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Access Washington, D. C. (Access Travel Guides Series)

Access Washington, D. C. (Access Travel Guides Series)

by Saul Wurman, Beth Luberecki

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With Access Washington, DC, your visit will be an easy, enjoyable experience -- monuments, history, and our nation's capital city are at your fingertips.

Washington, DC, has been divided and organized into neighborhoods, so you know where you are and where you're headed.

Unique color-coded and numbered entries allow you to discover the


With Access Washington, DC, your visit will be an easy, enjoyable experience -- monuments, history, and our nation's capital city are at your fingertips.

Washington, DC, has been divided and organized into neighborhoods, so you know where you are and where you're headed.

Unique color-coded and numbered entries allow you to discover the best:

  • Hotels
  • Resturants
  • Attraction
  • Shopping Sights
  • Parks and Outdoor Spaces

Large, easy-to-read maps with entry numvers keyed to text ensure that you will instantly find what you must not miss.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Access Travel Guides
Product dimensions:
5.28(w) x 9.28(h) x 0.59(d)

Read an Excerpt


It takes only an image or two to evoke Washington DC: the tiered dome of the Capitol, the tall white needle of the Washington Monument, or the Romanesque elegance of the White House. It's no wonder that first-time visitors to the city feel a sense of déjà vu: They've seen many of the sites countless times on TV, in editorial page cartoons, and in the movies.

Images of the capital possess a certain importance and formality: Imposing structures and institutions house a workforce with a single mindset-the governing of a nation. Along with this mission goes plenty of pomp-monuments, memorials, museums, and statuary. The Mall with its powerhouse sites-the National Gallery and the most popular museum in our country, the National Air and Space Museum-is certainly not to be missed. After all, it's also home to the cherished Lincoln Memorial and the poignant Vietnam Veterans Memorial, both deeply meaningful to our nation's history.

But after making the requisite pilgrimages, the visitor won't be long in discovering the "other Washington," a city of human scale. By law the skyline is low-level, to emphasize the Capitol and the memorials, and many of the city's neighborhoods reveal shady, quiet streets, lined with charming town houses-perfect for a stroll in spring or fall.

It also has more green space than you'd imagine possible in a city, from the remarkably pristine Rock Creek Park to The Mall, America's "backyard" an the scene of many political demonstrations and holiday celebrations. Transport yourself with a stroll through the lush, formal gardens of Dumbarton Oaks; a wonderland of terraces,pools, and arbors, it's DC's best kept secret. On weekends at Capitol Hill's Eastern Market, Congressional representatives, TV newscasters, and other familiar faces may appear amid the crowd of regular city dwellers, here sampling a farmers' market chock-full of produce, picking over handmade crafts, or haggling with flea market merchants.

In terms of nightlife, it's true that Washington isn't red hot, like its northern neighbor, New York City. But DC's nightlife has its charms-from ethnic food sampling and bar hopping in funky, mobbed Adams-Morgan, to a performance in the Kennedy Center's elegant Opera House. Or maybe Georgetown's Blues Alley is your preference, with the hottest jazz and headliners around.

And don't confine your sense of Washington inside its famous Beltway. The nearby suburbs in Maryland and Virginia have their own rich history and other surprises, too, like a burgeoning collection of first-rate ethnic restaurants-especially those serving Southeast Asian cuisines. Not far away is Baltimore, a city with its own charms and plenty of gritty character. Catch a baseball game at Camden Yards, or visit the renowned Baltimore Museum of Art and the beautifully restored Inner Harbor with its sparkling waterfront and aquarium.

Although politics is the local sport, most Washingtonians do not live and die by which party is in power, and the viciousness that characterizes political rhetoric (remember the Clinton-Starr circus?) is remarkably absent in the District's citizenry. Just stop and ask someone for directions, and you're likely to get a detailed and friendly response. Summing up DC and its environs with a single image-no matter how powerful-could hardly do the area justice. The Capitol, the Washington Monument, and the White House are only just the beginning. The Washington described between these covers offers something for every taste-regardless of political stripe.

