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Old 02-28-2019, 03:15 PM   #1
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Things to see while in Washington DC area for 4 days

As many may know already I'm planning a long east coast RV trip and will be in the DC area for 4 nights (Sept 17-21) at the Cherry Hill RV Park which I have been told is a great spot north and West of DC.

The questions I have is should I consider a local Grey Bus Tour for most other general spots like the White House, Arlington, Lincoln Memorial, Etc?
I also know the RV park has its own tours at night.

I do want to see the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum for sure and I know I can do that on my own.
I pull a small car and can get into any small space so that's not an issue.

So if you have visited the DC area what did you see and liked and how did you get there?

I'm sure many will find your information interesting and worthwhile.

Thank you in advance and I will be talking notes.
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Old 02-28-2019, 03:35 PM   #2
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Driving/parking in DC is beyond frustrating. We have been three times for a week or more. We always get a SmarTrip card and use mainly the Metro. We find it easy and relaxing. Here's some options: https://washington.org/dc-guide-to/h...-washington-dc

And no matter how much time you spend there, it will not be enough. We planned two things a day, and sometimes two was too many, especially for the Smithsonians.

There are many tourist guides on the internet to help with planning so you can see the attractions you really want to see.

Good luck and enjoy!!!
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Old 02-28-2019, 03:53 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
Driving/parking in DC is beyond frustrating. We have been three times for a week or more. We always get a SmarTrip card and use mainly the Metro. We find it easy and relaxing. Here's some options: https://washington.org/dc-guide-to/h...-washington-dc

And no matter how much time you spend there, it will not be enough. We planned two things a day, and sometimes two was too many, especially for the Smithsonians.

There are many tourist guides on the internet to help with planning so you can see the attractions you really want to see.

Good luck and enjoy!!!
Metro. Metro. Metro. Only way to go. Although a bus comes to CHerry Hill and will drop off at metro, it is a waste of time waiting for it. After 30 minutes waiting on the bus we decided to drive to Metro. $5.00 for all day parking at the Metro. Drive to the metro station about fifteen minutes from Cherry Hill. Take the line(I forget the color of the line) into DC and get off at Navy Memorial stop. You are very close (within 15-20 minute walk) to all major museums including Space and Air. Also, IF you can show proof of being a veteran, National Archives gives you head of the line privileges. And that can be a real time saver. One word of caution, DO NOT TAKE PICTURES in the Archives. MY DW almost had her entire camera confiscated for two pictures. They are serious about that.
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Old 02-28-2019, 03:58 PM   #4
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I forgot to mention, the ability to transfer from line to line on Metro. Our most memorable stops were Arlington Cemetery, Space and Air, Native American Museum and National Archives. Natural History was also awesome. Navy Memorial at the stop is also good (Retired Navy here) We stayed in Cherry Hill for about seven days and were in DC daily, still did not see everything.
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Old 02-28-2019, 04:54 PM   #5
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We have been to DC 7 times. There are 2 air and space museums, 1 on the mall and 1 at Dulles. Since you are planning ahead, you can coordinate with your Senators office and they can make arrangements for a White house or Congress tour without having to wait in long lines. They can also arrange a below ground tour of the National archives and many other things you would never see by just showing up. It is a great place, have fun.
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:05 PM   #6
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We have been to DC 7 times. There are 2 air and space museums, 1 on the mall and 1 at Dulles. Since you are planning ahead, you can coordinate with your Senators office and they can make arrangements for a White house or Congress tour without having to wait in long lines. They can also arrange a below ground tour of the National archives and many other things you would never see by just showing up. It is a great place, have fun.
Yes I'm retired USAF with 21 years in.
Thanks for the information about contacting my Senator.
I will and let you know what they say.

As you and other have said their is lots to see in the DC area.
All the memorials including the Vietnam Wall, Pentagon, etc.

