Inauguration Day 2017 is just around the corner. Every tumultuous political moment in the past year has led to this point.
After enduring political campaigns, countless debates and the resulting emotional turbulence, the last thing you want to do with your remaining brain space is plan out the details to attend the Inauguration.
So, to make things easier on you, here is a complete guide to the 2017 Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C.
When— Friday, January 20, 2017 at 12pm
Where— Steps of the U.S. Capitol with viewing stations along the National Mall
What— Oaths of Office by Vice President and President and VP, Swearing in ceremony, Parade down Pennsylvania Ave to the White House
- Pro Tip: Arrive early to get through the crowded metro stations and make it through the security checkpoints.
How to attend the Inauguration
If you’re hoping to watch the Inauguration proceedings from the viewing platform, then you’ll need to contact your state representatives for tickets, like yesterday! Tickets are limited and generally reserved for those with exemplary backgrounds in political or community service.
For everyone else, you can still view the proceedings from one of several viewing sites along the National Mall, sans ticket.
- Pro Tip: Position yourself along Pennsylvania Ave. to get the best view of the Inaugural Parade.
Keep in mind that several daily-use items are actually prohibited at the ceremony. Make sure to leave behind your explosives, firearms, weapons, puppies, umbrellas and coolers.
Here is a complete list of forbidden items.
- Pro Tip: Making a sign? Make sure it’s cardboard, poster board or cloth, within the size limits, and not attached to any support.
Where to Stay
Millions of people heading to Washington D.C. for Inauguration Day means high prices and limited options. If you’re lucky enough to snag a hotel room in the D.C. area, you may end up paying prime rates.
Thanks to the evolving travel industry and the influx of homestays and hostels, accommodation options now reach far beyond just the hotel room. With a brief search, you should be able to find a place to stay within your budget and in your area of choice.
- Pro Tip: If you’re looking to save some money on accommodations, book outside of D.C. and commute in easily via Metrorail.
To make the search easier, here’s a list of places to stay in D.C. for under $100.
The Metrorail also services neighboring states just outside of the city, like Virginia and Maryland. Check out some of the accommodations in these nearby cities:
We’ve also found the cheapest places to stay in Washington D.C. for you!
And use this metro cheat sheet to navigate your way back into D.C.:
Blue Line: Rosslyn, Pentagon City, Crystal City, Old Town Alexandria
Orange Line: Rosslyn, Courthouse, New Carrollton
Red Line: Bethesda, Silver Spring
Silver Line: Tysons Corner, Spring Hill
Getting Around D.C.
Between road closures, limited parking, increased traffic, driving is the last thing that you’ll want to be doing in Washington D.C. during the Inauguration, and that includes hiring Ubers and Taxis.
The city metro is the most reliable form of transport to get you to all Inauguration events. Depending on where you’re staying, you can also opt to walk over to the Mall or rent a bike.
The Metrorail and Metrobus have connections to all major areas around the city; they’re your best bet for getting around. Organize your trip through their online trip planner.
The metro will have special Inauguration Day hours from 4am-2am, and has even put together a preparation list to help you navigate their system on Inauguration Day.
- Pro Tip: Keep up with Inauguration Day metro news at @metroinaug on Twitter.
Metro tickets are available as a single ride, single day pass, or refillable Smartrip card.
Be aware that bikes and signs that are affixed to support are not allowed on metro that day.
- Pro Tip: Make sure to grab your Smartrip card before Inauguration Day to avoid the long lines.
Despite your mode of transportation, you may still need to walk several blocks to and from your destination. Comfortable walking shoes in the D.C. area are a must!
Useful Smartphone Apps:
DC Metro and Bus— Stay up to date with all things metro.
Spotcycle— Tired of walking? Rent a bike at several spots throughout the city.
White House Visitor Guide— Brush up on your White House knowledge.
- Pro Tip: If after your Inauguration experience leaves you in need of another vacation, AllTheRooms has you covered.