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Revision as of 16:51, 25 March 2008
World War II Memorial, Reflecting Pool, Lincoln Memorial
Washington Monument, the Ellipse, the White House
soldier at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Lincoln Memorial in late afternoon.
The West End is a downtown district of Washington, D.C., comprised of the Foggy Bottom and Downtown-K Street neighborhoods to the north of the the National Mall, south of Dupont Circle, and west of Penn Quarter.
Downtown (West End) is part of the central business district of Washington, D.C., sometimes known as Golden Triangle or, simply, K Street.
It is located around the White House south of Massachusetts Ave. centered along K Street, west of 15th St, east of Georgetown, north of Pennsylvania Avenue and the National Mall.
Unlike other parts of downtown, the West End of Washington, D.C.'s central business district is a pretty homogeneous area of shops and office buildings. Many of the city's hotels are located here. It is close to Dupont Circle and Georgetown. It bleeds into Foggy Bottom, a quiet institutional neighborhood.
The newer parts of Downtown includes Foggy Bottom and the West End, or Golden Triangle, centered around the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and K Street. These are busy office areas surrounding the White House, which include many office buildings, shops, and hotels, but fewer attractions. The West End is bounded by Massachusetts Ave. or M Street (Dupont Circle) to the north, Metro Center and the East End, and the White House and Foggy Bottom to the south.
The West End of Downtown is similarly dominated by Lafayette Square at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. In the daytime, Lafayette Square and the one block of Pennsylvania Avenue that is closed to motorists in front of the White House are popular with crowds and street hockey enthusiasts. West End also has K Street, which is not a tourist street but busy with activity. At night, much of the West End shuts down because it is primarily an office area for lawyers and lobbyists. This means there are a lot of nice hotels here and four-star restaurants, but few things to do at night.
The closest metro stop is the Foggy Bottom station, served by the blue and orange lines
Mass Transit (Metrorail): The West End of Downtown is conveniently located around Farragut North on the Red line Metro (subway) and Farragut West on the Orange and Blue lines. Unfortunately the two are not connected; one must transfer at Metro Center. Farragut North is the busiest station in the Metro system. McPherson Square is closest to the White House. The Orange and Blue Lines also serve the Smithsonian museums and Northern Virginia.
The Red line connects Farragut North to Old Downtown (East End), Union Station, Upper Northwest DC (including the National Zoo), and on to Bethesda and Silver Spring, Maryland.
On Foot: The section of Pennsylvania Avenue near Foggy Bottom Metrorail station is not as scenic as other parts, but leads directly to Georgetown and is a well-traveled way to get there on foot.
The west end of the Mall, including all the memorials,</b> can be reached by walking south on 17th Street from Farragut Square, past several museums, or south on 23rd street from Foggy Bottom Metro station, which requires walking all the way through Foggy Bottom, a quiet neighborhood, to the Lincoln Memorial. This is less than the distance between the major monuments, however.
Dupont Circle is within easy walking distance.
By Car:There are no above-ground parking garages in downtown D.C., and basement level parking is expensive. Street parking is very restricted by loading zones, bus bays, taxi stands, and meter times. It is much easier to park in the far west of downtown on evenings and weekends, but parking in certain areas near the White House is no longer allowed. Otherwise, take Metro, which runs until 3 AM on weekend nights, or else hail a cab.
Taxicab: Taxis are plentiful and cheap, because D.C.'s unique zone taxi fare system is designed to keep trips within the downtown area inexpensive. It is possible to hail a taxi from the street at almost any hour of the day or night in downtown D.C. A cab is especially useful when coming from Georgetown, Union Station or National Airport.
Metrobus: The Metrobus system is centered on downtown D.C., but is unfortunately very complex and locations of bus lines and routes are not advertised to anyone who is not a regular rider. There is no central terminal or bus mall, for instance. Most bus riders from outside of downtown DC are shunted onto the Metrorail system before reaching downtown. The Metro system is much more convenient. The main exception is the Pennsylvania Avenue bus line, which takes you to Georgetown and upper Wisconsin Avenue, two areas not easily accessible by Metro.
The D.C. Circulator, a new bus service, has two premium express bus routes along 7th Street and Massachusetts Avenue. These connect points such as Georgetown, Union Station and the Convention Center.
- White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (North of the Washington Monument), ☎ +1-(202)-456-7041, . The residence and office of the President of the United States. Tours are available only for groups of 10 or more and must be requested up to six months in advance through your member of Congress. Note that the standard tours focus on the social/residential part of the White House -- the East Wing. You don't get to see the working West Wing. The front door (the flat facade with the overhanging triangular pediment) can be viewed from Lafayette Square on the north side, and the back (the more distinctive curved facade) from the Ellipse on the south side. Political demonstrations typically take place at the front, though larger ones have been known to encircle the fence. Worth visiting even if you can only see the exterior, but you cannot drive any closer than two blocks away. Reservations must be made at least one month prior to the date you wish to visit. Free admission.
