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Heading to Washington DC this weekend.

Namel3ssNamel3ss Registered User regular
edited May 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
We are going to be there until Wednesday and I was wondering if any of you fine folk had some "must see" suggestions. We like museums, beer and good food. We are generally a young crew and don't mind walking alot and will have a rental car, but prefer using public transit if we can. We've got some ideas from google, but I bet the fine people of this forum can top that advice. Thanks :)

PS Never been to DC before, all my family lives in the Northwest, or very North East (Maine, New Hampshire or Boston), so that's most of my in-country travel experience.

May the wombat of happiness snuffle through your underbrush.
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Posts

  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    It's an obvious choice, but since you like museums you could spend a week in the Smithsonian and still not have seen everything.

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    The zoo, the national mall, monuments are the must sees. We went the the air and space museum and I, of all people, found it super boring and I love air and space stuff. But definitely check out the other parts of the Smithsonian. The rail system was really easy to navigate and use, get an all day/week pass if you can because it's worth it. I picked a hotel outside the city that was right next to one end of the metro.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • jefe414jefe414 "My Other Drill Hole is a Teleporter" Mechagodzilla is Best GodzillaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    when it comes to museums, you are hitting the motherload. Take the metro down to the Mall and just wander around the Smithsonian. They are free (at least the last time I was there). You have the Lincoln memorial, the reflecting pool, the WW2 memorial, Washington Monument, Vietnam Memorial, etc. Every square practically has a statue of some sort as well.

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Dollar for Dollar I found DC way more fun than NYC, even when it was 90 fucking degrees in fucking may.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Major East CoastRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Old Town Alexandria is an awesome place for a bit more "mature" atmosphere than a DC club. If you take the metro down to the King St station (yellow line I think?) you can walk all the way down King to the waterfront. There are many excellent restaurants on that street and immediately off of them. I'd suggest King St Blues for a drink, it's usually pretty fun. If you like a bit of a rowdy crowd Murphy's is always a good choice.

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  • Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Major East CoastRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Also you'll probably want to avoid the Air and Space museum on the weekend, it'll be packed like whoa.

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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Old Town Alexandria is an awesome place for a bit more "mature" atmosphere than a DC club. If you take the metro down to the King St station (yellow line I think?) you can walk all the way down King to the waterfront. There are many excellent restaurants on that street and immediately off of them. I'd suggest King St Blues for a drink, it's usually pretty fun. If you like a bit of a rowdy crowd Murphy's is always a good choice.

    Old Town is definitely more "mature" which is fun, but maybe not what I would do if was a bunch of young dudes looking to experience a new city. Instead, I might go to H Street NW and hit up Rock and Roll Hotel, The Palace of Wonders, H Street Country Club, the Argonaut, the Pugilist and the Shamrock and Star as an evening of bar hopping. Palace of Wonders has a burlesque show, Country Club has indoor mini golf by the bar, Rock and Roll has a live DJ (who, granted, usually sucks) and shows, and Shamrock and Star is a combination Irish whiskey bar and Jewish deli.

    Edit:

    That is sort of the more hipstery choice, granted. If you wanted to go for the more fratty choice, Adams Morgan neighborhood has a great selection of bars for hopping as well. You'd probably start the night at Madame's Organ and roll from there.

    Darkewolfe on
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  • jefe414jefe414 "My Other Drill Hole is a Teleporter" Mechagodzilla is Best GodzillaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Yeah, my brother lived in DC for a while and he recommends for maximum bars per sq ft, Adam's Morgan, which is an area in NW where 18th St, Calvert and Columbia intersect.

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  • GorkGork Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    You mentioned beer.

    I present to you DC's temple of beer.

    http://www.churchkeydc.com/

    Something like 50 taps, rotated biweekly.

    Gork on
  • KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    If you're into super-liberal coffee shop/sit-down restaurant/bar/bookstore places, check out Busboys & Poets - the food is good enough to be worth it on its own. There's one near 14th and U street, and another one near Chinatown. Although if it's lunch time and you're on U Street, go to Ben's Chili Bowl over B&P.

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  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    jefe414 wrote: »
    Yeah, my brother lived in DC for a while and he recommends for maximum bars per sq ft, Adam's Morgan, which is an area in NW where 18th St, Calvert and Columbia intersect.

    adam's morgan can go fuck itself, go to U street or H street

    kaliyama on
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  • GorkGork Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Gork on
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    kaliyama wrote: »
    jefe414 wrote: »
    Yeah, my brother lived in DC for a while and he recommends for maximum bars per sq ft, Adam's Morgan, which is an area in NW where 18th St, Calvert and Columbia intersect.

    adam's morgan can go fuck itself, go to U street or H street

    U Street is better for locals just because you can feel out where to go, and the bars aren't as well organized. H Street is honestly the most happening place to go and bar hop without knowing what your plan is.

    Darkewolfe on
    What is this I don't even.
  • GorkGork Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    kaliyama wrote: »
    jefe414 wrote: »
    Yeah, my brother lived in DC for a while and he recommends for maximum bars per sq ft, Adam's Morgan, which is an area in NW where 18th St, Calvert and Columbia intersect.

    adam's morgan can go fuck itself, go to U street or H street

    U Street is better for locals just because you can feel out where to go, and the bars aren't as well organized. H Street is honestly the most happening place to go and bar hop without knowing what your plan is.

    I wouldn't send tourists to H Street to bar hop considering it has pretty much a weekly rotation in the police bulletin.

