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Columbia Maryland

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Hollywood, Fl
posts: 5
reviews: 4
Columbia Maryland

Family of 5 travelling from Florida with 14 year old boy and 10yo girl. We'll be staying in Columbia Maryland. Here is the plan; Driving from Florida April 8. Duration of trip is April 8-13, Would like to do a day in Washington, and a day in Pa. In Washington, one day, musueum and whatever tickets for venues we can purchase online prior to getting there. For PA, going to the Chocolate Factory, and the Amish country. Possibly would like to drive to Dover Delaware for a day. The kids are disnyed out and Universal Studioed out, therefore, Theme park not an option. Will appreciate any ideas of to do's. I've read in a previous post to drive to Greenbelt and take the train into DC. Is this still advisable?

Baltimore, Maryland
posts: 239
reviews: 1
1. Re: Columbia Maryland

I have lived in and around Columbia, MD for 22 years and I HIGHLY recommend using taking the Metro from Greenbelt into Washington, DC. I would not inflict our crazed beltway (I-95, 495) drivers on anyone!

The Metro is safe, clean and very reliable. Go to the Metro website to check the maps and station stops. When using the Metro, be sure to get one fare card per person.

Herhey, PA is a nice day trip as is Lancaster, PA to visit Amish country. April should be a very time to visit. You might want to stop by the National Zoo (it's free)in DC and see the baby panda. Also, the Inner Harbor in Baltimore is only 20 minutes North of Columbia. That would be good for 1/2 a day.

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
posts: 33,681
reviews: 49
2. Re: Columbia Maryland

You can drive to Greenbelt and take the Metro, but be aware that many subway stations lots fill with commuters fairly early in the morning.

I noticed this morning at 7:00 a.m. there were still quite a few open spaces, not sure how long they last.

Hollywood, Fl
posts: 5
reviews: 4
3. Re: Columbia Maryland

Zyana and Irishfan, thanks for taking time to respond much appreciated. We are staying in close proximity to 1-95&1-70 and Gateway Business Park, would Greenbelt Metro or Silver Spring Metro be the choice of station to take. We've never been to this area, so my questions are just based on the research I've been doing. The planned things for DC is the Smithsonian, the National Zoo ,the Spy Museum and the Bureau of Engraving and printing. We are looking on planning the DC trip for either Sunday or Monday, however I've noticed that the BEP is not opened on

Sunday. Is this a must see attraction?

Is it less busy on a Sunday to go to DC for the places we want to go. We are also aware that the metro times start later in the am on weekends and that parking is more manageable. Your quick responses will be appreciated, as I'm now eager to reserve my tickets online for the zoo, once we know the day we are going. It looks as if tickets are not required for the Smithsonian.

Baltimore, Maryland
posts: 239
reviews: 1
4. Re: Columbia Maryland

Since your are touring the sites on the weekend, parking at either site shouldn't be an issue. Greenebelt is closer and has A LOT more parking but Silver Spring has a lot of nice shops and restaurants around it.

BEP is NOT a must see attraction. I have never been to the Spy museum so I can't comment. The Zoo and Smithsonian are wonderful. For the Zoo, you only need tickets to see something major like the baby panda, everything else is free (part of the Smithsonian Instituition). You do not need tickets for any of the Smithsonian museums.

Because there are so many museums, I would try and hit the bigh three - Air/Space Museum, the American History Museum and the Natural History Museum. They are the most interesting and have some really great exhibits.

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
posts: 33,681
reviews: 49
5. Re: Columbia Maryland

If you're staying near Columbia Gateway, Greenbelt is much closer, and much easier to get to, than Silver Spring.

Hollywood, Fl
posts: 5
reviews: 4
6. Re: Columbia Maryland

Again thank you Zyana and Irishfan. We'll definItely be visiting Air/Space Museum, the American History Museum and the Natural History Museum.

Zyana- you said When using the Metro, be sure to get one fare card per person. Is this the same as One pass for all day per person. Also, I've seen on the metro website that effective June 28, 2004, SmarTrip is the only form of payment accepted at Metro-operated parking lots. Should we be purchasing this card in the Metro Station

Here is our tentative schedule (subject to change based)

Sunday- DC- Smithsonian, Zoo, Spy Museum

Monday- PA (Chocolate Factory, & Amish Country

Tues- Inner Harbor- tHE USS Consellation, Science Museum (We're skipping the AQuarium, heard too overpriced and always packed), ESPN Zone.

Wed- Delaware or possibly back to DC

Thurs- Back to Florida

With both your knowledge of the area, let me know if we should rearrange the days based on traffic overcrowding..etc.

One more thing- It appears that to get to the Smithsonian going from Greenbelt Metro on the Greenline, the train station we would get off is L'enfant Plaza that would be the closest?

Thanks a Mil again!

Baltimore, Maryland
posts: 239
reviews: 1
7. Re: Columbia Maryland

Hello,

Get the One pass for all day and yes, you will have to get one for each person. For the parking, I haven't had to use the SmarTrip recently so I would check with the website on where and how to purchase a card.

Your itinerary sounds perfect! Smart of you to skip the Aquarium, it is nice but definitely overpriced.

When traveling the Metro from the Green line, the easiest way to get to the Smithsonian is get off at L'enfant Plaza and walk a few blocks. Otherwise you would have to transfer to the Red line at Gallery Place, then transfer again at Metro Center to the Orange/Blue line and get off at the Smithsonian station. It's not worth the hassle.

Washington, DC
posts: 361
8. Re: Columbia Maryland

I grew up in Columbia and strongly second zyanya's suggestions.