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Posted at 4:24 PM ET, 10/ 6/2006

Getting a Leg Up on D.C.

By Anne Kenderdine

In our Got Plans? discussion yesterday, College Park, Md., wrote: "My boyfriend's sister is visiting next week from Quebec. She is six months pregnant, tires easily, but wants to see Washington. Any ideas on how to navigate touristy D.C. under these conditions?"

Washington is eminently walkable, and since our traffic is notorious and there is minimal parking near many tourist attractions, exploring on foot is an ideal way to get around -- if your health allows it.

If not, mass transit is a good way to go. Washington's ubiquitous tour operators, Tourmobile and the Old Town Trolley, hit dozens of essential places to see in a short time, and you can get on and off whenever you like, but for a fee of about $20 and $30, respectively.

The Circulator buses run two routes along common tourist thoroughfares for a much cheaper price ($1), albeit without the instructional narration. They come frequently, and their cheerful red design makes them easy to spot. Don't forget about public transportation, either: the Metrobus 30 series runs from Maryland/D.C. border at Friendship Heights (high-end shopping galore) all the way across the city to the Naylor Road Metro station in Maryland. The line passes by the Washington National Cathedral, the heart of Georgetown, the White House, Penn Quarter, the Mall along Independence Avenue, Eastern Market and many downtown Metro stations. Being high up in the bus assists your view, and you just request a stop if you need a snack or a particular area catches your fancy. And conveniently, for the mom-to-be, that route passes by several of D.C.'s adorable shops for little ones, like Piccolo Piggies, K Baby and Dawn Price Baby.

For visitors who don't run like the Energizer Bunny, look for locations with an abundance of seating, refreshments and people-watching or views to take in while you're resting. One Guru says her grandparents found their stop at the National World War II Memorial accommodated many of those needs. How have you found success in touring D.C. without a lot of strain on the feet? Share your tips in the comments below.

-- Anne

By Anne Kenderdine  | October 6, 2006; 4:24 PM ET
Categories:  Misc.  
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Is it too late to tell them to get tickets to ride the Old Town Trolley? They do a good job and you can hit every site, even if it is sitting on the trolley. You can get on and off as you wish.

Posted by: elle | October 17, 2006 5:17 PM | Report abuse

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