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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, my wife are kicking around the idea of a week in D.C. this coming September. If anyone is familiar with the area, could you recommend a motel that is perhaps adjacent to one of the many bike trails? I was thinking perhaps something along the C and O canal. Our plan would be to be able to leave the car at the motel and see most of the sights and ride the trails. Would love to be able to ride to Mt. Vernon as well. Thank you.

PS Most likely be using our mountain bikes for this trip.
 

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Bicycle Radical
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There are a few places you can stay which will be within easy riding distance of several trails. Crystal City is a good option as you will be very close to the Mount Vernon Trail that can take you to Mount Vernon or to Arlington and DC.

There are also some decent places in Arlington which may be reasonably priced and close to the Custis/W&OD.

From what I know, there aren't many hotels (if any) near the C&O Canal unless you want to stay in Georgetown.
 

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Hi, my wife are kicking around the idea of a week in D.C. this coming September. If anyone is familiar with the area, could you recommend a motel that is perhaps adjacent to one of the many bike trails? I was thinking perhaps something along the C and O canal. Our plan would be to be able to leave the car at the motel and see most of the sights and ride the trails. Would love to be able to ride to Mt. Vernon as well. Thank you.

PS Most likely be using our mountain bikes for this trip.
The best intersection point of the major trails (C&O, Mount Vernon, W&OD, and Capitol Crescent) is Rosslyn area of Arlington, Virginia. It also has Metro stops, and has many hotels.

It's bike friendly and within sight of the National Mall and Georgetown. That's where I'd stay if I was visiting.
 

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I'd second Crystal City.

Rosslyn isn't a bad choice but doesn't offer quite as many dinning options as CC. You could head up to the Willson Blvd area of Arlington from Rosslyn, apx 1-2 miles, be aware it's a pretty fair climb. Maybe not the best after a day ridding. The Court House Metro is a 1 stop trip (10min). Hitting George Town would be another option from Rosslyn it's an easy ride or metro trip from Rosslyn but for sure you could walk it in 15-20min. Just depends if you want to step out of your hotel to dinner or have to do a 15-25min trip.

While CC is farther from the C&O it's closer to Mt. Vernon and Old Town Alexandria.

All three choices have easy trail access and are bike friendly. Though George Town is somewhat less bike friendly. Meaning there is less trail signage, fewer bike lockups, a short section of the waterfront is off limits to bikes.

Mt. Vernon is a nice ride for a bike trail ride, the C&O isn't as lovely as most expect, you don't have as much of a view of the river as you might think. Seeing the monuments by bike is by far the best way of doing so. Just be sure you bring some solid locks.

Cheers,
NM
 

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I'd have to second Rosslyn. I commute from Vienna, VA into DC most days and ride right through Rosslyn. There's a metro station there as well. From Rosslyn you can walk/ride across the Key Bridge to Georgetown and ride up the Capitol Cresent Traln along the river into MD. You can also hit the C&O canal in Georgetown. That can be nice if the weather is good. Its not paved, but pretty smooth packed gravel/rocks. You can also hit the bike path in VA, ride along the river and cross the 14-th Street Bridge into DC. That puts you right in the middle of the mall. If you keep going on the path in VA, you end up at Mount Vernon, which is kind of interesting. You'll pass through Old Town Alexandria on the way to MV, which is kind of scenic.

I wouldn't worry about staying someplace that has good restaurants or night life. Neither Rosslyn or Crystal City is what I'd consider a cultural mecca. Hop on the metro and go to DuPont Circle, or walk over to Georgetown for dinner. Rosslyn is much closer to where you want to be than CC. Maybe the hotel in CC are cheaper? I don't know.
 

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Jeffie
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Rosslyn is the spot. I recommend the Best Western Iwo Jima - less than a mile from the C&O and Mount Vernon (access to W&OD), and within 2 miles of the Custis trail. I've had friends stay there, and while it isn't the Ritz, it's totally fine for a few nights. Bike by there 5 times a week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you to all the posters for the excellent info. This is going to be a fun trip to plan. Do most of the Smithsonian museums have a place out front to lock bikes?
 

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As was said...Rosslyn is ideal for what you want. More specifically...the Key Bridge Marriott is my recommendation... located literally on the W&OD (Custis) / Mount Vernon trails, and you can ride directly across the bridge to get on the C&O or Capital Crescent with 2 blocks. Plus the view from the top floor restaurant is among the best in the city. The metro stop is also only 2 blocks away. if you can come in the Spring, May-June is the prettiest time of year here.
 

