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Best area to stay and what to do in Washington DC,

London - The city I...
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Best area to stay and what to do in Washington DC,
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Finally , I am planning to visit Washington for the very first time . I would like to stay in a nice and safe area , preferably bohemian. I don't mind staying in International Chain hotels such as Marriott , but I much prefer a nice Boutique hotel with character given a choice . I would like an area where I can walk, run or perhaps ride a bicycle. Whilst i normally prefer to use public transport whenever possible as it is more environmentally friendly, and I get a cultural experience . Access to public transport is not an issue now , as with COVID 19 , I prefer to walk , cycle, taxi or Uber . The more open space the better , boulevards , parks , and decent upscale mall with coffee shops , boutique restaurants , and health food stores. Obviously , I would like to see the Whitehouse , museums , and any other attractions that is recommended to me . Any input is appreciated as I am planning to visit this August 2021 if possible .

18 replies to this topic
washington dc
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1. Re: Best area to stay and what to do in Washington DC,
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Start by reading a guidebook or two, Lonely Planet or Rough Guides are good. You don't really seem to have much idea of what DC is like.

United States
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2. Re: Best area to stay and what to do in Washington DC,
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You are describing Georgetown, which is not that close to museums, etc. Rising a bike in DC streets is imho a death trap for visitors. Yes there is bikeshare but.....

If you are in UK now August may be iffy. And bluntly, wherever you are unless you are fully vaccinated with something, mRNA preferable, don't come yet. Delta is on the rise, most hospitalization and deaths are among unvaccinated.

pacific northwest
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3. Re: Best area to stay and what to do in Washington DC,
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I agree you need to research a little more what DC is about. I’ve been a visitor on three separate weeklong visits, including this June. We’ve used Bikeshare, and to me, DC is a reasonable bicycling town where bike lanes or separations exist. We rode all over town. Also mainly used metro, busses and foot. I recommend checking out (among others during your research) Shaw are. We stayed there in June. Why not choose an airbnb or VRBO? I’m not sure boutique hotels, malls, and “Bohemia” describes DC very well. Our VRBO in Shaw was a few blocks from bus, metro, 14th Street NW, with good food shops and international restaurants. It’s a vibrant, youthful and diverse area. A short metro ride away is the Mall and the Smithsonians museum area. Georgetown kind of leaves me cold; it’s a very wealthy enclave.

Sterling, VA
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for Washington DC
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4. Re: Best area to stay and what to do in Washington DC,
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As for being vaccinated, unless there is a specific requirement that one has to have an mRNA vaccine, any of the vaccines out there are just fine.

I agree about riding a bike in DC traffic --- it can be tricky. Going on foot or using Metro, IMO, are the best ways to get around.

Houston, Texas
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5. Re: Best area to stay and what to do in Washington DC,
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"I don't mind staying in International Chain hotels such as Marriott , but I much prefer a nice Boutique hotel with character given a choice"

Well if you choose a chain go with the Intercontinental Hotel the Willard or go with a boutique hotel such as the Hay Adams. Also The Jefferson, The Sofitel are also good hotels if you are seeking 5 star accomodation. Another popular hotel is The Mayflower Hotel as well but not sure price range you are seeking nor star level hotel.

United States
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6. Re: Best area to stay and what to do in Washington DC,
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Be sure you have a plan if you can come as to what to,do if you fail the COVID test to go home to the UK, if they require that. If you can't board your flight, have a backup plan.

Not being hostile. We are working on our own plans if we test positive overseas. We might be totally asymptomatic but fail the preflight test and then we are stuck for a while.

London - The city I...
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7. Re: Best area to stay and what to do in Washington DC,
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Thanks for the valuable input . Washington Dc has been on my bucket list for over 45 years . By the look of things the bike is out , and the metro is in . Although I am fully vaccinated, i am getting a booster jab shortly , Moderna mRNA to be precise as a cushion . However , I am not lowering my guard rain or shine . I am currently staying in Montego Bay , Jamaica and will be travelling with United Airlines non stop to Washington To the best of my knowledge the Delta variant is not in Jamaica yet . Additionally , I am not planning to cut any corners with cost as this is a trip of a lifetime . If August proves to a challenge then I will switch to October . Any further input is appreciated .

London - The city I...
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8. Re: Best area to stay and what to do in Washington DC,
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Thanks for the very valuable advice Coral and I will definitely factor this in my calculations . I have BUPA international insurance valid in the USA , and a war chest should the need arise . Taking nothing for granted though , and not lowering my guard for a second .

United States
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9. Re: Best area to stay and what to do in Washington DC,
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Good about the booster, war chest, and guard up! I have Moderna myself.

We DO have Delta here, increasingly so I am sorry to say.

The museums will be asking for masks but a lot (most in VA) place don't or the "suggestion" is largely ignored.

Vaccination rate is relatively good around here compared to the rest of the country, but on an absolute level may not be 70% fully vaccinated when you come.

Phoenix, Arizona
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10. Re: Best area to stay and what to do in Washington DC,
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For quirky and boutiquish, plus a convenient location, check Kimpton Monaco: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g28970-d240907-Reviews-Kimpton_Hotel_Monaco_Washington_DC-Washington_DC_District_of_Columbia.html

Best of luck, and travel safely.

Hunt

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