    Gork on
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Gork wrote: »
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    kaliyama wrote: »
    jefe414 wrote: »
    Yeah, my brother lived in DC for a while and he recommends for maximum bars per sq ft, Adam's Morgan, which is an area in NW where 18th St, Calvert and Columbia intersect.

    adam's morgan can go fuck itself, go to U street or H street

    U Street is better for locals just because you can feel out where to go, and the bars aren't as well organized. H Street is honestly the most happening place to go and bar hop without knowing what your plan is.

    I wouldn't send tourists to H Street to bar hop considering it has pretty much a weekly rotation in the police bulletin.

    It really doesn't. You don't want to go out past the bars, sure, but it's gonna be real clear where the bars are and where Trinidad starts. You have a mile buffer zone.

    Darkewolfe on
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  • WeirdNutWeirdNut Registered User
    edited April 2011
    Bens Chili Bowl.

    Bens Chili Bowl.

    How has this venerable institution only been mentioned once in a post about DC?
    http://www.benschilibowl.com/ordereze/default.aspx
    Get a half smoke with chili, mustard and onions. Get chili cheese fries also. Get another one, to go.

    The Smithsonian Natural History is awesome, and all Smithsonian museums are free. The Holocaust museum is amazing, but if you go do it later in the day. No need to get very depressed at 9AM.

    See the changing of the guard at the grave of the unknown soldier, go to the WWII memorial.

    But seriously, go to Ben's Chili Bowl. Do not get a chili dog, get A Half Smoke, with chili. Vastly different things.

    WeirdNut on
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Oh god, no, Ben's Chili Bowl is not that good and the line is like an hour long.

    Darkewolfe on
    What is this I don't even.
  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    The brickskellar is a pretty good place if you want to try beers from all over the place, it's right by Dupont Circle. I don't know U street but i've been to a few bar crawls on H and it was pretty dang fun.

    Dr. Frenchenstein on
  • WeirdNutWeirdNut Registered User
    edited April 2011
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Oh god, no, Ben's Chili Bowl is not that good and the line is like an hour long.

    This man blasphemes the house of Ben. Boo this man.

    WeirdNut on
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    WeirdNut wrote: »
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Oh god, no, Ben's Chili Bowl is not that good and the line is like an hour long.

    This man blasphemes the house of Ben. Boo this man.

    Seriously, Ben's Chili Bowl is a perpetual hoax played upon tourists and interns. It might make sense if you'll be at U Street anyway for other stuff (not really), but it's definitely not worth it as a destination. If you want to eat at a key DC eatery and have a few bucks to toss out, head to Bistro du Coin. If you want to go a bit cheaper, head to Kramerbooks and Afterwords; both are in Dupont.

    Darkewolfe on
    What is this I don't even.
  • WeirdNutWeirdNut Registered User
    edited April 2011
    What don't you like about it? Maybe I'm just a freak for chili dogs and sausages. It is seriously one of my favorite places ever.

    WeirdNut on
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    We have lion cubs in the zoo.

    Have you ever seen real live lion cubs?

    SammyF on
  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Avoid the National History Museum, except for the seeing the original flag thing.

    Personally, I would hit both wings of the National Gallery of Art.

    Ben's Chili Bowl is alright, but the line is a little silly and the chili is tasty but goopy as all hell.

    Xagar on
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    If you're going to be going to a lot of different places, I suggest Capital Bikeshare for your transportation needs. Especially if you're going to be spending a lot of time in the downtowny area.

    http://www.capitalbikeshare.com/

    And I agree with Darkewolfe about Ben's Chili Bowl. It's a tourist trap with crappy food.

    Modern Man on
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  • ThroThro [email protected] Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    bowen wrote: »
    We went the the air and space museum and I, of all people, found it super boring and I love air and space stuff.

    Check out http://www.nasm.si.edu/udvarhazy/ if you have a way to get out by Dulles airport. It's a giant hanger of everything that won't fit inside the museum by the mall. There's an actual NASA shuttle, satellites, and more historical aircraft. Admission is free (like all Smithsonians), parking is $15 or some other ridiculous amount.

    Spy museum is fun, in the mall area, and only $10 or so for admission.

    "The Mall" means the downtown area with all the museums and government buildings.

    Bus Boys and Poets is a waste of a meal and effort pretending to care about boring things. Good bars / food have already been mentioned in this thread.

    On the metro (subway), stand to the right on escalators, walk on the left. Yell at anyone you see doing it wrong.

    Thro on
  • Namel3ssNamel3ss Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Thanks for the great advice so far. Didn't get in till midnight Saturday morning, so by the time we made it to where we were staying we didn't adventure out that night. Saturday we took the metro down to the mall area, went down to the Natural History museum and wandered around for a while. Went down to the capital building and then back up to the "china town" area. Stopped at this place called Nando's, it was actually really good, got a great pitcher of sangria and some wraps. Delicious after a long day of walking. Checked out some bars and headed back.

    We had to get up super early on Sunday, the reason for the trip is my sister in law was graduating with her bachelors. So, we sat though that, then went to the Kennedy Center, great view and decent food.

    We are actually staying in Maryland so we headed back over to that side and stopped at this Pirate themed bar they know about in Silver Spring. 4 of us spit a pitcher of grog and a pitcher of sangria. Good times were had by all. That pirate bar would just print money in Portland, they ran it right. I'll get a link later.

    Then Osama died, and DC went nuts, so, that was cool.

    Good trip so far.

    Namel3ss on
    May the wombat of happiness snuffle through your underbrush.
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    :^: what a historic day to be in DC.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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