Whatever your interest, there’s no shortage of things to do and see in Washington D.C. If anything, you’ll run out of time long before you’ve managed to see it all.
From Capitol Hill and the National Mall, to the many museums and galleries in between, Washington D.C. has a ton to offer. Over the course of one week, I ran myself ragged, nearly killed my girlfriend in the process, and lost 5 pounds. But, to my credit, I saw almost everything. Here’s a brief post on that.
Like many, our first stop was the White House. Inside or out, the world’s most famous residence is a must see, but if you’re unable to see it inside (we weren’t), then you’ll definitely want to check out it’s visitor center. It’s a small museum, but it gives you a lot of interesting info on the place.
Next up, was the National Mall. It takes a couple hours to see everything, but it contains some of Washington’s most powerful symbols, among them the Washington, Lincoln and Vietnam War Memorial’s. If possible, visit once during the day, then again at night. The photo opportunities are endless.
Owing to a sketchy weather report, we decided to do all the outdoor stuff early in the week, so we hopped on the subway, and went on a tour of Arlington Cemetery with DC By Foot. It was incredible. I really cannot say enough about how impressed we were with both the cemetery, and our tour guide. From there, we walked to the The United States Marine Corps War Memorial, then hopped back on the subway and visited the The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial. Needless to say, our second day in Washington D.C. was a powerful and memorable one.
Day three was spent touring the National Archives, Capitol Hill, and the Library of Congress. The archive building, which house the Bill of Rights, Constitution, and Declaration of Independence is a quick but necessary see. Capitol Hill, while under construction, is still worth the free tour, and the Library of Congress is absolutely spectacular. We had no idea it was so beautiful inside.
Having spent the first few days exploring mostly outdoors, we decided to tackle the many museums and galleries D.C. has to offer, and over the next few days, saw 16 of them. To keep things short, I’ll write a review of all the art galleries at a later date, and focus instead on the other institutions we visited. The Smithsonian Museums of American History, Natural History and Air and Space are the top three, but all the others are great too. Of the non-Smithsonians, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was by far the most impactful. Emotionally draining, but impactful.
With our week coming to a close, we squeezed in a tour of the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, where they produce billions of dollars a year, then spent our last afternoon taking a self-guided tour of Georgetown, which, if you can swing it, I highly suggest.
A few final thoughts: Washington D.C. is a safe, clean, and friendly little city with enough history and culture to rival the oldest, and largest cities in the world. It is truly a bucket list destination.