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Parking lots near Lincoln Memorial? Smithsonian?

Lawndale, California
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Parking lots near Lincoln Memorial? Smithsonian?

Hello all. Will be visiting D.C. March 11-12 (Sunday-Monday). We'll be hitting spots all over the city, so unfortunately we'll have a car. Are there any lots (paid, not free) near the Lincoln Memorial and near the midpoint of the mall, near the Smithsonian? We're willing to pay for the spots since we'll be coming from other areas around the city. (And please, while we appreciate all advice, please don't recommend ditching the car and using the metro. We simply don't have easy access to it ... or anyplace to leave our car while we would be using it.) Thanks!

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Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
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1. Re: Parking lots near Lincoln Memorial? Smithsonian?

Depends on what you mean by "near." The Lincoln is surrounded by a lot of greenspace and the Mall is surrounded by a lot of government buildings with no public garages. As such, no pay parking lots are right at either location.

The closest commercial garage to the Lincoln Memorial is about 1/2 mile away in the Kennedy Center. The closer parking spaces are actually the ones on the street, some of which are free (but limited to two hours). Try the western end of Constitution Avenue or along Ohio Drive. Unless you've got a handicapped parking permit, nothing (free or pay) is what I would consider to be very close to the Lincoln.

Accessible to the Smithsonian, there are plenty of pay garages a few blocks away from the Mall. Try the directories supplied by some of the companies in the city:

dcpages.com/Travel/Parking_Lots_and_Garages/

The biggest suppliers in the city are Central, PMI and Colonial.

Colonial: ecolonial.com/parking/pointsofinterest.aspx

While it goes against your sensibilities, street parking is free and plentiful on Sundays and often closer than the pay lots.

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Lincoln
Lincoln
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Lincoln Memorial
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2. Re: Parking lots near Lincoln Memorial? Smithsonian?

To add to previous post. There are several parking garages a little further away from the mall area. None right at the mall area. You will have to walk a lot. Sunday as stated before you can just park on the street there should be plenty available. On Mondays it is usually the least crowded/busy day for area workers. So you should plan on being at the garages by 9:00 am because once they fill up that's it. Don't expect to get there at 12:00 noon and think you will find a parking space. Sometimes you might be lucky but don't count on it.

There are so many parking garages in the area around the mall you will just need to drive up to one and see if it's available.

I know you said that you didn't want to use metro. May I ask why? I

Arlington, Virginia
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3. Re: Parking lots near Lincoln Memorial? Smithsonian?

As the others said, parking on the street on Sunday shouldn't be a problem, especially if you arrive early in the morning. Also, some of the lots for the office buildings not too far from the mall will be closed on Sunday.

On Monday, there's a garage on 10th Street, between E and Pennsylvania that will put you fairly close to the Mall (if it's not full). There are actually several garages in that vicinity. You can also try for a hotel lot, although they tend to be a bit pricier. The Holiday Inn Capitol would probably be the most convenient to the Smithsonian musuems, or the lot for the l'Enfant Plaza Hotel. Personally, I'd prefer to park on the other side of the mall, though, (near the office lot I mentioned) just because there are many more food options on that side of the mall if you wanted to stop somewhere for breakfast, lunch or dinner somewhere after leaving the car or before heading back to it.

Good luck!

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L'Enfant Plaza
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Glen Echo, Maryland
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4. Re: Parking lots near Lincoln Memorial? Smithsonian?

It is possible to park during the week if you pay close attention and are quick. Starting at 9:30 am sharp you can snag 2 hr. street parking near the museums - bring quarters and watch the clock (ticket writers are fierce & will hunt you down out of town). Parking can be found on Constitution and Independence Aves. BUT is off again as evening rush hour approaches - read the signs carefully - they differ between 3, 3:30, and 4 pm. For the Lincoln Memorial, there is parking near the FDR Memorial. Consider doing the Lincoln, FDR, Vietnam & WWII Memorials at night after dinner. Free street parking and they are so beautiful lit up at night with fewer people. Plenty of lighting at the memorials themselves, but the long walk around the reflecting pool has spotty lighting.

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Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
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Lawndale, California
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5. Re: Parking lots near Lincoln Memorial? Smithsonian?

Several of you have mentioned parking on Ohio near the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday. Is it just two-hour parking on Sunday, or can you park there all day? Thanks!

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6. Re: Parking lots near Lincoln Memorial? Smithsonian?

I seem to recall that closest to the Memorials, Ohio Drive is two hour parking everyday during the day. As you get further away, there's no restriction.

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7. Re: Parking lots near Lincoln Memorial? Smithsonian?

I'd avoid the street spots unless you're sure you can be finished in two hours. The ticket writers are relentless when it comes to meter feeders as well as those who let their meters expire (I believe the fine is the same).

Glen Echo, Maryland
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8. Re: Parking lots near Lincoln Memorial? Smithsonian?

And you can be towed away if you obstruct rush hour traffic...

Washington, DC
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9. Re: Parking lots near Lincoln Memorial? Smithsonian?

Cheaper than a parking ticket is the hop-on, hop-off Tourmobile. It hits all the tourist spots and brings you to the front door of the major attractions (they have an exclusive monopoly on access to the Lincoln Memorial and Arlington Cemetery).

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10. Re: Parking lots near Lincoln Memorial? Smithsonian?

Some of the best free parking that even locals don't know about is on the mall along Jefferson and Madison Drives (the small roads that run along the mall side of the museums) between 3rd and 14th Streets . No meters, but watch the signs to make sure you're in a parking zone.

The spots have a three-hour limit at all times with no parking from 1-10 a.m. Monday-Friday.

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