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Don't know where to start...????

MISSOURI
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Don't know where to start...????

I don't know where to start, we (husband and I) have talked about going to DC for years, well this is the year!! I have so many questions, I'll try to make this less confusing so I get good answers..

August or September---which is cheaper and less crowded

5 days---enough time for most tourist attractions

backpacks----do most of the attractions let you have them,I love picture taking and will be lost without it, plus if your walking around the city where are you supposed to put all your stuff, will they let you in if you have a backpack

metro----is it possible to park our car and never use it again till we leave and see EVERYTHING, we would buy a pass of course

well this is a start, I am so confused, it seems like there is to much stuff to see and I don't know where to start.

Thanks in advance

New York City, New...
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21. Re: Don't know where to start...????

Spend time on Better Bidding.com before you leap into Priceline and/or Hotwire. It has "tutorials" on both Priceline & Hotwire, hotel lists, and "wins" calendars so you can see what other folks have gotten so far for your dates.

Basically, I think you can expect you'll have to pay, with rare exception, for parking anywhere in the closest DC suburbs.

P.S. I wouldn't bother with Priceline or Hotwire at this point for a late August visit.

Edited: 11 February 2010, 05:01
Baltimore, Maryland
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22. Re: Don't know where to start...????

Also, there is a no refund policy when you book this way, so it is often better and not alot more to book thru the hotel or one of the travel sites that does allow cancellations.

MISSOURI
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23. Re: Don't know where to start...????

There is just so many to choose from weather it be in DC or out in the outer areas, I am just so worried that I will pick the wrong one!!!! I am really leaning towards Arlington especially if I can find one near the Metro and has a pool, that's a much for my hubby!!!!

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24. Re: Don't know where to start...????

Which one is the "wrong one"? What would make it the "wrong one"? As long as you stay away from those places in the NE quadrant, I don't know that there is a "wrong one".

MISSOURI
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25. Re: Don't know where to start...????

I meant like too far away from a metro stop or no place to eat with in walking distance. Since I dont know the lay out of the land and hotel websites make it sound like they are close to everything, i dont want to be in one of those spots!! I'm sure once we get there it wont seem as big as my mind is making it out to be!!!!

Washington DC...
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26. Re: Don't know where to start...????

That's why you are here: so you can choose a hotel, ask those of us on the forum what it is like and then either book it or try another. But YOU have to choose. People here are not going to choose for you.

Delaware
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27. Re: Don't know where to start...????

CMOTO, if you stay at a hotel in "Old Town" Alexandria or at the hotel that several people have mentioned in Bethesda, you will have no problem finding restaurants, bookstores, shops, bars and clubs, etc within easy walking distance of your hotel. Arlington is a different story. There are parts of Arlington that are close to all those things and parts that are not. So it is going to be harder to know if a hotel in Arlington is "well situated" based on an Arlington address. I would recommend that you stay in either Bethesda or Alexandria anyway, because they are both interesting places in their own right. While Bethesda is not exactly a tourist destination, it is an incredibly wealthy suburban town that has a very urban flavor and a large selection of restaurants, shops, and nightlife. "Old Town" Alexandria is probably more interesting for a first-time tourist to the area and would therefore be my top recommendation for you if you can afford to stay in a nice place there. Enjoy your trip!

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MISSOURI
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28. Re: Don't know where to start...????

laminmd...... I have been looking into Bethesda, it sounds like just want I am looking for. We don't mind walking a bit and having places to eat in walking distance is a great plus, I was afraid of that in Arlington, on a map it just seems so spread out!! I am really excited, I know its a few months away but I love planning and love reading reviews about things to do in this great town!

Thanks for everyone's input!!!

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29. Re: Don't know where to start...????

Arlington is a county. Bethesda is a town. They can't really be compared. There are lots of places to eat in both places, within walking distance of many of the hotels. The big advantage to Arlington is that it is considerably closer to The Mall than Bethesda. From the hotels in Rosslyn (in Arlington County) you can see The Mall in the distance. Crystal City (in Arlington County) is also within sight of several DC landmarks. Claredon and Ballston (both in Arlington County) are a bit further from The Mall, but still closer than Bethesda.

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30. Re: Don't know where to start...????

A couple of suggestions:

** call the Metro's toll-free Visitor Information Helpline & request one of their Visitor Kits:

wmata.com/getting_around/…visitorkit.cfm

** call or e-mail DC's official tourism office to ask for a copy of their Visitor's Guide and anything else they care to send you; there are some special offers that are extended only through this office & you'll appreciate having the freebie map at hand as you plan.

washington.org/visiting/browse-dc/contact-us

** Frommer's puts the content of its DC guidebook online free of charge, so it's an excellent way of orienting yourself:

www.frommers.com/destinations/washingtondc/

FYI, once you get on board a Metro train at the Bethesda station, it's only a 20-minute ride to Metrocenter, the transit hub of DC. Since that's the same amount of time it takes to travel from lower Manhattan to Times Square via a local subway train, this doesn't strike me as formidable. But I wouldn't rule out staying in the District itself just yet. At the very least, don't make an advance payment, non-cancelable reservation now.

P.S. Lest there by any confusion, Crystal City, Rosslyn, etc. aren't (unlike Alexandria) independent, self-governing towns; their hotels all have Arlington, VA mailing addresses and are found in TA's Hotels section for Arlington, VA

tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g30242-Arlington_Virg…

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