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Best hotel near museums

I want to take my husband to Washington DC. We are into all the historic sites and museums especially the Smithsonian. Where should we stay so that we can see everything and not have to rent a car?

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21 Answers

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  • Chinatown (neighborhood)

    Washington D.C. 20001

    4 mentions

  • Crystal City (neighborhood)

    Arlington VA 22202

    3 mentions

  • Rosslyn (city)

    Rosslyn Virginia

    2 mentions

  • Michael Green

    top answer by

    I agree with the other comments that you should make sure you stay near a metro stop. However, I would recommend that it's in NW. The other quadrants are great, I live in SE, but for a vacation, it's best to stick to NW. If it's too pricey for ya, look at Arlington, along the Orange line but don't go past the Ballston stop. Pentagon City and Crystal City have a lot of hotels and are both on the Blue and Yellow line. The only issue I have with those neighborhoods is that it's dead on the weekends and after 6pm during the week.

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    2. Pentagon City (neighborhood)
    3. Crystal City (neighborhood)

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  • David Fabian

    answered by

    To stay closest to the Smithsonian and other monuments near the National Mall, look for hotels close to downtown around:

    1. Metro Center
    2. The White House
    3. L'Enfant Plaza

    Also keep in mind that the Mall is very accessible by Metro (Blue & Orange Lines) and taxis, so these other areas are a short trip to many of the museums and sites in downtown DC:

    1. The Washington Convention Center
    2. Union Station
    3. The U.S. Capitol / Capitol Hill
    4. Foggy Bottom
    5. West End
    6. Georgetown
    7. Rosslyn (across the Potomac in Virginia)

    Most of the Smithsonian Museums on the Mall are between 12th and 4th Streets between the Washington Monument and the Capitol, so check out the maps on the Smithsonian site to get a sense of where things are located: http://www.si.edu/Visit/Maps.

    There tends to be more neighborhood activity and nightlife in the evening as you move away from the Mall, especially near Logan Circle , Dupont Circle , the 14th & U Street NW Corridor, Georgetown , and parts of downtown near Chinatown , and Capitol Hill . If you want to enjoy some of the many dining and theater options, look for a hotel closer to those areas. DC's attractions and nightlife hotspots are fairly compact, so don't be afraid to jump in a cab to explore!

    DC is growing and changing all the time, and development has pushed East in a big way over the past decade. Neighborhoods such as U Street NoMa and the H Street Corridor are home to many new dining and nightlife options, you'll be surprised if you haven't visited in a few years!

    Good luck, and have a nice trip!

    UPDATE: Google has a cool new Hotel Search feature where you can search for hotels "x minutes" from a given location pin. This could be a good research tool to look for convenient hotels within your budget. When you've narrowed your search, zoom in to look for hotels near a metro stop, or check if the hotel offer a shuttle bus connection to metro.

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    • Courtney R.

      Courtney R.

      Wow is that a great answer!!! · (0 likelikes)

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Metro Center (attraction)
    2. The White House (attraction)
    3. L'Enfant Plaza (attraction)
    4. Walter E. Washington Convention Center (attraction)
    5. Union Station (attraction)
    6. United States Capitol (attraction)
    7. Foggy Bottom (attraction)
    8. West End (neighborhood)
    9. Historic Georgetown (attraction)
    10. Rosslyn (city)
    11. Washington Monument (attraction)
    12. Logan Circle (attraction)
    13. Dupont Circle (attraction)
    14. Historic Georgetown (attraction)
    15. Chinatown (neighborhood)
    16. Capitol Hill (neighborhood)
    17. U Street (attraction)
    18. NoMa (neighborhood)
    19. H Street Corridor (attraction)

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  • Toni Krasnic

    answered by

    Hi Jessica,

    As Richard said - DC metro is really convenient. Washington DC hotels can be expensive. You can get good deals in Crystal City and Pentagon City part of Northern Virginia .

    National Cherry Blossom Festival (http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org) is only weeks away so you might want to coordinate the trip around the Festival.

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    • Courtney R.

      Courtney R.

      I've always wanted to see that, Toni! · (1 likelikes)

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    1. Crystal City (neighborhood)
    2. Pentagon City (neighborhood)
    3. Virginia (state)

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  • Richard Bott

    answered first by

    Because hotels vary so much in price, I would recommend making sure that you get a hotel that is walking distance from a metro station. The metro system in Washington, DC is very good and you can pretty much get around DC on the subway system. Since it extends into Maryland and Virginia, you may be able to score some hotel deals on hotels a little further out and save some money. You can visit the metro at http://wmata.com/ to plan trips to different stops as they will tell you exactly how much fare will be needed for each trip. I think they even have a map that may list some of the hotels that are very convenient.

