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Thread: Need D.C. advice

  1. #1
    bto is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2003 Saint Louis Posts: 3,460

    Need D.C. advice

    Our senior daughter is headed to D.C. area for the national We The People competition at George Mason University. I can plan a trip to St Barth in about 5 minutes, but I know nothing about this area even though I visited in college. I have done a bit of research though and emailed a few people, but need all the advice I can get. Here is what I do know. GMU is in Fairfax and the hotel which is on that campus is booked solid so we'd need to stay nearby. It is my impression that we don't want to rent a car. True or false? How would we get to GMU without a car, take a taxi?

    We will only see her compete for a few hours on a Saturday and Sunday. The rest of the time we'd like to see the sights. It sounds like we can hop the metro into the mall area and back, but I was thinking, would we be better off staying on that side and taking the metro back for the competition? I know several of you are from this area so I appreciate any suggestions you have. We will arrive on a Friday and leave Sunday evening.

    Thanks, Bev

  2. #2
    KevinS is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Posts: 21,598
    Bev, I'm far from an expert on DC, but when I visited last year for dinner with Phil and Amy I used Uber for everything except my initial ride from the airport to the hotel.

  3. #3
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,311
    I would stay near her, rent a car and have the freedom to zip around as you wish. Metro schedules and distances to the stations may not be ideal for what you want to accomplish and the ▄ber minimum is $15 and availability in that part of the the county not ideal. Same for taxis. You will also find better prices on hotels in Fairfax.
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  4. #4
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,764
    Quote Originally Posted by JEK View Post
    I would stay near her, rent a car and have the freedom to zip around as you wish. Metro schedules and distances to the stations may not be ideal for what you want to accomplish and the ▄ber minimum is $15 and availability in that part of the the county not ideal. Same for taxis. You will also find better prices on hotels in Fairfax.
    I agree here---- but see if you can find out about parking availability. I know from experience that parking at GMU is scarce, every day of the week.
    If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room :)

  5. #5
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,311
    If the event in the Patriot Center, or even nearby, parking will not be an issue.
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  6. #6
    bto is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2003 Saint Louis Posts: 3,460
    The event is on a weekend and on campus at the Johnson Center and Innovation Hall. Hopefully, parking won't be a huge issue. I'm not even sure I can make this work, but keep the suggestions coming! The actual time we get to observe her is short so I thought it might be easier to stay on the other side. I'm not too excited about driving there lol. Fear of the unknown and traffic.

  7. #7
    amyb is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 28,488
    I can not give advice but do want to give you all congratulations on her making the competition!
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  8. #8
    bto is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2003 Saint Louis Posts: 3,460
    thank you, Amy

  9. #9
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,764
    If you really don't want to drive, and won't be visiting with your daughter other than at the competition, then definitely stay in DC and get a car service/Uber to drive you to and from GMU. It's pretty unattractive in that area, not much to see/do......then forget the car rental, and Metro/cab/Uber around to see the sights ....
    If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room :)

  10. #10
    bto is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2003 Saint Louis Posts: 3,460
    I like what you're suggesting, kat. We really won't see much of her except for the Saturday competition. Do you think the car service/uber (thank you kevin) is reliable if we need to be at GMU by 7:45am on a Sat or Sunday? Uber is not a STL option so I'm not familiar with it.

  11. #11
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,311
    I would't recommend ▄ber to get back to DC, but it will work well getting to GMU. I'm a huge fan of ▄ber, but in Fairfax county it is spotty due to low(er) demand and lack of black cars in the area.

    Here are Metro directions and timetable from the closest Metro station with bus connections.

    http://www.wmata.com/bus/timetables/VA/15m.pdf
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  12. #12
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,764
    I'm sure your hotel will help you with a cab to VA that early in the morning. I've used Uber many times, and it's super easy with the app on your smart phone--- but I've only used it within the city (DC /NY)--- I'm really not sure if they go out to the sprawling suburbs. But since it is so early, you can cab it out there, take Metro back into DC, and still have lots of time for sightseeing ! I would recommend the Willard or the W hotel, or something else within walking distance of the Mall. Check Booking.com for deals --- often they have a free cancellation policy, and you can shop around. It will be fun!
    If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room :)

  13. #13
    bto is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2003 Saint Louis Posts: 3,460
    Thanks for the metro info JEK…Thank you all so much. You've given me a lot to think about.

  14. #14
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,311
    Quote Originally Posted by bto View Post
    I like what you're suggesting, kat. We really won't see much of her except for the Saturday competition. Do you think the car service/uber (thank you kevin) is reliable if we need to be at GMU by 7:45am on a Sat or Sunday? Uber is not a STL option so I'm not familiar with it.
    If I need to be someplace at a time certain (going to the airport/theater tickets) I wouldn't use ▄ber as you just never know how long it will take until you pop open the app. In San Francisco I rarely wait 10 minutes, but it is different in DC and different early on a weekend.

    If you stay in DC the hotel can arrange a car or you can take a DC taxi -- probably $40-50.
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  15. #15
    marybeth is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2004 Pittsburgh, PA Posts: 3,549
    We LOVE the Willard. Very beautiful, historic hotel in a great location for sightseeing, right next to the White House. The Round Robin bar is a cool place for a cocktail. There is a French restaurant with a to-go counter in the lobby that serves Illy coffee and nice pastries for a quick breakfast. It's close to several Jose Andre restaurants. You can't go wrong there IMHO.

