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What’s the best way to tackle sightseeing Washington D.C.?
I took a weekend trip to Washington D.C. with my sister and friend. We were celebrating my birthday, it was my sister’s first time visiting me on the East Coast (and as a canoe paddler, she was participating in the Liberty Race in New York).
Together, it was a weekend escape from New York City and our first time visiting Washington.
New Yorkers have various budget transportation options to get outside of the city.
New Yorkers escape the city through a variety of means. The obvious is to rent a car. But depending on distance, the budget conscious can easily find alternate modes, such as the Chinatown bus, Bolt bus, Amtrak or Long Island Railroad.
Rather than run an expensive weekend and rent a car, we took the bus to Washington D.C. Bolt Bus (www.boltbus.com) offers some pretty cheap deals to locations outside of New York City. It’s a large greyhound type bus with spacious seat and it has free Wi-Fi. …Yes Wi-Fi, on the bus.
The pickup location was on a side street, across the street of Madison Square Garden. We boarded the bus with our printout tickets and then buckled in for approximately 3-4 hour ride.
We arrived at the Bolt Bus drop-off location. It’s a weird private location but in city central, so it’s easy to get to hotels in downtown.
We walked to our hotel, the Hyatt and checked in.
From the outside, our hotel didn’t look very spectacular. Inside, it showed itself to have the standards of a four-star hotel, complete with American flag, if you feel inspired to recite the “Pledge of Allegiance.”
Seeing Washington D.C. monuments on a bike
If you researched how to get around the monuments of Washington D.C., you’ll probably learn that a walking tour will not be your best bet, unless you’re an avid jogger. The monuments are spaced far apart. If you’re looking for a way to burn fat, walking to the monuments are a perfect way to do it.
But for me, map-walking tours through historical monuments were immediately off my list.
My sister had a better approach. Why not take a Bike n Roll (www.bikethesites.com) tour ?
This was pure genius. What better way to tackle sightseeing Washington D.C. than from a bike?
We chose a group tour of the Monuments, around $40/ per person. Basically, it was a half-day tour, led by a guide on a bike, through all the main monuments. If you wanted to see the monuments at night, there was a night tour as well. We chose the day tour.
We showed up at the Bike n Roll location, picked out our bikes, helmet and met our guide. They supplied us with a bottle of water and our guide was very thorough in explaining the sites and their significance and history.
We went to places like the Jefferson Memorial, the White House (front and back), the Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Veteran’s Memorial, etc.. basically, all the famous monuments in the book.
Basically, it was fun, active, engaging and a worthwhile way to spend the afternoon sightseeing Washington D.C.!
Below is a quick photo slideshow of our bike tour: