How to Get Around DC During Inauguration Weekend
Inauguration Day is almost here! With all the festivities and celebrations, those in DC can expect crowds, traffic and street closures. If you live in DC or are visiting for the Inauguration, make sure to plan ahead. Here’s what you need to know, including your best bets for Inauguration parking near public transit:
The official proceedings of Inauguration Day are on Friday, January 20. The swearing-in ceremony takes place on the west front of the U.S. Capitol Building. Musical performances begin at 9:30 a.m. EST, and guest speakers begin at 11:30 a.m. EST.
After the official Inaugural ceremonies and luncheon, the President and Vice President will make their way to the White House along Pennsylvania Avenue in the Inaugural Parade. For the full parade route, click here.
If you didn’t get tickets to the official Inauguration ceremony, you can still catch a glimpse of the President along the parade route. Tickets are required for bleacher seats along the route from the U.S. Capitol to the White House, but there will also be non-ticketed public viewing areas.
Inaugural Balls & Parties
There will be several official and unofficial Inaugural balls and parties in DC. If you are attending any of the celebrations, be aware of road closures and plan your transportation in advance (details below).
The map below illustrates the borders of road closure areas and vehicle restricted areas.
The red outline indicates the border of street closures–everything inside this area will be restricted at some point during Inauguration weekend. Timing for street closures vary by location.
The vehicle restricted area (outlined in green) indicates the zone where vehicle traffic is restricted to residents or businesses.
As you can see, the street closures around DC are extensive. For the full list, click here.
Best Places to Park in DC
Driving in DC will be a challenge, especially once streets are closed. But if you’re dead set on parking in DC, reserve now for the best shot at an all-day rate near the action. Here are a few options:
Union Station – 750 1st St NE – $15 (all day 7a-7p) >1 mile from the US Capitol
NoMa – 131 M St NE – $15 (all day 7a-7p) 1.3 miles from Capitol
Downtown – 1125 15th St NW – $12 (12 hours) 1 mile from National Mall
West End – 1250 24th St NW – $15 (all day 7a-7p) 1 mile from Lincoln Memorial
Best Places to Park Near Public Transit
If you’re driving into DC for the Inauguration, we strongly recommend reserving a parking spot near public transit. Then, take Metro in for the activities and celebrations.
WMATA is selling commemorative SmartTrip cards that are good for unlimited transit on Metro and Metrobus all day for $10. These limited edition cards are no longer available online, but you may still be able to find them at select CVS stores until January 19th.
Here are your best bets for parking near Metro stations. Adjust to your preferred date and time at the top of the page. The rates below are day rates for January 20th (~6am-6pm). The best rates may sell out, so book your spot now!
Rosslyn – From $7
Courthouse – From $5
Clarendon – From $7
Ballston – From $10
Crystal City – From $8
Braddock Rd – From $13
King Street – From $14
Bethesda – From $11
White Flint – From $5
Twinbrook – From $5
Silver Spring – From $9
NoMa – From $7
Friendship Heights – From $9
Columbia Heights – From $12
Cleveland Park – From $11
Public Transit & Ride-sharing
Here are the key points to know about using Metro on January 20th:
- Metrorail will open at 4 a.m. and close at midnight. Peak fares will be in effect from 4 a.m. until 9 p.m. After 9 p.m., off-peak fares will be in effect.
- Five of Metro’s 91 stations — Archives, Mt Vernon Square, Federal Triangle, Smithsonian and Pentagon – will be closed due to enhanced security measures.
- For 17 consecutive hours — from opening until 9 p.m. — trains will run frequently on all lines, including “Rush Plus” service on the Yellow Line between Franconia-Springfield and Greenbelt.
- Riders planning to use Metro are encouraged to purchase their SmarTrip card in advance to avoid long lines on Inauguration Day. (Each rider age 5 or older needs his/her own SmarTrip card to enter and exit the system.) Before January 13, visit wmata.com/inauguration to purchase a special $10 one-day pass good for unlimited Metrorail and Metrobus trips on Inauguration Day.
- Metro recommends that riders plan their trip to the National Mall without transferring between lines. There is a station near the National Mall on each Metro line.
For more on Metrobus and MetroAccess, you can find full details here.
If you are planning to use Uber, Lyft or other ride-sharing services, there will likely be a geofence around the security perimeter near the Inaugural events, which means the apps will not work inside that area. You’ll have to leave the perimeter to get request a ride.
Know someone coming into town?
Make parking a little easier for them with SpotHero! Share your referral code with friends and family through our referral page. They will get $5 off their first parking spot, and you get $5 in SpotHero credit for every person who parks with us. You can earn up to $250!
Heading to the Women’s March?
The Women’s March on Washington will start at 10am on January 21st at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street SW, near the U.S. Capitol. Road closures in the red zone will still be in effect, so we recommend that you park near public transit and take the Metro in. For more information on Women’s March parking, click here.
It’s sure to be a very busy weekend in DC! If you’re going out of town and headed to the airport, reserve parking in advance for the best locations and rates.
Reagan National Airport Parking
Dulles International Airport Parking