Tuesday, August 11, 2015

touring washington d.c.

Before I planned our trip, I searched many sources for the top places in D.C. to visit because I knew we couldn't do it all.We did our best to see the sites that had the best reviews and interested us the most. So here’s our take on touring D.C.

There’s absolutely no way we would have been able to get through as much as we did if we had kids with us. By our second day we had to even take short “sit breaks” after almost every exhibit in the museums! We weren’t used to walking or standing up that long, so doing that from 8am-6pm for four days wore us out.

The metro is the best way to get around. We used about $30 each on the metro cards that we bought when we first got to the airport, and we (foolishly) didn’t even use the metro the first site-seeing day. 

Washington D.C. in four days

We stayed in Foggy Bottom, it was a good price and the location was ok. Not a ton of restaurants (only a few actually), but turns out we had one of the "best of D.C." (Founding Farmers) across the street and once we tried it we were hooked. We stayed at the Hotel Lombardy built in 1926. It was old and beautiful, more like a home or an apartment then a hotel. We were five blocks from the White House and two blocks from the nearest metro station.

review hotel lombardy

review hotel lombardy

Day 1:
We didn’t get to our hotel until 10:30 p.m. We talked about our plan for the next day, and went to bed. We both wished we would have had more time this day to do things in the afternoon or visit the monuments at night.

washington D.C. tour 4 days

Unfortunately, I slept terribly because we were right by the old elevator and it kept making rickety noises all night. 

Day 2:

6:30 a.m. : I decided we had to switch rooms because I hardly got any sleep that night. Luckily the staff was understanding and even upgraded us. We had a wonderful stay after that!

7:30 a.m. : Walked to the White House. It was nice going this early because no one got in the way of our photos outside the gate.

washington D.C. tour advice

8:00 a.m. – 12:00p.m. : The National Mall – National WWII Veteran’s Memorial, Korean War Veteran’s Memorial, Washington Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial (wall), FDR Memorial, MLK Memorial, and Jefferson Memorial.

Lunch @ DC Tacos

1:00 p.m. - 5:50 p.m. : National Museum of American History
8:00 p.m.: Dinner in Chinatown at Matchbox Pizza (highly recommend)

Matchbox Washington D.C. review

We had planned to go to a National’s baseball game today, but we were too tired. I bet it would've been fun though!

Thanks to some wrong “instinctual directions” from Jake throughout the long day we walked an extra two miles that day. That brought the total up to 8 miles, which doesn’t sound bad until you realize how much it hurts your feet.

Washington D.C. tour advice national mall

Day 3
9:00 a.m. :  National Archives – Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, and more

Lunch @ Shake Shack

Washington D.C. Shake Shack review

11:30p.m. - 5:00p.m. : National Museum of Natural History
5:30 p.m. : Anniversary champagne run @ the Whole Foods near our hotel
8:00 p.m. : Dinner @ Founding Farmers (farm-to-table food that's to die for, all of it)

Washington D.C. Founding Farmers Review
Chicken and Waffles & Goat Cheese Ravioli with Chicken

Day 4
8:30 a.m. : U.S. Capitol line and tours
10:30 a.m. : Coffee break @ L’Enfant Plaza area

Lunch Break and Band-aid stop for blisters @ L’Enfant Plaza Food Court

12:30 p.m – 5:00 p.m. : Air and Space Museum
8:30 p.m. : Dinner @ Founding Farmers

Washington D.C. Founding Farmers Review
Farmhouse Platter: cheeseburgers, chili dog, ribs, potato salad, potato skins, and corn. 

Day 5
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. : Arlington National Cemetery

Lunch @ Chipotle

1:00 p.m.- 5:30 p.m. : Holocaust Museum - you have to get tickets at the desk (free, but they limit the number of people in at a time)

Washington D.C. Holocaust Museum review
Top Left: "Work Makes You Free" Gate from Auschwitz camp / Top Right: Memorial for those who helped hide Jewish from camps Jan and Wladyslawa were added 1990 / Bottom left: photos from Jews that were left behind / Bottom Right: incinerator for bodies retrieved from a camp

9:00 p.m. : Dinner @ Founding Farmers
Founding Farmers Washington D.C. review
We ate these beignets every night.

Our walk was close to four miles total today, but since it was the last day it sure felt like it was the worst on our feet. I recommend visiting Arlington earlier then we did, it was hot and since it was mostly walking, it’d be more pleasant to do in the cool morning. Also you can pay $12 for the trolley at Arlington to take you around...that's a good idea if you don't want to walk.

Arlington cemetery tour advice

Everything we saw was so great, I can't pick a favorite because they all would be tied for my favorite (except Air and Space...I liked it a lot but I liked it the least). The monuments were cool, but all of the awesome things in the museums really stuck with us. The American History museum takes you through each war and the their artifacts, they also have an awesome innovation exhibit that goes through life-changing inventions in time. The Natural History museum has bones, ocean artifacts, rocks, bugs, dinosaurs, human origins and so much more. The Holocaust Museum is powerful, emotional, and extremely important so that history doesn't repeat itself. It was educational about the culture and lives of all sorts of people living in Europe during WWII and Nazi takeovers - definitely a memorable experience to learn from and remember. The National Archives are not to be missed, and the Capitol Tour (reserve in advance online here) was great too.

To see more trip photos head to my Facebook page.

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