Off to see the Smithsonian late September and looking for a hotel around the mall area, i see a lot of hotels on Google but its hard to make a decision, any one stayed at a hotel near the mall and what did you think? $250 per night is about my upper limit and on-site parking would be a big plus.
any restaurant recommendations?
[ Edit: Edited on 06-Sep-2010, at 03:27 by jambo101 ]
Nobody has been to Washington?
Jambo, I went to Washington in may and stayed at Holiday Inn at Key Bridge across the Potomac in Rosslyn (VA).
Initially I was a bit apprenensive at the location but the hotel is a stonesthrow away from the Rosslyn Metro stop which can easily get you to the Smithsonian, National Mall etc.
Another plus is that is more reasonably priced than other hotels closer to the centre and it is just across the Key Bridge from Georgetown (which isn't that well served for public transport).
Have a great trip, I loved DC!
We stayed in George Town but it didn't cost us anything my daughter had accumulated points for hotels so we were very lucky. I imagine it can be very expensive in hotels but aren't the hostels within your budget.
Our budget is $250 per night so i'd say we could do better than a hostel.
Would like to be within walking distance to mall as that is our focus, were thinking of Channel inn but posters in the hotel review section seemed to concur it was a dump, at the moment L'Enfant Plaza is at the top of the short list.. Perhaps the Mandarin if we can swing a deal..
Your best bet is to stay somewhere near the NW side of town rather than down near the mall. Washington DC has probably the 2nd best metro system in the US (after New York's) and getting to the mall is easy from this part of town--and you'll enjoy staying there more. (There's a metro stop very close to the hotel I'm recommending below.)
I've stayed at the Windsor (a Bed and Breakfast) on 16th street just north of the White House--and it was very nice, although the rooms were a bit small--but I suggest staying at Renaissance Mayflower (a higher-end hotel) in the busy shopping/restaurant district on Connecticut Avenue instead--it's a little bit safer at night and has nicer rooms (my son has stayed there).
I used to live in Baltimore and visited Washington on many weekends. Along with the sites of Washington (Smithsonian, government buildings, monuments and memorials, and the mall) , a visit to Annapolis and the areas just east of there are also worth a visit. In particular, Harris' Crab House on the Kent Narrows area (just east of Annapolis about 10 miles) is one of the best in the country--and a favorite of many Marylanders.
Also, while in Washington, try to visit an ethnic restaurant (they have some of the best) and the fish market just east of the Jefferson Memorial down near where the bridge crosses over from the Potomac. Get some steamed shrimp and the corn on the cob with butter. Just a simple dish, but oh so good.
(Don't know why I'm so food driven with this post;--I guess its because Maryland/Washington DC and crab just go together. Also, had to edit because I had the wrong hotel name where my son stayed the first time I posted.)
[ Edit: Edited on 08-Sep-2010, at 20:50 by Calcruzer ]