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Travelling to Bethesda for work. Which airport to choose?

Travelling to Bethesda for work. Which airport to choose?

Old Jun 22, 22, 11:40 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by rustum76 View Post
Thanks for the information. HWS and ES are close to Arena and asking 60-70k points per night. These are the 2 Hilton hotel chains offering free breakfast. is ES better than HWS in this area (Convention center)? Main Hilton hotels (Capital and HGI) doesn't offer free breakfast for all family even for Diamond member.

Thanks
If you want breakfast with your room, go for the ES. Have walked from there to the Arena and back in February. Now will be warm and sticky but nevertheless interesting.

David
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Old Jun 23, 22, 10:12 pm
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Originally Posted by DELee View Post
If you want breakfast with your room, go for the ES. Have walked from there to the Arena and back in February. Now will be warm and sticky but nevertheless interesting.

David
Thanks for the help. Booked ES near Arena. We will be reaching by 01/07 noon (DCA) and stay until 05/7.We can take Uber/Metro from Hotel to National Mall area and walk to all the attractions around this area right? We will be switching to Bethesda for rest of 3 business days in the week and flying back on 05/7 from IAD. AA doesn't fly many out of IAD. Hopefully, we won't be running into any delays or cancellations.

These are the list of places we are planning to visit,
1. Lincoln Memorial
2. National Malls area
3. Monument
4. White House
5. Capital Hill
6. Smithsonian Museum
7. Air and Space Museum
8. Tidal Basin
9. Spy Museum
10. Botanic Garden
11. July 4th fire works
I just need to sequence them into those 4 days. Are there any important locations we need to consider?

Thanks
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Old Jun 23, 22, 10:14 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by rustum76 View Post
Thanks for the help. Booked ES near Arena. We will be reaching by 01/07 noon (DCA) and stay until 05/7.We can take Uber/Metro from Hotel to National Mall area and walk to all the attractions around this area right? We will be switching to Bethesda for rest of 3 business days in the week and flying back on 05/7 from IAD. AA doesn't fly many out of IAD. Hopefully, we won't be running into any delays or cancellations.

These are the list of places we are planning to visit,
1. Lincoln Memorial
2. National Malls area
3. Monument
4. White House
5. Capital Hill
6. Smithsonian Museum
7. Air and Space Museum
8. Tidal Basin
9. Spy Museum
10. Botanic Garden
11. July 4th fire works
I just need to sequence them into those 4 days. Are there any important locations we need to consider?

Thanks
Places with shade and air conditioning.

David
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Old Jun 24, 22, 2:44 pm
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If you want to go up the Monument and you haven't booked tickets a month in advance, you need to book tickets the day before at 10 am. 10 am sharp that is. Tickets will disappear within 1 minute or less. Around this time i.e. tourist high season I expect it to be 'less'. Otherwise, it's 'walk up' which means long waiting times at this time of year and honestly it's not a great place to be stuck waiting for a few hours.

Opinions vary on whether it's worth the hassle - it is one of the better views of D.C., but then again how important is a view?

On your list of activities the one big tourist one missing is Arlington National Cemetery. Also note that the "Smithsonian" isn't *a* museum but an institution which has several museums, one of which is the Air and Space Museum. I'm not saying that to be glib, only to raise awareness that you may want to narrow down which ones you want to see other than Air and Space. My personal choices would be the Natural History one and the Portrait Gallery...but of course tastes differ.
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Old Jun 24, 22, 5:01 pm
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Originally Posted by rustum76 View Post
Thanks for the information. HWS and ES are close to Arena and asking 60-70k points per night. These are the 2 Hilton hotel chains offering free breakfast. is ES better than HWS in this area (Convention center)? Main Hilton hotels (Capital and HGI) doesn't offer free breakfast for all family even for Diamond member.

Thanks
Another vote for the ES. It's quite close to Capital One Arena, and a reasonable walk from most of the Smithsonians + the National Mall.

