Washington, D. C. Trip 2023

Hi AccessibleGo Fam,

My wife, Michelle and I are planning a trip to Washington, D. C. in 2023. At first, she was trepidacious about my having to travel with my wheelchair. I had to prove to her it could be done. So, I flew by myself to see our daughter get her undergrad degree in education. It was a blast!

Anywho, my wife has now started experiencing some mobility challenges as well, but she has not fully transferred to the use of a mobility device.

So, here are some of the things I am asking this community for some assistance with.

  1. Electric scooter rental in Washington, D. C.

  2. Accessible hotels with shower chairs.

  3. Accessible travel packages to D. C.

  4. Accessible tour guides in D. C.

The d c museums aka Smithsonian are all in a local area and accessible by the d c metro. Most monuements you can tour on your own as my wife and i have done. It saves money as food, transportation on the metro can get expensive.

Lodging. I would be of no help. You may want to call the d c visitors bureau for info. As for tour guides, that would be your call. Plenty of free maps . Info on d c are free to download on line.

I grew up in DC, but I was able-bodied then. But I’ve gone back many times since my ALS diagnosis. DC is a very accessible city. All the Smithsonian museums are free (paid by our tax dollars and they are great). Make sure to go to the National Zoo. It is a Smithsonian museum also. Beware though, if you go by Metro you will be walking uphill in your way home. That can get tiring.

If you go to the changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery, I would highly recommend standing/sitting in wheelchair on the right side (as you look towards DC) on the flat area to the side of the black padded path they walk on. You will hear and see close up the commands, inspections and also slightly in the shade. Best location period!

The hardest place to visit in a wheelchair is Georgetown. But it is accessible but lots of cobblestones. If you care, the Exorcist steps are on the end near Key Bridge. Billy Martin’s Tavern is one of the oldest restaurants in all of DC. There are beautiful homes and historic spots there also.

All of the hotels downtown are accessible, but they are costly. They can be worth it by not needing to commute into town. Old Town Alexandria had a ton of cobblestones. Be ready to plan on visiting the bathroom there often.

Mount Vernon is a great place to visit. It is really pretty in the snow. The peanut soup there is good.

My favorite of all buildings is the Library of Congress. It is striking. There are areas wheelchairs can’t go, but you can see everything from where you can go, just not from high up.

Wheelchair Jimmy has dinner good info. The hotels aren’t very close to town, but more affordable. Most of the hotel rooms have shower chairs. I’ve been there many times when the ALSA lobbied Congress with our Day on the Hill. Didn’t hear to many issues about the shower chairs, but there were some I had that issue at the JW or 1st year.

To rent a wheelchair just Google it. All of the Smithsonian museums have free manual chairs. There are many wheelchair taxis and they aren’t too expensive if going from National Airport into DC. There are also wheelchair Ubers.

Good luck

Here are a few answers to your questions, and a few questions for you. First tell me about your price range for hotels. Are you a Holiday Inn Traveller, or a Four Seasons type of guy. Most hotels in the Washington area have accessible rooms with roll in showers and shower chairs. But prices differ and the room you want is more likely to be available in a larger hotel. If you want to stay close to everything stay downtown at Loew’s which is across the street from the Air and Space Museum or the JW Marriott or Willard which are larger and right on Pennsylvania avenue. There are several Hilton Inns that I find to be less expensive but very accommodating.

For wheelchair and scooter rentals you can’t go wrong with Scootaround which is a big international company. If you want to stay local I use Jessa Medical Supply. They are in Gaithersburg, MD which is outside the city. Jessa has affordable weekly and monthly rates but a more limited inventory to reserve early.

I do not personally know tour guides to recommend, but, once you make your reservation I would call the concierge at your hotel and explain your requirements.

Happy travels!

Hi @mrod670 - Looks like you have a lot of great suggestions from the community here. I wanted to add that Washington, D.C. is one of our Top 30 Cities where we have created City Guides for and gathered accessibility resources for as well. You can access them here. This includes the Top 10 Accessible Hotels, Top 10 Accessible Attractions, and a 48-Hour Itinerary.

You can find hotels in DC here. You will see discounts listed where we have them (please note, they do change depending on the availability and inventory from the hotel). You can filter by hotels that have the specific accessibility features that you are looking for.

If you have any questions - feel free to email us at Contact@accessibleGO.com.