a VirtualTourist member from Canterbury asked on Dec 13, 2010
Sorry, this is probably another variation on the theme of so many previous posts but I wondered - if I can't afford to stay in downtown DC but am willing to ride in on the metro each day (for a five day spring vacation), which line/area is best for relatively priced reasonable accommodation and not too long a commute. I am interested in visiting the usual - monuments, Smithsonian and other museums. Thanks,
I followed my Lets Go guidebook before my days of VT!,which I found to be excellent for the US and stayed at a hostel recommended - was quite easy to get to and from - but check out VT pages written here on your destinations and see what tips have been written on accommodation available and recommended.
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all the best loved WAshington DC! and the Smithsonian museums were just awesome amazing places to spend time!
If you still want a hotel (not a hostel), I would suggest staying in Pentagon/Crystal City/Reagan Airport area, across the river in Arlington. When we were there, we ended up getting a pretty nice hotel (3.5*, I believe) for about60 per night. It's right on the metro line and, if it's not, many of the hotels have free shuttles to the airport where there is a station. It's maybe 15-20 minutes into the city from there. The restaurants around there weren't incredible (but there are quite a few) and the area dies at night, but it's still pretty safe and we saved a ton of money by staying there. Our other hotel in the city was running about250 (5*, comped by my partner's work) and was in an area that also really died at night but had a further walk to the metro.
Alexandria is also on that metro line, and that's a better area, but it's a little further out and also a little more expensive for the hotels.
When in spring are you talking about? Spring can be a great time to visit DC but, if you go too early, you run the risk of hitting some snow and some otherwise really nasty weather.
I'll second the Crystal City/Reagan Airport area for good rates. Get an unlimited metro pass and it's practically like staying right in D.C. itself.
You can even go a couple of metro stops farther out on the Yellow or Blue lines to King Street or Eisenhower Avenue for better prices, adding 10-15 minutes each way to the metro ride (I live near the Huntington Metro station and ride this line everyday.) A couple of years ago I stayed near the Van Doren station on the Blue line - the hotel supplied a shuttle van and that worked fine for about100 a night.
We stayed at "Super 8 Camp Springs/Andrews AFB DC Area" in September. It was reasonably priced and clean and tidy. They throw in a breakfast but we never had it. The hotel is just over a mile from the end of the green Metro line, at Branch Avenue. We walked to and from the metro station, the area seemed safe enough though there's not a lot immediately round the motel. It was a very short train ride in to the centre of Washington.