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Weekend or weekday visit better?

Which Washington DC hotels are on sale?
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Muncie, IN
posts: 128
Weekend or weekday visit better?

Hotel rates are so much cheaper on the weekend (one hotel I am looking at is $99.00 Friday, Saturday & Sunday, then goes up to $199.00 during the week!), I didn't know if it would be better to visit then or not. Dates I am looking at are August 14-21 (4 nights during this time). How are the crowds on the weekend compared to a weekday? Is it so much less crowded during the week that it would jusify paying double for a room?

Washington, DC
posts: 20
reviews: 29
1. Re: Weekend or weekday visit better?

Not an official tourist report by any means, but I tend to notice crowds less in terms of weekend vs. weekday than spring/summer vs. winter/fall.

I think it is probably merely packed during weekdays in the summer and superpacked on weekends during the summer. Also, most festivals happen in town during the weekends, that tends to pack it up a bit. I'm a local, and I work, so when i go into the city on touristy things, it is usually on weekends. I try to make it to exhibits and plays and dinners and galas and even the memorials for a run or to take friends, and I have never felt like the crowds were oppressive or counter productive to what I was trying to accomplish on any given day. Perhaps I have a very high crowd tolerance.

In fact the only downside I have ever really noticed about the tourists is that on weekdays, the metros are overpacked with both commuters and tourists, and all are a little edgy, tired and uncomfortable. Other than that, all is good.

good luck.

Muncie, IN
posts: 128
2. Re: Weekend or weekday visit better?

Thanks for your input--I am not a big "crowd" person, so I might do better during the week. (And maybe find a less expensvive hotel further out)

posts: 649
reviews: 109
3. Re: Weekend or weekday visit better?

The weekend rates may reflect business travelers more than the average tourist trade. This is the smae in any city, though.

Washington, DC
posts: 20
reviews: 29
4. Re: Weekend or weekday visit better?

how far out are you willing to go? and what are you hoping to see? Also, are you a member of any hotel groups for discounts/coupons?

I would recommend taking a look at hotels in Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia and National Harbor in Maryland. The furthest south you can go in virginia and still have metro access is "springfield", and the furthest west you can go is "vienna". Also, take a look at b&b's. They will often have good prices, and great amenities.

Muncie, IN
posts: 128
5. Re: Weekend or weekday visit better?

I've never been there before, so I don't know exactly how far places are--but I've looked at Gaithersburg--not sure if this is too far or not. I can get a room there during the week for $109.00 with free parking and free breakfast. I've also looked at hotels in Alexandria, but they are getting close to $200.00 per night, though they are much closer.

Muncie, IN
posts: 128
6. Re: Weekend or weekday visit better?

Also, not a member of any group that could get a discount and we want to see the Mall area, Arlington Cemetary, Smithsonian, etc. (normal tourist stuff!!)

posts: 434
reviews: 14
7. Re: Weekend or weekday visit better?

My recommendation is that if you choose to stay in the suburbs, that you pick a hotel within walking distance of MetroRAIL. That rules out both Gaithersburg and National Harbor. Arlington, VA, is a possibility; also downtown Silver Spring or Bethesda in Maryland. If a hotel says it's close to "Metro", check the location to make sure they mean the rail system, not the bus.

posts: 39
8. Re: Weekend or weekday visit better?

Howdy neighbor - I live about an hour north of you :)

What about a mixture of weekend and weekday? Most weekend hotel rates are from Thursday thru Sunday nights, so you could arrive early to mid-day Thursday (leaving here in the wee hours of the morning). You'd be able to get in a half day of sightseeing on a weekday, plus Friday, then Saturday and Sunday on the weekend. On Monday you could sightsee something farther out - Mt Vernon or something - and head out early evening, drive far enough to find a cheaper, and finish your drive home in the morning (or drive thru the night if you prefer).

To be frankly honest, I'm way to cheap to consider paying weekday rates when weekend rates are so much cheaper. I've been to DC a few times - once on 4th of July weekend w/ the family, and twice staying an extra night after a Thursday-ending meeting (sightseeing Thursday afternoon/evening and all day Friday). I didn't find weekend crowds too busy even on the 4th, but I may be more tolerant than some. If you combine weekend and weekday time, you could do the more popular things on Thursday/Friday/Monday (Air&Space, etc) and do things that are less crowded or not as affected by crowds (Arlington Cemetery, walk the monuments, less common museums, etc) on Saturday/Sunday.

I've seen some excellent rates in DC itself for Thurs-Sun thru end of summer on travelzoo.com that you might find worth checking out.

Good luck w/ your travel plans - we are heading back again next weekend for the 4th and can't wait!

Muncie, IN
posts: 128
9. Re: Weekend or weekday visit better?

inmomx3--thanks for the tips. How long does it take you to drive there? Should be about the same for both of us.

10. Re: Weekend or weekday visit better?

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