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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!.
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)