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From DCA to Washington Harbour to The Ellipse

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chicago, il
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From DCA to Washington Harbour to The Ellipse

I'll be running in the Nike Women's Half Marathon in DC this April. Since I am coming from out of town, would love some advice on where to stay.

My itinerary:

1) Arrive at DCA airport 10:30pm Friday.

2) Saturday - Attend race packet pickup at Washington Harbour.

3) Sunday - Race Day! Start/finish line is approximately at Pennsylvania & 10th.

4) Monday - Depart DCA 2:30pm

My initial thought is to stay in a hotel near Washington Harbour Friday night. Saturday I would transfer to a hotel near the Ellipse (Sofitel or JW Marriot) for the remainder of my stay so that I don't have far to go from the finish line.

If any locals have any recommendations to utilize public trans and save on taxi or hotel costs, please let me know! Thanks in advance!

Arlington, Virginia
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1. Re: From DCA to Washington Harbour to The Ellipse

Given the hour when you arrive, I'd consider booking a hotel in Crystal City (right next to DCA) for the night you arrive. On a Friday night you might get some very good deals there. Normally I'd suggest you then just stay in that hotel for your entire stay and take Metro to save on hotel and taxi costs, but the desire to have a room near the finish line of your race makes a lot of sense to me. The hotels walking distance to the finish you should check out (in rough order of fancy to less fancy) are:

Willard Intercontinental

Sofitel

JW Marriott

Hotel Monaco

Marriot Metro Center

Grand Hyatt

Renaissance Washington Downtown

Courtyard Washington Convention Center

Hilton Garden Inn Downton / 14th Street

Hotel Harrington (a huge step down from the others; VERY budget and old)

There is no terribly cheap and easy way to get to National Harbor. This recent thread discusses some of the transit challenges: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28970-i40-k603988…

If it were me, I'd stay the first night near DCA, and then either take the National Harbor shuttle from DCA to the hotel or take Metro from Crystal City to King Street in Alexandria, take the King Street Trolley to the waterfront, and take the water taxi to National Harbor (as you'll at least get to see some fun stuff). I'd then take the bus / Metro combination from National Harbor into D.C., rather than paying for their overpriced shuttle.

Washington DC...
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2. Re: From DCA to Washington Harbour to The Ellipse

You may need to clarify where you need to pick up your race packet. Since National Harbor opened on the Potomac in suburban Maryland, it's easy to get confused between that development and Washington Harbour, which is on the Potomac in Georgetown.

If you need to pick up your information at Washington Harbour in Georgetown, I wouldn't see the need to change hotels as Georgetown would be a quick cab ride from one of the downtown hotels the previous poster listed.

If you need to pick up your information at National Harbor in Maryland, then follow his recommendations for getting down there and back. It seems odd to me that they'd send you all the way out to National Harbor to pick up a race packet for a race that's occurring downtown.

Washington DC...
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3. Re: From DCA to Washington Harbour to The Ellipse

Warthog left out the W Hotel Washington which is in the same block as the Willard Intercontinental. He is also confusing Washington Harbor with National Harbor. Washington Harbor is in Georgetown and is easy to get to by bus or taxi. And not that long a walk from Foggy Bottom Metro station.

The Harrington Hotel would be a perfect location, but it is the oldest hotel in DC still operating and is not one of our finest. But many people find it adequate. For something nicer try the Marriott Metro Center. And I would take a taxi from DCA to your hotel when you arrive. Changing hotels is a pain and will not get you much of an advantage, IMHO.

Arlington, Virginia
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4. Re: From DCA to Washington Harbour to The Ellipse

Wow, I'm embarassed. You did say Washington Harbour, and I directed you to National Harbor. Huge difference. Ignore everything I said about your first night and switching hotels. Pick the hotel from the list above that fits your needs best and stay there all your nights.

Edited: 12:49 pm, January 26, 2013
chicago, il
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5. Re: From DCA to Washington Harbour to The Ellipse

Sounds good everyone, thank you so much for the advice. It looks like the Sofitel for me.

Now as far as getting to and from places:

- Would taking the train from the airport to the hotel late at night be safe? Again, I land around 10:30pm.

- What is the best way to get to Washington Harbor from the Sofitel? Cab, train, bus?

Washington DC...
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6. Re: From DCA to Washington Harbour to The Ellipse

Yes, it is safe to take the Metro train from Reagan National to McPherson Square for the Sofitel. Of course, a taxi would be easier, quicker and most likely cost less than $20. A good way to go door-to-door in a city you aren't familiar with and I would call it money well-spent.

You can get the Circulator bus on K Street NW that will take you to within a few blocks of Washington Harbor. Or if you want to walk from Foggy Bottom Metro station, it isn't a long ways. Of course a taxi would be "the best way" unless you want to hire a limo.

7. Re: From DCA to Washington Harbour to The Ellipse

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