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:
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.
(includes information about the Jefferson, Lincoln, and FDR Memorials)
Washington D.C. dog-friendly places including Accommodations, Attractions,
Outdoor Restaurants and Parks.
Detour: Visit dog-friendly places in nearby Alexandria
and Arlington, Virginia.