Parking at the Hotels
All hotels have parking available. Current published rates for each 24-hour period are: Marriott—$22 self-park, $26 valet park (this has changed from the original prices of $19 and $24, as listed in the printed version of the Program, and the annual meeting supplement to the December 2003 Perspectives); Omni Shoreham—$22 self, $26 valet; Hilton Washington—$19 self, no valet; Capital Hilton—no self, $26 valet.
Parking in Washington can be frustrating—the police are quick to tow away or immobilize with a “boot” any vehicle parked illegally. (If you find you’ve been towed from a city street, call 202-727-5000.) Since the city’s most popular sights are within a short walk of a Metro station anyway, it’s best to leave your car at the hotel. There are many private parking lots downtown, but be aware that they can be expensive, charging as much as $4 an hour and $13 a day. There is free, two-hour parking around the Mall on Jefferson Drive and Madison Drive, though these spots are always filled. You can park free—in some spots all day—in parking areas off Ohio Drive near the Jefferson Memorial and south of the Lincoln Memorial on Ohio Drive and West Basin Drive in West Potomac Park.
Interstate 95 skirts Washington, D.C., as part of the Beltway, the six- to eight-lane highway that encircles the city. The eastern half of the Beltway is labeled both I-95 and I-495; the western half is just I-495. If you are coming from the south, take I-95 to I-395 and cross the 14th Street Bridge to 14th Street in the District. From the north, stay on I-95 south before heading west on Route 50, the John Hanson Highway, which turns into New York Avenue. Interstate 66 approaches the city from the southwest. You can get downtown by taking I-66 across the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge to Constitution Avenue. Interstate 270 approaches Washington from the northwest before hitting I-495. To get downtown, take I-495 east to Connecticut Avenue south, toward Chevy Chase. Check hotel web sites for driving directions to individual properties.
Washington, D.C., Rules of the Road: Unless indicated by a sign, right turns at red lights are allowed in Washington. All passengers are required to wear a seat belt. Infants up to 1 year of age and under 20 pounds must be strapped into a rear-facing car seat in the back seat. Children both over age 1 and weighing 20 to 40 pounds must also use a car seat in the back seat, though it can face the front. Children cannot sit in the front seat of a car until they weigh over 80 pounds.