Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
BCM
Member Login

Posted: 4/20/2014 11:14:12 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/2/2014 6:18:53 PM EST by costanza]
I'm requesting a sticky for this thread.

There are many "I'm visiting DC" threads that pop up in the VAHTF.  We here at the VAHTF are here to help you, and have created this consolidated thread for those coming into town.

Please PM me with suggestions for this thread.

Planned posts:
1. VA Gun Laws (despite being sticked above) - DC can explain their own laws in the DCHTF.
2. Firearms related sightseeing.
3. Stuff to do/see in DC.
4. Stuff to do/see in Northern Virginia, known locally as NOVA.  NOVA includes the following: Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, King George, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Warren, and the independent cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Manassas Park.  NOVA does not include the following: everything else.
5. Where to stay in Northern Virginia while visiting.
6. ???

These postings will be updated and added to over time.
Link Posted: 4/20/2014 11:14:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/23/2019 9:18:56 PM EST by costanza]
Below are a few good resources regarding Virginia Firearm Laws

Virginia Firearm Codes
Virginia Firearm Laws - As Explained by Handgunlaw.us - Updated 01 July 2019.
Where to shoot in the Commonwealth

For those interested in DC firearm laws, please see the DC HTF.  I'd suggest not bringing in anything resembling a firearm or ammunition, and reading Emily Miller's columns at The Washington Times (the Emily Gets Her Gun series).
Link Posted: 4/20/2014 11:14:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/29/2014 1:37:07 AM EST by costanza]
Firearms Related Sightseeing

The National Firearms Muesum
www.nramuseum.org
1250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Telephone (703) 267-1600
Open Daily 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Christmas Day
Free Admission

National Museum of the Marine Corps
http://www.usmcmuseum.com/
18900 Jefferson Davis Hwy.
Triangle, VA 22172
1.877.635.1775
Open Daily 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Christmas Day
Free Admission
Link Posted: 4/20/2014 11:14:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/23/2019 9:21:51 PM EST by costanza]
Stuff to do/see in DC

A comprehensive list of all museums in DC can be found here.

Get around on Metro.  A map of the Metro train system can be found here.  On the map are some major landmarks, though definitely not an exhaustive list.  The vast majority of touristy areas can be reached by Metro train.  Please note that when on an escalator, stand to the right, walk on the left.  There are people trying to go to work, catch a train, etc.  Metro does not run 24/7.  If you're out late at night, or on the weekends, it may be easier to catch a cab or uber then to wait 20 minutes for a train, and another 20 minutes to transfer between lines.

There are eleven Smithsonian Museums on the National Mall, and five in the remainder of DC proper, plus the National Zoo.  Entrance to these museums are free - your tax dollars support these museums, go see them!

On the National Mall
- Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art (Asian Art)
- Arts and Industries Building (Closed for renovations - not scheduled to reopen any time soon)
- Hirshhorn Musuem and Sculpture Garden (Modern and Contemporary Art)
- National Air and Space Museum (Aviation and Spaceflight History)
- National Museum of African American History and Culture (African American History and Culture)
- National Museum of African Art (African Art)
- National Museum of American History (American History)
- National Museum of the American Indian (Native American History and Art)
- National Museum of Natural History (Natural History)
- Smithsonian Institution Building (Visitor Center and Offices)

Elsewhere in DC
- Anacostia Community Museum (African American Culture, Anacostia)
- National Portrait Gallery (Portraits, Penn Quarter)
- National Postal Museum (Postal History, NoMa)
- Renwick Gallery (American Craft and Decorative Arts, Lafayette Square)
- Smithsonian American Art Museum (American Art, Penn Quarter)
- National Zoological Park (National Zoo, Rock Creek Park)

Two museums which require an admission fee are the United States Holocaust Museum and the International Spy Museum, as they are privately owned.

If you're into sculpture, here is a list of outdoor sculpture in DC.

Maps of monuments in DC here.  
- Significant monuments on the National Mall:
- Abraham Lincoln Memorial
- Vietnam Veteran's Memorial
- Korean War Memorial
- World War II Memorial
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
- Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial
- Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Visiting the Washington Monument.

