Washington Travel Guide

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Smithsonian Air and Space Museum to Get First Refresh Since the 1970s

April 16, 2014 at 9:42 AM | by | Comments (0)

We checked out the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum when we were kids, and when we visited it recently—it looked exactly as we remembered it. Turns out that things haven’t really changed much since the place’s debut back in 1976, but thankfully that’s about to change as the place is undergoing a little bit of a 21st century facelift.

There will be some temporary closures of exhibits over the next two years, but it’s a small price to pay to get things looking shiny and new once again. Obviously history hasn’t really changed, but the curator folks are changing up what they’re showing off. Things from the Apollo moon landing will now be one of the main features that greet guests, while great goodies from the past like the Spirit of St. Louis, the Mercury capsule from the first Earth orbit, and an Apollo Lunar Module will all be some of the stuff on display.

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Travel Contest Alert: Be One of the First Inside the Reopened Washington Monument

April 9, 2014 at 1:06 PM | by | Comments (0)

You'd think, with Instagram celebrating its fourth birthday this year, that the limits of intriguing new accounts would be stretched. Alas, we still find new and interesting people to follow, and one such account is @usinterior. It's actually the official account of the US Department of the Interior.

They've been active on the app for nearly two years, but only now are they taking the step to get interactive, announcing a contest to join in their first Insta-Meet for the reopening of the Washington Monument on May 12. You see, the monument closed after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook the DC area in 2011. This caused cracks near the top of the monument, closing it indefinitely...or at least until May 12.

The opportunity to be among the first back into the national landmark sounds awesome, but there is a major catch:

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2014's Peak Dates for Cherry Blossom Viewing in Washington, DC

March 11, 2014 at 10:56 AM | by | Comments (0)

We already let you know about the goings on at this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival, and now we know all about the most important part of the festival. That’s because the National Park Service has run the data and reviewed the numbers, and they’re ready to make the prediction regarding the timing for this year’s peak bloom period.

Obviously there’s a little luck behind things in addition to the science and the skill, but for 2014 it sounds like they’re thinking that peak bloom will be between April 8 and April 12. That’s a little later than usual—blame it on the harsh winter?—as things usually reach their full flowering potential around April 8.

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Even Washington DC's Reagan National Airport Will Improve Pre-flight Dining

March 6, 2014 at 11:11 AM | by | Comments (0)

It seems that each and every week we hear about new restaurants hitting the airport dining scene, and this week is no exception. At this point you probably know that Sbarro and Starbucks are out in favor of some high end concourse cuisine, and that’s exactly what they’re getting over at Reagan National Airport’s Terminal A—the good stuff.

Fans of Top Chef and The Chew will want to head to the airport a little bit earlier than usual, as they’ll need time to check out one of the latest ventures from Carla Hall. It’ll be a little bit of time before things start serving up terminal treats, as it seems like the middle of 2015 is the target opening date.

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Where to See Baby Lions While the DC Zoo's Webcam is Offline

February 28, 2014 at 5:58 PM | by | Comments (0)

Zookeepers at Washington DC's National Zoo, which literally shares a driveway with Jaunted's DC headquarters, have been doing their best to keep the public informed about the pair of baby lions born in late January to mother Nababiep. Medical exams of the cubs have revealed that they are "adorable" - that's an actual quote - and for the first few weeks fans from around the world could track the infants on the zoo's lion cam.

Recently, however, the lion cam feeds have gone dark in anticipation of another impending litter, this time to Nababiep's sister Shera. There's a more robust explanation of where each lioness hangs out, and how that influenced the decision to cut the feeds, here. But the short story is that - for now - the Internet has one less place with baby lions.

Whatever are people to do?

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Mark Your Calendars for 2014's Cherry Blossom Festival

February 19, 2014 at 1:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

Despite the look of things outdoors we really are going to see the sun sooner than later, as spring is just about 30 days away. That means it is time to start planning for all things warm weather, and that includes looking forward to some seasonal festivals. We’re not saying that the National Cherry Blossom Festival is the best way to welcome the spring, but the festival certainly isn’t a bad idea.

It’s still a little too soon for the National Park Service to forecast their prediction for when things will begin to bloom, but we do know that this year’s festival will do its thing between March 20 and April 13. Obviously the blooms in and around the nation’s capital and along the Potomac will be the stars of the show, but there are also plenty of other events worth checking out.

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Find Your Way to The Smithsonian's New Navigation Exhibition

April 18, 2013 at 8:37 AM | by | Comments (0)

If you’re tying to figure out how the world moved around prior to Google Maps, then now’s a good time head down to the museums of the Smithsonian. The Air and Space Museum is holding a new exhibit all about getting from here to there—and back again—so set your GPS to Gallery 213 on the second floor of the east wing.

