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Old 01-20-2012, 12:28 PM   #1
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D.C trip

Anyone have any ideas on the best campgrounds in the d.c area? Will have my 2 girls with me (12 and 9) and am looking for campgrounds that offer d.c area tours. While i'm at it does anyone know which tours are the best, and the must does in the area? Will be doing this sometime in february. Thanks!

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Old 01-20-2012, 12:52 PM   #2
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Can't help with the tours as I have never been on one, but, I spent a good bit of time living close to DC and can tell you the things I would not miss. First, February can be tricky for DC. The weather may be uncooperative. Hopefully, you will get some nice very early spring weather but be prepared for freezing temps, especially at night and could be a sprinkle of snow around also.

So, when I took folks to DC, especially with kids, Air and Space Museum is always number one choice. Don't know how long you will be there but you could spend a week in the Smithsonian and National Gallery without seeing all of what they have. If you just walked up and down the Mall and stopped at all the art galleries and museums, you could spend a couple of weeks. Be sure to check out what special shows may be at the Art Galleries. Sometimes they have very cool stuff. Of course, if there is any interest in the political process a tour of the White House and Congress is always interesting but sometimes a pain to wait in line. I always like the Supreme Court also but then I work in the courts in NY so have an interest there.

Outside stuff includes things not to miss: Jefferson and Lincoln, WWII and Vietnam Memorials. Of course Washington is still closed I believe. The tomb of the Unknown and Arlington Cemetary is right across the river and should not be missed, even for kids it is pretty awe inspiring.

Close by, I would take a side trip to Annapolis and see both Downtown and the Naval Academy, the Inner Harbor of Baltimore with the Science Center and Aquarium are very cool. Across the Potomac in Virginia is Old Town Alexandria. A fun thing to see is Great Falls just up the river, but not sure if I would go there in February.

By the way, when I go into DC, I usually drive to a Metro station in the suburbs and take it in. Easier than finding a parking place and it will drop you off right under the Mall. Much easier to find a camping place out a bit and take the Metro in.

Have fun. I always have fun and there is always more to see.

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Old 01-20-2012, 01:01 PM   #3
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Cherry Hill RV Park

I would suggest Cherry Hill RV Park in College Park MD.
But I'm not sure if they are open in Feb.
We've stayed there many times with our son and have done the "DC Thing". It's only about 2 hours from our house so we did a lot of long weekends.

Smithsonians, both Air and Space Museums (one is out at Dulles Airport), all of the monuments that were on the map, Treasury, .... topped off with Mount Vernon on our last visit.

Enjoyed the Tram Service - when it was operating. I don't know how one gets to Arlington Cemetery anymore.

Now, the RV Park. Nice place. Some of the sites are larger than others but all were sufficient. Our son likes the 2 pools and definitely the indoor hot tub.

There is city bus service from the Park to the Metro Station or you can drive one exit on I-95 and park at a Metro Station. We've done both.