It looks like the Big Bus Hop On and Hop Off .
Here is the map I found showing the route.
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:16 PM   #7
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We stayed at Cherry Hill last April for a week. We don't have a Toad so we had to ride the bus to the Metro stop, which is time consuming, but the bus stop is right in the park. The Metro subway system is awesome. You want the College Park stop on the Green Line. There is parking available if you want to drive there. The folks at Cherry Hill are very helpful for the Metro. They have maps and sell Metro cards. I also suggest downloading the DC Metro app to your phone. It really, really, helped us get around DC.

Cherry Hill is a big park. If you happen to get a spot far from the front, there is a parking lot available at the front of the park.

We were fortunate enough to get a White House tour so that was the high point of the trip. The Smithsonian Air & Space museum was also a must for us as there are planes and spacecraft there that my Dad, my DW's Dad, and my Mom's two brothers worked on. We also toured the Bureau of Engraving and the Capitol which were both awesome.

The best place we ate was Old Ebbit Grill which is very close to the White House. Teddy Roosevelt used to hang out there (or so they say).

That's my DW taking a pic of the light at the front of the White House. She got pictures of EVERYTHING.

Hope you have a great stay!
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:27 PM   #8
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We stayed at Cherry Hill last April for a week. We don't have a Toad so we had to ride the bus to the Metro stop, which is time consuming, but the bus stop is right in the park. The Metro subway system is awesome. You want the College Park stop on the Green Line. There is parking available if you want to drive there. The folks at Cherry Hill are very helpful for the Metro. They have maps and sell Metro cards. I also suggest downloading the DC Metro app to your phone. It really, really, helped us get around DC.

Cherry Hill is a big park. If you happen to get a spot far from the front, there is a parking lot available at the front of the park.

We were fortunate enough to get a White House tour so that was the high point of the trip. The Smithsonian Air & Space museum was also a must for us as there are planes and spacecraft there that my Dad, my DW's Dad, and my Mom's two brothers worked on. We also toured the Bureau of Engraving and the Capitol which were both awesome.

The best place we ate was Old Ebbit Grill which is very close to the White House. Teddy Roosevelt used to hang out there (or so they say).

That's my DW taking a pic of the light at the front of the White House. She got pictures of EVERYTHING.

Hope you have a great stay!

Wow thanks for the information moff. All good!
I just sent an email requesting a tour of the White House from my State Senator. We will see what happens. I think this far ahead we may get an answer being we are so far away from DC. I also mention I was USAF retired and Vietnam vet for good measure.
Yes, I have been told about Cherry Hill Park for many years and setting up reservations 8-9 months in advance locked me in.
Thanks
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:29 PM   #9
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Yes I'm retired USAF with 21 years in.
Thanks for the information about contacting my Senator.
I will and let you know what they say.

As you and other have said their is lots to see in the DC area.
All the memorials including the Vietnam Wall, Pentagon, etc.

It looks like the Big Bus Hop On and Hop Off .
Here is the map I found showing the route.
We were there last summer for a couple of days and used this bus system. Worked pretty well. We got to see a lot of stuff but there was a ton that we didn't get to see simply because there just wasn't enough time.

We could've spent a full 2 days in the Air and Space museum alone.

We made it to the national archives to see the founding documents but that was all. We got there just before they closed.

A lot of the places close at like 5 or 6 so you really have to plan your trip and start as early as possible.
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:29 PM   #10
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Metro. Metro. Metro. Only way to go. Although a bus comes to CHerry Hill and will drop off at metro, it is a waste of time waiting for it. After 30 minutes waiting on the bus we decided to drive to Metro. $5.00 for all day parking at the Metro. Drive to the metro station about fifteen minutes from Cherry Hill. Take the line(I forget the color of the line) into DC and get off at Navy Memorial stop. You are very close (within 15-20 minute walk) to all major museums including Space and Air. Also, IF you can show proof of being a veteran, National Archives gives you head of the line privileges. And that can be a real time saver. One word of caution, DO NOT TAKE PICTURES in the Archives. MY DW almost had her entire camera confiscated for two pictures. They are serious about that.
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:42 PM   #11
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Follow the advice above and use the metro to get into town. We enjoyed the trolley tour where you can hop on and off all day. It takes you to some out lying areas (where Regan was shot, etc.) And gives you a running narrative. Otherwise you could drive right by lots of interesting things and not realize it.
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:46 PM   #12
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We already have a pull-thru reserved at the front of the Cherry Hill Park close to the entrance. Cost a few $$'s more but this is a once in a life time trip for us.

