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Parking In DC

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Perry, GA
posts: 1
Parking In DC

My husband and I & our daughter and her fiancee will be flying in to Dulles from Perry, GA two weeks before Christmas this year. We will get a rental car & drive over to Massannutten VA for a week. My daughter suggested that we try to do some sightseeing in DC too. Any suggestions on parking at the various sightseeing venues.

Sterling, VA
Destination Expert
for Washington DC
posts: 12,014
reviews: 135
1. Re: Parking In DC

Parking is very difficult in DC. It's gotten even worse since 9/11. Plus you really need to be careful where you park. The meter maids are super agressive! About the best you can hope for, if you drive, is to find a garage and pay alot to park. Unfortunately, I don't know the location of any, because we always take metro into the city. Perhaps, if you come into the city from I-66, you could get off the Nutley Road exit and try and park at the Vienna metro station and take the train in. This will only work if you are traveling during the weekend since metro parking garages fill up by 6 a.m. (!) on weekdays. Metro used to let people park for free on the weekends but now they have this system where you have to buy a "smart card" to pay for parking. You could get one in the metro station, I'm told. A better option would be to get off I-66 in Arlington--can't remember the exit name but it would lead to the Ballston area. There is a mall called Ballston Common very near this exit. They have a parking garage there and it is inexpensive to park. From there, you could easily get to the Ballston metro station and take the train to DC.

Destination Expert
for Milwaukee
posts: 9,024
reviews: 63
2. Re: Parking In DC

If there are 4 of you traveling you may as well drive into the city and pay to park. By the time you pay 4 round trip metro fares you probably won't save that much over parking. There are office buildings all over DC that have parking ramps. I never have a car when I travel there, so I don't pay attention to rates, but there are parking garages everywhere.

Because of security issues you will not be able to park on the street anywhere near monuments.

Washington DC...
posts: 5,436
reviews: 28
3. Re: Parking In DC

I work downtown DC and would not suggest you park down here. Sometimes certain streets get blocked off last minute which would cause majors headaches. Most garages are ~$15-25 per day and require you to leave your keys. Many park cars in rows of 5 or 6 deep so you have to wait forever to retrieve your vehicle.

I agree with the person who suggested Ballston metro. They also have office garages around there for only $5/day earlybird rates (before 8:30am). Ballston is Exit #71 - Fairfax Dr./Glebe Rd. as you come off of Route 66.

Note that Metro also has its own set of problems - overcrowded trains, delays, stop/start, etc...But if you expect them and plan ahead, it's much better than driving.