Enjoy your trip !
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:10 PM   #4
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There is a KOA in Annapolis that is OK, spendy for what you get.
They have a shuttle if it is running and a pool if it is open, but the 75 & 85 bucks a night will not change if amenities are not all available.
Go figure.
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:18 PM   #5
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We were at Bar Harbor RV park last year during the winter about 20 miles North of Baltimore. They are a bit far from DC though. But it is possible & it is open year round. Its about a 1 1/2 hr drive to the Metro then about 40 minutes on the Metro. This is a descent park on the Bush River that feeds the Chesapeake Bay. I would use this as a last resort due to the distance to DC.
There is so much free things to do in DC it is hard for anyone to tell you what not to miss. The Mall is very impressive if you have never been there & even if it has been a while. As mentioned the Air & Space Museum & the art museums. The White House & Congress buildings both require advanced reservations, no cost, just sign up in advance. I am not sure about the White House tour, but if you do a search I believe you need to contact your senator or congressman to set you up for this tour now. When we went to the Congress Building there was plenty of space available for walk ins also (no reservation). The Metro is a great way to get around DC, it will take you from one end of the Mall to the other & also to Arlington. If you go to Arlington take the tour tram there, well worth it & you can get off & back on another tram.
Meals can be interesting if you aren't familiar with where you are. Some Museums have cafeterias & the Air & Space has a food court. There are also a few street vendors on a nice day. If you like Mexican, the Tortilla Coast at D st SE & 1st SE is near the Congress Building & very good with nightly specials.
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:42 PM   #6
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Cherry Hill is open year round and is by far the most convenient. The folks in the office/store a great at responding to DC questions. Bus to the Metro into the city is the only way to go. This outfit does go to Arlington, and may be the best option now that the Tourmobile has ceased operations. http://www.trolleytours.com/washingt...n-cemetery.asp
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Old 01-20-2012, 05:08 PM   #7
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Hi poorfarmer,
Cherry Hill is the place to stay for what you asked for. They have it all. The tours stop right at the CG. It will depend on how many are going as to if the tour will come to the CG. However, all is not lost. The bus line ends at the CG. One can purchase tokens and take the bus (two stops) to the train station. One can also purchase train tickets at the CG. Taking the train into DC (after 9 AM) is easy. Leave DC by 3:30 PM and the train ride back is also easy.

I did the bus/train thing with the Gkids. The reason is my Gkids have grown up in and environment where they never took public anything. I wanted them to have the experience.

The Cherry Hill CG web site is at Cherry Hill Park is the Closest Campground to Washington, DC :|: Cherry Hill Park
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:56 AM   #8
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We are in the process of planning a trip to DC in the spring so we will follow this thread.On another RV forum Cherry Hill is mentioned by many posters.
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:22 AM   #9
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Sure wanna thank everyone for all the responses! Great information, guess i just will have to start planning
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:32 AM   #10
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I don't know if they have tours, but Bull Run Park is about 15 miles from a metro (subway) stop (Nuttly Street at I-66 Exit 62). A lot of DC is free and you don't need a tour guide.

Check out their web site. To make a camping reservation at Bull Run Regional Park you call 703-631-0550, but in Feb there are lots of open sites.
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:53 AM   #11
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I've never stayed at Cherry Hill because I live near DC, but I agree it is probably the best choice. You could take a look at some of the CGs west or south of DC (one in Haymarket and Aquia Pines). You can connect to the Virginia Railway Express from either direction and go straight into DC or connect to the Metro stations closer in to DC. You can look at their websites for schedules/stops.
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Old 01-21-2012, 12:10 PM   #12
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I got the National Parks Passport book while we were in the Grand Canyon. While we were at our oldest sons wedding near DC we got 15 cancellation stamps from the different places there. I would suggest getting one of the books (or 1 each for your daughters). Great way to keep track of places you've been and also a sneaky way to add some historical learning in there. Oh yea, the Smithsonian has their own stamp too
You could also do some geocaching while around there too. It's basically treasure hunting using billion dollar government sattelites to find the stuff. www.geocaching.com is the site almost everyone uses for it. There are over 1.5 million caches hidden all over the world. Oh, it's also a sneaky way to add some learning in there and some exersize
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:09 PM   #13
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Cherry Hill is the most convenient in my opinion. They have a shuttle to the Metro, or we just drove to it. They also have nice cottages(if you can call a 6 or 7 bedroom a cottage) The one our family stayed in was huge and furnished. There are so many must sees in D.C. I can't even begin to list them.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:09 PM   #14
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One other option is this:

Lake Fairfax Park: Map/Directions

Never stayed there, but we lived within a few miles for 20+ years, without knowing it was there!!

On the VA side of the DC beltway, just off of the Dulles Toll Road west of Wolf Trap Farm park. LOTS of shops, eateries, Dulles Air and Space Museum close. A VERY nice area, Herndon, etc.

Currently no Metro stop real close, but pretty sure there are Metro bus stops very close to get you to Metro rail stops. (they are building the Metro extension out to Dulles now.)

I'd give this a look see, expecially if you are arriving in the area from the west.

If you can arrainge for tickets for the White House tour, great.
Enjoy DC, a great place to visit.


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