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Old 04-21-13, 07:52 AM   #1
Dan Burkhart 
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Vacationing in DC in mid May

We were hoping to do another European adventure to celebrate our tenth anniversary, but thanks to my wife's new job, with only two weeks annual vacation, and one week already booked mid summer, cramming a Euro trip into one week was not what we wanted to do.
So, looking closer to home, as in one day's drive, we decided to do DC.
I know it's beautiful in that part of the country in May, and there's lots to see, so here we come.
We have booked a VRBO in the Palisades Park area, very close to the C&O trail, so we'll be able to ride on the trail without having to load the bikes on the car.
So, what should I be sure to not miss? I know a week isn't enough time to see it all, heck I could probably get lost in the Smithsonian for a whole week.
But, what is the one thing you tell people to be sure and see when you're there?
I want to be told that before I go, not after it's over.
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Old 04-21-13, 06:46 PM   #2
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You could spend a week in A Smithsonian! Downtown they all located on the mall. There is another Air/Space Smithsonian near Dulles airport, the Udvar Hazy http://airandspace.si.edu/udvarhazy/. Well worth the trip. Georgetown has many restaurants and Georgetown Cupcakes. Almost all federal agencies have some sort of museum or information outlet. The Newseum is a great place to see. The Washington Moument is closed due to the earthquake damage. See the Nationals play if thier in town. The bureau of Engraving and Printing to watch them print money. Vietnam Memorial is one of my favorite places to go as well as Roosevelt's memorial, the Korean War memorial and of course Arlington National Cemetary and the changing of the Guard ceremony. There more to do than you'll have time for!
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Old 04-21-13, 08:56 PM   #3
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All the museums on the Mall including the National Gallery of Art are fun. It's by Air and Space Museum which is very cool. The Old Ebbitt Grill near the Whitehouse is a cool old watering hole. The Red Line to DuPont Circle puts you in a nice area for neighborhood dining and bookstores. Show at the Kennedy Center? If you haven't seen the Lincoln Memorial you must go. WW2 and Vietnam memorials are right there too if those interest you.

If the Nats are on the road, or not, hop a train to Baltimore to see the Orioles play in Camden Yards. Really cool ballpark with great food including BBQ. Train ride is about an hour from Union Station and drops you off right at the ballpark.

Last edited by billydonn; 04-21-13 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 04-21-13, 09:11 PM   #4
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Lots to see in DC. Of course I'm sure you will get to each of the large monuments, the Capitol and the Mall. Think about heading over to Arlington Cemetery for the changing of the guard. Besides the Smithsonian, check out the National Gallery of Art, also located on the Mall. So much to do, but in a week you should be able to take in quite a bit. Have a great time!
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Old 04-22-13, 03:22 AM   #5
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If you're not into the whole monument thing, and given you're in Oakville Ontario it may be a real possibility, here are some other places that simply have really beauitful things to see:

Hollywood Museum & Gardens
Washington National Cathedral
Phillips Collection
United States Botanic Garden
Rock Creek Park
Smithsonian Butterfly Museum
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Old 04-22-13, 05:56 AM   #6
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- kayaking along the Potomac River (http://www.keybridgeboathouse.com/) at the dinner hour is pleasant. Pack a picnic dinner to eat afloat.

- visiting the National Arboretum (http://www.usna.usda.gov/) is always nice, and you can ride you bikes on the roadways internal to the Arboretum.
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Old 04-22-13, 06:08 AM   #7
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I rode from Pittsburgh to DC last October then rode aound the city checking out the sites. Another nice ride is the trial to Mt. Vernon.
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Old 04-23-13, 05:12 AM   #8
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You can ride the W&OD bike trail out 45 miles or so NW of DC into the Virginia suburbs and countryside. I get sick as heck of it personally, but it's a nice ride the first few hundred times you do it
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Old 04-23-13, 07:48 AM   #9
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another place would be the Portrait Gallery near the Verizon Center,on the edge of Chinatown. Recently they had a display of Norman Rockwell, the other paintings on display are worth the stop. The food trucks stop in between the gallery and Verizon Ctr each day if your looking for some grub. Also the National Zoo.
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Old 04-23-13, 01:18 PM   #10
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Great suggestions, thanks everyone. We are hoping to get lots of cycling in as well as seeing the sights, so some, or even most of the suggestions will have to go on the list for next time.
My wife's cousin lives right next to the W&O trail, so we''l be visiting them as well.
My son in law, who has connections to the DC area tells me to be sure to see the Lincoln memorial at night.
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Old 05-13-13, 07:37 PM   #11
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well, we're in DC and settled into our little nest for the week.
Went for a short ride on the C&O this afternoon. Here's some shots at one of the lock houses.




The Potomac seems to be running a bit over capacity.



Made a run to the Safeway for some provisions.

