Parking and Partaking in DC
July 20, 2007 3:29 PM   Subscribe

I'm on a business trip and have to kill several hours in Washington, DC on Sunday (noon to mid/late-afternoon). Two part question: Where can I safely park my car for that period of time? Is there anything specific that I should see or do?

I'd love a parking recommendation downtown that doesn't require me to take the metro (nothing against the metro!)

I've been to DC before, so I'm not looking for a first timers guide. I'm looking to walk around, wander in and out of places, things like that. Any recommendations would be appreciated, especially for a lunch place!
posted by NotMyselfRightNow to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Downtown really anywhere you can park, zone parking/metered parking doesn't apply on Sundays.. it just gets crowded is all. Or find a garage and pay, you can do that too. Anywhere from Chinatown toward the National Mall to the monuments to Foggy Bottom, I wouldn't worry, downtown DC is plenty safe esp at that time of day.

Jaleo on 7th St downtown is nice..
posted by citron at 3:38 PM on July 20, 2007

Go see the George Catlin "Indian Gallery" at the Renwick Gallery right off the Mall. It's mind-blowing. My personal fav.
posted by MarshallPoe at 3:54 PM on July 20, 2007

It's going to be awesome weather this weekend - nice and cool, no real humidity - so I would recommend just doing some walking and hanging out downtown. People watching on the Mall in the middle of summer is definitely a fun pastime.

My personal fave for a half day or so in the city is a stroll around the Tidal Basin to Jefferson Memorial (just because the memorial itself is so soothing), and then walking back to the Mall and hanging out by the super nice fountain at the WWII memorial for a bit. Wander over to the sculpture garden over by Independence and 7th (with optional stops at the museums), and then heading north to Pennsylvania Avenue to find something to eat. Cafe Atlantico (8th and D) is my in-city-late-lunch-eatery of choice, albeit a bit pricey, but all around there are good places to eat.

As for parking, citron is dead on. I personally find it easier to park off Independence rather than north of the Mall, but a lot of people don't like having to walk from there.
posted by gemmy at 4:40 PM on July 20, 2007

The Renwick is a great idea, since it's almost never crowded. Lots of good American craft art there, as well, and a fantastic gift shop.
posted by MrMoonPie at 4:40 PM on July 20, 2007

You can always park in the garage at Union Station, where there's lots of shopping and food. You can also walk down across Capitol Hill if that's your thing. Others are right though, that aside from being busy, you can park just about anywher you feel like going.
posted by crabintheocean at 6:22 PM on July 20, 2007

The Renwick is a great place (I work at the Smithsonian American Art Museum of which the Renwick is a part). But it's not just off the Mall. It's actually across the street from the White House. The Renwick Craft Invitational is up right now (Sunday's actually the last day) and there are some great contemporary art pieces in the show. Street parking is available but it could be crowded around there.

Also in the same area (about three blocks away) is the Corcoran. Their Modernism show is up and worth a visit. (The Renwick is free, but the Modernism exhibition is a bit pricey at around $14).

I'd also like to put in a good word for the American Art Museum. It's near Chinatown, is open later than other Smithsonian museums (11:30 - 7pm, daily) and is close to Jaleos and other great restaurants.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 4:17 AM on July 21, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. Work stuff got in the way and I didn't make it to DC until Wednesday evening. Based on advice above, I had planned to park at Union Station, which would have been a great location.

On Wednesday night, I did grab dinner at a great Thai place if anyone is looking for somewhere to eat. Thai Tanic at 1326 15th Street NW (I think). Great food. Hell, great name, too!
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 10:58 AM on July 28, 2007

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