The exhibit–Time and Navigation–aims to transport visitors back hundreds of years, for a sneak a peek into the tools of the trade from the past. Clocks, compasses, and other navigation devices will be on display, basically anything which deals with keeping accurate time. In total there’s around 144 different objects on display, and they’ve got things broken down into five sections: Navigation for Everyone; Navigating at Sea; Navigating in the Air; Navigating in Space; and Inventing Satellite Navigation. No word on if they have a special place to discuss the bummer that is Apple Maps.

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The Wine-Friendly 'Starbucks Evenings' Concept Opens at the Airport

December 26, 2012 at 11:04 AM | by | Comments (0)

Not too long ago we heard about one of those special new Starbucks heading over to LAX—the kind of Sbux with the wine. While it will be a little bit more time before that sucker opens to the traveling public, in the interim we can take a flight over to Washington-Dulles International Airport because they just cut the ribbon on the very first airport location of Starbucks Evenings.

HMSHost—they’re the ones behind many of your favorite and not-so-favorite airport restaurants—partnered up with Starbucks for this spot at the airport. It’s kind of just like any other airport Starbucks in that they’ll still serve up lattes and frappuccinos, but there's a twist.

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Another Tree You'll Want to See is in Washington DC

November 14, 2012 at 3:48 PM | by | Comments (0)

The fall tours of the White House Gardens may have already come and gone, but the holidays bring other special, Presidential events. For example, there's the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, which goes down December 6 on the Ellipse nearby the White House.

This will be the 90th annual National Tree lighting, which gives it a full decade more seniority over the Rockefeller Center Tree, and the night promises "nationally known entertainers and a United States military band," plus the President's message of peace.

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Design Under Your Derriere: The Eames 'Tandem Sling' Airport Chair

October 4, 2012 at 4:06 PM | by | Comments (0)

Look at your chair right now. What is it made of? What's its shape? Is it comfortable? No matter your answers, there's a good chance that chair pales in comparison to one most commonly found in airports. Hear us out.

The strikingly modernist terminal building of Washington-Dulles International may have been designed by Eero Saarinen, but...those stylish rows of black chairs inside? Credit for these goes to Charles & Ray Eames. Perhaps you've heard their names before? They were, after all, behind other iconic furniture designs such as the DAR and No. 670, but without a doubt it's their "Tandem Sling" you'll likely encounter the most in your lifetime if you fly through US airports with any regularity.

Dulles, believe it or not, was the first airport engineered to accommodate jets. It opened in 1962, the same year the Eames' Tandem Sling was copyrighted, which isn't a coincidence; the Tandem Sling debuted with the airport, also counting the freshly built Chicago-O'Hare Airport as a client.

You'll still see (and sit on) these chairs at these airports today, not to mention the fact that many, many other airports followed suit. We snapped the photos below just a few days ago at Detroit-Metro, for example.

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One More Reason to Visit DC's National Zoo: A New Baby Panda!

September 17, 2012 at 2:20 PM | by | Comments (0)

BAM! Last night at 10:46pm the National Zoo in Washington, DC welcomed a new baby panda into the world. We noticed that something was amiss outside Jaunted's zoo-adjacent DC headquarters this morning—news vans were gathering to take pictures and video, because Anchorman is far closer to reality than anyone in broadcast journalism wants to admit—and so we investigated.

The result of the investigation was the picture at the top of this post, with the reporters doing interviews with cherubic crotch-dumplings and their mothers, and the news about the baby panda. YouTube video of the birth is embedded below and the relevant Twitter hashtag for updates is #cubwatch. Zoo travel social media completionism, is what that is.

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Kegger at the Zoo! DC's National Zoo Literally Taps into Summer

June 27, 2012 at 3:50 PM | by | Comments (0)

The National Zoo, which as we've mentioned before is mere feet away from Jaunted's Washington DC offices, is literally a work in progress. When you walk through the park you see construction everywhere, with signs promising that huge changes are right around the corner. In the meantime they've managed to get baby otters and baby monkeys and baby cheetahs and baby wolves—all of which combine to ensure that visitors remain interested and distracted while the under-construction buildings and exhibits inch toward completion.

And just to make sure that people stay interested, zoo officials are hosting an evening of beer drinking on July 12. As a description, we can't do much better than the blurb on the official event page: "Conservationists around the globe are plagued by the same question, 'What can we do to help?' Here at the National Zoo, we have an answer: Drink beer." We like all of the things in all of those sentences.

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