- Washington Monument. 9AM-4:45PM The view from the 550 foot Washington Monument is great on a clear day, allowing you to see up and down the Mall, and out as far as the Shenandoah Mountains. Entrance is by timed ticket, which are distributed on a first come first served basis, and are available free from a National Park Service booth on 15th Street near the monument. It's worth stopping off early in the day (opens at 8:30 a.m. and collecting your tickets before visiting a museum or three, and then coming back later. Better still, book your ticket online in advance at the NPS Reservation Center. If you can't get tickets or don't want to spend the time, you can get a similar panoramic view of D.C. with no wait at the Old Post Office Tower (see above), just a block from the Mall.
- Corcoran Museum of Art.  W & F-M 10AM-5PM, Th 10AM-9PM The oldest art gallery in the American capital. $6.75 individual admission, $4.75 seniors, $3 students with ID, $12 families with young children (donation on Monday and Thursday after 5 p.m.)
- National World War II Memorial. Opened in 2004. 
- Reflecting Pool. The view from the Lincoln Memorial, with the Reflecting Pool in the foreground and the Washington Monument just behind, and the Capitol Building in the distance, is famous and not to be missed.
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  There are three sections to this memorial, all in close proximity: a black marble wall engraved with the names of the deceased and missing of the Vietnam War; a statue of a trio of soldiers; and the Vietnam Women's Memorial. This is a very powerful monument by day or night.
- Lincoln Memorial.  This is an impressive monument in a commanding location at the end of the Mall, honoring the president responsible for ending slavery in the United States and for waging war against southern secessionists to reunite the nation.
The "Foggy Bottom" area is almost entirely occupied by The George Washington University. Take a stroll through campus to get a feel for the local campus life. Like all colleges, a variety of college bars surround the area, notably the 'divey' feeling Froggy Bottom Pub and 51st State. Also, 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue hosts a few shops and restaurants, including the high-class Kinkeads for those of you with gratuitous cash to spare. If it's a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night while the school is in session (September - early December, mid-January - early May) stop at Manouche's Hotdog Stand on 21st St between H St and Pennsylvania Ave. Manouche has been serving the late-night GW crowd since 1984 and his anecdote-filled, unique personality alone makes it worth the trip.
- The Lafayette Room, 800 16th St., NW, Tel (202) 638-2716, . This restaurant overlooks Lafayette Square and The White House, and is a premier place for power dining. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch.
- Marcel's, 2401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., +1 202 296-1166.  Self described French cuisine with Flemish flair. Expensive. Quiet, elegant atmosphere.
- Olives, 1600 K Street NW., +1 202 452-1866. Mediterranean/Italian style, steak and chop house featuring olive tapinades. Valet parking. Full bar. Noisy bistro-type atmosphere.
- Manouche's Hotdog Stand, If it's a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night between August and May you'll find Manouche's Hotdog Stand On 21st between H St and Pennsylvania Ave. Manouche has been serving late-night hotdogs to hungry GW students and passer-bys since 1986. His interesting anecdotes and personality alone make it worth the trip. Open until 2AM.
Froggy Bottom Pub at the intersection of 22nd and Pennsylvania ave, and serving the community and the University for several years.
Lindy's The Red Lion at the intersection of 21st and I Street provides some of the best burgers in the District, as well as a friendly bar atmosphere. Just watch out for the wrought iron steps.
- Off The Record Bar, 800 16th St., NW, Tel (202) 638-6600, . Recognized by Forbes.com as one of the world’s best hotel bars, Off the Record is known as Washington’s place to be seen and not heard.
- The Quincy, 1823 L Street NW, Tel +1 202 223-432, . A small luxury hotel located in the Farragut North area of downtown Washington DC, offering a variety of extended stay suites, meeting rooms, and vacation packages for both leisure and business travelers.
- Renaissance M Street Hotel, 1143 New Hampshire Avenue NW, +1 202 775-0800, . Near Georgetown and Dupont Circle areas - just minutes away from the city's landmark attractions.
- The Hay-Adams Hotel, 800 16th St., NW, Tel (202) 638-6600, . A prominent historic hotels in Washington, DC, this small luxury hotel has an ideal location right near the white house and offers luxury and corporate suite accommodation.
- Ritz Carlton Washington, DC, 1150 22nd St. NW, in the West End,.
- Westin Grand,, 2350 M St. NW, in the West End, .