November 10th, 2008
08:55 AM ET
10 years ago

Inauguration prompts travel rush to Washington

Dennis Madsen is planning to drive from Atlanta to Washington so his son, Adlai, can see the inauguration.

Dennis Madsen is planning to drive from Atlanta to Washington so his son, Adlai, can see the inauguration.

(CNN) - It may be freezing in Washington in January, but the city is a red-hot destination for people around the country and the world eager to see President-elect Barack Obama sworn into office.

he nation's capital is preparing for a massive influx of visitors on Inauguration Day - January 20, 2009 - and the surrounding period of festivities, galas and celebrations.

"We've had a tremendous amount of interest from travelers who want to be here for the big historic moment," said Rebecca Pawlowski, director of communications for Destination DC, Washington's official convention and tourism corporation.

"It's certainly safe to say [crowds will be bigger compared to] the last inauguration, just because whenever there's a change in administration and whenever there's a change of party, it always fuels a little more interest."

Some Americans began making their travel plans well before the election, excited by the possibility of seeing the first African-American become president of the United States.

Full story

soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Dave G, Minneapolis

    Quick! let's book travel to the place that continually erodes our freedoms and liberties.

    Washington, D.C. will not go away, but our ability to travel freely, talk freely, and spend freely is surely being limited by the two parties in power.

    So, let's bailout the car companies now too, and now that Northwest and Delta have merged (and are too big to fail) we should give them some money. And let's keep FISA going with wiretapping without warrants–that has been very helpful in spying on the conversations of our troops overseas with their families here. There won't be change in Washington until the two party system is not in control. We don't vote for Whigs, Federalists or Anti-federalists anymore, let's stop voting for the Democrats and Republicans.

    So, you're not better off than 4 years ago, and I'll predict you won't be better off in four more years. But I guarantee that in 4 years 99.9% of you will vote for a Republicrat from the two parties and get more of the same.

    November 10, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  2. Lisa

    I'm so glad I have tons of relatives. I'll be staying with them.

    Obama and Biden, it's worth traveling.

    November 10, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  3. Candy West Virginia

    Can't wait until this brilliant man takes office! Obama that is.

    November 10, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    I would LOVE to be there just to be in the crowds!

    November 10, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  5. arc, Lugano CH

    That little dude looks just like his pops – if not for the daddy's specs. DC will be a busy place. Hotels all sold out. DC residents could make a little $$ boarding folks like Dennis Madsen and his mini-he.

    November 10, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  6. S. Boatman Warrensburg, Mo.

    Another Historic Event! This Will Be Another Great Day For America!

    November 10, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. tiffany in ohio

    Me an my family will be there also cold an all. Bring some tents an lanterns people because the hotels are all gone.

    November 10, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. Joan, MD

    I love Washington. The city is one giant history book. I especially like the view from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol.

    This would also be a good time for any families thinking about enrolling their kids in any universities in the area.

    Howard U
    Catholic U
    Maryland U
    and many more...

    November 10, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  9. conservative

    Wouldn't walk across the street to that liberal coronation of societies misfits wanting us who work to share with them who don't!

    November 10, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  10. DC Bound

    Stay in a bed and breakfast in VA or MD and jump on the metro to get downtown.

    November 10, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. Abby

    It will be a beautiful sight. I can’t wait. God Bless our President-elect!

    November 10, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. brian

    staying home that day,not traveling to washington to put up with all the crowds,noise,stress and inability to see whats going on,think i will be much warmer and get a much better view watching on tv.

    November 10, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. Tom in Delaware

    I understand Osama and Ahmadinejad are going to be guest speakers.

    November 10, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  14. Obama-Biden

    Change. We're full of it.


    November 10, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  15. sf

    Sooo glad my cousin lives in Northern Va. I've already told him we'll be bunking with he and his family.

    November 10, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  16. mary, colorado springs

    I am very, very proud of my country to have elected a man other than white to the Supreme Office of the United States. It shows a great maturity in the development of our country. I am an 80-year-old white woman who has lived through many elections, but it is this one of which I am most proud.

    This country is the youngest major power in the world, but look how far we have come and how much technology we have contributed to the rest of the world. The Old World gave us many things - music, art and literature - but the United States has developed far more in the way of practicality and contributed much to more efficient manufacturing, production of materials and inventions that make life what it is today.

    We are a proud country and now have even more to be proud of: we are truly a Democracy where ANYONE can attain whatever they wish and the freedom to do it.


    November 10, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. Sarah

    Who cares?

    November 10, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  18. Shari, NY

    Hoteliers, home owners (who are planning to rent out space in their dwellings), and restauranteurs will be licking their fingers. Even the peddlers and hawkers will have their moment in time. DC will get a temporary economic boost. I pray that this will be the dawning of a new era for the U.S. and the rest of the world.

    November 10, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  19. Whiners

    If you don't care don't waste your time reading such topics. Utilize it to help build your "Country First" which is almost dead last in certain educational subjects. Imagine Africa is a country, and the sad part is that there are possibly millions of people from sea to shining sea who think so! Try getting a job with Homeland Security or the Foreign Serivce and you'll abe told "Dont call us – we'll call you."

    November 10, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  20. joann




    cnn please post...thank you!

    November 10, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  21. Andrew

    Talk about a spin....let's face it – Bush was a change in administration and party too and Obama will easily exceed twice the interested people coming to the inauguration.

    November 10, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  22. MissyRiver

    I feel the inauguration should be down played alittle – there goes the tax payers monies again. Have the inauguration and dinner/dance and be done with it. I understand that this is an historical event but they need to watch the spending. It's time to tighten the pockets.

    November 10, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  23. fella from ohio

    @ sarah..look if u dont care then dont blog or respond
    however, sooner than later u will have 2 get over it and move on

    November 10, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  24. joann


    Please don't walk anywhere near our president's inauguration...we don't want any negativity around this historic event....just stay home and continue to sulk.....

    Bye Hater!!!!

    November 10, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. Molly B

    Would I go if given the opportunity. No – am afraid of crowds and
    in particular the hostile crowds which may be there. I wish out
    new president well and know he will be successful. Sure hope
    he will wear the necessary protection gear.

    November 10, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
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