Hey, looking at going to DC in October. Any hotel recommendation in the mall, monuments, Smithsonian areas?
It’s been a few years but I’ve stayed at the Yotel at 415 New Jersey Avenue, NW several times. I know, weird name. Not super fancy but clean, nice, and less expensive than many of the alternatives. By my standards, it’s easy walking distance to Union Station, the Capitol, and the Mall. Once you’re at the Mall, you can hop on the Circulator ($1) to go the length of the mall and around the monuments.
Smithsonian Air & Space. It grabs people right at the entrance.
Carve out some time for it. Don’t miss the movie.
I have not been to DC since I was a child.
But if I was going now, I think I’d have to look into staying at The Watergate
The Lincoln Memorial & reflecting pool at the Washington Monument are what impressed little girl me most.
I’ve used the Hilton Washington DC/Capitol Hill for work several times this year and it was a great location. Not super fancy (the lobby area has been under construction for a millennium) but you’re within walking distance of the Mall and Hill areas. It’s also right by the Yotel that was mentioned above. That’s another good option, especially if you’re just looking for someplace to sleep. My sister & niece stayed there over spring break and had no complaints.
If it’s your first time to the city and you’re trying to see all the things, I highly recommend doing one of the hop-on-hop-off bus tours. It’ll get you everywhere you need to go and you can spend as much time at each of the sights as you want before hopping on the next bus. Or if you’re tired, you can just ride around and see the things. Some of the monuments (Jefferson, I’m looking at you) are much further apart than you think they should be so this saves your feet a bit.
I would avoid Chinatown and that area - it’s gotten bad, with blatant drug use during the day out in the open, and the police do not care. Last time I was there I walked past someone smoking (what I can only assume) was meth walking down the street (during the day, no less!).
The whole city smells like weed these days, no matter where you go.
If you’re trying to stay near the Mall, I think the hotels on the north side are better situated than those on the south. The SW quadrant near the Mall is mainly federal office buildings, so the sidewalks roll up by 5pm. Not as much choice for walkable restaurants and nightlife. (Although the Wharf area is the exception.) Maybe look around Penn Quarter — lots of fun restaurants along 7th St. NW, plus convenient Metro stops.
Dupont Circle and Foggy Bottom are other neighborhoods with convenient Metro (bus and rail) access. A little farther from the Mall, but not deal-breakingly so.
Tell the DC contingent what’s on your touring bucket list and we can give some additional itinerary suggestions/advice!
The Embassy Suites is the go to for my out of town coworker when he comes in. It’s right next to the King St metro in Alexandria. Plenty of stuff nearby and a pretty safe neighborhood. Be careful on the Metro at night.
This is why I avoid DC now. It straight up stinks. When I stay overnight for work I stay in Arlington and Uber where I need to go. The Metro is not something I will ride alone at night.
My favorite place to stay in DC is the Tabard Inn in Dupont Circle. It’s inexpensive for the city, great in-house restaurant for breakfast, and a great location. It’s an old Victorian mansion that has been turned into a hotel, with period furnishings. However, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea – there are no TVs and no elevator. Also be sure you select a room with a private bath.