Washington National Cathedral

National Archives
Link Posted: 4/20/2014 11:15:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2014 12:59:24 AM EST by costanza]
Link Posted: 4/20/2014 11:15:22 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/21/2015 12:08:34 AM EST by costanza]
Where to stay in Northern Virginia while visiting

VAHTF generally recommends staying in Rosslyn or Alexandria, due to ease of Metro access, and it keeps you from giving your hard earned dollars to the DC government!

There are many types of hotels/motels, and I'm sure you can find something that meets your needs and in your price range.
Link Posted: 4/20/2014 11:20:57 PM EST
Reserved.
Link Posted: 4/21/2014 3:25:15 AM EST
Around 6% - 15% of all monies you spend in the District of Columbia will go to fund that corrupt, anti-Bill-of-Rights, Democrat local government and bureaucracy.
  • Sales tax - 5.75%

  • Liquor sold for off-the-premises consumption - 9%

  • Cigarettes - $2.00 per pack of 20 and $2.50 per pack of 25

  • Restaurant meals, liquor for consumption on the premises, and rental vehicles - 10%

  • Parking motor vehicles in commercial lots - 12%

  • Hotels - 14.5%
(Here's a link.)
Link Posted: 4/21/2014 2:36:12 PM EST
Where to stay in DC or VA and take Metro into DC.

Link to thread on where to shoot in VA
Link Posted: 4/28/2014 8:48:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/28/2014 8:52:20 PM EST by c3man]
Here is my contribution to this thread as an outsider.

I kinda got a little chastised by asking where/what/when etc. I got a few got responses. The fact is most threads going back as far as you can look are guys wanting advice on where to move to LIVE. Not visit and see. Or places to shoot.
My advice for visitors is this:
1. Learn the Metro. This is the best way to get around big distances. It's a big place. Get a map of the metro and familiarize yourself and use it. Stand on the right on the escalators.
2. You don't have to stay in DC. The Metro (subway) goes out to several places and you can commute into DC to see the sights. It's cheap and gets you where you want to go. Most of us don't have mass transit in our locales and some of you might be intimidated. Not a big deal. After you do it once it's pretty easy. Blue/orange lines go the length of the Mall so stay somewhere along it and it will be the easiest.
3. Be prepared to walk- a lot. Wear tennis shoes and good socks. Be comfortable.
4. Have sunscreen handy lots of outdoor sights.
5. Don't pay for any museums. All of the good stuff is free.
6. Get a map and make a plan of what you want to visit. Check the weather and do inside stuff on bad days. There is a great iphone app to keep your bearings and know what is what and where to go.
7. You will go to the Archives. This is where the Declaration,Constitution,Bill of a Rights are. Get there early because the line gets long. Just about everything else is big enough to accommodate everyone without waiting.
8. I didn't do it but I wouldn't be opposed to going on one of the open top buses to familiarize yourself with the sights and then go back and see them. You can also get on and off all day.
9. Walking once you are in the middle of things will make you appreciate them more and what your tax dollars pay for...
10. You can't do it all in one or two days. Plan accordingly. I went for basically four days. Still plenty I want to go back and see.
11. Enjoy what you do while you have time or you will rush by some amazing things.
12. Stop and take it all in.
13. Food truck hot dogs are pretty good and relatively cheap! The whole thing once you are there is pretty cheap.
14. Inside DC you are forbidden to protect yourself..kidding. No firearms. I didn't feel the need when I was there. I carry everyday in KY. Wasp spray at the room would be a good deterrent but not practical to carry. Really depends where you stay and if you fly in.

This is a short list of what I can think of right now. Lots of good people there willing to help and answer questions if you ask. I never once felt intimidated or in danger or anything like that. We walked from the Verizon center to Foggy Bottom one night after dinner. Long walk but fun. No problems. Can't wait to go back. I enjoyed the hospitality and very grateful to the people of DC.
I hope this helps anyone asking for advice in the future on when/where/how
Link Posted: 5/9/2014 3:28:57 PM EST
Smithsonian Air and Space Museum - Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles. Charge for parking, free admission. (Gun/knife-free zone)
Link Posted: 5/16/2014 4:16:14 PM EST
Lot's of great historic sights:

Mt Vernon--Georg Washington's home in Alexandria
Montpelier--James Madison's home in Orange county
Gunston Hall-George Mason's home in Mason Neck
Fredericksburg Battlefields--extensive and worth the trip

Link Posted: 5/27/2014 8:07:57 PM EST

I'm familiar with the Leesburg and west areas of Loudoun (Wine country). If anyone traveling to the area is in need of recommendations let me know. There are often festivals, events, and other local happenings. Especially, where I live in Lovettsville (Mayfest, Octoberfest, movies on the green).

