Blog posts tagged in tourism

Mount Vernon is fun for the whole family

Posted by on in Travel & Tourism

b2ap3_thumbnail_visit-mt-vernon.JPGIf you’re looking for fun for the whole family during your trip to Washington, D.C. and Fairfax County, Virginia, look no further than George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the home of our nation’s first president.  And there’s a great reason to visit during your stay in the national capital region: Mount Vernon has a special offer just for WPFG attendees and volunteers. Save 30% on your tickets when you present your WPFG credentials.

Just minutes from downtown D.C., you can step back in time for a tour Geore Washington’s Mansion and its beautifulgardens and grounds. Learn more about Washington’s life and legacy in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center, with 25 galleries and theaters—including a theater where it snows every day of the year. And, get a taste for life on an 18th-century plantation at the Pioneer Farm site.

Start your journey by downloading the Mount Vernon app, your one-stop shop. On the app, you’ll find interesting tours, a plant finder feature that shows what plants are in bloom on the estate, fun facts about Washington, and more.  

While you’re at the app store, be sure to get our newest offering, the Agent 711: Revolutionary Spy Adventure app (launching in late June). Does your pre-teen or teenager want to solve mysteries? This app is for them. Agent 711 lets you solve ciphers, decode messages, and tackle challenges as you explore Mount Vernon’s grounds. Using Mount Vernon’s estate-wide free wifi and iBeacon sensors, players get new messages when they near certain locations on the estate. Once a player’s completed all eight challenges, they will receive a personal message from Washington and a special prize.

If you’re traveling with young children, make sure to pick up a Mount Vernon Adventure Map inside the Ford Orientation Center. Kids can use the map to  solve  puzzles while learning fun facts about George Washington and his home. Once the young adventurers solve the puzzle on the map, they can claim a special prize at the gift shop.

Your littlest explorers won’t want to miss a stop at the  Hands-on-History Center in the Education Center where history comes alive for children ages 8 and under. In Hands-on-History, Mount Vernon’s tiniest tourists can  play with colonial era toys, color patriotic images, and dress up like our nation’s first president and first First Lady. Mount Vernon also offers Story Time on weekdays and storytelling on the weekends.

Animals played an important role during Washington’s time, and they continue to delight and educate visitors today.  While roaming the estate see heritage breed sheep, cattle, pigs, and chickens—the same types of animals Washington would have known in his lifetime. Make sure to stop by the Pioneer Farm to see horses tread wheat in the 16-sided treading barn!

When your kids are ready to run around and roam, take them to the east lawn overlooking the Potomac River. You’ll enjoy the same beautiful view the Washingtons enjoyed more than two centuries ago. River cruises are also available every day, showing you the view from a different perspective.

Located in Mount Vernon, Virginia, our first president’s house is roughly 16 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information visit:  


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TOURISM: Cherry Blossom Viewing Map for the National Capital Region

Posted by on in Travel & Tourism

b2ap3_thumbnail_washington-dc-cherry-blossom-photo-2009-n-146.jpg2014 Blossom Current Status: Peak bloom is forecast for April 8-12

The blooming of the cherry trees around the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. has come to symbolize the natural beauty of our nation's capital city. The famous trees, a gift from Japan in 1912, signal Washington's rite of spring with an explosion of life and color that surrounds the Tidal Basin in a sea of pale pink and white blossoms.

Hundreds of thousands of city residents and visitors from across the nation and around the world come here to witness the spectacle, hoping that the trees will be at the peak of bloom during the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Cherry trees surround the Tidal Basin and line the shores of the Potomac River and Washington Channel. Head toward the Thomas Jefferson Memorial or stroll along Ohio Drive SW to see trees.

Take public transportation! The nearest METRO (subway) stop to the Cherry Blossom Festival and the National Mall and Memorial Parks' blossoms is Smithsonian. Other nearby stations include Foggy Bottom, L'Enfant Plaza, and Arlington Cemetery.

