Last weekend, I made my way down to our nation’s capital and packed a whole lot of sight-seeing into two days! There is so much to do and see down there. It can get a little overwhelming! Here are my recommendations for what to do while visiting Washington, D.C.:
Eat local grub. Even as a New Yorker, I must admit that Washington, D.C. has some delicious dishes! Earlier this week, I loaded up the blog with tons of food porn from some of our capital’s finest in my “Where To Eat In Washington, D.C.” post. Check it out for some ideas!
Visit the White House or Capitol Building. I recommend going on a tour of one of these iconic D.C. buildings during your visit. Unfortunately, White House tours were full during the weekend we were in town (request these tickets six months before your trip!), but we signed up for a tour of the Capitol building instead. While you can take a public tour of the Capitol, I suggest signing up for a tour through one of your state’s Members of Congress in advance. We signed up through Senator Johnny Isakson’s office (Georgia) and got a private tour thanks to his staff.
We met at Senator Isakson’s office.
He had Georgia peanuts!
How adorable is this train that runs between the Senator offices at the Russell Building and the Capitol?
Everything in Washington, D.C. is currently under construction in preparation for the inauguration.
The entire city is laid out based on this stone as the city’s center!
The architects were inspired by Greek design, but they also wanted to give the Capitol an American twist. They created these columns featuring corn! #Merica
That’s George in the middle!
When I said everything in Washington, D.C. is currently under construction, I meant everything! #ScaffoldingForDays
Abe Wuz Here.
Check out a museum or two. We hit up the National Air & Space Museum and the International Spy Museum during our visit, but I wish we had time for more. There are seventeen Smithsonian museums and galleries and one zoo in Washington, D.C.. The best part? All of them are free! The worst part? Most of them close around 5:00 PM, so be sure to plan for that if necessary. The city also has many private museums to check out such as the Newseum and the Ford’s Theatre Museum. These museums usually charge less than $25 per ticket.
At the National Air and Space Museum, you can check out the planetarium, touch a moon rock, and taste some astronaut food!
This is the original Spirit of St. Louis flown by Charles Lindbergh!
We got to create a secret identity and go on missions while touring the International Spy Museum. I passed my mission with flying colors!
They also had an entire exhibit dedicated to James Bond for the 50th Anniversary.
Unfortunately, the Newseum was closed by the time we made our way to it. I still wanted to check out the outside though and snap some photos.
The museum has a deal with over 2,000 newspapers, and every morning around 5:00 AM they post the front page of some of those papers. You can find the rest on their website.
Take a moonlight monuments tour. The evening tour by Old Town Trolley Tours was nothing less than amazing! We learned so much during the two and a half hour ride around the city. We also made three stops – 1) FDR and MLK, Jr. memorials, 2) Lincoln, Vietnam, and Korea memorials, and 3) the Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima).
I randomly looked down after taking a photo of the Washington Monument and saw this (picture below). I didn’t move an inch to take this photo. How crazy?!
Stop by the Arlington National Cemetery at sunset. Arlington National Cemetery is always breathtaking, but it’s especially gorgeous during the “golden hour”. I suggest taking a guided tour of the cemetery as well. (I couldn’t decide if taking photos of the tombstones was disrespectful, so I decided not to take any photos inside the actual cemetery. They probably would not have done it justice anyway.)
What are your favorite things to do while visiting Washington, D.C.? Let me know in the comments below!
Stay fit and fabulous,