Washington DC Travel Tips: 10 Things to Know Before You Go to DC

Published by Darron Toy on


35 Comments

firemedic110 · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

I live in Arlington and think this video offers some really good tips! Here are some extras:
Museums: The Newseum is an incredibly well done museum. The name sounds boring to me, but it's far from boring. Teens and adults will definitely enjoy this one! You can spend half a day here. I've been a few times and sometimes you can find discounted tix on Groupon or Living Social. The Arlington National Cemetery including the Kennedy grave site, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the Arlington House are sites you should try to visit. Bring water and snacks to the cemetery and anticipate a lot of walking. https://www.arlingtontours.com/ offers a paid hop on – hop off service that will save you walking and trekking up the hills.
Travel: Capital Bikeshare bikes are easily adjustable to the rider and an awesome way to get around! Download their app to locate the different bike stations to plan your trip; there are a lot of stations and every METRO station has one too. They don't provide helmets, so you have to bring your own or assume the risk. There are a lot of great bike trails and paths in DC, Arlington, and the connecting bridges, just be cautious driving on the roads. If you're not looking for a healthy travel option, Uber and Lyft are very easy to use.
Government tours: Visit the Capitol Building and don't miss the National Library of Congress. It's free and a beautiful building to visit. Next door is the U.S. Supreme Court which can also be toured. If you will be in town when the Court is in session, try to schedule a visit to listen to an argument. You will hear history in the making and get to see all of the Justices.
Safety and Parking: If you stay in touristy areas, you should definitely be safe. There are plenty of police and they are helpful resources if you're lost or need help. Arlington and Alexandria are incredibly safe! Keep your phone close and eyes up; be aware of your surroundings. Don't park illegally or you'll get ticketed or towed; on some streets Sundays and evenings are free. Garages are often your best bet when in downtown D.C. The homeless have incredible resources available to them, such as shelter, food, clothing, employment support, and medical care. Don't feel bad about not contributing to their panhandling, which is often supporting alcoholism or drug dependence. The best advice is to not engage them at all, or politely say you don't have any money and keep walking. The weather fluctuates, so plan accordingly.
Enjoy your trip to the DC area! It should be a blast!

Abdulsattar Recany · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

Thank you. I am thinking of visiting the DC area and this video gave me a better idea on how to plan visit.

Juvadee Taoha · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

Thx so much for your informative video … I‘ll be going in the end of June 2019 to Washington D.C. for 5 days and totally looking forward to see the places that you‘ve mentioned! 👍🏻

XxChloexXPlayzXxRobloxxX · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

I'm from Belgium

PussMag · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

coming tomorrow!!

halfgeekpartyboy1968 · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

I don't wanna miss the Spy Museum next time I go there and a little visit to the Wharf, where all that seafood awaiting (yummy!).

Carla · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

Have you been to the Bible Museum?

Steven Charles · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

One third of the population is on welfare, another third is on drugs and the final third are all in mental hospitals.

A.C. MacKenzie · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

Dying at 11:36 "in the winterwinterwinter."
#WINTERWINTERWINTER

Brynn McDonnell · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

watches as a resident

Rosario Castro · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

Great video! Thanks for sharing. New suscriber 🙋🏻‍♀️

Orgasmatron 93 · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

One thing I noticed immediately when I went to dc this past weekend for a day was that because most of the buildings are so low compared to nyc(a city that I'm right next to) is that you can see the sky so much more and it makes going on walks more enjoyable to see open sky with landmarks sprinkled in the distance

Pedro Soliz · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

1. STAY AWAY FROM SOUTHEAST!!
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5.

محمد القرني · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

How much for to parking close to this area ?

Sebastián L. · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

Thanks for the information. This was really helpful and let me tell you that you've got good energy or vibe. Thanks from a Chilean visiting DC soon.

Filipina Van Life Aubry · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

Awesome video very informative

Jim Willis · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

Thanks for having captions for the Deaf. Thinking of going to Washington DC. Lots of great info.

Inkwadnito · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

One of your best tips was the last tips: walking along the metro line route. That’s kind of a brilliant idea!

badr musa · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

Wow this video is amazing man 👍

gkiltz0 · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

Worth knowing:
Dulles Airport is closer to the Technology Corridor!
National could fit entirely within Dulles without hanging over
When the weather is bad enough to be total IFR National only has ONE full IFR runway, So it becomes a one-runway wonder under IFR conditions. Dulles has 4 runways there is talk of building a 5th.
The Concorde landed at Dulles It could not fly into National.

No wide bodies at National

Metro is actually under construction to Dulles.

