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Old 06-12-2011, 07:10 PM   #1
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2005 28' Safari
tellico plains , tn
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Anyone done the Washington, D.C. thing?

we live in tennessee and for the last six years have left out mid sept. for a 30+ day trip to new mexico and all points in between.......enjoyed every second of it . this year i thought we would take off for washington, d.c. and see the sights. (can't wait to see the smithsonian, air museum, holocaust and native american museum).
where to camp ?
we would really appreciate advice on where to stay for approx seven days that is in close proximity to the aforementioned sights. (will be coming in from the south).
if you have made the trip please share.....i am at home in the mountains of tennessee but washington, d.c........having anxiety attack already.

many thanks.

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Old 06-12-2011, 07:19 PM   #2
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I recommend staying at Prince William Forest Park outside Quantico and taking the train in. I stayed in the Oak Ridge Campground but I think they have a second one with electric.


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Old 06-12-2011, 07:52 PM   #3
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Lorton , Virginia
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PW Forest is nice - kind of far away (even if you take the VRE...), Pohick Bay in Lorton, VA is closer and there's a VRE station just 2 miles down the road (easy commute) and the campground is back in the woods by the water - you won't even realize you're in DC Metro There was a rally at a campground up in MD last year, but I can't recall where it was...someone else may be able to toss that in.

But DEFINITELY plan to take the train into DC - parking is impossible and expensive - but if you choose the metro they're having weird off and on weekend station closures so watch the DC Metro website for those. I'd recommend the VRE, though, if you're as far south as Lorton or PW Forest.

AND MAKE SURE - if you're traveling I-95 DO NOT come north bound on Sunday unless it's EARLY morning. Saturday is iffy, also...try for 10am on a weekday. And I-95 south - treat it like the plague between 4pm and 7pm on weekdays, but Fridays just stay away from it in general!
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:07 PM   #4
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Ball Ground , Georgia
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I too would like to plan a similar trip. I have been there several times (not camping) and understand how the Metro runs. It is a safe and great way to travel around DC. Is the campsite close to the end of the line and a good place to park.If not then do you take Amtrak to Union Station and then walk or go down stairs to the Metro Ohwally Don't miss the Vietnam wall and Arlinton, both an amazing thing to see.
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:21 PM   #5
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We stayed at "Cherry Hills RV park" Located in College Park I believe. Great park and I believe they also have a transit system that stops at the park. We rode our scooter into DC.

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Old 06-12-2011, 11:57 PM   #6
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We've stayed at the following parks near Washington, DC.

Cherry Hill Park
Kind of expensive but has lots of amenities, and a city bus stops there about every 30 minutes that will take you to the nearest Metro station.

Cherry Hill Park is the Closest Campground to Washington, DC :|: Cherry Hill Park

Capitol KOA
This one is expensive as well, but is not quite as nice and convenient to DC as Cherry Hill.

Capitol KOA!

Greenbelt National Park
This is our favorite. $16 per night. It's dry camping, but it's a very nice park and close to a Metro station. We stay there frequently in the fall and winter, but it can get hot in the summer. Generators are permitted between 8:00 AM - 10:00 PM.

Greenbelt Park - campground reservations (U.S. National Park Service)

Because parking downtown is hard to find and expensive, for getting around town I recommend the Metro. You can get a One Day Pass for $9, and you can ride all day and night. It goes all over DC and the surrounding areas.

Metro - Getting Around- Visitor Info

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:55 AM   #7
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Driving into and around DC is far from difficult. Parking is actually free if you know where to go. For instance right directly on the Mall. We go to the Smithsonian all the time. We never get lost, never sit in traffic, and have only had to pay for parking in Chinatown. The key to seeing DC is to go early.
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:04 PM   #8
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Stayed at both Pohick Bay and Capitol KOA. Pohick was more convenient and less expensive, but Capitol had more amenities. Either way, take the metro.
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:53 AM   #9
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I found it amazingly easy to find parking in DC. We intended to park in an underground garage near L'enfant plaza, but because of height restrictions couldn't. Driving aimlessly around the surface, we asked a security guard where we could park, and she said valet parking was available at the hotel there, for $20. And I could park next to a Porsche. It was minutes away from the Hirshorn gallery. Bargain. But yes, if you can get there early, parking along the Mall is free.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:35 AM   #10
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Cherry hill is by far the best in my opinion...great place and friendly people.
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:57 PM   #11
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We haven't camped near DC, so I can't give you any camping advice.

One thing I highly recommend is a walking tour. We took one during Cherry Blossom Festival and it was great. The tour is free so you tip the guide as means of payment.
Walk of the Town - DC's Most Memorable Walking Tour

Actually, you now have us thinking of camping near DC!

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Old 06-21-2011, 04:03 PM   #12
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I would strongly urge you to contact your US Congress representative's office with the dates you will be visiting. They will give you tickets to Congressional Tours which are private or neatly private tours of the Capitol building, as well as Mount Vernon, the Library of Congress (not to be missed), the Kennedy Center and other places. These tours keep you from having to deal with long lines of tourists.
We did this on our trip to DC in 03 and had a great time.
Give them a call.

We stayed at Cherry Hill, took the bus to the Metro, then into town. On the way back at night, get a transfer at the Metro station where you board the train in town, and you get a nice discount on the bus back to Cherry Hill.
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:09 PM   #13
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Okay, since I live a few miles from these places I feel I have to say something...

1. Cherry Hill Park is pretty nice, though it's right next to I-95 (specifically, the ramp from the Outer Loop I-495 to I-95 north), so there's some traffic noise throughout the park. It's not too bad inside the camper, but it's constant outside. As noted it's closer in and on a bus line.

2. Capitol KOA is farther out and much nicer. They have a shuttle that will take you into DC, presumably for a fee (I didn't find out). We had a rally there a couple weeks ago.

Both campgrounds are fairly expensive, on the order of $50-$60/night for full hookups.

I've heard Greenbelt park is pretty nice, inexpensive, but no hookups if you're into that sort of thing. It's right at the beltway in Maryland.

In Virginia, we checked out Lake Fairfax Park for a possible rally site. It's reasonably nice. I don't remember the price, but I think it was less than Cherry Hill/Capitol KOA. It may be water/electric only - I don't remember for certain. They have a rule of no alcohol. We chose not to go there for the rally mainly for that reason.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:08 PM   #14
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This thread intersets me only becuase I work downtown in DC...

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