Capitol Hill may have protest activity just FYI; the side of the Capitol facing the Supreme Court has had barriers up for several weeks limiting where pedestrians can go for that reason, but the other side (facing the Mall) is quite open. Bring bottled water and sunscreen! Should be very sunny and hot.
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Last edited by silverthief2; Jun 24, 22 at 5:12 pm
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Old Jun 25, 22, 9:44 am
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by rustum76 View Post
Thanks for the help. Booked ES near Arena. We will be reaching by 01/07 noon (DCA) and stay until 05/7.We can take Uber/Metro from Hotel to National Mall area and walk to all the attractions around this area right? We will be switching to Bethesda for rest of 3 business days in the week and flying back on 05/7 from IAD. AA doesn't fly many out of IAD. Hopefully, we won't be running into any delays or cancellations.

These are the list of places we are planning to visit,
1. Lincoln Memorial
2. National Malls area
3. Monument
4. White House
5. Capital Hill
6. Smithsonian Museum
7. Air and Space Museum
8. Tidal Basin
9. Spy Museum
10. Botanic Garden
11. July 4th fire works
I just need to sequence them into those 4 days. Are there any important locations we need to consider?

Thanks
Good morning Rustum,

Glad you will be visiting DC with family and then also doing some business in Bethesda. I highly suggest using only metro to get to your hotel, the sites, and Bethesda. Many of the attractions you will be visiting will be near metro stations and on the DC Circulator route. However, if you are staying in Bethesda before you leave to IAD, I suggest taking Uber, Lyft, or a cab. Taking the metro from Bethesda someone would need to go into the city and then back out while can been done, isn't exactly a convenient route. However, if you are remaining at the Embassy Suites location in DC, walk to McPherson Square metro station. Then take it out to Reston-Wiehle East. It is somewhat a straight shoot and while time-consuming a lot more relaxing then being on the road.

And yes, you can easily walk to many of those attractions as long you are in good shape. Bring comfy walking shoes. Other people mentioned this but also bring cold water and sunblock. It should be hot and humid. If you aren't used to this weather, it can be brutal.

In terms of the attractions, you want to visit, need some clarification and then some suggestions.

1. The National Mall is close to 2 Miles or even longer from one side to the other side. While there are attractions right next to it that you will visit, what is it that you want to experience here?

2. When you mean the Monument, do you mean the Washington Monument or all of the war memorials and monuments? Speaking of which, I highly suggest adding visiting Arlington Cemetery to the attractions to visit as someone else discussed. It is extremely emotional but worth seeing.

3. When you mention Capitol Hill, are you referring to just the US Capitol? It is a neighborhood that expands more than the US Capitol. As someone else alluded to, the US Supreme Court and US Capitol are under I suggest visiting the Library of Congress( if it is open) which is right next to the US Supreme Court. Also, try signing up for the US Marines Barracks parade https://www.barracks.marines.mil/Par...-Reservations/. It seems that July 1st is still available. It was fun to experience. Everyone should bring business casual attire for this event. It is a neat neighborhood that some tourists might not be aware of or experience.

4. Smithsonian Museum. There is no one museum. There are close to 21 museums, galleries, and a zoo that make up the Smithsonian Institution musesums. What interests do your family and you have? For 3-4 days, it would be impossible to see all of them and then do other attractions.

5. The Air and Space Museum by the Mall is currently closed until the fall or so. However, the Udvar-Hazy center out by Dulles Airport, which I like more anyway, is currently open.

6. I would highly suggest creating day clusters. You don't want to overdo the days. Find attractions that are nearby and focus a day on spending time there. For example, for the Capitol Hill area, the Botanical Gardens, the Library of Congress, the outside of the US Capitol, and the Native American Museum. For the Lincoln Memorial, Tidal Basin etc, you can also visit the FDR memorial, and other war memorials and monuments.