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Old 05-14-13, 12:17 AM   #12
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Welcome to the area, Dan! Did you bring the cold weather with you? It was brrr today.

Have a great visit!
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Old 05-14-13, 04:41 AM   #13
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Welcome to the area, Dan! Did you bring the cold weather with you? It was brrr today.

Have a great visit!

I make living transporting people but I make every effort to smuggle cold Canadian air to the US.. Have fun Dan. DC area is wonderful.
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Old 05-14-13, 06:12 AM   #14
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Welcome to the area, Dan! Did you bring the cold weather with you? It was brrr today.

Have a great visit!
As a matter of fact, we hit all four seasons driving down on Sunday. It was snowing hard when I hit the border at Buffalo, sort of a wet, almost sleet like snow. Kept hitting pockets of snow off and on until we were well into Pennsylvania, although it was warm enough that it didn't stick to the road.
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Old 05-14-13, 06:17 AM   #15
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I make living transporting people but I make every effort to smuggle cold Canadian air to the US.. Have fun Dan. DC area is wonderful.
Thanks. As you can see in my above post, I made a valiant effort to bring it all the way down, but I lost my grip on it some time before we hit Maryland.
A couple of weeks ago, I delivered a load in South Carolina, and it was about the same temperature there as it was at home when I left. When the receiver commented about how chilly it was, I said, you're welcome.
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Old 05-14-13, 06:25 PM   #16
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Great day in the capitol today. Found a way to get to the Capitol Crescent Trail from our abode. We are pretty close to it, but the local topography made getting to it a challenge.
I have a correspondent here in town that was able to inquire on a local cycling forum, and he found an access that had eluded me.
Anyway, we rode down to the capitol district, and took in a few sights. Took the Jefferson Memorial tour, checked out the Botanical Gardens, and rode around the mall a bit to get familiar with the area.







The Washington Monument is undergoing some reconstructive surgery.

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Old 05-14-13, 06:27 PM   #17
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We put about 30km on the bikes all together.
I'll tell more about my mystery local correspondent later. The plan is to meet up with him Thursday afternoon for a ride.
He is someone who used to hang out on these forums, but has not posted here in some time.
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Old 05-14-13, 06:38 PM   #18
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Capitol Crescent Trail and Rock Creek park.
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Old 05-14-13, 09:03 PM   #19
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Keep those photos coming Dan!
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Old 05-15-13, 03:00 AM   #20
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Capitol Crescent Trail and Rock Creek park.
NOT ROCK CREEK PARK!!! JK, on NCIS, a TV series, the team is often called to investigate a murdered Navy or Marine personnel that has occurred in Rock Creek Park. The family and I went there once during the summer and it was blistering hot.
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Old 05-15-13, 07:48 PM   #21
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Rode the bus down to the mall today, and spent a good part of the day in the Smithsonian American History Museum.
Just a few of the many attractions.

The John Bull



Archie Bunker's chair



An actual piece of the iconic highway.



Had to cut it a bit short, Suzanne suddenly didn't feel well, so we came back to the house. We think it's allergies.Hope she feels better tomorrow.
After dinner, I rode the Capitol Crescent trail to the north end. There was some kind of walkathon or something on the trail. Hoards of walkers.
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Old 05-15-13, 09:40 PM   #22
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Ah, Route 66... get your kicks.... cool.

Hope you visited Mr Lincoln.
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Old 05-16-13, 07:11 AM   #23
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Ah, Route 66... get your kicks.... cool.

Hope you visited Mr Lincoln.
Had my picture taken in front of the Lincoln memorial, but didn't go inside. We were planning to do a night tour and take it in then. Hope the time doesn't get away on us before we do it.
Meanwhile, here's the plan for today's ride. My friend is meeting me where we are staying shortly after lunch and he and I are going to do this ride.


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Old 05-16-13, 09:42 AM   #24
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wow, awesome weather DC right now (55% humidity)
Last time I was in DC during May, it was like a swamp. You literally feel like you are swimming when walking around.
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Old 05-16-13, 07:51 PM   #25
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Well, the ride turned into quite an adventure. My guide was a bit unfamiliar with the trail in the Alexandria area, and when we crossed back over the river, we had a bit of trouble picking it up again. Actually, that's not true, we had a LOT of trouble finding the trail again. When I have time to process the video, I'll show you a wild ride through a rock and mud trail that would have been much more manageable on my mountain bike, but we made it through.
We added quite a bit of distance to the ride, and it was getting pretty late, so when we got downtown, we put the bikes on the bus and rode home.
Here is my guide. His name is Rod.When he was on Bike Forums, he posted as qmsdc15. He posted mostly in the utility bike forum, but he did post in 50+ from time to time. He is well qualified to post here.



I'v stayed in touch with him, and it was good to meet up and do a ride.

It was getting late, so we wimped out and took the bus home. Still got a 50km ride though.

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