Get ready, because we are about to have a D.C. overload. Ashley and I are both back from our trips to Washington D.C., and we both have a lot to say! I went late last month with my mom and sister, and since I have been once before I took it upon myself to make all of the plans. So, I wanted to share my travel and planning tips, as well as, my full itinerary for the trip.
I have been planning out each day for months! We went from June 26-30th, and stayed in Crystal City right outside the city. The first time I visited I stayed at the Marriott at Crystal City and it was wonderful because it is connected to the metro. This time we stayed at the Courtyard Marriott which was about 15 minutes from the metro. If I could redo one thing about the trip, it would be changing the hotel. It was nice, but walking to the metro each day was a little exhausting after walking all day. So finding a hotel that’s metro accessible is key (especially if you do not have a car)! We didn’t stay at the Marriott this time because it was more expensive. But in reality, we probably ended up paying the same amount of money anyway because we had to take taxis some days. So the moral of the story is…location and transportation is key when picking a place to stay.
Then, you need to decided where you want to visit, and reserve all of your tickets beforehand in case of long lines at some spots. So, I got tickets for the National Archives, the Washington Monument, Arlington Cemetery, and Ford’s Theatre. They good thing about D.C. is that most everything you do is free, but if you get your tickets online early, you may have to pay a small fee. I also made reservations at all of the restaurants, and contacted our representative to visit the White House and the Capitol.
Our congressman’s desk. It looks messy yet neat at the same time.
Mayhem actually struck on the second day with rain pouring for most of the day. So, it ended up throwing my schedule off, but I’m going to show it as how I had it planned.
Day One: We came into D.C. around 3 o’clock and took a shuttle to our hotel (our hotel had a free shuttle service to and from the airport, so that’s something else to consider when choosing a place to stay). We found the metro and got our tickets for our time there. Then, we went to Buca di Beppo for supper. We were exhausted, so we went on back to our hotel to rest up for the next day.
7:30- White House tour (literally after we returned from the tour they start allowing tourists to bring in cameras)
Monuments (Lincoln, Vietnam, FDR, Civil Rights, Jefferson)
Museums- American History, Natural History
5:30- Old Ebbitt Grill (The best food we had! The burger was fabulous as was the shrimp cocktail.)
The only thing we didn’t get to do was the monuments and the American/Natural History museums that day. We made it up the next.
9:00- Arlington Cemetery
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
11:00- Ford’s Theater
Museums/Monuments we didn’t get to the day before
4:00- Washington Monument (You ride an elevator all the way to the top to look at windows on each side of the monument.)
5:30-The Hamilton (We actually ended up going to Founding Farmers because we heard The Hamilton was similar to Old Ebbitt…We had to wait forever…a lesson we learned the hard way to not defy the schedule!)
Founding Farmers…the fried chicken is awesome.
10:00- U.S. Capitol tour
1:00- National Archives
Supper at J. Paul’s and cupcakes at Georgetown Cupcake (yum!)
J. Paul’s… I love how some of the restaurants have their windows open so you can sit in them!
Leave D.C. at 1:00
When I plan out my itinerary, I place all of the timed events first onto the schedule, then I fill in the gaps with places that do not require a reservation. I also include the addresses for each place.
We had a great time together and basically we’re laughing the whole time, but I don’t think my mom and sister realized how much walking we would actually be doing. Side note: pack comfortable shoes!
I also realize 5:30 is pretty early for supper, but I knew we wouldn’t want to go back to the hotel beforehand, and we would be walking all day long and ready for an early meal.
I’ll be going back to D.C. with my friend Jordan next week! We will be there for a conference at the Holocaust Museum and working with other teachers learning more about the Holocaust. It may sound a little depressing, but we’re excited!