We’ve got you covered with: Getting to DC and Getting Around DC
Getting to DC:
- Fly into Reagan National Airport (DCA)
- It may be tempting to save $50 and fly into Baltimore (BWI) or Dulles (IAD), but they are not worth the hassle. Both airports are located 45 minutes or more from the city and involve a very long shuttle ride, train ride, or bus ride into the city. (Kara: “Saving $50 was not worth the bus to Dulles, which broke down once and caused me to miss my flight.”)
- The train is very convenient for those who would otherwise drive to DC and don’t want to have to worry about parking
- It arrives at Union Station, conveniently located on the Red Line of the Metro
- DC has strict traffic and parking laws in order to discourage people from commuting via car. Out-of-state or out-of-zone cars must be moved every 2 hours Monday-Friday until 6:00 P.M. or 8:00 P.M. (it varies by location). In some areas, this applies to Saturdays, as well.
- Parking is extremely limited- once you find a spot, you will not want to move your car for the rest of the weekend. (You won’t need to, anyway- DC is a great city for walking!)
- Ensure that someone in your group is a master at parallel parking.
- Be aware that city life means unexplained dings, dents, and scratches on your car.
- Do not rent a car once you arrive in DC- it’s really not necessary nor worth the trouble.
- If you must drive, contact us to see if we can arrange for temporary parking permit.
Getting Around DC
DC is a very convenient city to navigate- no need for a car! When you can’t walk, buses and metro stops are convenient and regular.
From the Airport
- Take the metro- it’s quick, easy, and cheap at only $2-3 per trip. Dupont Circle metro is closest to the Churchill Hotel.
- Take a cab if you’re in a hurry. Estimated cost- $26.
Using Buses and the Metro
- The SmarTrip card makes riding the bus and metro easier. Without it, you’ll need cash for the bus and a pay $1 more per trip on the metro.
- You can purchase a SmarTrip card online prior to your visit, but must allow enough time for shipping.
- You can purchase a SmarTrip card upon arrival at a CVS Pharmacy in Dupont Circle (right in the circle), Adams Morgan (near the Reception site), or Columbia Heights (right next to the metro station).
- wmata.com provides information about Metro maps and bus routes
- Downloading the Bus Track DC app (Android or Apple) or the NextBus app (Apple), help greatly in navigating bus routes.
- Downloading an app for Android or Apple is helpful. Or you can bookmark WMATA’S mobile page on your phone.
- DC is a very walkable city. Most likely, all of the sites and restaurants/bars you want to see will be located in our quadrant (Northwest or NW).
- If you have a smartphone, map apps make walking easy.
- If you don’t, we will provide maps in your hotel room. Or you can look up directions ahead of time on GoogleMaps.
- Visit our DC Tourism page for neat places to visit during your stay!