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Neighborhood for a vacation rental for a family?

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Leawood, Kansas
posts: 7
reviews: 3
Neighborhood for a vacation rental for a family?

My family of 4 which includes 2 kids ages 11 and 13 is traveling to D.C. in the early summer. We are hoping to find a self-catering unit that is close to the metro. I am wondering if anyone could share local insights into the Columbia Heights, Dupont Circle or Capitol Hill areas, specifically whether they would be a good home base for a family who will be spending 5 days or so? We plan to visit the monuments at the National Mall, the Holocaust Museum, the Air & Space Museum and other Smithsonian institutions (haven't mapped this all out). I don't think there are any rentals in our budget (approx. $200 / night) truly within walking distance of most of these attractions, so a neighborhood's proximity to the Metro lines and having some dining / retail options in it would be a big plus. And we're looking for someplace safe. I would appreciate any insights. Thank you!

Washington DC...
posts: 14,586
reviews: 36
1. Re: Neighborhood for a vacation rental for a family?

And often asked question. If you do a search on "VRBO", you will find a lot of topics about the areas to find rentals. Dupont Circle would be ideal. Columbia Heights can be OK too, as long as you are street-smart and the place isn't too far from the Metro station. Capitol Hill can be questionable. Some will be fine. Others will be an area that is far from ideal. Exact address help. Owners sometimes exaggerate how convenient their places are, not matter what area you are looking at. It is just more critical on Capitol Hill.

Leawood, Kansas
posts: 7
reviews: 3
2. Re: Neighborhood for a vacation rental for a family?

Thank you for your post. We lived in South Africa for two years which definitely honed our street smarts but I'd rather not put them to the test too much! I will search on VRBO for more insights.

Leawood, Kansas
posts: 7
reviews: 3
3. Re: Neighborhood for a vacation rental for a family?

Here are a few properties we are considering:

www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p144043vb

www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p421709vb

www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p422291vb

www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p344572vb

washington dc
posts: 2,045
reviews: 1
4. Re: Neighborhood for a vacation rental for a family?

144043 is actually closer to U St. than Dupont Circle, but still in a good location. U St. (Green line) metro is more convenient for tourists than Dupont Red Line. Seems a bit pricy however.

421709 is in a great location - 1 block from Columbia Heights Metro (Green line) & dozens of shops & restaurants. I know the owner (I live half-block away) and have seen the place - it is beautiful and he is great to work with. I think a better value than the above.

422291 is in SW - which is a bit more removed from the city center than I would like to be as a tourist. Not as many shops & restaurants, and more tall apartment buildings. But the apt. looks nice, and a bit more spacious.

344572 is also near - 3 blocks - CH metro & all the amenities, and I also know these owners. 13th & Monroe does put you a little closer to the "edge" of the 3 block "bubble" around metro, where those not used to urban life might not feel comfortable. Will you get shot? No. Will you see some homeless people and winos? Yes. But mostly you will see long-time residents & new yuppie families.

Leawood, Kansas
posts: 7
reviews: 3
5. Re: Neighborhood for a vacation rental for a family?

These are great insights! Thank you very much for such a thorough, thoughtful reply.

Illinois
posts: 73
reviews: 148
6. Re: Neighborhood for a vacation rental for a family?

You might look at the International Guest House. We stayed there 2 years in a row. (the first time was much better than the second) Breakfast and free parking are included. They serve tea and cookies every night and have free wifi. There is a tv in the basement and a pingpong table. There is also a fridge and microwave. Very close to a bus stop and the hosts are very knowledgable.

washington dc
posts: 2,045
reviews: 1
7. Re: Neighborhood for a vacation rental for a family?

OP has a family of four. The IGH is basically a hostel - with shared rooms - although a family might be all put in one room, at $40 per person, they would be paying more than a lot of apartment rentals. And pretty much all apt. rentals offer free street parking with the use of a residential guest permit.

Leawood, Kansas
posts: 7
reviews: 3
8. Re: Neighborhood for a vacation rental for a family?

Thanks, all, for the insights. We found a nice self-catering place in the DuPont Circle area for $215 / night. That was a little higher than our original $200 / night budget, but we are very pleased with the booking. The location and owner seem great.

http://www.vrbo.com/186865#features

washington dc
posts: 2,045
reviews: 1
9. Re: Neighborhood for a vacation rental for a family?

Looks great!

Atlanta
posts: 225
reviews: 26
10. Re: Neighborhood for a vacation rental for a family?

We actually rented the last one you have posted a couple of summers ago. The owner was great to work with, but someone in the family does smoke and you can smell it in the basement apartment. Also, there is mold somewhere in the apartment as we all had irritated throats and sinuses and we did not have colds(and our sinusus got better immediately after we left and during the day when we were out of the apartment). I think it was painted over on the front basement walls in the bedroom. If these things do not bother you, it is in a great neighborhood area. It is a little bit of a walk from the metro though. The bathroom set up was nice because there was an outer "dressing room" that had a big mirror and a shelf to put your makeup on and do your hair while someone else could use the bathroom / shower. There is a grocery store a few blocks away and a couple of good neighborhood restaurants close by. We really liked the neighborhood "feel" when coming home every evening after a long hot day of sight-seeing.