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Best way to see Washington DC coming from New York

Melbourne
Level Contributor
513 posts
Best way to see Washington DC coming from New York

Hi TA's

We will be in New York (first time) early to mid march and would like to visit Washington DC.

The preference is not to take a bus tour from New York but to make our own way to DC probably by train and do the sightseeing ourselves.

After Washington we would like to see Boston, so may catch a flight to Boston and then come back to New York (from Boston) - either fly or take a bus/train.

We are not too much into art galleries but happy to see all the main historical attractions of Washington such as the White house, etc and walk around , getting the feel of the city.

My questions are:

Is one day enough to spend in Washington or should we stay overnight.

If staying overnight, can you recommend any hotels in the centre of Washington approx $200 per night for 2 adults

Is it worthwhile doing a hop on/off bus

How far is the airport from the city of Washington

Thanks in advance

21 replies to this topic
Fairfax County...
Level Contributor
2,774 posts
29 reviews
1. Re: Best way to see Washington DC coming from New York

If you are not into museums and want to just walk around, you can cover the key monuments and attraction in a day. More days will obviously be better, but one day will give you a good feel, IMHO. I don't quite believe in day trip, because it really does not give you a full day.

For hotels, you need to come up with a specific date and not vague range, because the hotel price changes from day to day. If you are flexible with your date, you can try searching for prices yourself for different dates on major travel websites such as Expedia.com or Orbitz.com, until you find the best price. If you have a favorite hotel chain, try their website too. I always book directly with the actual hotel rather than third party websites, because they are easier to deal with when there is a need to cancel.

Between NYC and DC, taking the train is the most convenient as it is downtown to downtown. The ride is around 3 1/2 hours.

Melbourne
Level Contributor
513 posts
2. Re: Best way to see Washington DC coming from New York

Thanks for your reply

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
39,734 posts
659 reviews
3. Re: Best way to see Washington DC coming from New York

I wouldnt do a Hop on Hop off in Washington DC. You will waste a lot of time on that.

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
14,992 posts
121 reviews
4. Re: Best way to see Washington DC coming from New York

DC is not that big, so it’s possible to walk to the monuments and memorials on your own as long as you don’t have mobility issues. (The distance from the U.S. Capitol at one end of the National Mall to the Lincoln Memorial at other end of the National Mall is about 2.5 miles/4 km). There is a Circulator bus that you can ride around the Mall for only $1 per ride (but it offers no commentary). If you want a narrated ride, there are HO/HO buses at a much higher cost. If you take a HO/HO bus, stay on for the entire loop before attempting to get off to see something. Once you get off these HO/HO buses, you can have a lengthy wait for another.

Taking the train is the most convenient way to get to DC from NYC, but if you choose to fly, fly into Reagan National Airport (DCA), as it is the closest and most convenient airport—a mere minutes to DC via taxi or Metro.

Edited: 7:39 am, November 24, 2017
Maryland
Level Contributor
603 posts
27 reviews
5. Re: Best way to see Washington DC coming from New York

I'm weighing in here with a minority opinion on the HOHO buses. We had out of town guests last summer who wanted to take a HOHO tour and found a Groupon that got the price down to about $20 each. We stayed on the bus for the entire circuit -- if you get off, you may have a long wait for a bus with seats available -- and it was a good way to get an overview of the city. The view from the top of the bus is excellent, unlike the view from the Circulator. (Granted, if I'd paid full price, I'd be less enthusiastic.) If you think of the HOHO buses as a tour, and not a means of transportation between the various attractions, you may find them worthwhile.

Melbourne
Level Contributor
513 posts
6. Re: Best way to see Washington DC coming from New York

Thanks all for information.

We will be based in New York but want to do visits to Washington DC, Boston and possibly Niagara Falls. In your opinion in which order should we do these. We can do them in one lot and come back to New York afterwards or should we do these trips separately. The ideal would be to save time. We are happy to explore ourselves and not to take excursions. Also happy to fly as it is a big time saver. Your advice would be appreciated.Thanks in advance. Also should I post this in other forums??

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
Level Contributor
61,746 posts
48 reviews
7. Re: Best way to see Washington DC coming from New York

Why "base in New York?" At least half of your trip will be taking you to other locations.

Melbourne
Level Contributor
513 posts
8. Re: Best way to see Washington DC coming from New York

Its complicated, but New York will be the base.

Australia
Level Contributor
891 posts
41 reviews
9. Re: Best way to see Washington DC coming from New York

"We can do them in one lot and come back to New York afterwards or should we do these trips separately."

Given it is "complicated" - are you planning on overnighting in Boston and DC at all?

Have you booked your accommodation in NYC yet? Is NYC your fly in / fly out city - have you booked flights yet? If not, book an open jaw, into DC and out of Boston. - I've done that and it isn't much more expensive.

How long is your trip?

You sure are making it hard for yourselves based on info provided.

Melbourne
Level Contributor
513 posts
10. Re: Best way to see Washington DC coming from New York

Hi Vacation

Return trip to New York and back (flights only) is booked however nothing else is booked.

We will do probably one day in Washington as a day trip out of New York and then do maybe 2 days in Boston (take a train out of New York) with overnight stay. We still have some time and that is why I am seeking advice prior committing to accommodation.

Thanks

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