7. Spy Museum is extremely expensive. Is your whole family into this sort of topic? If not, it might not be worth visiting due to the cost. I am a massive cold war history buff so love going there. However, others might not have the same love for it.

8. I am sorry, can't help you with the Fourth of July Fireworks. In the past, I have gone to Iwo Jima Memorial, and apartments in Georgetown and Arlington.

Hopefully, this helped. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate and contact me.

Last edited by JacobVB27; Jun 25, 22 at 10:13 am
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Old Jun 25, 22, 9:54 pm
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Ber2dca View Post
If you want to go up the Monument and you haven't booked tickets a month in advance, you need to book tickets the day before at 10 am. 10 am sharp that is. Tickets will disappear within 1 minute or less. Around this time i.e. tourist high season I expect it to be 'less'. Otherwise, it's 'walk up' which means long waiting times at this time of year and honestly it's not a great place to be stuck waiting for a few hours.

Opinions vary on whether it's worth the hassle - it is one of the better views of D.C., but then again how important is a view?

On your list of activities the one big tourist one missing is Arlington National Cemetery. Also note that the "Smithsonian" isn't *a* museum but an institution which has several museums, one of which is the Air and Space Museum. I'm not saying that to be glib, only to raise awareness that you may want to narrow down which ones you want to see other than Air and Space. My personal choices would be the Natural History one and the Portrait Gallery...but of course tastes differ.
We have booked time slot for Library of congress. No time slot available for Capital Hill. Contacted my reps. I just got auto message from my rep.
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Old Jun 25, 22, 10:29 pm
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Originally Posted by JacobVB27 View Post
Good morning Rustum,

Glad you will be visiting DC with family and then also doing some business in Bethesda. I highly suggest using only metro to get to your hotel, the sites, and Bethesda. Many of the attractions you will be visiting will be near metro stations and on the DC Circulator route. However, if you are staying in Bethesda before you leave to IAD, I suggest taking Uber, Lyft, or a cab. Taking the metro from Bethesda someone would need to go into the city and then back out while can been done, isn't exactly a convenient route. However, if you are remaining at the Embassy Suites location in DC, walk to McPherson Square metro station. Then take it out to Reston-Wiehle East. It is somewhat a straight shoot and while time-consuming a lot more relaxing then being on the road.
Hi JacobVB27 and silverthief2,
Thanks for detailed information. We are staying until 05/7 in ES. By 05/7 evening, we will be switching to hotel in Bethesda provided by Client. Then, we will be flying back from IAD on 08/7. We will have 2 evenings in Bethesda to spend some time. What are the areas close by Bethesda we can visit for few hours in the evening after the work.
We are planning to visit Natural history museum. We will go there by 10am either on 02/7 or 03/7.

Regarding making vising places into clusters, I am thinking of this order,
Day 1 (07/2): Visiting places close to Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and Memorials (West side).
Day 2 (07/3): Visiting Natural history museum, WH and any Museum close to History Museum (Central area).
Day 3 (07/4): Capital Hill, Court and botanic garden (East side).

Not sure which is the best to go and watch July 4th fireworks. I guess somewhere close to Lincoln Memorial. We also have half days on 07/1 and 07/5 to visit some places. We can take Uber/Lyft to go from one place to other place along National mall road right?

Last edited by rustum76; Jun 25, 22 at 10:38 pm
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Old Jun 26, 22, 8:06 am
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Originally Posted by rustum76 View Post
Hi JacobVB27 and silverthief2,
Thanks for detailed information. We are staying until 05/7 in ES. By 05/7 evening, we will be switching to hotel in Bethesda provided by Client. Then, we will be flying back from IAD on 08/7. We will have 2 evenings in Bethesda to spend some time. What are the areas close by Bethesda we can visit for few hours in the evening after the work.
We are planning to visit Natural history museum. We will go there by 10am either on 02/7 or 03/7.

