Thanks everyone. I switched my search to"DC attractions" and found a decent map. Between that and the Metro map, that I found yesterday, along with your replies I have a better understanding of where the stations are.
assuming you have a smartphone, there are timetable apps for the DC Metro and bus lines that are very useful. For example, weekend schedules are reduced in frequencies compared to week days. The apps can coordinate the bus and train schedules plus provide some guidance for train changes. Commuter crowds were not at all bad on the Metro. Worse crowds (but more trains) happen when Washington National baseball games end.
It has been years since the wife & I have visited Washington DC. Since that time we both have gotten a lot older and don't do well with long walks. Is there a way you can see Washington without too much walking. My wife uses a scooter most of the time. Can you rent scooters at the Mall.
There are a number of tour options for people who can't walk the 5 to 10 miles a day it takes to see most of D.C. Options include HOHO buses, conventional bus tours, Segway tours, small group tours, and private guided tours.
Most places we've gone where the sightseeing is spread over a wide area (St. Petersburg, Rome, Naples) and we needed to see the most in the least amount of time, private tours for a group size of 4-8 have been the best value, usually not much more than the cost of touring on a motorcoach with 40-60 people, which has fewer stops, and about 1/2 the actual sightseeing time because of the extra time it takes to manage the mob on the bus. In DC, this is typically a limo tour. You can do the same as a couple, but it much more expensive per person if you can't put together a group to share cost.
If you just want to see the central area, and can do some walking once you get to each place, a hop-on, hop-off bus is a less expensive option. We've done this in almost every major city we've visited. However, compared to a limo or van tour, you will lose a lot of time waiting for the bus, and sitting on the bus as it stands at each stop while someone tries to drum up more clients.
Search "Washington DC Tours" on Yahoo or Google. Most of the links will be to booking agents with access to a number of tour options.
I was TDY to DC for three months in 1968, duty station in one of the WW2 Tempos on the Mall (location of Smithsonian A&S) today. At lunchtime I could wander a mile or two on the Mall. Each weekend day free, I would pick a different starting point and walk 5-10 miles within a 2-3 mile radius. In 12 weeks, I didn't see everything I wanted to see.
I couldn't do this 40 years later, though I'm still good for at least five miles a day. With the mobility I have now, I would be using hop-on hop-off, or the public bus system, from the Metro station that would be my entry point,
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edited 04/06/12 11:00am by tatest *
Rv park has maps, metro stops have a sign at each location so you won't have trouble getting where you want to go. We stayed a week and I carried a metro map in my pocket and only looked at it a couple of times.