Summer 2013: Washington, New York and Antigua - any recommendations or suggestions?

(22 Posts)
Hulababy Sun 21-Apr-13 18:05:26

We (me, Dh and 11y DD) are currently holiday planning for August. Current thoughts are:

Fly to Washington DC; stay for 4 nights
Train to NYC; stay for 3 nights
Fly to Antigua; stay for a week
Fly home

We have been to NY a couple of times and we all love NY so no issues there.

It is DD who wants to visit Washington. We have never been before hence choosing to have 4 nights here to explore properly.

DH's colleague has a house with pool in Antigua which we can use at no cost, hence looking at including this in our trip. We would probably hire a car whilst there. Never been before.

We are aware it is hurricane season but we have been to Florida many times at the same time of year and we are fine with this; same for the heat, etc.

Has anyone been to these places, any suggestions or things to do to add to the list? Or any other thoughts?

Have been to DC a couple of times now and like it there very much. Am very much looking forward to my next visit there. It can get up into the high 80s, low 90s in August but it does not get humid.

If you all like visiting museums its a great city to do this; you have the Mall which contains amongst other museums the NASM (National Air and Space Museum) and the Natural History Museum. All museums on the Mall are free to enter.

There is also the Duck Tour (goes on both land and water) that runs from Union Station and the National Zoo.

Do bear in mind that Dulles airport is situated quite some way out from DC the city itself so you will need to get a taxi to arrive at your hotel (takes around an hour dependent on traffic conditions). Both Virgin and BA fly direct into Dulles airport, flight time is around 8.5 - 9 hours).

Hulababy Tue 23-Apr-13 12:52:28

Thank you for the DC info. Very useful. We will use taxi for airport transfers.

Seen the info about the house in Antigua we can use and it is stunning. We're reserving that today with dh's colleague.

So just to sort it logistics for the US bit so can book flights.

TeamEdward Tue 23-Apr-13 12:58:43

Love love love DC!
I'm not normally touristy, but we loved the bus tours. Bought our ticket early evening and rode one route, then the next day caught another that took us out to the zoo (free entrance and you get to see pandas!), and then in the afternoon did the final route!
The museums are excellent, the transport system is good, people are friendly, amazing restaurants. We only had 3 days there, but would go again as there is so much to do.
Oh! and we saw Obama in his cavalcade, and Bo the dog being walked around The White House grounds.

TeamEdward Tue 23-Apr-13 12:59:51

We flew Virgin to DC, and would highly recommend Premium Economy.

Hulababy Tue 23-Apr-13 19:41:44

I think we will go Virgin as have used them a fair bit; will be Economy though I'm afraid.

We did the bus tours in NY so good to hear the Washington one is good too. Found a great way to see a lot of the city in a relatively short period of time.

Hulababy Wed 24-Apr-13 12:09:48

Dd is really keen to go to Washington for some reason so great ideas.

Vagndidit Wed 24-Apr-13 13:17:58

D.C gets surprisingly humid in the summer, actually. Be prepared.

pennygallops Sat 27-Apr-13 07:38:05

Hi,
We did DC and NYC (and many other places) last Summer. We also took the Amtrak from NYC to DC. The train was great - on time, spacious, clean and some great views, especially of Baltimore (DH and I are fans of The Wire).
Anyway, whilst we were in DC, we hired bikes. It was fantastic - we cycled everywhere - Capitol Hill, out to Arrlington Cemetry, the monument, the White House etc. We felt very safe. And because DC is pretty flat, it was easy cycling. (My children were 9 and 7(nearly 8) at that point)
DC - is an amazing city - clean, beautifully designed.

NYC - we did the big tourist spots - Liberty Island (exceedingly busy), Top of The Rock, Empire State, Central Park, MoMA, Times Square (especially at night).

We loved our holiday so much last year, we're going again this year - NYC, Washington and lots of other different places.

Hulababy Sat 27-Apr-13 17:39:17

Thanks.

Humidity shouldn't be an issue really as we are used to Florida at that time of year - and there is, hopefully, lots of air con smile

Will definitely consider bikes then - sounds good and DD would enjoy that.

We have loved NY when we have been, so hoping Washington is great too.

Isthiscorrect Sun 28-Apr-13 14:26:50

We are going this summer to NYC and Washington DC. Ds will be studying politics at uni, and is taking American history at A2, so it's his choice for our last big family holiday.
We found it much cheaper to fly in and out of JFK than DC. I did check a number of routes and it was about GBP 300 cheaper. We are flying out of the marine terminal at la guadia after 6 days in NY, and then 7 days in DC and back on the train for one last night. Very excited, preparing theatre bookings, a foodie walking tour, applied to British embassy for white house tickets. I think ds is angling for a look at Georgetown uni ;-) but he hasn't taken the SATS.

Hulababy Sun 28-Apr-13 18:57:41

The reason why we are flying into DC rather than NY is because of the Antigua flights. They work out more practical in terms of times, directness and cost to go from NY. The flight from here to the US were not much difference regardless of DC or Ny.

Hulababy Sun 28-Apr-13 19:01:39

How did you manage to request a White House tour?
Are they still happening? I thought they'd been suspended at the moment?

Hulababy Sun 28-Apr-13 19:03:04

I keep finding this kind of message: Due to staffing reductions resulting from sequestration, we regret to inform you that WhiteHouse Tours will be canceled effective Saturday, March 9, 2013 until further notice.

Isthiscorrect Mon 29-Apr-13 03:57:34

I did also get that message but on trip advisor they said to keep applying, so I did and we shall just wait and see. We also have a friend who is best friends with a top govt lawyer and apparntly they can get you in so we are waiting on that as well.
We loved Antigua when we went many moons ago. Enjoy, I'm very envious as we don't have enough time for any relaxing beach stuff.

Someone has made a decision (and its not completely transparent who exactly) to suspend all such tours until further notice.

Also if you are not a US citizen anyway (US citizens need to apply for tickets through their Congressperson) its very difficult to go on such a tour in the first instance.

It would not surprise me in the least if they stop such tours of the White House for good.

As an alternative, I would recommend a tour around the US Engraving and Printing building. Tours run daily I think but timed tickets are limited and you will need to line up early to procure these. This is one of some sites in the US where their currency is made and you can even buy it at the end of the tour!.

Hulababy Sun 12-May-13 19:39:12

Are there areas to avoid and areas that are recommended re accommodation in Washington?

Have found what looks like a nice hotel in the Foggy Bottom(!?!) area - one recommended in the Lonely Planet book we have, but not booked yet.

Which hotel?.

Nothing wrong with Foggy Bottom as an area. More info here:-

washington.org/DC-guide-to/foggy-bottom

When I go to DC I usually stay in this area or near Dupont Circle.

Hulababy Tue 14-May-13 13:03:19

Think it's Lombard or similar name. It's the top pick in the lonely planet book. Trip advisor reviews seem good too.

Budgiegirlbob Sun 02-Jun-13 23:45:16

We stayed at Foggy Bottom when we visited DC, loved the location. Near the Watergate building and Kennedy Centre, easy on the metro to the centre, and walking distance to Georgetown, which was my favourite area of DC.

Definitely visit The Old Ebbit Grill when you go to DC, we loved it, great crab cakes, great history, and the manager came out to talk to us, and tell us stories of the senators who'd passed through its doors (it's very close to The White House)

Hulababy Tue 23-Jul-13 14:36:53

The flights are now booked for this, and we have the house in Antigua all set up.

Still need to book some hotels in the cities though. Just reaaised how close it is til we go - never leave it this late!!!

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