Regarding making vising places into clusters, I am thinking of this order,
Day 1 (07/2): Visiting places close to Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and Memorials (West side).
Day 2 (07/3): Visiting Natural history museum, WH and any Museum close to History Museum (Central area).
Day 3 (07/4): Capital Hill, Court and botanic garden (East side).

Not sure which is the best to go and watch July 4th fireworks. I guess somewhere close to Lincoln Memorial. We also have half days on 07/1 and 07/5 to visit some places. We can take Uber/Lyft to go from one place to other place along National mall road right?
You are very welcome! And thanks for clearing up which days you will be in DC and then Bethesda.

When you mean you will have a half-day on 07/01 and 07/5, does that mean you will have the late afternoon/ evening free? Or it is more of the morning free? If it is late afternoon/ evening, I have some suggestions.

1. If I remember correctly, you will arrive around noonish at DCA. Then you plan to drop off bags at the hotel? Do you have any plans afterward? If not, since you are in an intriguing location, I would suggest you do things around the hotel. For example, walk to Franklin Square, walk through CityCenter, and walk through Chinatown. The American Art Museum and Portrait Gallery is located across the street from Capitol One Arena and closes at 7ish and is highly worth seeing.

2. A couple of outside box options in the area would be to walk over close to the Judicial Square area and visit the National Building Museum and the National Law Enforcement Museum. Another option either on this day or another one would be visiting the US. Navy Naval Memorial by Archives Metro Station- https://www.navymemorial.org/. I still think if you are free on July 1st evening, try to get tickets for the US Marines Barracks Parade. Here is the link to register. https://www.barracks.marines.mil/par...ates%20Marines. I believe it would be very intriguing for any age group and especially for someone who is visiting overseas or at least hasn't experienced something like this before.

Here are responses to the rest of what you wrote:

1. The clusters look good. I highly suggest you find time to see Arlington Cemetery. The best option seems on July 2nd, when you plan on visiting fairly close attractions. Personally, would wake up at 7am or so, and then take the blue line to the Arlington National Cemetery and arrive just when it opens up. Spend plenty of time here. Then, if either walk across the Arlington Memorial Bridge or hop back on the blue line and stop at Foggy Bottom- GWU. Then go to 23rd street and then walk 6 blocks or so to the Lincoln Memorial. You should pass George Washington University, World Health Organization, the State Department, and the United States Institute of Peace on this walking journey. Then you should see the Lincoln Memorial. Other memorials and monuments close by would be Vietnam Veterans, Korean War, Albert Einstein( in front of National Academy of Sciences). There is Martin Luther King Jr and FDR memorials which are further out, closer to the Tidal Basin. Then World War II is also in the general direction. If the family is interested in ponds, there is a constitution gardens pond nearby. I know it seems like a lot but if you feel tired at some point and need to go indoors for a while, the Kennedy Center would be a good option. Also, there might be some interesting events that the family and/or you do and could spend one of the evenings there. Here is a schedule: https://www.kennedy-center.org/whats-on/calendar/.

2. I would suggest Natural History, American History, White House, Smithsonian Castle, Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building( great future exhibition), National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden & cafe, National Gallery of Art on the third. Two museums that aren't very crowded but are fantastic in the general area are the Smithsonian National Musem of African Art and National Museum of Asian Art & Sackler Gallery. There is also the Enid A. Haupt Garden nearby which is fairly nice. Other gardens nearby but forgot their names to. It is a lot so would have to pick and choose which attractions you would really want to experience. There is a White House Visitor Center close by that I feel would be more worthwhile to see.

3. On the Fourth of July, I would suggest finding time to visit Union Station and spending some time there. While it has been gutted, it is still very impressive architecture-wise inside. What time is your Library of Congress appointment? Unless, I misread what you wrote prior? I definitely suggest visiting the Native American Museum that is closeby the US Botanic Gardens. One thing is to start at the top of the museum and work your way down the building. There is a new Dwight Eisenhower memorial nearby that might be worth seeing. Since you are in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, I would try to explore the area around it. Or hop on the metro towards Eastern Market and explore that area. I believe there might be a DC Circulator that will take you from this spot to Navy Yard and this area has been built up and is worth visiting. If this is too much for one day, would do this or something else already mentioned in the free time the next day.

