Thanksgiving is approaching fast, which means for the millions in the greater DMV area, we will be welcoming friends and families from all over the country. And while we all look forward to catching up with friends and relatives over great food, this also unfortunately means something that Washingtonians are all too familiar with: traffic, congestion, and a lack of parking.
But don’t worry, we’re here with some tips to help ensure this Thanksgiving in D.C. is a success:
1. Book Parking Ahead of Time
D.C. is going to be flooded with cars and while parking will be free on Thanksgiving, normal street parking rules will be enforced Friday – Sunday of the holiday weekend. This typically means you can’t park on the street for more than 2 hours, so it’s best to plan ahead.
If you’re hosting, and you have a spot, consider moving your car to a weekend lot to make way for your guests. If you’re the incoming guest, do your host a favor and don’t even discuss your parking needs. Instead, reserve a weekend spot nearby. It’ll help out your host and be a hassle-free way to end your long-road trip, a win-win!
Here are some great Thanksgiving through weekend parking rates from SpotHero. If you choose to use this tip, remember to read the redemption details in your parking pass (not all have in-and-out privileges for example). Also, if you don’t see the spot listed below for a great price, it’s because it sold out!
- 2300 M St NW
- Fairfield Inn & Suites Dulles – Lot
- 3307 M St. NW – Garage
- 2600 Crystal Dr. – Garage
- City Center
- 500 H St. NW
- 66 New York Ave NW
Great rates for Friday – Sunday:
2. Hotel Parking
Many people are surprised to find out that there are great weekend hotel deals in downtown D.C., even over a holiday weekend like Thanksgiving. But while the hotel rooms are often discounted, the parking is not.
Instead of paying $30 per day to park in the hotel’s garage, you can often find a garage spot for a fraction of the price close by. Once you have your hotel booked, reserve a secure parking spot nearby using SpotHero.
Here are some great spots near popular hotels:
3. Buy A Pumpkin Early
Have you heard there’s a possible pumpkin shortage?! It’ll surely be on the Thanksgiving small-talk short list this season, so you’ll probably hear soon. If you’re hosting, or bringing the pie, scoop up one of those Thanksgiving staples in advance.
4. Thanksgiving Eve
The night before Thanksgiving is actually one of the biggest bar nights of the year. If you and your friends are looking to catch up over a beer on Thanksgiving Eve, you should think about parking ahead of time. Here are some great rates from SpotHero in some of the hottest neighborhoods in DC.
5. Pick up Your Waze Game
Waze, the ultimate navigation app is essential for traveling by road during peak travel times. If there ever was a time to be utilizing Waze it’s before Thanksgiving weekend. As recently pointed out by Lifehacker, Waze’s recent update presents some new and simple ways to really outsmart traffic. Features like sending your ETA or switching to “shortest route” over “fastest route” (this setting avoids the complicated routes just to save a few seconds) will make sure you arrive in time for turkey.
6. Thanksgiving Turkey Trot
If you are looking for a little exercise before lunch, head down to the 14th annual SOME Turkey Trot to benefit D.C.’s hungry and homeless. The 5K run / walk starts at 9AM and leaves from 13th st. NW and Pennsylvania Ave. NW. This is D.C.’s only turkey trot and draws 10,000 participants, so reserving advanced parking with SpotHero is a must.
7. D.C. Holiday Market
If the day after Thanksgiving you start thinking about Christmas, the 11th Annual Downtown Holiday Market is for you! The market opens on November 27 and features 60 rotating exhibitors selling a variety of gift items like jewelry, pottery, paintings, and textiles.
This unique market is nestled between the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the International Spy Museum in downtown D.C., providing lots of options for other activities.
If you are looking to take advantage of D.C.’s fantastic shopping, head to historic Georgetown for the latest fashions and D.C.’s most picturesque neighborhood. You can make a whole day out of it with the many restaurants, cafes found throughout the neighborhood.
If high fashion is more your speed, check out the new City Center DC which hosts stores like Gucci, Burberry, Hermes, Kate Spade, and Louis Vuitton. While both of these areas feature great shopping, they don’t feature much parking so plan ahead with SpotHero.
9. Heading Out of Town?
Thanksgiving is notorious for stressful travel and there is nothing worse than having to hunt for your car in a parking lot the size of Texas after a long trip home.
Avoid the stress of Dulles and save some money by parking in a nearby lot or garage. Check SpotHero for the must up to date pricing and reserve a spot before you get to the airport!