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Q: Traveling with Teenagers to Washington DC ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Traveling with Teenagers to Washington DC
Category: Sports and Recreation > Travel
Asked by: fdelaflor-ga
List Price: $12.00
Posted: 29 Mar 2005 18:48 PST
Expires: 28 Apr 2005 19:48 PDT
Question ID: 502363
I will be travelling with my three teenagers daugthers to Washingtog DC
May 7th througth May 14th.  I need help in preparing a fun agenda - beyond
visiting museums! Inexpensive side trips are OK.
Subject: Re: Traveling with Teenagers to Washington DC
Answered By: omnivorous-ga on 30 Mar 2005 07:17 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Ffdelaflor ?

I?m going to make a bunch of suggestions here in hopes that several
stick.   I?m skipping some of the more-obvious museum and tourist
suggestions ? except for one that requires advance planning and
tickets.  And I know that you?ll get some good suggestions from

These are in the order that I think teenage girls would like:

1.  Young men in uniform: tour the Naval Academy at Annapolis. 
Annapolis is a beautiful city and the harbor area is a combination of
shopping and restaurants that?s astounding.  But the central
attraction is probably the U.S. Naval Academy, which has several
options for a tour:

U.S. Naval Academy
?Visit USNA?

Remind your daughters that they might wish to attend the Naval Academy
? and note that the Academy runs special summer two-week
?introduction? programs for high school juniors interested in

2.  As at least one may already be thinking about college, visit one
or more of the major universities in Washington, DC.  What?s
astounding about these schools is how different they are ? from the
suburban campus of American University to the very urban locations of
George Washington University and Howard University to the distinct
Georgian architecture of Georgetown University:

American University

Howard University

Georgetown University

George Washington University

3.  The White House has long been one of the most-open of government
homes in the world.  But access has been restricted somewhat by
security concerns.  To visit the White House, you want to contact your
Congressional representative and get tickets to tour the White House. 
You can contact either senator from your state or your Congressional
representative, as they have blocks of tickets available ? but this is
something that you want to do as soon as possible.

My teenager loved it partly because we were there at Christmas, when
the presidential home is specially decorated.  Plus, I think she
really hoped to see Bradley Whitford or Martin Sheen (of ?West Wing?):

National Park Service
White House Visitor Center

4.  Washington restaurants have advanced significantly in their
culinary offerings, though you can say that about every American city
over the past 2 decades.  But there?s one way to dine and enjoy the
view: take one of the dinner boats out of the Alexandria waterfront. 
They cruise up the Potomac, past the Capitol Building, the Washington
Monument and the Jefferson Memorial.  The last time we did it was on a
dinner-dance ? but there are less fancy day and evening cruises:

Dandy Dinner Boat

5.  The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal is a marvel, starting right in
Georgetown and going 185 miles to Cumberland, MD. The Georgetown
portion is worth walking but the trail quickly becomes rural.  The
last time I saw a wild turkey was along the trail.  Some resources:

C&O Biking Guide

Bike Washington

6.  Lunch at the National Cathedral.  The National Cathedral sits on a
hill overlooking the capital at the intersection of Massachusetts and
Wisconsin avenues (one comes up from the center of the district, the
other from Georgetown).  The gardens are extraordinary, so I might try
to plan a picnic lunch ? then tour the cathedral or see if there?s a
special music program.

Lunch provisioners might include:

Booeymonger Delicatessen

or Dean & Deluca:

And the National Cathedral?s home page is here:

6. Visit Great Falls.  This popular park is northwest of Washington,
about 14 miles from the city.  DO NOT attempt it on a weekend, as it?s
so popular that the crowds diminish its impact.  Of course it is best
on a sunny day and it?s also a good spot for a picnic.  It abuts the
C&O Bike Trail, mentioned previously:

Great Falls of the Potomac

7. Washington?s music scene has grown at a more rapid rate than its
restaurants.  AOL?s City Guide is a good place to pick your genre and
the events for May:

Washington, DC  City Guide ? Music

The Birchmere in Alexandria is a very special location, popular with
Bluegrass and folk music oerfirners.  I?ll be in DC during the same
period and am trying to figure a way to see The Seldom Scene, a
nationally-known Bluegrass group that?s based in Washington:

Birchmere Calendar

8.  Crabs.  Long a Chesapeake Bay specialty, they serve them different
than anywhere else in the country -- smothered in Old Bay?s Spice. 
Expect simple surroundings: paper-covered tables, a mallet and a
crab-cracker.  Some suggestions:

The grand-daddy of Washington crab restaurants, Crisfield in Silver
Spring, comes with a personal recommendation ? and that of the
Washington Post:

Some other possibilities:
?Crab Restaurants in the Washington, DC Region?

