There was a big parking lot next to the Eisenhover Avenue Metro Station, it was next to an AMC theater, we used this to park our car through the day as we traveled by metro and it was free of charge! A helpful attendant at the Metro Station gave us this tip.
If you drive in Washington, parking is an issue. We wanted to visit the Supreme Court and were looking for someplace to park when a helpful policeman told me that probably the closest was the parking deck at Union Station. It is not cheap (nothing in Washington seems to be) but quite convenient. It is in easy walking distance to the Supreme Court (about a mile). Also, the Capitol building is not much further and that puts you on the mall. I think we were gone between 3 and 4 hours and the fee was $9. It would have been more but there are parking validation machines as you approach the parking area and I used one. I don’t recommend driving in Washington it is a great place to walk and the public transportation is pretty good but this is a good place and Union Station is worth exploring while you are there. A grand great hall, lots of shops and restaurants.
There are limited parking at the memorial. Other nearby with limited parking: Washington Monument and Tidal Basin at Jefferson Memorial (park near the pedal boat rental at the Tidal Basin) A better bet would be at National Mall near the museums. You are allowed 3 hours parking. Usually no problems if you arrive early. You can also put your your in a parking lot for $10 a day for cars (cheapest I found) at a lot right off 14th street bridge, across from the US Engraving & Printing Bureau. (You have to go around the block to get into the lot). Enjoy your visit!
Yes, parking is free around the Mall. Be there before 9 am you will find a plenty of spots there. I parked easily by the Capitol and by the Natiuonal Gallery. For early birds only.
Signs restict you to 3hrs, but I would consider is as a gentlemen agreement rather then a law. Please advice.
You need great luck to park there after 10am.
We drove from Chicago but watch out because it is common for hotels to charge $15.00 and up a night for parking.
Taxis were reliable and easy to come by. The public transportation is supposed to be excellent as well but we didn't have the chance to try it.
There are plenty of ways to get to DC, but driving is easiest and fastest way for us. Our drive takes us about 4 hours (depending on time of day we leave home) on I-95 South until we get to MD-295S (via Exit 52) to US-50W/New York Avenue to DC.
If we are going to Arlington, we continue to I-395 (crossing to VA) and on to our location.
If you don't have a navigational system, check out mapquest.com or if you are a member of AAA you can get directions from them.
We decided to leave our car parked at the hotel and take a taxi to and from our events. This was our best option for two reason, we didn't want to worry about finding a place to park the car and we also wanted to enjoy ourselves with a few drinks.
The taxi was our only real option actually as we were going to be out later than the operating hours of the DC Metro.
Update June 2008: DC cabs now use meters! The new system charges passengers $3 for the first sixth of a mile and 25 cents for each additional sixth of a mile. Also passengers are charged 25 cents for each minute stopped in traffic or traveling slower than 10 miles per hour.
Taxi fares inside the District stump even the long-time residents. Fares are based on a zone system rather than actual distance or time spent idling in traffic. Travel within a zone and get charged the lowest price, travel into an adjacent zone and get charged the next lowest price. Sounds simple right? The trick is knowing where the zone lines are because you could ask to be dropped off on one corner and pay a higher price than if the cabbie had dropped you on the other side of the intersection.
Virginia licensed taxis (Alexandria, Crystal City, Arlington) use the familiar meters, even when traveling into the District.
Parking in DC can be difficult.. obey the signs or make a policeman's ticket quota for the day!
Try a garage some offer 15$ a day, its worth it for some of us (not to mention the security surrounding your vehicle).
Avoid rush hour, get in early see the Lincoln Memorial or the monument until 10 the museums will open then. Leave the city by 2 pm.
You can always come back in the evening!
I find driving in DC a breeze compared to NYC and the crowded roads around where I live. Parking is very easy on weekends in the downtown area when all the businesses shut and everyone heads to their homes in MD and VA. If driving, try to plan your visit on a weekend so you won't have to worry about paid parking or scrounging for a space. The Washington Metro is a joy. Clean, efficient, and cheap way to get around DC.
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