Metro, City Plans / Driving, Washington D.C.
To me this is the best way to get around DC. Find some safe parking and get onto the Metro station. On weekend most parking garages are free to the public, so a weekend is the best to travel and sightsee. I just kept buying a all day pass which was $9.00
If your confused on the stops, just concetrate for the direction your going on and look for the last stop of that line. Then you know your going to right way.
Farecard machines are in every station and are very easy to use. Don't let all the buttons scare you. Small bills are a diffenent. Keep it to $5 or $10. The farecard machines provide only up to $5 in change (in coins).
On Saturday and Sunday mornings, Metrorail trains will depart from the end of each rail line starting at 7 a.m. Customers waiting for trains in the downtown area will see the first train service about 20 minutes later, and all Metrorail stations will open approximately 10 minutes before a scheduled train's first arrival.
Monday-Thursday 5:30 a.m.-midnight
Friday 5:30 a.m.- 3 a.m. Saturday
Saturday 7 a.m.-3 a.m. Sunday
Sunday 7 a.m.- midnight
Make sure you call and check for schedules and holidays.
Metro Opens Doors
Fondest memory: My sister is only 5'2", so when we would get onto the Metro and if it was crowded, we had to stand and she could barely reach the top rail bar to hold onto. We would giggle over this because she would always comment on me getting the height, so I would hang off the bar and giggle back at her. People would giggle at us because we were being so goofy. One guy commented that, "You two gotta be sisters!" :-))))
Just recently (2011) visiting my sister and while on the metro heading back to her house, she pointed out a RV that was traveling on the freeway. So I click a picture and the driver started waving. We waved back and forth very a long time that made us giggling so much.
Washington is a difficult city to drive in. There are many diagonal streets (named for the states) with associated circles, one way streets, no left turns etc. We always try to drive with a map being read by the navigator. If one is visiting Washington as a tourist, it is useful to have a map which identifies the various buildings, statues, memorials and points of interest.
Fondest memory: These two statues are some of the many statues in Washington.
They are on either side of the main entrance to the Rayburn building - two ten-foot marble statues by C. Paul Jennewein, Spirit of Justice and Majesty of Law.
Southwest of the Capitol on a site bounded by Independence Avenue, South Capitol Street, First Street, and C Street, S.W
The Washington DC Metro is clean, efficient, and quiet. It is also overcrowded, has a lot of delays, tends to break down, and is expensive and confusing.
Unlike most underground trains I've been on, the DC Metro is not one-fee, one-fare. Costs are different depending on what time you take the trip and how many stops you take.
Also unlike other major cities, there is no multi-day pass for metro. You can buy a single-day unlimited use ticket for $6.50, so if you get 3 or 4 of them it would be similar to a Parisian 3-day pass etc.
You can buy tickets at ticket offices at the Metro Center Station, at 600 5th Street NW, or better yet, on mail or online before you visit. http://www.wmata.com/riding/online_sales.cfm
Although this website is focused on Washington DC, Don't lose sight of the fact that two states are next door to DC. Virginia is West and South and Maryland is North and East of DC. So if you should get bored in DC you can always explore next door!
From Baltimore MD down to Va Beach VA!
See and experience the monuments and the Smithsonian.
Fondest memory: After seeing all the monuments in guide books, encyclopedias and magazines throughout my life it was actually mind-blowing to see the incredible size and granduer of them, especially the Lincoln Memorial. I drove into the city in the early hours of the morning as I had been transferred to Crystal City, VA with my job. Coming from San Francisco, I had driven across the US. I was so close to my new home, but could not get to it due to construction and a poor map. We drove past so many of the monuments that evening before finally getting to the hotel I was starting my new job at. It was funny as we drove by the monuments over and over again, saying 'there's that monument again.' I think we saw the every monument in the city that evening.
Fondest memory: It is the only way to get around the city. An all day pass after 9:30am is $5 and will get you unlimited access. It is clean, and it is fast. The only complaint I have is leg room, but where isn't that a problem for my 34 inseam.
Washington's subway system. This is a great way to get around the city. Clean and (although not by Swiss or German standards) efficient. Much cleaner than New York City's but nowhere nearly as old, either.
It's a good system begun in the late seventies. It now extends to most places anyone would want to visit. Locals use it as a predominant method of commuting to and from work, so be prepared to see a lot of glassy faces. (Most of us would rather be touring than working!!) Ninetynine percent of the people are anxious to help you though, so feel free to ask anyone you see for directions or recommendations. The glassy stares defrost immediately.
1st you must see the monuments by day and by night.
2nd best places to eat are around the Yatch Club starting at the fish market goin east to the last restrauant, my favorite is Phillips. Fast food at the Railroad station at the food court. Try the Orleans House across from Georgtown for the best prime roast beef. More later!
Fondest memory: Watch where you park and pay attention to the signs if it says that they will pick u cars at 5pm you better take you car out of the way by 4:50 pm because atr 4:51 the trucks are ready to haul you away.
Get ready for some serious walking. Get up early, plan your route and take the metro to get around. Service is excellent and safe. We started at Foggy Bottom station and walked to Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial up to Washington Memorial, on to White House, and back to Smithsonian Museum. Don't miss the Piano 300 exhibit at Smithsonian. Only here till March 2001. It has Liberace diamond studded piano to Duke Ellingtons.
Fondest memory: Marvelous city filled with incredible history.Start out bright and early on a Sunday morning and take the Tourmobile thru Arlington Cementary. Strongly suggested. It's only $ 4.75 per adult, and don't miss the changing of the Guards at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier.
Washington DC's expansive network of subway lines and bus routes has a very easy-to-use online trip planner, where travelers can enter starting point and destination and the planner will suggest different routes utilizing the city's public transportation. Very useful!
Favorite thing: Try the New Carrollton Metro station - it's just off 495 where it intersects with Maryland Route 50. (It would be on the Orange line). I think you have to pay to park there, though. In fact, I think all the Metro stations with parking charge - might be just as economical to park in DC at your hotel if they give you some sort of break. I worked in Dc for years, public parking fees in the city are outrageous.
Favorite thing: The best way to visit all the National Mall area is taking a trolley. For a price of $16 dollars you will be taken to the area, you'll have the chance to get off the trolley and visit every monument.