If you are going anywhere in Virginia except right in Arlington Alexandria, Falls Church or Northeastern Fairfax County Even once you get to Ft Belvoir although National is closer, the whole system is so FUBAR that the travel time is a wash! By the time you get to Woodbridge or Burke Dulles is quicker Farther, but quicker!!

gkiltz0 · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

Actually National Airport is only accessible from Virginia but it's actually in DC. Most rivers the state line runs down the MIDDLE of the river, but the Potomac is different. the State line runs down the 100 year high water mark on the Virginia side. Once you put in all the modern flood control most of the land National Airport is built on is reclaimed from the river. it IS therefore below the 100 year high water mark, placing it in the District of Columbia. Some maps miss it, and a lot of people don't see the sign coming off the George Washington Parkway, but the "Welcome to Washington DC" sign IS there!

gkiltz0 · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

The local "subway" system is referred to as Metro because particularly once you get outside DC itself most of it is above ground.

Also while EATING on the Metro is subject to a fine, you CAN vomit your guts out for free!

People used to underground systems have reported motion sickness on the above ground parts of the system.

gkiltz0 · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

Also, the road grid he explained is ONLY for DC itself The state-named Avenues run DIAGONALLY between the traffic circles(Roundabouts to those of you in the UK)
The circles are not like the British roundabouts. You can't keep going around while you figure it out, you NEED TO know which lane you need to be in when you enter the circle. The signs could be better.

Arlington uses a DIFFERENT system Not many traffic circles there.
East of US 50 Arlington Boulevard is South Arlington West of Route 50 is North Arlington

US 50 is marked east and west, but after driving it every day for a couple of years in the 1990s the truth is the sun rises in the East and sets in the West It was to my right going to work at 6:30 in the morning and coming home at 4:00 PM it is to my right also.

In Arlington also the numbered streets advance south from the river. the numbered roads are the half blocks

Example ( I actually sat there with a printed map and did this before GPS):

253 South 23rd St Arlington,
Find the northern most point in Arlington where the numbered streets start

Count 23 blocks south. Then go east of Arlington Boulevard to the 200 block.

Also in Alexandria the odd-even sides of the street flip when you cross the intersection of King and Washington. the "royal named" streets in Alexandria were originally intended to be the major through streets east and west, turned out only King and Princess streets ended up that way.
Tourists may need to look to the west end to find affordable lodging, but likely would not go there otherwise

But if you DO have to go there the streets were originally supposed to be named after Confederate Generals but the city grew more dense than it was ever supposed to and they ran out They started using later Generals hence Eisenhower Avenue and Patton street then they realized that was a short term solution and abandoned that idea but didn't re-name any streets

Also. Every Virginia locality in the DC area requires it's taxis to be metered. DC does not use metered taxis They have that bizarre zone system that was made to confuse outsiders. So, if you take a conventional Taxi take a close look at the vehicle and make sure that the license plate is a Virginia plate beginning in the letter H

Taylor Montgomery · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

If you're watching this in 2019, you MUST go to The Newseum THIS year! It's closing at the end of 2019 because the building was sold, and there are no certain plans to move it to another building. So it might not be back in a while, or ever. Of all the things in DC, it was my absolute favorite. Also, the Crystal City area is great place to stay. Not too far, cheaper, there's even some great places to eat and a Target not too far away.

Yfn Sniper · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

Anyone else watching this from the DMV

Will Seabrook · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

Where is good to eat in the district? We are going with an 3 year old and 6month old and are from Birmingham in the Uk!

aliasannie1 · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

Need some more information on riding the Metro (stand on right, walk on the left on escalators)

Boat Lover · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

Lived and worked there for years. Was all with you until you brought up Potbelly, aweful. There is an awesome Chinese of PA Ave near Capitol Hill.

Oscar Ruiz · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

extremely useful, thanks

Alliejen12345 · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

I’ve been solo traveling for years. I wish I had your videos when I started… great work

Muharrar Beyah · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

Such a great video you rock

Clair3 Kee · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

Is cherry blossom festival just walking around the cherry blossom trees? Or is it a real event? Is it free?

Inner Light Network · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

If you are not from a city or street smart, I would suggest staying to Downtown, Capitol Hill, Georgetown, and Upper NW. Southwest is mainly government buildings and project neighborhoods. Southeast is notorious for being gangsta (other than the Capitol Hill section)…travel with caution in SE.

CreativeGuy · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

Been to DC several times in my life and watched this video anyway. Good stuff! 🙂

meismehaha · May 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

BWI is a fine airport to come into DC, I find the flights there are cheaper. $11-15 will get you a 30min Amtrak straight to Union Station.

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