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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been to the Capital city a couple of times on business, but never just to act as a tourist. That's changing Thursday of this week when I join my wife who headed there early this morning. I'll have from early Thursday afternoon to early Sunday PM to see/visit whatever I want. Of course, the Vietnam Memorial will head the list followed by a visit to Marine Barracks hoping to catch the silent drill team. I'll likely make a stop at Arlington National Cemetery, too. Beyond that, I'm open to suggestions from anyone about what they think should be included. Tried to get on the list for a WH tour, but didn't hear back from my contact in time. What do you think? What would you want to visit if you had a couple days in DC?

Bob
 

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Smithsonian!!!

Air and Space Museum, hand down the coolest museum for a guy. If you are into art, the National Gallery is awesome as well. One of the Museums (National History?) has all the first ladies dresses, if you need to score some brownie points with the wife. Also, the Natural History museum is really cool.
Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial are very very cool at night. Take a cab.
Georgetown is cool for shops and restaurants (see the brownie point note above).

Also, there is an extension of the air and space museum at Dulles Airport, but I have not been.

The Capitol, the Library of Congress, and the White House are supposed to be cool, but we were cruising around on a Sunday when they were closed.

The Smithsonian wonderfully hallmarks our nation's heritage, and I think every American should make the trip. Pick your high points though, since there is a lot to see.

Now if you aren't into Museums and Monuments, unless you are a lobbyist or politician, there might not be much there for you, LOL.
 

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What Counselor said!! Air and space museum is a must. You also might want to check out the FBI building. Went on a couple of tours back in the 70's and it was very interesting. Don't know if it's still the same or not but getting to see the vault area where all the cool weapons are stored was really cool. Need to see the Capitol bldg. as well.

Scott
 

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Ditto On The Smithsonian....

...make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes and be ready to make a full day of it. Lots to see. CF?
 

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I'll be there for two weeks in early November, so I'm interested in knowing also. I'll be 50 miles from D.C. for two weeks, and plan on getting there a couple times at least, probably spending three full days there. I plan on spending election night in D.C. for sure!
 

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Genesis 9:2-3 & Deuteronomy 12:15-16
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Do the cemetary and the tomb of the unknown soldier to see how soldiers care for their lost ones. Rent a car and drive to Annapolis, wife would love the shops along the main street. Dont try to do the things yourself, get with a tour company as they have all the inside tickets to places such as the capitol and as organized as they are you can see most everything in one day, then pick up the pieces you like the following days. Ride the subway, just go wherever, and come back. Cool system.
 

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Marine Barraks has a formal retreat parade on Fridays. There is a Regiment assigned to the Barraks which handles the Marine Corps' ceremonial duties in D.C. Each Friday one batallion from the regiment conducts the parade. It was the most impressive thing I've seen in three trips there. The Marine Band, The Marine Drum & Bugle Corps and Silent Drill Team all participate. At one point they have herald trumpets in the parapets playing taps with spot lights illuminating them. The whole parade is a fantastic and impressive event. When you arrive, each car is greeted by a Marine in full dress uniform who helps all women out of your car and personally escorts them to their seat while you go park. You have to have tickets because they only allow as many spectators as they have seats in the bleachers. We got tickets through a convention I was attending, but I'll bet if you called the Marine Barraks when you got there, they could arrange tickets for you.

Another "don't miss" is the Tomb Of The Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. Be sure to stay around until they have a changing of the guard. As best I remember, they change the guard every thirty minutes, so it's not a long wait even if you just missed one when you arrive. The Tomb guards are from the Army's "Old Guard" Division. Most of the military ceremonial duties in Washington are handled by the Army and these are the guys who do it. They are unbelievably good at it. Except that some are white and some are black, they all look and move the same. It's almost like they came out of molds. While we were there someone told us that everyone in the Division is between 5' 11" and 6' 2".

Like others said, the Smithsonian is definitely worth a visit. They have THE Star Spangled Banner on display there, the actual flag that was flying over Fort McHenry and that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words. The flag is enormous and every thirty minutes, they dim the lights, illuminate the flag with a spot light and play the National Anthem. It's about as close to absolute silence by a crowd as you will ever hear.

I would consider The National Archives another must. They have the actual Declaration Of Independence, the original Constitution and many other historical documents on display. The line is usually pretty long and the wait can be annoying, but it is worth it when you finally get in and realize you are looking at the real thing and not reproductions.

When you go to the Vietnam Memorial, I suggest you go right at dawn. There are few people around then and seeing the monument at that time and without the crowds creates a really special atmosphere. Viewing it at dawn will make the visit to the wall one of the most moving experiences you will have in your life.

I also enjoyed the tour of the Capital. If Congress is in session, you can go to your Representative's or Senator's office and get tickets to sit in the gallery. We did this and it was pretty interesting, though somewhat boring as all they were doing was reading stuff into the Congressional Record. I think it would be pretty neat though if you happened to luck out and were there when there was debate going on over an interesting bill.

