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That's it, NO itinerary!

Columbus, Ohio
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15 posts
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That's it, NO itinerary!

I'm only in the very beginning stages of our itinerary for DC, and I just deleted the file, on purpose! I feel like it's going to almost impossible to fit everything we want to see into 4 days, and instead of stressing myself out about all of it, I'm going to just go with the flow and see & do what we can. How do you plan your itinerary to DC? How detailed do you get? I'd like to list time limits etc. but I really don't know how long we may stay in one particular museum or place and I don't want to feel rushed to get on w/the next thing on the list to stay on time. There's so many must see things, it's getting a bit overwhelming! Here's my list of things I'd like to see... how would you cram it into 4 days?? What would you leave out if you had too? What would you suggest including that I didn't? Also, this is going to be a Honeymoon/Anniversary trip! Any suggestions on making it romantic or special? In room gift delivery's etc.? (On day 1 we won't be arriving in the city until 11am, the other 3 days we're open to being up very early and where we need to be at opening time or sooner. We're a early 30's couple and are very energetic and active, long days and walking won't bother us. And we'll find a bench if we need too!)

White House (just a walk around the outside)

Reflecting pool area and all monuments/memorials around it

Tidal basin paddleboat ride (that's all for this area) Worth doing??

Archives -1-2 hours here

American History Museum -2-3 Hours here

Natural History Museum -2-3 hours here

Air & Space Museum -3-4 hours here

National Gallery of Art West & East -2-3 hours here

Hirshhorn Gallery & sculpture garden 1 hr here (sculpture garden in morning before opening preferred -30 minutes here)

Smithsonian Castle -20 minutes here

Holocaust Museum -3 hours here

National Zoo -3-4 hours here

Spy Museum -2 hours here (just basic tickets)

Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum -2 hours here

Hard Rock Cafe

Arlington Cemetery 2-3 hours here (walking through cemetery)

Union Station (food, walk around) 2 hours here

OR should I just stick with no plan is the best plan? :)

And it sucks that all the museums close early!!

Edited: 1:03 am, January 06, 2013
Washington DC...
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1. Re: That's it, NO itinerary!

In four days, you can't do everything. Just no way around it. I'd skip Madama Tussaud's for sure (expensive, not great). The Spy Museum is fun, but if you don't have kids in tow, it can probably wait for another trip.

Unless you have a particular love for the Hard Rock Cafe, I'd skip that too. The food isn't special and there are lots of places in the vicinity that are tastier and cheaper.

Washington DC...
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2. Re: That's it, NO itinerary!

I agree with what tbwhall says and also question the paddle boats. Spending an hour struggling to move that thing in the sun sounds like misery to me. I think of it as something to tire out the children.

When I travel I do some research and pick out one or two things that I really want to see, then fit them in where they work with the rest of the days spontaneous. Never have a real schedule.

Washington DC
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123 posts
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3. Re: That's it, NO itinerary!

I would also skip the Spy Museum, Madame Tussaud's, Hard Rock Cafe, and the paddleboats. Union Station would be optional -- wonderful renovation, but the shopping and eating are good but not great. Suggest you spend an evening in Olde Town Alexandria -- take the King Street Metro and simply walk from it down King Street to the river.

Groton, Connecticut
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4. Re: That's it, NO itinerary!

I enjoyed Madame Tussaud's this trip but it was my 3rd trip and we had time to kill. That being said, there is no way to spend 2 hours there and its $20 a piece. Maybe just stop at the Hard Rock for a beer as its a unique setup for a Hard Rock but I wouldnt plan on eating there.

For a museum that closes late, look at the Portrait Gallery. 1 of my favorites...

I agree with Darrell. Just pick whats important to you then play by ear. Its a condensed city so its easy to bounce around. Just have a good map and ideas of what you would like to see.

For example, when I was there in Sept, we intended on walking to the Air & Space Museum on the Mall when leaving the Portrait Gallery. We got turned around walking out and walked North...Rather than jump on the bus and head back to the A&S, we went to DC Chophouse and Brewery.

Don't overplan everything and you will enjoy it a lot more

Baltimore, Maryland
Destination Expert
for North Conway
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12,177 posts
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5. Re: That's it, NO itinerary!

Why don't you read some of the many trio reports. And it doesn't matter what we would do unless you are inviting us.

Kentucky
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43 posts
1 review
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6. Re: That's it, NO itinerary!

Can anyone suggest a condo near the Metro?We will have 4 adults and 3 children ages 13,10,and 8. Willing to go $1700 a week. Also some have said Alexandria may be better..have no idea where to stay there but must be near Metro..will have a car but trying not to drive very much. How does one arrange a visit of the Capital Building as I've read you must contact a Congressman (or woman) from your district. The White House Tours don't allow anything to be taken inside..where is the best place to store purses,etc the day of the tour?Union Station lockers? Does one have to have the metro tickets in advance? We plan to go to Monticello one day...we will be going to White House..Arlington,Kennedy Library,Smithson,Lincoln Mem,and may go to Gettysburg...staying 5 days.Thanks!!

Washington DC...
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7. Re: That's it, NO itinerary!

jljohnson740, you should start your own new topic. This topic is about itineraries, not hotels. And you have so many questions about divergent things that it will take a book to answer them all.

With 7 people, it will be cheaper to drive into the city and park in a parking garage than ride Metro.

Kentucky
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8. Re: That's it, NO itinerary!

ok

San Francisco...
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9. Re: That's it, NO itinerary!

I would cut your list from the zoo down. I would also plan it (loosely) like this: one museum each morning, lunch, then one other activity in the afternoon such as a brief museum visit, capital tour or memorials.

As for romantic, there are many very nice restaurants which can fit the bill.

Write to your congressman for capital and WH tour tickets.

CA
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310 posts
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10. Re: That's it, NO itinerary!

Where can I find DC trip reports?

Five ladies, age 70 with 5 days in DC