Getting to NIST Gaithersburg – for driving directions and public transportation information click here
When staying in Montgomery County, you can enjoy everything the area has to offer while still being a short metro ride away from the nation's capital. Take a walk along the national mall and enjoy the iconic monuments and memorials, including the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and the World War II Memorial. History lovers will be in heaven touring the Smithsonian museums, and you can even stop by the visitor's centers of the U.S. Capitol and White House. The best part is, almost everything is completely free!
Washington DC Information and Tours
Here is a list of sites that we think you might be especially interested in. Many are accessible by Metro, and there are shuttles from NIST or the Holiday Inn to Shady Grove Metro station.
If you want to explore the National Mall, you may wish to get tickets on Big Bus Washington DC. A ticket allows you to get off, visit a site, then get back on as many times as you wish.
|Place||Est. Cost (if listed)||Address||Metro Accessible||Note||FAQ||Phone|
|Air & Space Museum||Free||Independence Ave at 6th Street, SW Washington, DC 20560||Smithsonian stop; short walk – Big Bus||Guided Tours available at 10:30 am and 1:00 pm.||here||202-633-2214|
|National Firearms Museum||Free||NRA Headquarters
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
|National Museum of Health and Medicine||Free||2500 Linden Ln, Silver Spring, MD 20910||Forest Glen stop; walk||here||301-319-3300|
|National Zoo||Free||3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008||Woodley Park – Zoo stop; short walk||Parking $22||here||202-633-4888|
|Newseum||Adult: $22.95 + tax||555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C., 20001||Archives/Navy Memorial stop – Big Bus||here||202-292-6100|
|Spy Museum||Adult: $21.95||800 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004||Gallery Place/Chinatown stop – Big Bus||here||202-393-7798|
|Library of Congress||Free||Thomas Jefferson Building
10 First Street SE
Washington, DC 20540
|Capitol South stop; short walk – Big Bus||Tours begin at 10:30am||here||202-707-8000|
|U.S. Capitol Building||Free||East Capitol Street Northeast & First St SE, Washington, DC 20004||Union Station or Capitol South stop; short walk – Big Bus||Must book tour well in advance; roughly 4-6 weeks is ideal in order to have the most selection for times.||here||202-226-8000|
|Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Musuem||Free||14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway Chantilly, Virginia 20151||Wiehle-Reston East stop, then bus to Udvar-Hazy||here||703-572-4118|
|Jefferson Memorial||Free||701 East Basin SW, Washington, DC 20242||Smithsonian stop; walk – Big Bus||Open 24 hours. Gift shop|
|Cold War Museum||The Cold War Museum
7142 Lineweaver Road
P.O. Box 861526
Vint Hill, VA 20187
|No||Opens at 11am; Spy Tours via bus require minimum of 25 people||540-341-2008|
|Mt. Vernon||Adult: $17||3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway
Mount Vernon, Virginia 22121
|NASA (Goddard)||Free||8800 Greenbelt Road
Greenbelt, MD 20771
|National Cryptologic Museum||Free||8290 Colony Seven Rd, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701||No||Must schedule guided tours in advance||301-688-5849|
|Potomac River Cruise||~$20, depending on cruise||205 The Strand, Alexandria, VA 22314||depends on choice of launch dock||There's many choices for a river cruise. This is the top rated one on Google. In November, anything on the river will be cold cold cold!||here||703-684-0580|
In addition to sites, there are many large shopping malls in the area.
|Lake Forest Mall||Across the street from Holiday Inn||No|
|Westfield Montgomery Mall||7101 Democracy Blvd, Bethesda, MD 20817||No|
|Tysons Corner / Tysons Galleria||1961 Chain Bridge Road, Tysons Corner, VA 22102||Tysons Corner stop|
|Crystal City Shops||1600 Crystal Dr, Arlington, VA 22202||Crystal City stop|
|Arundel Mills||7000 Arundel Mills Cir, Hanover, MD 21076||No|
|Potomac Mills||2700 Potomac Mills Cir, Woodbridge, VA 22192||No|
Two other places to hang out are Georgetown in the District of Columbia (Washington), with tons of shops and fun things to do (Megan's favorite is Baked & Wired), and Alexandria, Virginia, which is hip and fun with great restaurants.