9.  How could we get this far without mentioning shopping?  Because
this is being written by a guy.  But even I?d recommend shopping in
Georgetown for its boutiques and unique regional flavor.  It has
excellent antique and artwork collections.  For regional flavor, DO
NOT miss Appalachian Spring, which has a unique collection and a
unique mission as a store:

Georgetown Shopping

Georgetown's also a great place for celebrity-watching, though the
"celebrities" tend to be governmental/political types that teenagers
would find boring.

10.	Alexandria, which is on the way to Mount Vernon, is also an
excellent shopping district with well-preserved ante-bellum homes.  It
also has a number of walking tours too:
?Alexandria Attractions & Tours?

11. The regular NBA season will be over, but just perhaps the Wizards
will still be in the playoffs:

Washington Wizards

And baseball?s back in Washington at RFK Stadium this year.  The
Nationals have home games the weekend that you?re in the city against
the Chicago Cubs on the 13th, 14th and 15th:

Washington Nationals
May 2005 Schedule


One other note: I was going to recommend getting to the FBI tour early
because of its popularity.  But it?s closed for renovation:


--- has a couple of pages that help reinforce some of the
?things to do,? though they also dwell on the standard monument &
museum tours:
?Top 10 Things to do in the DC/Capital Region? (Cooper, undated)

?15 Best Places to Go With Kids? (Cooper, undated)

Google search strategy:
mix activities with ?Washington, DC? and ?Alexandria, VA?

Best regards,

fdelaflor-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Dear Mr. Omnivorous, thanks for your insightful response.  Your worked
has passed a very difficult examination and quality control: three
teenage girls!  They all agreed you have you have done a great job! 
They also like the follow-up recommendations of your fellow
researchers. Congratulations, and thank you very much.

Subject: Re: Traveling with Teenagers to Washington DC
From: clint34-ga on 30 Mar 2005 04:33 PST
Holy Cow, side trips. You are in the best city on the East Coast.
There are more things to do in DC than you can shake a stick at!  Get
the daily pass for the Metro, its unlimited rides for $5.00.

Now if you want to have a theme park, Kings Domininion is about 90
minutes away. Just South on I-95

Take every tour you can in DC. The park service sell advance tickets
for $2.00 or you can go get in line (EARLY) to get tickets at
different monuments (e.g. Washington Monument)


Getting Around

Tourmobile Sightseeing offers daily narrated shuttle tours to 18 major
sites on the National Mall and in Arlington National Cemetery. One
ticket allows unlimited free reboarding throughout the day. You will
find boarding locations throughout the National Mall, at the major
monuments and memorials, and at the Arlington National Cemetery
Visitor Center. Advance arrangements available through TicketMaster
1-800-551-SEAT (outside DC, Maryland and Virginia). The local number
is 202-432-SEAT.
Subject: Re: Traveling with Teenagers to Washington DC
From: pafalafa-ga on 30 Mar 2005 04:54 PST
Hello fdelaflor-ga,

I live in DC and it's a great town.  Although I've never actually
ridden the tourmobile, I agree with the comment seems a
good way to get around.

One nice place to visit that's not all that well-known is the Post
Office Pavillion at 13th and Pennsylvania, just a few blocks from the
White House.  There's an underwhelming food court and shopping there,
but the real attraction is the free elevator ride up to the bell
tower, where you'll get one of the best views of DC you could ask for.

If you like buildings just for the sake of their own beauty, both the
National Cathedral and the main building for the Library of Congress
(Jefferson Bldg) are spectacular visits.

A pretty new museum in town is the small-scale, hands-on Koshland
Science Museum, good for a visit of an hour or so (it's one of the few
museums in town that charge a fee, but it's not much)

You and your girls should have a great time.  

Subject: Re: Traveling with Teenagers to Washington DC
From: pafalafa-ga on 30 Mar 2005 04:56 PST
And I forgot..teenagers!  Take them to Adams-Morgan one evening, DC's
version of Greenwich Village.  It's fun, happening, a bit wild but
safe, with lots of interesting restaurants.
Subject: Re: Traveling with Teenagers to Washington DC
From: myoarin-ga on 30 Mar 2005 08:11 PST
Omnivorous-ga may have suggested everything already,  or the others,
but I drafted this while I couldn't post:

Call your Congressman!  Really!  It?s good PR and feedback to the
local electorate if he invites you to his office and shows  you around
 or gets some to do so.  Three teenaged daughters, he may want a
photo, or could suggest breakfast in dining room at the Capitol (you
might suggest that you want to take the first tour the Capitol, to
suggest that).  The tours there really belong to the girls? going to
DC.  If you have any political connections ?even second hand- use
them.  Washington?s home, Mount Vernon: there must be guided bus tours
that you could let the girls take on their own, to have a day or half
day safely away from parent.
Museums are hard to avoid, there are so many ?  One less known one is
the Textile Museum, if any of you happen to be interested in that
(check the web for what it has to offer),
And all the above suggestions are good.  And try to check out if there
are any special events that week.
Good luck!

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