, and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.

    A little farther afield, and probably requiring an overnight stay to truly enjoy, are Gettysburg, Philadelphia, Virginia's Historic Triangle (Jamestown, Williamsburg, Yorktown), Richmond, and the Blue Ridge.

    AZBuck

  4. #4

    Default

    Yes we are driving there from El Paso. Never done the cross-country jaunt in an SUV, always by plane. Thank you for the tips!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    It may not be all that weather-challenged -- it will be cold, of course, but the chances are good that most of the days will be snow-free. I love being in Washington, DC over the holidays.

    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!

    The last time I visited I stayed a few miles south of the city and commuted in via the train. But the next time I go, I am going to look for a VRBO in the community around the Library of Congress. So much goes on in the area!

    That time of year, you should find parking available at one of the parking lots along the Potomac River -- I would suggest looking at the lots near the George Mason Memorial. From there you can walk around the tidal basin taking in some of the sights and eventually up to Union Station -- it's easy to grab a cab there to drive back to your truck. I drove into Washington DC several times -- the traffic is tight, but really all that crazy.

    All of the museums along the National Mall are great.

    Are you driving from Texas?

    Mark

  5. #5

    Default

    Thank you AZBuck. We have friends in Manassas and they'll give us a Pentagon tour. Aside from that, and from a brief trolley tour (my own in 2011) my family has never experienced what D.C. has to offer so this ought to be quite a challenge.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Unfortunately

    It is nearly a full four day drive from El Paso to Washington DC. After you use another four days to drive home, you'd only have a day in the Washington area. This hardly seems like a "dream trip". Have you considered options closer to home that make better use of your time than just sitting in the SUV and watching the 'real' world zip past you outside the window?

    AZBuck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    I have to agree with Buck, you really don't have time to "experience the DC area" based on what you've laid out. You'll need a bare minimum of 3 nights on the road each way to make this trip safely, and that's assuming everything goes well with the weather. If you see any winter weather at all, you'd quite literally have to turn back for home as soon as you arrive.

    If you've got your heart set on seeing DC with the time you've got, you really need to get on a plane again, otherwise, as Buck said, look for destinations closer to home.

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