Just IM me and I'd be happy to help.
Link Posted: 9/11/2014 9:22:03 AM EST
My comments in red:

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By c3man:
Here is my contribution to this thread as an outsider.

I kinda got a little chastised by asking where/what/when etc. I got a few got responses. The fact is most threads going back as far as you can look are guys wanting advice on where to move to LIVE. Not visit and see. Or places to shoot.
My advice for visitors is this:
1. Learn the Metro. This is the best way to get around big distances. It's a big place. Get a map of the metro and familiarize yourself and use it. Stand on the right on the escalators. Blue and Yellow (Crystal City, Eisenhower, Franconia) lines are generally less crowded than Orange (Clarendon, Ballston)
2. You don't have to stay in DC. The Metro (subway) goes out to several places and you can commute into DC to see the sights. It's cheap and gets you where you want to go. Most of us don't have mass transit in our locales and some of you might be intimidated. Not a big deal. After you do it once it's pretty easy. Blue/orange lines go the length of the Mall so stay somewhere along it and it will be the easiest. First time on the Metro requires the purchase of a SmartCard for $5.  This can also be used for parking at Metro stations and is refillable.
3. Be prepared to walk- a lot. Wear tennis shoes and good socks. Be comfortable.
4. Have sunscreen handy lots of outdoor sights.
5. Don't pay for any museums. All of the good stuff is free. But be aware that the Spy Museum charges a fee!
6. Get a map and make a plan of what you want to visit. Check the weather and do inside stuff on bad days. There is a great iphone app to keep your bearings and know what is what and where to go.
7. You will go to the Archives. This is where the Declaration, Constitution, Bill of a Rights are. Get there early because the line gets long. Just about everything else is big enough to accommodate everyone without waiting. If you like art, the National Museum, nearby, is not bad.
8. I didn't do it but I wouldn't be opposed to going on one of the open top buses to familiarize yourself with the sights and then go back and see them. You can also get on and off all day.
9. Walking once you are in the middle of things will make you appreciate them more and what your tax dollars pay for... Talk to the NPS staff whenever possible.  They are incredibly knowledgeable and worth the time.
10. You can't do it all in one or two days. Plan accordingly. I went for basically four days. Still plenty I want to go back and see.
11. Enjoy what you do while you have time or you will rush by some amazing things.
12. Stop and take it all in.
13. Food truck hot dogs are pretty good and relatively cheap! The whole thing once you are there is pretty cheap.
14. Inside DC you are forbidden to protect yourself..kidding. No firearms. I didn't feel the need when I was there. I carry everyday in KY. Wasp spray at the room would be a good deterrent but not practical to carry. Really depends where you stay and if you fly in. But don't stray out of the tourist areas too far...best bet, outside of the Mall & immediate vicinity, is to avoid SE, SW, and NE.  If you do go in those directions, try not to go further in than 3rd/4th and C Streets.  If you wander past those intersections, it gets dicey really quick.

If you drove to the area, it might be worth it to dedicate to areas just outside the reach of the Metro.  Plenty of Civil War battlefields to choose from...I'll post some thoughts on this, since I've been to pretty much all of them and many of them several times.

This is a short list of what I can think of right now. Lots of good people there willing to help and answer questions if you ask. I never once felt intimidated or in danger or anything like that. We walked from the Verizon center to Foggy Bottom one night after dinner. Long walk but fun. No problems. Can't wait to go back. I enjoyed the hospitality and very grateful to the people of DC.
I hope this helps anyone asking for advice in the future on when/where/how
View Quote

Link Posted: 9/11/2014 9:23:16 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 38superfan:
Lot's of great historic sights:

Mt Vernon--Georg Washington's home in Alexandria
Montpelier--James Madison's home in Orange county
Gunston Hall-George Mason's home in Mason Neck
Fredericksburg Battlefields--extensive and worth the trip

View Quote


Gunston Hall has been my favorite to visit.  No crowds and the real creator of our Bill of Rights!
Link Posted: 9/11/2014 11:17:20 AM EST
For the Civil War buffs:

Manassas - this is likely the one most insist on seeing, due to the First and Second Battle of Manassas.  Get your pic taken with Stonewall (well, the statue).  The Stone and Chinn Houses are worth seeing, and the view from the Confederate side gives you an idea of how Stonewall would get his name.

