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Old 03-31-2012, 08:14 AM   #1
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Washington DC

DW and I will be going to Fredric Maryland to visit Son And Daughter in Law. We are planning to visit Washington DC. We want to tour some of the Smithsonian Museums. I am wondering if there is an admission charge and if there is parking and if parking close by will cost an arm and a leg?
I did look at the websites and I think there is no admission charge but am not sure.
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:47 AM   #2
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We stay at Cherry Hill camp ground in College Park, Md. Take the train in. Get off at the Museums. Much better than driving.
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:59 AM   #3
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No admission charges for the Smithsonian Museums. Yes, plural! You've already done your homework, to recognize that there are many Smithsonian Museums. I always chuckle when visitors to DC give themselves one afternoon to visit "The Smithsonian".

Here's a link to the Smithsonian website: Maps and Directions | Visit | Smithsonian About half way down the right column, you'll see "Tips for Visiting". In there is a link to a .pdf that gives parking info.

For the new Udvar-Hazy (Air & Space out by Dulles), there's a big, easy to get to parking lot for $15.

For the museums (and other sites) on The Mall, on the map on the .pdf file, you'll see that there is some parking available on Madison Drive and Jefferson Drive. There's a 3 hour limit on that parking, so spots open up as people leave. It's a competitive event to get those spots.

You might try parking near a Metro Station and taking the Metro in to one of the many stops near the various museums. Parking at the Metro Stations can be a challenge, too. Most of that parking fills up early with commuters. There's lots of parking available at Reagan National Airport and a Metro Station there, if you choose to use Metro into DC. Almost always a sure thing to find parking there.

One other piece of advice. Wear comfortable shoes. The Mall is a big place. You'll do A LOT of walking, before you're done.

Take care,
Stu
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:16 AM   #4
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I lived in the MD suburbs and worked in and around DC for several years. The Metro is the key to survival. There is a stop right next to the Smithsonian (the old one).
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:43 AM   #5
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Coming in from Frederick as you will be, the easiest thing by far is to drive to Shady Grove Metro station (the nearest one to you, and close to Interstate 270) and ride in from there. The station has plenty of parking, for around $5 a day.

An alternative is to take the MARC commuter train all the way from Frederick to Union Station in Washington, and Metro and/or walk from there. It's comfortable and relaxing, and takes about 1-1/2 hours each way. The downside is that there are only 3 trains inbound in the morning and 3 coming back in the evening, so your scheduling options are limited.

Enjoy your visit! Everyone should see the sights of D.C. -- just not every day for 30 years like I did ...
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:45 AM   #6
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Good advice above to take the Metro. Very convenient.
There are several stations in Virginia with parking. One time we parked at Arlington National Cemetery, and caught the train there. It is also great to tour Arlington.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:25 PM   #7
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we also went to washington DC last oct. and stayed at cherry hill park,it was great.the city bus comes right to the front gate takes you to the metro ,we got off at china town,from there we could walk everywhere nothing more than 8 blocks away -white house washinton monument,lincoln monument smithsonians ford theatre etc,the only bus we took was to arlington took three days to see it all
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