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Thank you to all the posters for the excellent info. This is going to be a fun trip to plan. Do most of the Smithsonian museums have a place out front to lock bikes?
I've never noticed bike racks, but there parking meters and what not to lock them to. The mall area is pretty safe. You want to lock your bike, but I wouldn't worry too much about the place being teeming with bike thieves. If you're going to spend a day on the mall, which you should, I'd just hop the metro to the Smithsonian station and walk around. Keeping track of bikes might be more hassle than it's worth. I find the Capitol Cresent trail to be really nice, you might want to try a ride on that.
 

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Another vote for Rosslyn...easy access to Metro, local eating/entertainment, and cycling.

Crystal City's not a bad alternative though...
 

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Thank you to all the posters for the excellent info. This is going to be a fun trip to plan. Do most of the Smithsonian museums have a place out front to lock bikes?
You can rent bikes through the city of Wash. DC. It's called "Capital Bike Share". Wife and I were there last year and saw people using them. We didn't know or we would have gotten them also. You go to a bike rack and take any available bike, then ride them to Smithsonian, or where ever, and lock them into the available bike rack. When you're ready to go somewhere else, just grab any available bike from the rack and go. It's a great idea. You don't need to take the metro to go places. The bikes are not built for speed though. Here's the link: Capital Bikeshare
 

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The CABI bike program is a big hit in DC. There are literally hundreds of places where you can get a bike and then return it. You don't have to return it where you picked it up. You drop it off at any one of their hundreds of racks. I've never ridden them, but I can say that they look fairly clunky, heavy and slow. OK for riding a couple of miles, but not much more than that. And no one wears a helmert when riding them.
 

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I haven't heard anything about $Price$ yet. Both Rosslyn (excellent choice) and Crystal City (also good) have great access to both DC and the biking trails, but neither will be inexpensive. Everything is relative. Cost may trump location, and you could get near the WO&D or Mount Vernon trails a lot cheaper (like $80) if you don't mind riding into the city from 15 miles out.

You might even want to stay directly in DC or Alexandria. The Kimpton Rouge is under $200 a night and very conveniently located in DC. Washington, DC Hotels | Hotel Rouge, a Boutique Hotel Near Dupont Circle There are also several Kimptons in Old Town Alexandria, and one of those is about $150/night.

That said, I really don't recommend mountain bikes for this. The WO&D, Mt Vernon, and whatever that trail from Georgetown to Bethesda are very nice, paved trails and you won't enjoy an MTB at all on them, especially on knobby tires. A cruiser/comfort bike would be perfect for touring the city. Or bring your street bikes with clipless for riding the excellent (and mostly very easy/fast) trails and rent the City Bikes for hacking around the monuments and museums downtown DC.
 

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The mall area is pretty safe. You want to lock your bike, but I wouldn't worry too much about the place being teeming with bike thieves.
Being an Police officer in Dc, specifically the 1st district, where all these places are at, you couldnt be more wrong! If you have nice bikes, leave them at home. I would suggest buying some cheap Walmart bikes just for the trip, and if they get stolen, oh well! or another option is to use the Capital Bike share bikes. When your done, donate them to one of the many many homeless shelters in the area, or just leave them unlocked and walk away, thell find new homes rather quickly!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Being an Police officer in Dc, specifically the 1st district, where all these places are at, you couldnt be more wrong! If you have nice bikes, leave them at home. I would suggest buying some cheap Walmart bikes just for the trip, and if they get stolen, oh well! or another option is to use the Capital Bike share bikes. When your done, donate them to one of the many many homeless shelters in the area, or just leave them unlocked and walk away, thell find new homes rather quickly!
Hi, thanks for the headsup, the mountain bikes we will be using for our forays into DC proper are old but we will be bringing a hefty lock.
 

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Hi, thanks for the headsup, the mountain bikes we will be using for our forays into DC proper are old but we will be bringing a hefty lock.
The biggest issue currently is people stealing the wheels, and leaving the frames. So make sure your lock goes through the wheels and the frame. Also your not allowed to lock to street signs, trees, etc in DC. While this isnt usually enforced, if you get some new officer that is bored or just a total prick, it could be a hassle for you more than anything.
 

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Email me ... can negotiate 105 brifters for room, kitchen privileges, pool, spa, Kuerigs or Starbucks, and lake with kayaks ... near the W&OD
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... and a 50:50 chance that the metro will be open a mile from here.
 
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