Antietam - I visited this with my father (who gave me the Civil War bug).  This one's really moving to read from the Stonewall bio (by VT prof & Stonewall Brigade expert James I. Robertson or something equally detailed).  We spent the night at a local B&B called the Inn at Antietam, run by former theater actors.  This gave us two distinct views of the battle, at dusk and dawn, that adds to the atmosphere.

Fredericksburg - This was fascinating to be able to visualize the flank maneuver of COL Pelham (serving under GEN JEB Stuart) conducted during the battle in 1862.  It's how the Army of NVa won this particular battle.  It was also one of many examples of mercy, as soldiers would leave the front and venture among the wounded, provided what comfort they could.  Pelham was later killed at the Battle at Brandy Station.  He has more attendees to his funeral than Stonewall.

Chancellorsville, the Flank Maneuver (Furnace Rd), Ambulance Route, Guinea Station (Stonewall's death) - If you're a huge Stonewall fan as I am, this is some of the most moving areas I've journeyed through.  In fact, when my parents & I visited the house where Stonewall died over 20 years ago, it was on May 10th at the very hour of his passing.  If you can visit at that moment, it's incredibly moving and symbolic.  I recommend visiting in this exact order to gain an idea of Stonewall's last movements.

Fairfax, Chantilly, Middleberg, etc. - If you're interested in Mosby or the spy rings of the Civil War, stick to the real local areas.  Ex: Mosby & his Rangers snuck behind Union lines in search of COL Percy Wyndham.  They visited the William Gunnell House, which was housing Union GEN Stoughton, and captured him after waking him from his slumber.  Mosby then visited the Joshua Gunnell House, where LTCOL Robert Johnstone was staying with his wife, who kept them at bay while the LTCOL found a hiding place (under the outhouse).  The Joshua Gunnell House is purported to be where Antonia Ford was held (although not likely, but her family did reside down the street in what's now the Ford Building and hosted GEN Stoughton's famil while she spied for the South.  MAJ Joseph Willard, Union Provost Marshall in Fairfax, lobbied for her release and later married her.  I chose the Joshua Gunnell House for the symbolism, as I was a Southern Belle marrying a Yankee.  

Frankly, I don't think you can go wrong with anything that interests you about the Civil War...the sites here are prolific to choose from and worth the extra effort.  This is one of the most devastating times in our History, and any subject within the war allows you the opportunity to delve much deeper here than almost anywhere.  Virginia's done an excellent job of protecting these sites, especially in conjunction with and supplemental to the NPS-run battlegrounds.  Not to mention counties, cities, and various UDC chapters.

TL:DR Just pick a topic - a brigade, family, or person - and you're bound to find what you're looking for.
Link Posted: 11/29/2014 12:22:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/29/2014 12:22:59 PM EST by W_E_G]
Fairfax Rod and Gun Club

(located actually on south side of Manassas)

Usually some sort of open-to-the-public competitive rifle/pistol thing on the weekends.

http://fxrgc.org/calendar/maincal.cfm
Link Posted: 3/16/2016 11:21:25 AM EST
I didn't see this above, but I wanted to add that even though you have to pay for this museum it is well worth the 20.00 dollars to get in.

http://www.spymuseum.org/
Link Posted: 8/28/2016 4:17:20 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/26/2016 3:04:19 PM EST
George Marshall's house in Leesburg is worth a visit.



http://www.georgecmarshall.org/
Link Posted: 1/23/2017 12:08:46 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/23/2017 12:09:43 AM EST by jack_crow73]
Great Falls Park is a cool place to check out. North of Tyson's Corner on the Potomac.

