General: Washington DC

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General: Washington DC

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Review of "General: Washington DC"

published 29/01/2008 | jaygami1986
Member since : 31/07/2006
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"washington DC"

bed and breakfast

bed and breakfast

Well now that my reviews for Chicago and Las Vegas have been completed I guess its time to move onto my third stop, don't worry only two more stops after this, in what was an amazing summer. The next leg of my journey took me to the state capital of Washington DC. The roots of American democracy and the political capital of the world. This was actually my last stop before coming back home, however I just felt like writing about this now. I had pre booked my ticket to DC whilst I was in London with American Airlines from Chicago; it set me back about £150, which for a peak time in mid July was not bad what so ever. Having stayed in DC for a week this review will focus more on the sights and places I visited, if I forget to mention the obvious places to see its because I didn't really go their and I therefore don't see the need to mention something I have no idea about. Rather tell the truth than lie, so enjoy.


Brief History:
The state of Washington was first founded in 1791 and is the nation's capital as declared in the constitution of the United States. The area of Washington can be broken down into the main DC area which has a population of some 572, 000 and the surrounding metro region which has some 5.4 million people residing. Washington has had many historical moments such as the Civil war during the 1860's, and the popular race riots which lead to the biggest crowd gathering in Washington.

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It makes obvious sense to first give some detail about our accommodation, its location and description as well as a general reflection on its price. Having been in America for some time now, I had stayed in many hotels such as the Luxor, Holiday in and so on; however I had never had a chance to stay at a bed and breakfast. A friend of mine whom visited the capital a year prior to my stay suggested the best bed and breakfast in Washington was called Woodley Park Guest House, which was located in the Columbia District. I should not we booked our reservation prior to leaving London as there are limited rooms and they cannot always guarantee availability. We stayed for 4 nights at a cost of $79 per night, which included bed and breakfast, and the basic utilities such as shower, baths and toilets.
My first impression of the B&B was that it was nothing I ever expected; you hardly see it on the tour brochures or in the movies. It was as if we were actually in Washington during the 1800's. The shiny old wooden floors that creaked, pictures of President Lincoln on the walls, rocking chairs and candles were such a surprise. The place had a warm feeling to it, the kitchens had traditional old stoves, and small slaughter houses at the back were they prepared the food and so on. The staffs were very pleasant and always there for ones needs. The rooms came equipped with nice comfortable beds, phones and air conditioning.
Every morning before we left for the day they would ask whether we wanted to have dinner with the other guest tonight. Occasionally we sat down with the other guests around a pleasant wooden oak table, as seen on there pictures.
Without sounding to biased I really think this has to be one of the best bed and breakfast places I had been too period. The prices may be steep, but it gives you a sense that you're really in the nation's capital rather than staying at some fancy hotel ordering room service and not knowing why it is you're actually visiting the city in the first place.


Getting Around the Capital:
I must say this is another aspect of the journey which really made me feel more warmth towards the city. The other places I had visited were always to busy, the trains were unreliable and we could never now how to get from one place to the next. However, DC in my opinion has one of the best transportation services available and why wouldn't it; it's the capital after all.
The Washington Metro, which is London's equivalent to the underground runs all around the capital, taking you literally outside the main tourist attractions. We found the service to be very quick and present. There are three types of tickets you can purchase, all of which vary in price depending on the length of your stay.
- The first is a regular day pass, which works after 9:30 am and costs around $7.50. it's the equivalent to our off peak passes, I would recommend these to visitors staying for less than 3 days, because it works out cheaper and most places don't open before ten so you wont have to worry about being late.
- The second option is getting 7 day short pass, which again works after 9:30 am but can be used for a week, this sets you back about $26.00
- Finally if you're staying longer than 4 days this is your best bet, to buy a 7 day long pass, which works anytime and can also allow holders to use the rail services and any other connection services that are linked to the metro. If you ask nicely they do sometimes, sometimes offer discount if you buy bulk passes.

Another option, which we frequently used as the Metro bus, which normally cost about $1.35, however with your travel pass it's free. There are several stops scattered in many places, the buses come quick, have plenty of seats and during the summer has air conditioning. To be honest the transportation system in DC is somewhat far superior to that of London's, however that's just my opinion.
One must make a quick comment regarding accessibility for disabled people. A friend of mine was accompanying me on this trip who was physically unable to walk found it even easier and hassle free to travel to and from the city. I would recommend the city scooter tours who provide transportation, such as wheelchairs and in some cases coaches to take people from a to b. ( (888)441-7574

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If you really want to enjoy the sunny city, your best time to go is during the summer holidays, anywhere between June and August, but if you do want something a tiny bit cooler January through April is the best time to suit your needs. But if you really want to make the most of discount packages, holiday parades such as 4th of July then summer is the best time.

Att ractions that I visited:

Ok so hopefully this next section will give you some insight into the tourist hotspots that I visited, please excuse if I forget to mention some of the memorable places, but this will reflect the places I had a chance to see during my stay.

Ok well the first and perhaps most important places you should visit it's the Lincoln Memorial, which is part of the national park service. As you may have guessed it is was built to commemorate the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln the 16th president of the United States. Your first impression of the big towering building make you feel as if you're actually in Greece, with the long cycled pillars similar to that of the Parthenon. The size of the building is a lot bigger up close and in person as apposed to the leaflets they hand out, the place is definitely worth while visiting. Not only do you get to see some of the historical aspects of Lincoln life and America's democracy, but the landscape, wildlife and rivers surrounding it make it such a beautiful sight.
The main focal point of the whole structure has to be the interior, was one can see a sculpture of the great man himself, which was designed Daniel Chester a French sculpture. The statue is simply out huge, with a dominant figure of Lincoln sitting down on a tall chair looking out at all of Washington. Next to the sculpture on the wall beside it is the Gettysburg speech.


Getting there is relatively easy with almost all train links and busses stopping outside it, one quick not its actually free to visit the place, so don't be fooled if someone says you have to pay.

I could go on and on forever about the numerous attractions you can see, but this would simply make the review somewhat stretched and can get boring, so instead ill simply list the places I visited and think you should stop off at if your in the area.

 The Washington monument which is that really tall pillar with a triangular roof shape. Again another historical aspect covered here.
 The RFK Stadium were the DC United football team play their "soccer"
 And the martin Luther Kind Memorial building

I could go on for ours and ours about the sites, but I suppose people have different tastes and opinions about were to go and what to see. There are several places to eat in the capital, you have you franchise stores such and Burger King and Pizza Hut or your more uptown Italian Restaurants, however since we paid for bed and breakfast most of our eating and drinking was done in the B & B.
One final note, there is a tendency to tip in the capital as its not included in your bill, the going rate is about 15% of the bill, however don't be pressured into given them that amount, just give what you can. Or you could do what we did and give nothing, in which case they will give you dirty looks. Hopefully this review has given a small insight into a big city.

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Comments on this review

  • Bens__mummy published 30/01/2008
    Great review. x
  • torr published 29/01/2008
    Another interesting review. I do find the tipping expectations in America tiresome, but lots of service workers are lowly paid because tipping is the norm so it's tough on them to ignore it.
  • watkins11 published 29/01/2008
    Sounds fantastic, great review with loads of helpful info.
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