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Staycation: Open Top Sightseeing

November 14, 2011

Grab your NOW Guides, friends, because it’s time for more sightseeing.

Last month, I used my NOW Pass to tour the Newseum. This month, it was time to take advantage of Open Top Sightseeing before it got too cold. If you live in a big city, you’ve probably seen these big, red buses. They’re everywhere from Las Vegas to London, Abu Dhabi to Shanghai. If you only have a limited amount of time to cover a lot of ground, a sightseeing bus gives some freedom. Plus, you’re not trapped underground on the Metro.

Although promotional images to the contrary, there aren’t any views quite like this:

The tour offers three routes where you can hop-on, hop-off. Want to spend an afternoon wandering around the Mall’s museums, then get back on the bus and continue to your next stop? No problem. Want to ride the entire loop first to get a bird’s-eye view of the city? Go for it.

The Red Route is the basic introductory tour of Washington — the Mall, the monuments, the museums. DC is beautiful year-round, so you really can’t lose.

Be sure to take get off the bus and take some time to wander around a museum. You never know what you’ll find…

The Yellow Route covers the historic route, including Georgetown and National Cathedral. Georgetown is magical in the fall — in between shopping, eating cupcakes and taking lots of photos, be sure to admire the natural beauty, too.

The Blue Route crosses the Potomac River to the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery, where you get the best views of the city.

Normally I’m not a fan of bus tours and barring some extraordinary circumstance, I’d always prefer to walk vs. take a bus, and always prefer to explore a new city alone instead of with a guide or group. But for the right kind of traveler, especially for someone with mobility issues who isn’t comfortable navigating Washington solo or on-foot, Open Top Sightseeing is a great way to explore.

Have you taken an Open Top Sightseeing bus before? Thoughts?

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 14, 2011 8:06 am

    I’ve never done a sightseeing bus tour before, but we did the Circle Line cruise around Manhattan last year. Like you, I’m more about being alone instead of with a guide, but it was awesome. I’d definitely go again!

    That picture of Georgetown is beautiful. What a quaint, inviting charm it has!

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