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Washington, D.C:
Explore the Nation's Capitol and Visit a Presidential Dog

Your pooch is welcome to visit the Nation's Capitol, where millions of visitors from around the country and the world come every year to experience the history and symbolism of America. You will be able to visit memorials built for past presidents and war heroes. You can also stop by the viewing fence at the White House to possibly catch a glimpse of our President. It is unlikely that your dog will be able to meet Spotty or Barney, President Bush's dogs, or Jackson and Dave, Vice President Cheney's dogs. However, your best friend can take a photo next to the statue of Fala, Franklin D. Roosevelt's faithful canine companion. And the fun does not stop there. Come prepared for a busy, but enjoyable weekend.

If you want to stay in the heart of D.C., make a reservation at the dog-friendly Jefferson Hotel, a hotel now owned by Loews Hotels. Built in 1923, this hotel is located just four blocks from the White House. All of the 100 guest rooms are appointed with one-of-a-kind antiques. And all rooms offer modern amenities like VCR and CD players, mini-bars, hairdryers, phones, voicemail and Internet access. Hotel amenities include 24 hour room service. Your pooch will feel welcome knowing that the Jefferson even has a special room service pet menu just for dogs (and cats). This hotel, being a Loew's Hotel, also offers many more amenities for pets. Dogs can enjoy special treats, a signature dog bowl, a list of dog walking routes of the area, and a list of pet-friendly restaurants around town. Room rates start at about $200 per night and up. There is no extra charge for pets.

Once you arrive to the nation's Capitol, a little sightseeing is in order. Dogs are allowed at the National Mall which consists of open space and green parks. Many of the memorials are located in and around the National Mall. Your dog can visit the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials with one caveat. According to the National Park Service which maintains the memorials, well-behaved dogs are allowed on leash except in the covered chambers where the statues are located. This still provides your pooch with a great view of the presidential statues. While at the Lincoln Memorial, enjoy the Reflection Pool which lays between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. For you movie buffs, one of the scenes in the movie Forrest Gump was filmed at the Reflection Pool.

Want a memorial that you and your pooch can really explore? Visit the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial which is all outdoors and welcomes dogs everywhere, except in the visitor's center. The statue of FDR is complimented with a statue of Fala, FDR's black Scottish Terrier canine companion. Your pooch will be able to say "cheese" next to this larger than life size statue of Fala. This memorial also has a self-guided audio tour available at the visitor's center. Rent a cassette and cassette player and tour the outdoor memorial.

Another memorial of interest is the Arlington National Cemetery. You will have to drive to this one in Arlington, Virginia, but the national cemetery allows well-behaved, leashed dogs everywhere except inside the visitor's building. They ask that you please respect the grounds here. Your dog can accompany you honor our nation's war heroes, and visit monuments and memorials like the Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial, Pan Am Flight 103 Memorial and John F. Kennedy's grave.

Back in Washington, D.C., very close to the Jefferson Hotel, you and your pup can check out the White House at the viewing fence. This is a spot where tourists gather to get a photo of the White House and possibly catch a glimpse of President Bush. Your best friend can try to catch a glimpse of Spotty or Barney.

If this has not satisfied your sightseeing needs, you can view Washington D.C. landmarks from another vantage point. Well-behaved dogs are welcome aboard the Capitol River Cruises in Georgetown. This water tour of Washington takes about 50 minutes and passes by most of the major downtown attractions. Just note that you might have to carry or lift your pooch onto the boat. There is a tricky step between the dock and the boat, so be careful that your pooch makes it safely on board. Once on the boat tour, you can purchase drinks and bags of chips and other goodies.

Speaking of food, there is a dog-friendly outdoor restaurant near the Capitol River Cruises dock. The Riverside Grille located on the Potomac River, allows dogs to dine at the perimeter tables. This restaurant specialties are seafood, steak and pasta. Lunch prices start at about $8 and include sandwiches, pizzas, and chicken and steak entrees. Dinner prices start at about $20 and include entrees like chicken and shrimp pasta, and New York steak. If you go, come early as the tables fill up fast.

If you have never been to the Nation's Capitol, it is quite a memorable experience. What makes it really enjoyable though is being able to bring your loyal pooch with you to view many of the world famous memorials and sites. If you go, keep in mind that the middle of summer can get pretty hot and humid. And you'll probably want to avoid fourth of July weekends unless your pooch does not mind very loud and lengthy fireworks.

For more information:

Jefferson Hotel-A Loew's Hotel, 1200 16th St NW, Washington, D.C., 202-347-2200

Riverside Grille, 3050 K St NW, Washington, D.C., 202-342-3535

Arlington National Cemetery, Memorial Drive, Arlington, VA, 703-607-8052
Capitol River Cruises, 31st and K St, NW (Georgetown), Washington, D.C., 301-460-7447
National Mall, Washington, D.C. 202-485-9880
(includes information about the Jefferson, Lincoln, and FDR Memorials)

More Washington D.C. dog-friendly places including Accommodations, Attractions, Outdoor Restaurants and Parks.

Detour: Visit dog-friendly places in nearby Alexandria and Arlington, Virginia.



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Before you visit an establishment or place, please contact them and verify that they are still dog-friendly and available, as policies and management change frequently. All places listed on require your dog to be leashed and under your direct control unless specified  otherwise by an establishments (including parks and beaches) management. Please be aware of local Breed-Specific Laws that may be in place where you are visiting. The information on this site is not a recommendation., Inc. makes no warranties or representations of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation of the site or the information, content, materials, or products included on this site. If you find an establishment that no longer allows dogs, please let us know so we can remove them from our list. For full Rules and Regulations for Use of This Site, including the legal disclaimer and copyright notices,  click here before using the site
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