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Safety and trip ideas

pittsburgh
Level Contributor
284 posts
121 reviews
Safety and trip ideas

My daughter who just turned 12 has been asking to visit DC. Is it safe?

What are top must see spots? I haven't been there since I was her age.

Where do we stay & how long do you recommend a visit be

10 replies to this topic
Silver Spring...
Level Contributor
1,685 posts
1 review
1. Re: Safety and trip ideas

Yes. Top spots are the ones you most want to see

Voorhees, New Jersey
Level Contributor
1,877 posts
127 reviews
2. Re: Safety and trip ideas

The tourist areas are all very safe so you should not be concerned. The list of the major points of interest can be viewed probably in the top of the forum page viewed using a laptop/desktop.

They would include the many museums on the National Mall, the Capital building, the White House, the memorials (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln), the African American museum, Arlington National Cemetery, National Zoo, Ford Theater, and at least 100 other places.

washington dc
Level Contributor
4,827 posts
4 reviews
3. Re: Safety and trip ideas

Why do you think Washington DC is not safe?

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
Level Contributor
62,082 posts
48 reviews
4. Re: Safety and trip ideas

“The tourist areas are all very safe so you should not be concerned.”

This description would also be applicable to the vast majority of the “ non tourist “ areas as well.

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
15,054 posts
125 reviews
5. Re: Safety and trip ideas

I think a good amount of time to spend in D.C. would be 4 -5 days. If you have more time, you'll find plenty of things to see and do. If you have less time, you'll have to pare down your sightseeing, but you can still have a great visit.

Note that if you are driving from Pittsburgh, the hotels in D.C. all charge for parking, up to $50 per night, so you'd need to factor that into your budget. The hotels outside of D.C. (e.g. Silver Sping, MD or Arlington, VA) charge less for parking (and there are even some hotels in Arlington which offer free parking.) If you stay outside of D.C., you should stay as close in as possible and look for a hotel that is within walking distance of a Metro station. If you want recommendations for specific hotels, you will need to provide the dates of your travel, the number of beds needed and your budget.

I recommend you read the Top Question to the right of this page (full site, not mobile) entitled, "What attractions require/offer timed or advance tickets?" There are several attractions in D.C. for which tickets are needed (most tickets are free). It would be a shame to get here and miss out on seeing something because you failed to get a ticket.

Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
1,670 posts
17 reviews
6. Re: Safety and trip ideas

Regarding the travel to DC, as mentioned, parking costs are quite high, driving is not for the feignt of heart. I gave up driving and now take the Megabus. The stop in Pittsburgh is at the Convention Center, I park in the Greyhound Bus Station Garage. The trip to DC leaves at 7:30 AM, arriving at Union Station around 2 PM, the return leaves about 4:30 PM, getting back to PGH about 11 PM Fares average around $30 each way... BUT, watching their schedule and booking early, you can get very cheap fares— my trip last month was $4 one way, $12 return, including the $3 reserved seat charge.

Once at Union Station, you have the option of the Metro, the DC Circulator, or Taxi/Uber/Lyft to get to a hotel. Quite convenient.

If you want more info on the Megabus, feel free to message me.

US
Level Contributor
5,859 posts
37 reviews
7. Re: Safety and trip ideas

Things I'd put on my list: walk the monuments, get a tour of the Capitol and visit the Library of Congress, zoo, and then look over the Smithsonian website to see what each museum offers. Our favorite is American History.

Are you uncomfortable in cities? Just use common sense and you;ll be fine. I've never felt unsafe in DC and I have stayed in many parts of it. FYI- if you want to save money and feel pretty secure, the Arlington Courthouse hotels (we like Hilton Garden Inn) are right next to a big, well lit police station. Your walk from the Metro to hotel goes right along the police station.

I'd do 3-5 days but you can certainly pack a lot in on a weekend visit if that's all you can do.

Silver Spring...
Level Contributor
1,685 posts
1 review
8. Re: Safety and trip ideas

Pittsburgh is a city so hopefully she is not uncomfortable in cities.

US
Level Contributor
5,859 posts
37 reviews
9. Re: Safety and trip ideas

There are plenty of people who live in metropolitan areas but never go into the actual city... I know plenty of them. The city is a scary place to many suburbanites that I know.

Washington DC
Level Contributor
4,236 posts
64 reviews
10. Re: Safety and trip ideas

I have an uncle who lives in Gaithersburg and is kind of afraid to go into the center of DC, actually. He's elderly, but still, there are some people who are scared of urban centers if they've never lived in or even near one (he hasn't much).

DC is safe enough if you don't wander around in the middle of the night or go to the bad areas (tourists would never naturally end up in them, though, it's usually people looking for cheap Airbnbs who want to stay in them just to save money, don't do that). Crime rates are a lot higher late at night, as everywhere. I wouldn't be walking around deserted areas at midnight, for example. Or even quasi-deserted. I presume with a 12 yr old you aren't going to be out on the town (there are some areas I would not hang around late at night, even before midnight due to a lot of roving youth, like Chinatown, there is a higher crime rate around that metro station).

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