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    1. Washington, DC (city)
    2. Maryland (state)
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  • Christina Refford

    answered by

    We rented a great place via VRBO when we went to DC---we were within walking distance of the United States Capitol and Eastern Market , just a short walk to the train. It was great b/c we could spread out, eat breakfast at "home", and our cost was about the same as a nice hotel. Our home was gorgeous too. Our car never left its (free, came with the house) parking spot in the 5 days we were there. (here is the link to the house our family of five rented: http://www.vrbo.com/273624)

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  • Bill Plenefisch

    answered by

    Washington Court Hotel , 525 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington DC 20001

    Phone # 202-879-7912 or 202-628-2100

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  • Bob King

    answered by

    There are many hotels in downtown DC, all of which are convenient to the museums and monuments. Look for hotels in the area around the JW Marriott Hotel or near the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This gives you two options in DC. However, these hotels will be expensive.

    For a less-pricey option, try hotels in Crystal City, VA. It's a short metro ride across the river and a very popular place for tourists to stay. Rosslyn is another close-by location in Virginia.


    To save even more money, look at hotels in Rockville, MD. From there, the metro will take longer - about 30-40 minutes, and you'll have to use the airport shuttle to get to/from the metro station. But you'll save a bundle.

    For specific hotel recommendations in these areas, I'd recommend TripAdvisor.

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  • Angela Gant

    answered by

    I stayed at the AKA White House last year. It is blocks away from the Mall and White House. We were in the middle of most of the points of interests. It would be really great for families and groups. The rooms are mini apartments. It was only a couples of blocks from the Metro stop.

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  • Ryan Myers

    answered by

    A few years back I went to DC to go to the museums and explore, and I stayed at the Omni Shoreham Hotel at Washington D.C.. It's a bit expensive, but compared to the other hotels it's not that bad- the Ritz-Carlton is $150 more a night. For the money you get a really nice hotel, with a restaurant that serves a great food, a convenience store, room service, and beautiful rooms; it's in the middle of DC so a taxi can take you anywhere (we walked mostly), but despite being in the city the hotel has a lot of outdoor room (like pools and gardens and areas to walk and get some fresh air). ...and the Beatles used to stay there; I just thought that was pretty cool. Hope that helped answer your question!

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  • Rachel Samuelson

    answered by

    Stay somewhere near Smithsonian Metro. The neighborhoods to search for hotels in are Chinatown / Gallery Place , National Archives , L'Enfant Plaza , Metro Center , or Capitol Hill . Also, be sure to check out the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of American History -- two of the best!

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    1. Smithsonian (attraction)
    2. Chinatown (neighborhood)
    3. Gallery Place (attraction)
    4. National Archives (attraction)
    5. L'Enfant Plaza (attraction)
    6. Metro Center (attraction)
    7. Capitol Hill (neighborhood)
    8. National Museum of the American Indian (attraction)
    9. National Museum of American History (attraction)

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  • Austin Dienst

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    No matter where you stay, you won't need a car to get around DC. It's an extremely walkable city and the public metro system is terrific. However, if you want to be close to the museums, I'd recommend Hotel Monaco .

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  • Brian Young

    answered by

    Dupont Circle is a great place to stay. Take the metro red line to the National Mall and see all of the Smithsonian museums for free. Then back to Dupont for some great restaurants at night. Chinatown would also be another option.

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  • Rebecca Ray

    answered by

    As long as you choose a hotel in or around one of the Smithsonian museums or a monument, you will be fine. You can take the subway to historic sites and museums in and around that area. It's easy transportation.

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  • Alisa Bailey

    answered by

    Where ever you stay there is Metro. No car needed. I'd stay Old Town Alexandria or in the District Hotel Monaco

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  • Michael Simon

    answered by

    Stay at the W Washington DC - best for a couple traveling sans kids who want to be in a lively neighborhood + walking access to everything.

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  • Bonnie Dalager

    answered by

    Anytime you visit DC, you're bound to have a great time! Rather than worry about being close to the museums, look at hotels that advertise they are close to the Metro. DC is one of the easiest places to navigate by using only the metro and walking. Check out their mass transit website and see the Smithsonian guides on what stops are closest to each museum.

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  • Laura Quinalty

    answered by

    ' The George ' is a neat hotel in a great location.

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  • Shannon Steffes

    answered by

    Hotel George Washington DC is a great place, close to the mall, great restaurant at a great price. You can often find it on sites like Hotwire or Expedia.

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  • Sofia Ferber

    answered by

    There are a lot of details that need to be taken into consideration when deciding where to stay in D.C. First, how much are you looking to spend (there are areas that are more expensive)? Also, I would look at the metro website (http://www.wmata.com/) to see the locations of the stops and then look for hotels in these areas. Everything is relatively in walking distance in D.C., so it really depends on what kind of experience you are hoping to have during your trip. One bit of advice: Founding Farmers is an awesome restaurant that I suggest you try.

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  • Lawrence Swiader

    answered by

    There are many hotels in DC that won't require you to rent a car as the Metro system is excellent. Try the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.

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