Please sign in to post.

Washington DC trip report

Just returned from a visit to our nation’s capital and thought I would offer these comments.

Reagan/National airport is a pleasant little airport. Actually a small/medium airport, I guess. It’s a short walk after landing to baggage claim, and then a short walk to the car rental area (no need to take a shuttle bus). Rentals are handled on two levels of parking lot A, if you are a higher level renter you can just walk up and drive away in a car, otherwise the agents at their counters are downstairs. When returning you carefully follow the signs, since all returns are in the same general area but you need to make sure you are the correct lane for Hertz or Avis.

For my trip I needed a car but the average tourist will not benefit from one. The Metro has very good coverage and is a cinch if you’re ever ridden a subway before. There are many, many, many hotels around the airport and you can choose based on brand or price or free shuttle or whatever criteria you wish. Just beware, when you arrive don’t say something like “Take me to the Hilton” because there are many many Hiltons. And Marriotts, and whatever other brand you are considering. It’s not even enough to say “Take me to the Residence Inn” because again, there are many. Be sure you know the exact name and general location of your particular hotel, even if just to ask Siri for directions.

I ended up staying in the small area called Rosslyn right across the river from the Lincoln Memorial and it was an excellent choice. Surrounding the Metro stop are many walkable hotels, restaurants and stores. Lots of people jogging and walking their dogs. Five stops from the airport, two stops from the Pentagon, one from Arlington Cemetery. I stayed at the Homewood Suites, or to be more precise, the Homewood Suites by Hilton Arlington Rosslyn Key Bridge (see what I mean?). It’s a newer 8 story building with 2 levels of parking underneath ($23 a day, unfortunately, for no good reason). There is no pool, but a large gym, free breakfast every morning in a large area, very solid quiet construction, every room is actually a small apartment with full kitchen and dishwasher. A definite recommend.

Tips on walking the National Mall – it’s how you will see the main tourist sites, but beware that it is a long, long walk from the Capitol to the Lincoln (or vice versa). Depending on the weather, you could expire from heat stroke. I’m no fan of rental scooters, but you might actually consider them in this case. By the time you’re 60 or 70% done, you’ll be done alright. No public restrooms along the way, but we were tipped that you could pop into any museum and use the facilities. Frequent clumps of food trucks so you can always get water or ice cream.

Leaving from Reagan, not so good. The gate areas are small and crowded and the boarding doors are practically next to each other; we saw one couple almost miss their flight because they were in the wrong line at the wrong door, but it’s an easy mistake. If you can finagle a way to get into an airline club, definitely do it. I used my Amex Platinum to get into the Delta club and was very glad I did.

There are no replies to this topic.