There is so much to see there that you'll have to bust your rear to get even part of it covered in a few days. Like ComeFrom? said, wear comfortable shoes
 

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Lincoln Memorial

If you get the chance, go by the Lincoln Memorial. There's not a whole lot to do there, but it's a great place to reflect. If you get the chance, rent the movie "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" with Jimmy Stewart before you go. There is a scene in that movie where he goes to the memorial and reflects on America and our political system. Some folks find it a little corny, but when you go to the memorial and you read Lincoln's second inaugural address it makes that whole scene make sense. It's a very powerful place. I haven't been there in several years but if I'm in Washington I try to go.
 

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what to see in washington

I was up there and it was blast took me a week to see
everything. Smighsonian that is. I think they said due
to 9-11 the White House is not open to public anymore.
Check to make sure.
 

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There is so much to see there that you'll have to bust your rear to get even part of it covered in a few days.
This is the understatement of the day. I lived there for almost 2 years and only made a dent in the list of things to see and do.

Everyone else covered most of the usual sights, but if you are into Civil War history, there are many battlefields in the area of Northern Virginia, even Gettyburg is only a couple of hours away in PA. Don't know your transportation situation, though. N.Virginia should be turning very pretty this time of year, and a road trip through Maryland's Eastern Shore(the east side of the Chesapeake) is always picturesque.

Find yourself a good restaurant for Maryland crab one night and treat yourself to something special.

You'll have to come home and go back to work in order to get some rest from your vacation.

Have fun,

Tsip
 

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Big Overgrown Galoot
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Counselor said:
Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial are very very cool at night.
The Smithsonian wonderfully hallmarks our nation's heritage, and I think every American should make the trip. Pick your high points though, since there is a lot to see.
yeah...Jefferson memorial at night.....Abe is good any ole time.
Used to be ya needed a week at the Smithsonian....saw on the news they just opened up a Native American museum there...looks like ya may need 2 weeks now.

Shadman....if you likes Indian stuff...a great week end trip for you would be to check out the Crazyhorse Museum in South Dakota....probably @ 250-300 miles...could swing by Wyomin on the way home and look for aliens at the Devils Tower
 

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Twisted Fisher
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1 more vote for the Smithsonian. Air and space is awesome. Also check out the Gem exhibit. My oldest brother designed it. Pretty cool.
 

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going to DC

I go to DC most every year and never miss the Air and Space museum. Also, the American History museum is a must. There you can see George Washington's field tent and personal artifacts of many of our forefathers, great gun exhibits too. There's an oak tree stump that's about 1.5' across from a tree that was cut down by the amount of lead in the air during a civil war battle. The Holocaust Museum is a must but it's a real downer, hard to believe what humans are capable of.
 

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Just an old ?
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Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum are a must. The memorials are great. Too bad you aren't going in the spring when the cherry trees are in bloom. The Civil War battlegrounds around Manassas are really very interesting. Let's you put things into perspective as to how close the troops were when they started firing at each other.

Annapolis is definitely worth the trip. It's one of my more favorite places and I still know people who live there.

If you get antsy and take a drive through northern Virginia, there are some great caverns off I-81.

You really need to do about a month's worth of serious tourist stuff to see just a fraction of what's up around that area. The Baltimore waterfront has been redone and looks great. DC has some really great restaurants.

But, iffin it were me and my bride, I'ld concentrate on the museums and memorials around the Mall and then the shops around Georgetown.

GY
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the input

Looks like a pretty busy weekend. I really appreciate everyone's comments. As stated in my original post, the Vietnam Memorial, Arlington Cemetery and Marine barracks are on Friday morning's agenda. I tried to get tickets to the Marine corps Friday evening parade, but they only hold them through the end of August, so I'll probably just kinda lurk around and see if I can get picture of me and Chesty Puller or the Commandant, something like that. We'll hit the mall and the nearby presidential memorials that afternoon and early evening and then hook up with my nephew and his lady friend to treat them for dinner. Saturday looks to be an early trip to Mannasas, then a loop around Cheasapeak Bay on the way to Annapolis, back to DC and spend the rest of the day at the Air and Space museum and any other exhibits we have time for. We'll most likely spend Thurs afternoon around the Capitol bldg and pop in on John Cornyn's office and try to get a pic with him. Sunday AM we'll try to hit something we missed, but may well just stay abed and work the NY Times crossword depending on whether or not there's any gas left in my tank.

Thanks again for all the tips...

Bob
 

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ford's theater is there too, they have a neat deal in the basement about the assination. the wall from the exorcist is there in georgetown too, if your into that. the have the stair case still there the priest got thrown out of. the petagon has the best pecan sadies (sp?) sold in the basement if you can get in there now. years ago my dad worked there and had an office right were that plane hit, go figure.
 

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Lot's of really cool architecture to be seen just wandering the streets. No waiting in lines.
 
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