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Subject: Two days in D.C. rss

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Rob
United States
30° 12′ 38″ N, 95° 45′ 2″ W
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I'll be in the D.C. area with my wife, kids (6, 10) and father-in-law this Thursday and Friday, seeing the sights. So what are the can't-miss, must-see sights?
 
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Perrianne Lurie
United States
Harrisburg
Pennsylvania
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The Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum, is an absolute necessity. The (Smithsonian) American History and Natural History museums are also very good. I'd also recommend the Vietnam Memorial.

If you're still around Friday evening, Capclave (the DC area science fiction convention) is at the Hilton in Silver Spring, MD (within walking distance of the Red Line Silver Spring Metro station). Most of the weekend, I'll be in the "Town Hall" area, gaming (of course).

 
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Scott McGinnis
United States
Manassas
Virginia
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I live int he burbs of DC.

I would definately attemtp to hit the Spy Museum (http://www.spymuseum.org/siteintro.asp). Its a very cool place. Its new and it unlikely to be someplace you've seen or even know much about yet.

There is tons to see in DC and a list would be huge and would still miss stuff. The most popular sites are the Air and Space Museum, the monuments of course and the Viet Nam memorial.

The newest monument is the FDR monument which has become may favorite. It's peaceful and impressive with extensive use of water and falls. And people are still learning about it so you can miss the bus tours

There is also the Holocaust Museum. I would caution though that it is a bit of a downer. Dont; expect to come out with a smile on your face.

My favorite places to eat are:
Clydes http://www.clydes.com/main/index.cfm
Gordon Biersh brewery http://www.gordonbiersch.com/restaurants/index.php?pg=locati...
Cap City Brewery: http://washington.dc.diningguide.com/data/d101761.htm
 
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Thumis Dalidalisa
United States
Falls Church
Virginia
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Will you have a rental car? If so, I'd recommend the Udvar-Haazy (I know that that spelling is wrong) annex to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum near Dulles airport. A big airplane hangar with all sorts of (real) combat and civil aircraft along with spacecraft. This is rounded out with a big iMax, some simulator rides, and a mock control tower.

The Musuem is supposedly free but parking is $12. There is a shuttle from somewhere but it's hard not to drive there and there's no "street" parking. The Imax and simulator rides cost extra of course.

There's a McDonald's at the Museum, but other good dining options within a short driving distance. I'd particuarly recommend "Willard's Pit Barbeque" at the Dulles Expo center, which is in my opinion the best barbeque in the area and quite appropriate for small children.

You could also try this: When you are done for the end of the day drive to Sully Road and Route 50 (not far), where there is a big strip plaza with a K-Mart and a Loewes. Treat the kids to Milwaukeee Style soft ice cream (I think that's the name of the place, "Milwaukee Soft ice cream," but i am not sure to be honest -- it's srt of in the front section of the plaza). By a remarkable coincidence, "The Games Parlor," the best local game shop is in the same plaza (next to the K-mart).

Have a nice trip.
 
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Michelle Zentis
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London
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If the weather's decent a trip to the zoo is always nice. Now that summer's over it's not nearly as crowded and the animals aren't all inside hiding from the heat, so you can see stars like the baby panda.
 
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Donald Walsh
United States
Columbia
Maryland
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The National Cathedral is a great location that misses a lot of "must-see" lists.

I am almost sure it is still open during some construction on the grounds (garages, I think).

(edit)
And if you get a nice fall day, and want to spend it outdoors more than your typical museum crawl (not that that's wrong), you could kick on over to Virginia to see:

Arlington National Cemetary (Tomb of Unknown Soldier/Eternal Flame/Arlington House/Challenger Memorial)
The U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial
Mount Vernon

If you end up at Mount Vernon in the afternoon/early evening, there is an Inn there for dinner which is very nice.
 
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Jonathan
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Maitland
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Personally, my favorite Smithsonians are the lesser-known Sackler and Freer Galleries. They are connected, and are right on the Mall. Both focus on Asian art, and have some really unique and unusual exhibits. A current favorite is the Peacock Room:

http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/current/peacock.htm

It's an entire room painted for a rich London gentleman by Whistler. Whistler even worked his pay dispute with the room's owner into the room. The whole thing was picked up and moved twice, and finally ended in the Sackler and Freer galleries. It's very cool, and a must-see!
 
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Robert Jones
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Germantown
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I second the Sackler and Freer Galleries. My favorite museums in the city.

A few clarifications.

The National Zoo's new Asian Trail opens this week. Sounds spectacular and definitely worth a look, especially if you'd like to see the Giant Pandas.

The Smithsonian American History Museum is closed for renovation. However, the Natural History Museum is open.

The Air and Space Museum is *the* attraction in the city. You can catch a shuttle there to the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Annex which is also spectacular. The shuttle is round trip and will return you to Air & Space.

Have fun!
 
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Thumis Dalidalisa
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Falls Church
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I "third" the recommendation for the Sackler and if you go at 2:00 or 2:30 (I forget) on a Saturday or Sunday they often have a nice children's program called ImaginAsia. This will involve making a nice craft of some sort and a project that involves finding things in the Museum. You ned to check the website though because it is not every weekend.
 
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Donald Walsh
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Ok, well I don't want to naysay the Sacker and Freer Galleries, but if a) you don't get to DC that much and b) Asian art is not your family's foremost interest, then you need a typical "Mall Crawl":

From West to East, starting at Abe.

Lincoln Memorial/Vietnam Memorial/Korean War Memorial
World War II Memorial
Washington Monument (north to The White House)
Smithsonian (1st the Castle on the south, then either National Gallery of Art to north or Air and Space to south)
U.S. Capitol

On the far side of the Capitol is the Supreme court.
(less visited than stuff above)

Also I left out attractions south of the Washington Monument: (because you will run out of time in one day)

Holocaust Museum
FDR Memorial
Jefferson Memorial

One day on the Mall, and one day in Virginia (see previous post) and you will have seen the majority of the most important sites in 2 days, athough it will be a whirlwind.

You'll need to get an early start, and bring your best walking shoes, cause it's a LOT of walking.


 
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Rob
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Thank you for all your suggestions!
 
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