National Achieves is on our list.
Can't wait!

After DC we will spend a full week south in Bethpage RV Resort in Urbanna Va.
another great campground and water park. Meeting up with a bunch of military folks from around the USA.

Eating Seafood is on the top of the list.
https://www.bethpagecamp.com/
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:48 PM   #13
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Iggy where are you at before you get to D.C.?
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:51 PM   #14
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Iggy where are you at before you get to D.C.?
Before DC we will be in Connecticut seeing family and heading south and will make it to Philadelphia. Actually over the river in NJ at the KOA the first night before Cherry Hill Park.
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:52 PM   #15
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Before DC we will be in Connecticut seeing family and heading south and will make it to Philadelphia. Actually over the river in NJ at the KOA the first night before Cherry Hill Park.
Ok just curious if by chance you might be stopping near us in De. that stop is about a hour north east of us.
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Old 03-01-2019, 03:20 PM   #16
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Watch out for the beltway

We stayed at Cherry Hill last fall. I is a good campground, and really convenient to the beltway. FWIW, try to avoid the beltway in rush hour. It can be a parking lot. We visit our daughter, who lives just off the beltway in Bethesda from time to time, and find the best time to travel there is early on Sunday morning. Unfortunately, we have not found any convenient way to get to Cherry Hill from the south except via the beltway.
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:37 PM   #17
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Definitely the Native American museum and if you are interested in African American history, try to get in to the new museum. If a museum or art gallery is a part of the Smithsonian, it is free entry. Agree, Metro is the way to go. The Holocaust museum is another one to visit.
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:42 PM   #18
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Things to See While in D.C. Area

I have been to D.C. multiple times for a week at a time & never ran out of things to see& do; however, I have never camped in the area so I canít comment on campgrounds. Definitely rely on the Metro to get around - it is inexpensive, easy to figure out, and, above all, safe at all hours. The first thing I would do is book a 2 Day Hop On Hop Off orange trolly. They even have a special trolley that goes from the Lincoln Monument area out to Arlington. There are so many Smithsonian museums to explore & The National Cathedral is also a must see. Donít miss the Korean War Memorial. It is eerily impressive especially at dusk or dark. Of course, Arlington & the Ijo Jima monuments are impressive. Just outside the Arlington gates is a Seabee monument that impressed me since I served in the Seabees during Vietnam Nam; it is a lesser known monument. You can take the elevator at the Old Post Office building & go to the clock tower for a fabulous view of D.C. & Virginia. The most interesting fact is that when Donald Trump bought space for the DC Trump Hotel, he could not buy the clock tower since it is a National Historic Landmark & tours are run by the National Parks Service. For the trolley you can get discounted tickets from Groupon, Living Social & other apps, but keep in mind that the last time we were there we had to redeem them at the Union Station kiosk ( just take the Metro to the Union Station stop). All attractions are free, but food is expensive. While touring if you need a place for lunch go to the food court in the Reagan building across the street from the IRS. There is a wide variety of food choices for a relatively inexpensive price. Union Station has a food court, too, but not as impressive. Have a great time
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:03 PM   #19
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This is the time to setup a Pentagon tour. They are hard to get but you should be able to get a tour sometime during your stay. I tried several times but was shut out but our daughter was able to take us when it was closed.
You will enjoy it!
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:21 PM   #20
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Greenbelt NP

Lots about cherry hill, but what about green belt national park? This looks way better and way cheaper than cherry hill. Anyone with firsthand knowledge?
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