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Historic Tours - fun and knowledgeable drivers
The trolley tour recommended by my hotel was the Historic DC Tours company .. this company actually has tours of many historical American cities .. but since I was in DC, this was the tour I took :)
This is one of those hop on, hop off tours - so you can get out and explore more thoroughly, or just stay on and enjoy the ride. The trolley buses are not airconditioned, but if you sit in the back half you have an open air ride to cool you off, and an easier time taking pictures without windows in the way. I enjoyed the commentary along the route from every driver I had during my day on this particular tour. Some drivers were better than others - as is to be expected. The trolleys run about every 30 minutes, so you can take a long time, or a short time at the stop you choose.
The first time I was in DC, I chose to take just buses and the metro - no touring services. So this time I had a vague clue as how to get around, but I thought this would still be fun. I'm glad I did it, for walking can be tiring and taking the trolley tour between distant spots allowed me to see more of the city with and extra benefit of someone telling me what I was seeing along the way :)
There are 3 tours offered: The DC Duck is one of those land/water vehicles which take you on a cruise of the Potomac as part of your day. I chose the more traditional method of the trolley tour - which includes 2 routes. One route takes you along the national mall, union station, and all the other normal DC sights. The other route takes you to Georgetown, the National Cathedral, and more underserved sights that you can't even get to by metro.
One note, if I make it out this way again, I'd do the tour to the Cathedral first so that I can get out and explore this wonderful building ....... I just didn't have the time as I left this part of the ride for the end of the day and just couldn't squeeze that in!
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I didn't use DC Ducks, I just saw this in front of the Union Station as we were waiting for our Old Town Trolley.
It must be fun touring Washington D.C. on this amphibious vehicle! They go along the city steets and then they splash into the Potomac River to offer you a whole different look at the city. Isn't this a great idea?
Check their website for some more info if you're interested.
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Old Town Trolley tours
If you have little time and want to see as much of the city as possible, take the Old Town Trolley tour. You see a lot as you go along, and you can get off at any stop, see a place of your choice, and then get on board another trolley without paying any additional fee (the ticket costs $18 if I remember well, and you can get on and off as many times as you like on one day).
The trolleys come and go every half an hour. Sometimes they are full and you may have to wait for the next one, but then the driver calls the office and they send another trolley within 10-15 min. You may start at any stop, but then tickets are sold only at a few of them - best to start at the Union Station, where you will aso get a free map with this list of trolley stops:
1. Union Station
2. The Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism
3. Old Post Office / American & Natural History Museums
4. Chinatown MCI Center
5. FBI Building / Ford's Theater
6. Freedom Plaza / National Aquarium
7. The White House
8. Lafayette Park / Decatur House
9. National Geographic Society
10. DuPont Circle Neighbourhood
11. Kalorama / Adams Morgan / Zoo
12. National cathedral
14. Lincoln Memorial Complex / Arlington Cemetery
15. Smithsonian West / Holocaust Memorial / Bureau of Engraving & Printing
16. Air & Space Museum
17. U.S. Capitol / Library of Congress
However, trolley route may be subject to change without notice.
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Get your bus fare ready!
You know what, I can't quite recall the bus fares, but I know it was a fairly decent cost. For tourists who would rather not have to get a rental car, the bus is a good mode of transportation. Taxis are everywhere, too. However, buses tend to give you more time to check out your surroundings from their large windows so that is a good option there.
- Budget Travel
Washington DC to NYC
If you are in New York and you want to get to Washington DC, check out charter buses. They are a comfortable, easy, and inexpensive way to get between the two cities. Most people don't really consider them because of the conventional routes such as bus, plane, or train...but take a look and you will be pleasantly surprised. For about $20 one-way or $35 round-trip, you will find yourself at one of these two great cities.
If you get tired walking in the mall, for a few bucks you can take the hop-on, hop-off shuttle called "Tourmobile". It takes you to all the popular destinations in the mall, Arlington National Cemetery, and the attractions by the Potomac such as Jefferson Memorial. On board you'll hear narrations from tour guide about the destinations.
BY METRO: DC’s subway system is clean and efficient, the kind of modern transport you’d expect in a city of this class. A day pass for 5 dollars gets you full use of the underground network for the day after 9.30am. It’s handy for the zoo, for getting into town if you’re not staying central and for crossing the center of town when you’re tired. Apparently a bus service runs from the Huntington Metro stop out to Mount Vernon.
BY BUS: More extensive than the Metro subway, travelling by bus also lets you see more of the city. A trip costs 1.10 dollars, but rush hour traffic can be bad.
BY TOURMOBILE: These trolley buses run a circuit around the main sites, so you can use it as an orientation to the city. You can hop on and off as you please for 14 dollars a day. For that fare, you are transported around a dozen or so of the main attractions, plus over the Potomac to Arlington National Cemetery. For another 22 bucks they can take you out to Mount Vernon that same day as well, but the more economical option if you're doing heavy-duty sightseeing would be to buy a 2-day pass for 37 dollars. This gets you around all the central sites, Arlington Cemetery and also Mt Vernon, which deserves a good half-day at least on its own.
There is a very good bargain bus that runs to / from Washington, DC to / from New York city. It is called Washigton Deluxe check it out at www.washny.com. We used it with another couple this week end and it was great. $35 round trip!!!
Tours That Are Available
There are many tours available in Washington DC
All the information can be found on the gounrd floor of the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
The DC Information Center there is open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am to 6:oo pm.
You can find out about:
Capitol Walking Tours
DC Heritage Tourism Coalition
Old Town Trolley
Potomac Riverboat Company
Washington, DC is sure enough an epicentre for tourists. As a result, there are tour buses of every shape and size. The one captured in this picture is fashioned after an old-timey streetcar.
Visit Washington and relive it !
Touring around WDC - by bus or even bike - enjoy the green areas of this Capital during an exciting 2 hous tour.
Insist on the original and only Orange and green old town trolleys!
Metro bus is the second most efficient way to get around Washington, D.C. There are metro bus stops in parts of suburban Maryland and northern Virginia as well.
From Washington Dulles Airport...
From Washington Dulles Airport take the Washington Flyer bus service
The main attractions are with walking distance.
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Washington D.C. Travel Guide
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