Following the Cubs to Washington, D.C.? Here's what you need to know.
Cubs fans are legendary for how well they follow their team on the road. If you're inclined to join them for the division playoff series against the Washington Nationals on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6 and 7, here's some useful info -- with the caveat that such info can change in a heartbeat:
They might have 'em: Cubs fans can check for face-value tickets at nationals.com/postseason or by calling (888) 632-6287. Prices are $439 for "Washington suites" to $59 for standing room. Limited-release tickets and standing room could become available at a later time on the team website, according to the Nationals.
Cheap? The lowest listing Thursday on StubHub was $95 for standing room; least-expensive seat price was $104.76 for upper gallery. Last year, fans got into a Los Angeles Dodgers-Nationals divisional series contest for as low as $10 for a standing-room ticket, StubHub spokeswoman Jessica Erskine said.
Pricey: At the top were all-inclusive Delta Sky360 club seats at $2,138.50 and $1,467.50. Perks include gourmet buffet, draft beer, wine, soda and more.
Tip: Prices are known to drop online and with old-school scalpers as first pitch approaches. Also, fans wanting to use mobile tickets have until two hours before game time to buy and sell on StubHub, Erskine said.
Planes: Best deal on cheapoair.com: $126 for a round trip on Spirit Airlines. Other major carriers range from $338 to $397.
Trains: $200 round trip via the Amtrak that leaves at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, according to Wanderu.com.
Automobiles: About $150 in gas will get you to D.C. and back.
And buses, too: An 8:20 a.m. departure Thursday on Greyhound Bus for the 19-hour trip is $177 round trip.
Expect to spend about $200 to $300 a night for hotels near Nationals Park, according to Orbitz.com.
• The Capitol Skyline: $250. Distance from ballpark: 1 mile.
• The Mandarin Oriental: $335. Distance from ballpark: 2 miles.
But if you're really trying to watch the budget, try the Motel 6 Southeast-Camp Springs. Rooms average $73. Distance from ballpark: 10 miles.
There are 57 restaurants in or within a mile of Nationals Park, according to TripAdvisor. Fare ranges from the usual fast-food chains such as McDonald's, Subway and Potbelly to ethnic cuisines of every variety and an array of tastes, including BBQ, raw bar, chili and the legendary Shake Shack.
On the high end, consider Garrison, where the summer tasting menu is $85 (add $45 for the wine pairings). A la carte menu features soft-shell crab ($32), rabbit tagliatelle ($28) and hangar steak ($30). Wash it down with a Blackberry Farms Cream Ale ($16). Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema says this is the best restaurant on Capitol Hill aside from Rose's Luxury, a non-reservations place nearly impossible to get into without a huge wait unless your name is POTUS or FLOTUS.
And if you need some comforts of home, Ivy & Coney is a neighborhood bar run by two guys who moved to D.C. from Chicago and Detroit. Cubs, Tigers and the Nationals have priority on the main bar's two TVs, in that order. They serve Chicago-style hot dogs and chili-covered Detroit-style Coney Dogs for $4 each. Italian beef, too, of course.
Stuff to do:
This comes courtesy of former Daily Herald staff writer Lenore Adkins, now working in D.C. as a contract writer for the State Department and covering public diplomacy for Share America, a site that explains U.S. culture and policy to an international audience.
• Yes, it seems obvious, but visit the U.S. Capitol; nothing can compare to the majesty of that building in person.
• It's been very warm here, so I'd recommend paddle boating along the Tidal Basin. The season ends Oct. 10.
• One of my favorite things to do is visiting Gravelly Point Park in Arlington, Virginia, to watch the airplanes land at Reagan National Airport. The planes fly right over you as they make their final descent; it's very exciting! The closest Metro stop is Crystal City on the blue and yellow lines.
• The Newseum is an interactive museum focusing on the news industry through the lens of the First Amendment.
• Finally, I suggest touring the Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the State Department, which the secretary of state uses for official functions and to host high-level government officials. Tours are free, but you have to make a reservation. The rooms are incredible and there is some really old china in there, too. Call 202-647-3241.
• Compiled by Daily Herald staff writers Jim Davis, Russell Lissau, Eric Peterson and Bob Susnjara.