Great Falls Park
Link Posted: 5/23/2017 2:43:03 AM EST
If you have a car and an extra day, make the 90-minute drive up to Gettysburg. Take a tour of the visitor center, and then hire a licensed guide, and have him drive your car through the battlefield while he points out everything you ever wanted to know (and a lot more) about the battle and its aftermath. Tours generally last about 2 hours, and cost about $60. These guides are incredibly knowledgable about the battle. The test to become a licensed guide is very tough. Generally about 3% of those who take the test actually pass it.
The drive up route 15 from Frederick, MD to Gettysburg is beautiful.
Link Posted: 6/28/2018 12:16:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/25/2019 5:51:44 PM EST by beitodesstrafe]
I put together a list of good restaurants in a thread in GD yesterday... I figure it belongs here as well for future reference:

***
Click To View Spoiler

***

And an updated version I typed up for the rally thread...

Click To View Spoiler
Link Posted: 7/15/2019 3:36:00 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By c3man:

2. You don't have to stay in DC. The Metro (subway) goes out to several places and you can commute into DC to see the sights. It's cheap and gets you where you want to go. Most of us don't have mass transit in our locales and some of you might be intimidated. Not a big deal. After you do it once it's pretty easy. Blue/orange lines go the length of the Mall so stay somewhere along it and it will be the easiest.
View Quote
Metro is not exactly cheap if you have a decent size group.

Everyone must have a Metro card.

They charge for the 'empty' card.  They used to have free paper ones.

Make sure you understand when 'rush' hour charges on Metro apply.
Gotta soak those commuters.
They crowd the system and it is annoying.
Stand to the right on the escalators.  JUST DO IT.

Nothing screams tourist and impediment to everyone else than standing on the left.

Some of the escalators are very long.
Link Posted: 7/15/2019 3:37:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/15/2019 3:40:46 PM EST by beitodesstrafe]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By brickeyee:
Metro is not exactly cheap if you have a decent size group.

Everyone must have a Metro card.

They charge for the 'empty' card.  They used to have free paper ones.

Make sure you understand when 'rush' hour charges on Metro apply.
Gotta soak those commuters.
They crowd the system and it is annoying.
Stand to the right on the escalators.  JUST DO IT.

Nothing screams tourist and impediment to everyone else than standing on the left.

Some of the escalators are very long.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By brickeyee:
Originally Posted By c3man:

2. You don't have to stay in DC. The Metro (subway) goes out to several places and you can commute into DC to see the sights. It's cheap and gets you where you want to go. Most of us don't have mass transit in our locales and some of you might be intimidated. Not a big deal. After you do it once it's pretty easy. Blue/orange lines go the length of the Mall so stay somewhere along it and it will be the easiest.
Metro is not exactly cheap if you have a decent size group.

Everyone must have a Metro card.

They charge for the 'empty' card.  They used to have free paper ones.

Make sure you understand when 'rush' hour charges on Metro apply.
Gotta soak those commuters.
They crowd the system and it is annoying.
Stand to the right on the escalators.  JUST DO IT.

Nothing screams tourist and impediment to everyone else than standing on the left.

Some of the escalators are very long.
100x absolutely this.

Nothing pisses me off more than a bunch of tourists blocking the escalator and making me miss my switch at Rosslyn.

...

ETA: One thing to keep in mind (at least for the next couple months) is that all the metro stations south of Reagan Airport (blue and yellow lines) are closed for refurb until September. This probably won't impact visitors too much, but just an FYI.

The free shuttles they have replacing trains aren't terrible.
Link Posted: 7/15/2019 3:39:34 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By miss_anthrope:
Gunston Hall has been my favorite to visit.  No crowds and the real creator of our Bill of Rights!
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By miss_anthrope:
Originally Posted By 38superfan:
Lot's of great historic sights:

Mt Vernon--Georg Washington's home in Alexandria
Montpelier--James Madison's home in Orange county
Gunston Hall-George Mason's home in Mason Neck
Fredericksburg Battlefields--extensive and worth the trip
Gunston Hall has been my favorite to visit.  No crowds and the real creator of our Bill of Rights!
Monticello is not all that long a drive in Charlottesville.

Charlottesville is a typical University city.
Over run with loonie lefties from UVA.
Top Top