Everyone told me to tour the monuments at night. Hands down that was the more recommended thing to do in DC. You can walk, you can take a coach bus, you can take a mini bus or even bike. I had read reviews of what sounded like hoards of people pouring off a bus and being short on time to see the monument. That sounded horrible! I knew going in the fall would help but I wanted to ensure a smaller sized group!
Bike and Roll DC was the answer! They offered a nights monument tour that was 3 hours in length and around 4 miles biked. The tour left at 6:30 which is just dark enough for getting started. They also try to keep it around 16 riders and staying off the street. Just right for two adults who never have a reason to ride a bike anymore.
It was raining the day of our tour and we were contacted to see if we wanted to plan on the tour or switch nights. That is customer service!!!!!! Since we had two nights in DC and it was not pouring rain we chose to go ahead with our tour. This was great as everyone else backed out, private tour for us!
I will admit to getting turned around and having to ask for help in finding the meeting location. We were so close to it but my phone couldn’t figure it out. People in DC were so helpful, a nice man pointed us round the corner and we were there.
You are given a bottle of water, a helmet and safety vest before you get your bike. The bike has a small pouch on the front for your water, camera or whatever you need to carry. And for night tours a safety light.
Our next adventure was started by an email from Airfare Watchdog. I had previously signed up on their site and randomly read the emails they send me about airfare from my local airport. This time when I read it I spied $88 round trip tickets from Detroit to Dulles. I looked at the dates but nothing that worked for me in Aug/ Sept.
A few days later I am reading another email from Airfare Watchdog and I see the same rate. This time I dug further into the dates and saw that late fall had some availability. Bingo! Daughter has fall break and I could get the time off work. I booked those tickets on Frontier before the day was over!
Do not wait too long and think that an airfare will stay at a low rate. For Frontier this seems to be a newer route for them so the price is still low, I got lucky that it was still offered pretty inexpensively! When I was last purchasing airfare the prices were changing by the hour while shopping for New York. If you see a good fare jump on it!
I am still ironing out hotels. Hotel prices seem to be running well above $200 a night and I just do not want to lay that kind of cash out for a few nights on a “cheap” trip! I need to look at my hotel point inventory better.
Club Carlson gives me a few options. There is a Country Inn and Suites out by Dulles but that is too far to commute each day (20 miles to the White House) but its only $129. There is the Radisson Largo which is starting at $173 a night but its almost a mile walk to the Metro station or waiting for their shuttle. Its 12 miles to the White House so a little further out than I still want to be. Or there is a Radisson near Reagan Airport in Crystal City. This hotel is 3 miles from the White House but its also $209 a night. I could use points for these instead of cash.
IF Marriott is offering the stay 2 times get a night free I might be looking their way. This seems to be a steady promotion but you never know for sure until the dates get closer. I need a night at the Detroit airport before we leave so that would get me two stays in the promo period easily.
The Courtyard Washington D.C. / Capital is $269 and a couple of miles to the White House. The FairField downtown is $239 a night. They are six blocks from the White House so that would be a pretty good location! I need to see how many points they take to book.
So a few things to nail down once I see the fall promotions being released. Earn the free hotel nights as you burn the nights.