I am considering a road trip to Washington DC. I am curious if it would be a hassle if I stayed at a hotel in a suburb municipality. Specifically, I am wondering if it is a a hassel or undesirable to drive and park at all of the standard Washington DC tourist attractions?

Would it be worth it to just pay more for a central hotel and walk / use public transport?

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    Or stay in a suburb but near a metro station and take the metro downtown. – mkennedy Mar 28 '16 at 19:38
  • Many locals who work in DC don't even drive there. They park at a nearby metro station, then use public transport into and out of the city. You might consider doing the same. But this question may be difficult to answer as "is it worth it?" is essentially an opinion question. – Flimzy Mar 28 '16 at 19:47
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  • I went to graduate school in DC, and would advise you to avoid trying to drive inside the beltway. You can pick a hotel in Bethesda or McLean and use public transport. Also note that on the beltway they can be pretty aggressive. If you are doing 'basic DC 101 tourist stuff' it's better not to drive. – Gayot Fow Mar 29 '16 at 2:57
  • Strategic tip: washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/metro/interactives/taxifares – Gayot Fow Mar 29 '16 at 3:03

As a former resident of Washington, DC I would strongly advise against trying to drive into DC proper. It's difficult to navigate (even for locals), it's expensive to park, and most of the "standard Washington DC tourist attractions" are co-located with one of the most difficult areas of the city to drive in (downtown).

I would suggest, if you are going to drive to DC, to find a hotel that's on one of the metro lines, and when sight-seeing in DC (with the exception of the Air and Space Museum's Dulles location) just taking the Metro in. There are a tremendous number of hotels in Bethesda, Rockville, Arlington and Alexandria that meet this suggestion.

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    As a visitor to DC by Car on Multiple occasions I can attest that it is not as expensive to park as NYC and not as difficult to navigate as people make it out to be. – Karlson Mar 28 '16 at 21:12
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    As a current area resident , I would add that even though people are strongly advised not to drive into DC, many do anyway. For some families, a few hundred dollars of parking garage feess is worth avoiding the misery of the Metro, where service has noticably deteriorated, especially on evenings and weekends. Despite huge growth in the city, and the opening of the Silver Line, ridership has declined to 2004 levels. That's not to say you should drive everywhere. But you can drive into the city, then use the bus, Uber/Lyft, and Capital Bikeshare to get around. Especially avoid Metro on weekends. – choster Mar 28 '16 at 22:58
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    @Karlson "not as expensive to park as New York" is a low bar – Fomite Mar 28 '16 at 23:03

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