Inauguration Travel Guide to D.C.

You're one in nearly two million heading to D.C. this weekend, but don't get lost in the crowd.

Though Washington's 90,000 area hotel rooms are filled to the brim, last-minute tourists can attempt to scoop up potential cancellations or vacancies by calling 800-422-8644, a clearinghouse for hotel availability.

Whether you're living in luxury or crashing on a couch, take some tips from the locals on where to go for a full morning breakfast or a warm evening cocktail. During the busy and exciting hours in between, lace up your walking shoes and enjoy the city, from the H and U Street corridors to Georgetown, Adams Morgan and Capitol Hill.

As you navigate the city, keep in mind that Washington is divided into four quadrants: NW, NE, SE and SW. And wherever you go, remember these three critical rail rules:

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1) When coming and going on Metro escalators, stand to the right, pass on the left. 2) Do not stash your Metro card back into your purse once you're underground. You need it to get back out. 3) Unlike the New York subway or your typical elevator, Metro doors take no prisoners. They don't reopen when you throw your body between them.

Metro is running on a rush-hour schedule from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Inauguration Day. Stations closest to the festivities will be closed for security reasons Tuesday until after the parade. Others close to inaugural balls will close early. For details, visit Metroopensdoors.com.

For the latest information on the MARC train to and from Maryland, click here.

Come In From the Cold: Bars with Fireplaces

Tabard Inn: A living room fireplace and wood-beamed ceilings make this cozy downtown inn an ideal cranny in which to slip out of the cold weather. Winter cocktails include warm apple cider with rum, Irish coffee and hot buttered rum. The Tabard Inn is hosting its own small inaugural ball Tuesday night. The bar and restaurant on the first floor will also be open for extended hours Friday through Tuesday, serving dinner until 11p.m. and light fare and cocktails until midnight.
Just south of Dupont Circle. 1739 N St. NW, (202) 331-8528.

Murphy's: A neighborhood Irish pub wedged between the enormous hotels that flank Woodley Park, Murphy's fireplace makes the bar a good getaway for Shepard's Pie and drink specials. Murphy's has extended inauguration hours, open from 9 a.m.- 4 a.m. from Friday through Tuesday. Also on tap: Live entertainment Friday through Monday, starting at 9 p.m.
Woodley Park. 2609 24th St NW, (202) 462-7171

Meals With a Side of History: Washington's Famous Eats


Ben's Chili Bowl

Ben's Chili Bowl: This slice of history was famous long before Obama visited last weekend with D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty. The chili dogs and cheese fries are topped with stories of another time that includes greats like Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald. Ben's also stayed open through the riots following the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and has stood as a landmark in civil rights history as the area around it undergoes countless transformations. Ben's is still on a roll. On Monday afternoon an Obama ice sculpture will grace the front of Ben's, courtesy of New York's Cakeman Raven. "Larry King just left," co-owner Nizam Ali told ABC News.com Thursday. "Ellen called!"
U Street Corridor. 1213 U St. NW, (202) 667-0909

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