4. As it was somewhat mentioned before, I would highly suggest taking the DC Circulator if you want to get from one side of the National Mall to the other as long as it still is running. Not only would it save money, as Uber/ Lyft can be expensive but also saves the driver a ride for potentially a more extended drive.

5. Where is your hotel in Bethesda? In terms of places to visit for a couple of hours close to Bethesda, two that come to mind would be Great Falls, MD and Glen Echo Park. You would either need to rent a day car or Uber/ Lyft to both locations. However, you would have to pay a fee to enter the Great Falls and it closes 30 minutes prior to sunset. So maybe the timing would be off. But it is extremely worth seeing. If you don't mind taking the local public transportation, you could take the 29 ride on bus to the Glen Echo Park. There are free concerts at Glen Echo on Thursday nights starting at 730 pm. Also, Glen Echo Park used to be an amusement park for the DC wealthy way back in the day. I believe there are some placks about the history of the park. Regardless, definitely something different that maybe not many DC tourists know about. Could also just walk around downtown Bethesda.

5. I would try to go to Arlington and go to the Marine Memorial if it is allowed, go to Kennedy Center, and find a hotel with a bar( W Washington) or another place that is high up with good views of the National Mall. Speaking of which, visiting Georgetown could be interesting for the family. It is one of the older parts of the city and it is nice. If anyone is interested in kayaking, you can rent a kayak from the Georgetown Boating Center, and would be a different experience seeing some of the attractions.


Sorry if it was too much or not what you were expecting. Again, please don't hesitate and contact me if you have any questions. Rather if you want some things explained better etc.
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Old Jun 29, 22, 3:29 pm
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I have lived here all my life and those are all great suggestions but, wow, I am exhausted simply reading them!

Based on your list of things to see and that you have kids with you - it seems to me suggest

Most of the sights you list are all on the Mall so you will be able to see them in all in a day (not recommended) or much better and recommended - spread out over a few days. As mentioned above, the Mall is a couple of miles from Lincoln Memorial to Capitol and not an easy walk during the typical DC weather in July (90s+ and high humidity). So breaking it up into a few days will probably make for a much more relaxed and enjoyable time as you will be able to spend as much or as little time as desired at a particular place.

If this is a "once-in-a-lifetime" trip, for the first day you might well consider taking one of the all-day hop-on/hop-off tour buses - saves a lot of walking time for actually seeing sights, saves energy by not walking as much in the heat, spend as much time at a particular sight as you like, and you get the benefit of professional tour guide information. Then over the next few days go back and spend more time at specific sights or see other things.

I would split your days into West side (Lincoln Memorial to Washington Monument side) day and East side (Capitol to Washington Monument side) day. Since you are already booked for Library of Congress which is on the east side - the same day also do the Capitol, Botanic Garden, Supreme Court, American Indian Museum, Archives and National Gallery of Art that day as well (LE Memorial, National Building Museum are east side also). Then on the 2nd day do Lincoln Memorial, FDR, MLK, Vietnam, WWII, Wash Monument, and WH. 3rd day could be for museums that rightfully should take a while (Natural History, National Gallery, American History, African American, etc) and Arlington National Cemetery (ANC is an easy metrorail ride). ANC could easily take a few hours - Kennedy graves, Space Shuttle astronauts, Lee-Custis house, Tomb of the Unknowns, Audie Murphy, many other notables) Explore the Cemetery (arlingtoncemetery.mil)

Here are the details of the museums: Hours and Admission | Smithsonian Institution Note that the SI Museums all close at 5:30 (some earlier).