  16. #16
    Rosita is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2003 st-barthelemy Posts: 1,851
    FÚlicitations Bev pour ta fille ....et reviens vite Ó St-Barth
    voir ta petite sœur :)
    rosita
    ..........
    villa la baleine | villa les jardins d'Emmanuel | villa les basses

  17. #17
    julianne is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2003 CT Posts: 3,140
    Congratulations and good luck to your daughter, Bev. I agree with MaryBeth about the Willard. It is a very special hotel.

  18. #18
    JoshA is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2005 Annapolis Posts: 4,106
    If your priority is sightseeing on the mall and sampling some of Jose Andres' tapas places, the Monaco hotel near the Verizon center is great. A car is preferred to get to GMU although a taxi may be less hassle and easier on the nerves. Probably $80 or so for the ride. A cheap alternative is a metro ride to Vienna/Fairfax and a short cab ride. It's also possible to walk (a long one) to GMU from there.

    Congrats to you and your daughter.

  19. #19
    marybeth is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2004 Pittsburgh, PA Posts: 3,549
    Yes, the Monaco is a great choice, too, esp if you're in the Kimpton club. There's a cool bar and restaurant there as well. We're IHG so the Willard is our spot.

  20. #20
    bto is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2003 Saint Louis Posts: 3,460
    Rosita, ma petite soeur, oui, je reviens Ó St-Barth Ó bient˘t!
    Thanks, Julianne and Josh. It's really been a great experience for her.
    MB, the Willard is fabulous…what a beautiful place…not sure if we can get a room for our dates as it looks booked, but I will see what I can do. Monaco looks good, also the Sofitel? The cab ride or metro may work too.
    Thanks for all of the wonderful and helpful suggestions. I never plan a trip without checking with mes amis de sbhonline.

  21. #21
    noel is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2003 St. Louis, MO & Washington, DC Posts: 2,376
    Bev,

    Sorry we did not get back to you sooner! Didi left you a voicemail this morning.

    We love the Willard too, but considering your trip has visits both to suburban Virginia and in-town, you might consider a different place. If you will be driving a car out to GMU and taking the metro or cabs in DC, think about the Key Bridge Marriott. It's right across from Georgetown, near the VA highways and the Rosslyn metro stop, has good parking and wonderful views of DC if you get a room on the upper floors.

    Call us for more details!

    Tim

  22. #22
    Rosemary is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2010 New England Posts: 4,357
    Any suggestions, please, for dinner in Washington? I will be with my daughters, my soon to be son, and a few of their friends. Delicious, beautiful and festive would be nice. Thank you!

  23. #23
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,764
    Peggy & I had a delicious and festive dinner at Fiola Mare in Georgetown. I think it was JEK's recommendation, and it was fantastic! Gorgeous interior, overlooking the Potomac.

    http://www.fiolamaredc.com
    If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room :)

  24. #24
    Rosemary is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2010 New England Posts: 4,357
    Thank you!

  25. #25
    Bart -my real name- is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Alexandria, VA Posts: 5,427
    Where you staying? What kind of food do you like/dislike?

  26. #26
    marybeth is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2004 Pittsburgh, PA Posts: 3,549
    Agree with either of the Fiola family for fancy/high end, Central Michel Richard for French or any Jose Andre for a fun vibe, original food. Also if you like Indian, Rasika is phenomenal, inventive and different. Soooo many good choices in DC.




    Hey Bart, we are headed to Dead & Co on November 6...are you going?!?

    mb

  27. #27
    Bart -my real name- is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Alexandria, VA Posts: 5,427
    Quote Originally Posted by marybeth View Post
    Hey Bart, we are headed to Dead & Co on November 6...are you going?!?

    mb
    Not unless Jerry is there!

    Actually, the addition of John Mayer is more interesting to me than some other jam band guy, but it's not enough to motivate me to go.

  28. #28
    Rosemary is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2010 New England Posts: 4,357
    Staying at the Mayflower and we like it all. :)

  29. #29
    Rosemary is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2010 New England Posts: 4,357
    Quote Originally Posted by marybeth View Post
    Agree with either of the Fiola family for fancy/high end, Central Michel Richard for French or any Jose Andre for a fun vibe, original food. Also if you like Indian, Rasika is phenomenal, inventive and different. Soooo many good choices in DC.




    Hey Bart, we are headed to Dead & Co on November 6...are you going?!?

    mb
    Big fans of Indian-thank you for he suggestions, and forgot about Michel Richard. Had planned to go there a few visits ago and the train wound up delayed on the tracks for four hours...had a late dinner at the Japanese Embassy instead, but thats another story.

  30. #30
    marybeth is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2004 Pittsburgh, PA Posts: 3,549
    Quote Originally Posted by Rosemary View Post
    ..had a late dinner at the Japanese Embassy instead, but thats another story.
    Hmmm, sounds like it might be a good one...:)

    I'm pretty sure the Rasika West End is close to your hotel.

    This revived thread is reminding me we gotta start making dinner plans for our November visit.

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