Tidal Basin Daily Programs March 29 - April 13, 2014:

Cherry Blossom Talk 
Daily at 10:00 a.m., 12:00, 2:00, 4:00, 6:00 p.m.
Meet at Thomas Jefferson Memorial plaza.

Walk with a Ranger
Daily at 2:00 p.m.
Meet at Lincoln Memorial plaza. Explore memorials and cherry blossoms on a guided walk.

Memorial Talks and Tours
Explore the park's memorials on short programs with rangers at the Lincoln, Vietnam Veterans, Korean War Veterans, World War II, Martin Luther King, Jr., Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson Memorials. Talks and tours start every hour on the hour from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Weekends at the Tidal Basin:

Running Tour
Saturdays: 3/29, 4/5, 4/12
8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
Meet at Washington Monument Lodge (15th St. adjacent to Washington Monument).

Junior Ranger Activity Zone
Saturdays and Sundays: 3/29, 3/30, 4/5, 4/6, 4/12, 4/13
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Tidal Basin Welcome Area

Pups ‘n’ Petals Dog Walk 
Sundays: 3/30, 4/6, 4/13
1:00 p.m. Lincoln Memorial
Bring your furry friend for a walk among the cherry blossoms. All dogs must be leashed.

Bike Tour
Saturdays and Sundays: 3/29, 3/30, 4/5, 4/6, 4/12, 4/13
2:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Meet at Thomas Jefferson Memorial plaza.
Bring your own bike, helmet, and water for a leisurely ride.

Locals in the National Capital Region know the Tidal Basin isn't the only place to enjoy the blossoms! Explore the our map below to find additional viewing locations.


Live Webcam: National Mall & Memorial Parks


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Capital Bikeshare - The Inexpensive Fun Way To Get Around Washington, D.C. and Surrounding Areas

Posted by on in Travel & Tourism

b2ap3_thumbnail_blog-bikeshare.jpgSo you're traveling to the Washington, D.C. area and looking for a unique and healthy way to see the hundreds of tourist attractions around town. We've got the inexpensive and fun way to do it! Capital Bikeshare - the first and one of the largest bike sharing systems in the United States is right here in the National Capital Region.

Capital Bikeshare (also abbreviated CaBi) is a bicycle sharing system that serves Washington, D.C.; Arlington County, Virginia; and the city of Alexandria, Virginia. Its 201 stations and 1,800-plus bicycles are owned by these local governments and operated in a public-private partnership with Alta Bicycle Share.

Opened in September 2010, the system was the largest bike sharing service in the United States until New York City's Citi Bike began operations in May 2013. In its first 22 months (September 2010 to June 2012), Capital Bikeshare enrolled more than 24,000 annual members and 2,800 monthly members, sold more than 180,000 24-hour and 3-day passes, and recorded 2.3 million trips. In the system's second year (September 2011 to September 2012), users took 1,851,857 trips. In 2013, Montgomery County, Maryland signed a contract to add 50 stations by the end of the year.

Capital Bikeshare has five payment options. Casual riders may purchase a 24-hour pass ($7) or a 3-day pass ($15) at any bike station. After swiping a credit card at the station's kiosk, a rider gets a code to unlock a bike. Riders may also sign up online for monthly ($25), annual ($75), or annual installment ($84, paid in monthly increments of $7) passes; these riders are mailed an RFID key that can unlock bikes without entering a code.

Any rider may take unlimited trips of up to 30 minutes, as measured from the time the bike is withdrawn from a dock to the time it is returned. Longer trips incur fees for each additional half-hour on a scale that rises from $1.50 to $8.00. This pricing structure is designed to encourage short trips from place to place instead of longer leisure rides. If a destination station is full, riders can use the kiosk to get 15 more free minutes to return the bike to another location.

A replacement fee of $1,000 is charged to the credit card on file if a rented bike is not returned within 24 hours.


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