DC also has a plethora of world class private Museums with admission charges (Spy Museum and others) which are excellent but without a specific and having only a limited time are not really iconic and identified

Here is the best primer on what to do (and how) for Independence Day festivities on and around the Mall: Things to Do - Washington, DC, Fourth of July Celebration (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)

A few things to keep in mind:
- it is a LOT of walking.
- beware the heat and humidity - pace yourself.
- Eat lunch EARLY - before everyone remembers they are hungry and lines are long and seats scarce.
- Bring cheap rain ponchos - summer storms in DC can be frequent and without much warning. Sometimes you will be too far from a museum for shelter or they are closed (they all close at 5:30 but its still light until 9pm for walking around - and cooler!). Umbrellas are a royal pain to carry around.
- Bring water bottles on a neck-strap - refill in museums.

White House and Capitol - both building are closed to general public walkup tours (must be booked long in advance and only through one of your Congresscritters) so you will only be able to see them from the outside - still, very cool and great photo ops! However, the White House visitor center is excellent, free and open for walk-ins; but - get there early as it is very popular and there can be long lines. White House Visitor Center - President's Park (White House) (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov) The Capitol Visitor Center is also excellent and a good place to stop for breakfast or lunch because most people do not realize it has a public cafeteria (closes at 3:30). Plan A Visit | U.S. Capitol Visitor Center (visitthecapitol.gov) American Indian museum has a wonderful cafeteria but it is also very popular.

Dont forget the free Folklife Festival on the mall - its excellent and a great place to experience ethnic cuisine!

Fireworks: Fireworks - Washington, DC, Fourth of July Celebration (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov) regularly considered one of the best displays in the world outside of competitions in China and being in the crowd on the Mall is the 2nd best location to see them (1st is a tie between balcony view from 1600 Penn or, from personal experience, from my family's yacht on the river). But, security restrictions result in long lines getting through checkpoint and limitations on size of coolers, no glass, etc, so depending on your patience threshold, it is not for everyone. Watch from the Capitol west front and get the benefit of the PBS/National Symphony's concert followed by the fireworks - fabulous! As an Air Force brat I have discovered watching from the Air Force Memorial to be a wonderful place to watch - incudes demonstrations by the AF Honor Guard, the Drill Team and a concert by Air Force Band with special A List celebrity guest performers - hard to beat!

Enjoy!
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Old Jun 30, 22, 3:35 pm
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Hi JacobVB27 and Section 107,
Thanks for detailed information. I am going to read here again during my trip. For taking DC Circulator, we need to buy a pass right? We can buy smart card and load some money to use with Circulator and Metro.
We got time slots on July 4th to visit Capital. Library visit is on July 2nd. We have to go twice to the east side. We are planning to take DC Circulator. Also thanks for information on July 4th.By evening we will reach to National mall area to see fireworks. Is there any specific area we should stay to get better view.

Thanks

Last edited by rustum76; Jun 30, 22 at 3:48 pm
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Old Jul 1, 22, 1:29 pm
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Here is the fare information for DC Circulator: Fares & Payments - Washington D.C. Circulator (dccirculator.com)

Pass not needed - You can pay cash or coin - exact change only. Or you can pay with a "pass" called the Metro "Smartcard" - which can be purchased at any metrorail station and other locations: Sales Locations | WMATA . Cash might just be most convenient because there is a cost for the card plus however much fare you want to load and then the card is "forever"- which is fine if you are coming back again relatively soon, but not so much if you will not be coming back again. And each passenger might have to have their own card - I am not sure if you can swipe one card for multiple pax for the circulator (you cannot do that for using the metro trains, for example because it has to clock you in and out to determine the fare). You might call them to find out. Otherwise, you would pay I think $5 per smarttrip card plus the cost of the circulator fare which is only $1 per trip.

Fireworks - kinda depends on which way the wind is blowing so the smoke doesnt obscure the view. But usually between the Washington Monument and the Capitol. Watcing from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (I think thats allowed) would be very nice, too.
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