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Old 09-10-2010, 07:55 AM   #1
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need help while in Washington DC

We are staying at the Fredricksburg/Washington D.C. Koa about 45 miles south of Washington DC and want to see the memorials, white house etc, but after seeing the map of the city, we are overwhelmed. Can someone please tell us from experience where to start? Wife can not walk very far so need to see most from vehicle. We have a toad to use. Will be here for about two or three days. Thanks, Roger and Karen
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:46 AM   #2
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Boy you sure didn't give yourselves much time to see such an incredible area. We spent a week there earlier this year and stayed at Cherry Hill RV Resort. We couldn't see all we wanted to see in a week.

Yes, even using the metro for transportation like we did there is a LOT of walking involved. Your best option might be to take one of the "open bus" tours. They are double deckers with the top level being open air but the stairs might cause you problems. However, you can get on and off all you want all day long for a single price.

If you want to see what you can from your own car you could just drive around the mall. Traffic moves pretty slowly which is a blessing when you're sightseeing.

Enjoy.

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Old 09-10-2010, 09:13 AM   #3
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Take the bus tour...stay on it and decide what you want to see by car/stopping. Do you have a wheelchair as almost everything including Metro are handicap friendly. Parking could be a problem.
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:24 AM   #4
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I worked in DC for 27 years and can tell you that parking in DC is not a good idea. I would either take the bus that was suggested or use the Metro. You will have some walking to do. There is a lot to see and you will enjoy it.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:02 AM   #5
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I have to agree with the recommendation to take the double deck bus tours. We spent a week there last Fall and did the bus for two days. Easy to get on and off to visit a site.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:36 AM   #6
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I live in the DC area. The bus tour recommendations are spot on. At least one allows you get on and off as often as you like. Given your time constraints, I'd suggest you take the entire bus route and then circle back to the few places you really want to see. Unless you get White House tickets from your congressman, you probably don't want to wait in the lines for what you'll see. Capitol tours use to be very good. The Smithsonian's are awesome, but you don't have time for everything. Again, pick and choose. If you're big into aviation, the Smithsonian Air and Space facility near Dulles airport would be worth the visit.

From Fredericksburg, Monday-Friday non holidays only, you can take the train General Schedule Information - VRE . This is designed for workers so the schedule is a bit restrictive; in in the morning back in the afternoon. Otherwise, you'll need to drive to a metro stop. Springfield would be the closest. If you want to drive in, I always suggest going to Arlington Cemetery for ease of parking and access to the bus tour. If you drive in or out during rush hours be prepared for very slow traffic!
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:39 AM   #7
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I live up here and also agree with the open bus tours. The Gray Lines is a good company to go with.

You could drive your car to the Springflied Metro and take to rail into the city to avoid th congestion and parking issues.
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:06 AM   #8
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Thanks for the great input. This site and its members are the greatest. Now we know how to get around and it will sure help. Even decided to spend another two days here, (retired but has not sunk in).
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Old 09-11-2010, 02:48 PM   #9
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The KOA might have a shuttle to the Metro. I was there duting the Boy Scout Jamboree and remember something about that.
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Old 09-11-2010, 04:05 PM   #10
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Bounder4rfun,
I'm going to assume that you have a handicap placard. If you do, you will not have a problem during the weekdays parking. You can park in any metered spot in DC and not pay, plus the handicap marked spots. I have a placard plate and we did it in a car. Many memorials are grouped together and the walk can be quite long to get to the memorial. So depending on your handicap, you decide which ones you want to walk to. Smithsonian - you are not spending enough time in the area to see it, and you would need assistance depending on your disability. I would personally drive again without hesitation, but not on a weekend or holiday.
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:17 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the help. Are leaving today for Texas and back to Colorado. We were able to park within one block of Union Station and catch the open top bus. Took two times around due to protesters and triathalon going on closing a lot of the streets the sites were on. Also had nice misting rain first trip. Second time everything was over and saw everything we wanted. Boy it is a long walk from the bus stop to WW2 memorial. Due to you guy's help we got through it with no problems. Thanks again: /Roger and Karen
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