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Itinerary rough draft, feed back appreciated

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40 posts
1 review
Itinerary rough draft, feed back appreciated

First time to DC in July, trying to put together a tentative itinerary so we can reserve any tickets we might need. We are active and able bodied in our mid 30's, lots of walking is no issue for us.

We arrive the evening of July 3rd, nothing planned for this day beyond getting settled at the hotel. We depart Sunday morning, July 8th so we'll have 4 full days to spend in the area. July 4th and July 7th can be swapped, but we have some reservations on 7/5 and 7/6 that are already set. If any of the visit times are out of line,that'd be great feedback as well.

July 4th:

-Fords Theatre 9:00 tickets, 2 hrs.

-National Archives: Really only want to see the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence. 1.5 hrs

-Newseum: 2.5 hrs

-International Spy museum (open until 7): 2 hrs


I am wondering if this day is to full, seems like a long day. Wondering if we should chose newseum or spy museum to keep sane.

July 5th:

-Air and Space Museum in the morning until early afternoon.

-Arranged Capitol tour at 2:15. 1.5 hrs

-walk through Library of Congress, really just want to see reading room. 30 minutes

-More time at Air and Space if wanted, it's open until 7:30

July 6th:

-Bureau of Engraving, 8:15 reservation. 1 hr

-Holocaust museum, 11:00 entry reservation. 4 hrs

-American History Museum: 2 hrs

July 7th:

-Arlington National Cemetery

-Pull Newseum, Spy or American History to this day?

Our goal would then be to spend the evenings visiting the monuments and memorials around the mall after the museums have closed.

Appreciate any feedback!

9 replies to this topic
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1,747 posts
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1. Re: Itinerary rough draft, feed back appreciated

Many will have different opinions, but I would pull the Spy Museum in favor of the Newseum... but I would also pull the Newseum in favor of any of the other Smithsonian museums. Don’t get me wrong, the Newseum is fantastic.. I spent two days there, but the American Art Museum , the National Portrait Gallery , the American Indian Museum, the Hirshhorn, National Gallery, etc are free, and outstanding. Do not, however, miss the Holocaust Museum... difficult but necessary. I also think you need to factor in distances from one place to the other, and cut something from Day One. It’s going to be really busy in the city... and you need some time to do things like eat....there is also something wonderful about just walking along the Mall during the day.

Washington DC...
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201 posts
2. Re: Itinerary rough draft, feed back appreciated

From where are you planning on watching the fireworks? If you want to be down on the Mall, don’t underestimate the time it takes to move through the crowds—or pass the security checkpoints—and read up in advance on what you’re allowed to carry with you.

Also, are you planning on eating food on this trip? I am a grab-and-go sort of person myself, but you don’t seem to have left yourself any time for dinner on the 4th or lunch on the 6th. Do not in general count on food being easy to find close to the attractions, particularly those on the south side of the Mall.

Houston, Texas
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3. Re: Itinerary rough draft, feed back appreciated

It is a good itinerary, just be mindful in case you stay longer at some of the places.

Groton, Connecticut
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4. Re: Itinerary rough draft, feed back appreciated

You cannot cover the Newseum in that time. It’s closer to 6 hours being such a great museum.

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5. Re: Itinerary rough draft, feed back appreciated

I first visited in 2017 and am returning in 2018. Due to the museum's vast sizes, I'm going to figure on seeing two a day. Penciled in three a day during my first trip and found it unworkable. I'd say plan where you want to go, how long you want to stay and see as much as you can within that alloted time.

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6. Re: Itinerary rough draft, feed back appreciated

Keep in mind that the Newseum ticket is good for two consecutive days and that it may be the greatest museum in these United States.

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7. Re: Itinerary rough draft, feed back appreciated

If you do go to the Newseum, be sure to see the FBI exhibit. Among other things it has Dillenger's death mask and items on him at the time of his death. Also has can Bruno Richard Hauptman hid Lindbergh kidnap money in.

9 posts
8. Re: Itinerary rough draft, feed back appreciated

Since it's busy season, I would try to go to the National Archives early when you plan to go, even if that means moving it around. The line can get long, and they only allow a certain number of people in at a time. The line moves, but if you get there at 11:30, you'll definitely be waiting. There used to be timed tickets available, but I am not sure if they are doing that anymore.

I'd agree with the other posters to favor the Newseum over the Spy Museum. You may want to spend a while there- it's huge and really informative! (I spent two hours alone in the Pulitzer prize exhibit once..). Your ticket will be good over a few days, so you can go back if you want to and split it up. It's pretty centrally located - across the street from the Archives and a short walk from the rest!

I'm not sure what your lunch plan is for 7/5, but you may want to try the cafe at the American Indian museum. The food is great - expensive, but great. There are food trucks on the other side (not the Mall side) if you're looking for something cheaper. Air and Space only has a McDonald's. Also insider tip- the cafeterias in the Longworth and Dirksen buildings on Capitol Hill are cheap and have good food. You won't be too far from either, especially if you have a timed Capitol Tour. Also, the LOC and Capitol Visitor's Center are connected through a tunnel and it's pretty easy to navigate. It's a good way to avoid long lines..and the heat!

I would do the American History Museum on the last day. Going to the Bureau and the Holocaust Museum will definitely make for a packed day, so you may not feel like going to another museum. You will be close-ish to the Tidal Basin memorials.

Tip about Arlington Cemetery - Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown happens every half hour. Get there early if you want to see. Other points of interest are the Kennedy Gravesite and the Lee House. Memorials to the Challenger and Columbia disasters are up by the Tomb.

Have fun!! :)

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9. Re: Itinerary rough draft, feed back appreciated

Following! I need to work on our itinerary as well!

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