Getting to DC Airports

Located 10 miles south of Baltimore and 32 miles north of Washington, BWI used to be called Friendship International (and still is by some oldtimers). The main terminal is a two-level building with access roadways on each level. The bi-level design separates arriving and departing passengers. You can walk directly from individual airline entrances to ticket counters no more than 50 feet away. From there, all 40 departure gates are easily accessible.

Arriving passengers go directly to the lower level, where they find two baggage-claim areas, customs, car rentals, and ground transportation. Airport services include the usual complement of bars, restaurants, and a duty-free shop. For general nonflight airport information, call 410/859.7111 (Baltimore) or 301/261.1000 (DC area).

Getting to and from Baltimore. Washington International Airport By Bus and Van DC city buses don't go to and from this airport however, the SuperShuttle (800/258.3826, 41 0/859.0803) leaves from the airport every half hour from 5:30AM to midnight. Purchase tickets ($28 one way, $56 round trip) at the Transportation Desk in the center of the airport near Pier C. In DC, the SuperShuttle drops off and picks up passengers at Union Station (50 Massachusetts Ave NE, at First St); it also offers door-to-door service. BWI Airport Connection (800/284.6066, 301/441.2345) offers door-to-door van service. The average cost is $35 for one person, $42 for two. Reserve at least 24 hours in advance. By Car The drive between Downtown DC and BWI is about 45 minutes, except during rush hour, when the trip can take at least a half-hour longer. The most direct route to DC from BWI is to take Interstate 195 north from the airport to the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (less than a mile) and proceed south. The BW Parkway ends just outside the District's limits; from there, New York Avenue leads into the Downtown area. An alternate route is to take Interstate 195 north to Interstate 95 (about 6 miles) and proceed south to the Capital Beltway (where 95 continues). Continue to the Bill Parkway heading south, or go west on the Beltway (1-495) and get off at any number of major exits (Georgia or Connecticut Avenues, Rockville Pike/Wisconsin Avenue) heading south to DC. For those driving to the airport, a large parking garage is located close to the one and only terminal; satellite lots (which are cheaper) are a short shuttle bus ride away. For shuttle bus departure times, check with the airport's Service Desk or call Hudson General at 410/684.3904.

Rental Cars

The following rental car companies have 24-hour counters at the airport:

Alamo -410/850.5011, 800/327.9633

Avis - 410/859.1680, 800/331.1212

Budget - 410/859.0850, 800/527.0700

Dollar - 800/421.6868

Hertz - 410/850.7400, 800/654.3131

National - 410/859.8860, 800/227.7368

Thrifty - 410/859.1136, 800/367.2277

By Limousine

The Dulles Airport Express Taxi (202/737.5500) serves all three Washington airports Triple Crown (410/850.4100) offers door-to-door service throughout the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas. All major credit cards are accepted. Both services charge approximately $65 one way between BWI and Downtown DC.

By Taxi

Taxi service is available from the airport to Baltimore and Washington. A dispatcher is always on duty; call 410/859.1100. For a 45-minute non-rushhour ride to Downtown Washington, expect to pay upward of $45.

Meet the Author

With the publication of his first book in 1962 at the age of 26, Richard Saul Wurman began the singular passion of his life: that of making information understandable. A holder of both M. Arch. & B. Arch. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, he has been awarded several grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Graham Fellowships & two Chandler Fellowships. In 1991, Richard Saul Wurman received the Kevin Lynch Award from MIT for his creation of the ACCESS travel guides. In 1994, he was named a Fellow of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland & awarded a Doctorate of Fine Arts by the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. In 1995, he received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Art Center College of Design & was Chairman of Graphic Design & Product/Industrial Design of the1995 Presidential Design Awards.

Richard Saul Wurman continues to be a regular consultant to major corporations in matters relating to the design & understanding of information. He is married to novelist Gloria Nagy, has 4 children & lives in Newport, Rhode Island.

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