Well, we finally made it to the Washington D.C. area. The roads are not very RV friendly (or large truck friendly for that matter). So prepare yourself and take an extra dose of patience before entering the greater D.C. area.
We are staying at a great KOA Campground right out side the D.C. area (about a 40 minute commute into downtown). KOA has become our campground of choice. They have RV hookups in both 30 watt and 50 watt. They are also very dog and kid friendly. The ones that we have been to have had an awesome playground for the kids and also a dog agility course for our furry child.
As far as taking the RV into downtown, I highly advise against it. In fact, I also advise against taking any vehicle into greater downtown. There are plenty of commuter options available. But, if you are like us and not familiar with metro transportation… then you might wonder what to do. We drove our truck into town and parked up by Union Station and walked.
There are several parking spots near Union Station that accommodate large vehicles. The parking lot we chose was $8 a day. However, be prepared to pay double if you are an over-sized vehicle and need two spots. You can also choose to park over at Arlington National Cemetery and walk. Parking is a little more over there for day parking. It is also a long walk, so I would advise against it if you have littles.
After 6:30 p.m. the street parking of Washington D.C. along the Washington Memorial and Smithsonian open up. Once we left Union Station and Capitol Hill, we parked down along the Washington Memorial and walked to the White House and Lincoln Memorial. It was about a 1 hour walk in total, but we took a little longer while we waited at the Lincoln Memorial for night lighting to illuminate the area. Well worth it.
Oh, did I mention that all this activity was FREE! That’s right! Our tour of the Nation’s Capitol Building, visit to Washington Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial… all FREE. The only thing we paid for all day was the $16 for parking (because we were over-sized) and any souvenirs / food that we wanted. In fact, many of the buildings are free to the public.
All in all, I would say that it was a great learning day. The kids learned a lot about government and presidential history. Later this week we will dive into the world of the Smithsonian and hopefully find “The Thinker” statue so our oldest can cross an item off her bucket list.
But until then, remember that no matter where you go and what you do… Home is where you park it.