I recently embarked on a 5-day road trip to Washington, D.C with my fam jam. I have heard wonderful things about this city (minus trump), so naturally, I was very excited. When I go to these big cities, I can’t help but watch the residents go to and from work while managing to grab a Starbucks, Venti Americano no doubt, all while trying not to be late.
What I also see are the buses going from stop to stop, not just in this city, but out of the city, taking travelers to far away places; perhaps back to my city (probably not). The metro below my feet, the many trains rushing in and out of the stations. Even the airplanes flying above my head every 10-20 minutes, going across the country or possibly across the world. I stop and think how small everything really is, and how different everyone’s lives are. We all occupy this huge planet, but so many of us only get to see a small part of it.
I’ve made a commitment to myself to see as much as the world as I can; whether it be an hour away from my home, or a plane right across the world, I promised myself I’d do it.
Which brings us to my mini trip to Washington D.C. The history in this city is breathtaking. You really can’t understand it until you’re walking the streets and seeing these iconic monuments for yourself.
The first place we visited was the Arlington National Cemetery. One could easily take hours to walk the cemetery, that’s how big it is. Tours are available if you’re interested in learning from a guide, or you can walk it on your own. Many historic people are buried here including president John F. Kennedy, his wife and his brothers. It really is a sight to see.
One of the good things about Washington is that the Smithsonian museums (and the zoo) are free, letting you experience history at a very very low cost. What’s better then free learning? We don’t get that often.
Personally, I’m not a museum person; however, I like to see the things that are most popular in each city. So, I did the touristy thing and went to The National Museum of American History and let me tell you, I was not prepared for the size of this museum. Along with neat artifacts, including Dorthey’s real ruby slippers (oh my!), they have a Virtual Reality section. After buying a ticket, I soon found myself in a submarine in the ocean with prehistoric dinosaurs like the Meg. It felt real, too real, and it was super cool.
If you’re a history buff, I’d highly recommend this museum. If you’re not a museum person like me, I’d still say see it, but you don’t have to take your time through it, because that’s what we did and I was ready to leave after the Virtual Reality. I mean, history is cool, but not 6 hours in a museum. To each their own.
Staying on the topic of museums, we also went to the National Geographic Museum. They had two major exhibits at the time I went. One was The Titanic: The Untold Story and the second exhibit was The Tomb of Christ. The Tomb of Christ exhibit was especially interesting because most of it was like a virtual reality. Can you tell I like virtual reality?
This exhibit takes you on a virtual tour through The Church of the Holy Spectacle, which is where Jesus, the man himself, is buried. Or so they say. You get to explore the outside hustle and bustle of Jerusalem to the inside of the church and inside the Tomb of Christ. This technology allowed us to experience a day in Jerusalem, an experience some of us might never have, and I do believe that’s truly amazing.
When I travel, I love to check out the scenery. There are so many new sights and sounds to see in each place you go to. One area we visited was the Martin Luther King memorial. His memorial is situated along the National Mall’s Tidal Basin, which looks out at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial on the other side of the Basin. Now, if you don’t want to go to see the 30 ft statue, I recommend going to see the view. This view is stunning, especially in the fall when all the trees are in full bloom. This location is perfect for those that need that Instagram worthy picture (aka me).
Alright my fellow shoppers, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Head on down to Georgetown for some glorious shopping. Down here, you’ll find anything from Indie stores to
If the scenery doesn’t stun you, the history of America’s capital will. There’s a lot that went on that many don’t know about. I highly suggest going on some walking tours with the company Tours by Foot. They are free in cost (just tip the amazing guides afterward)! The one tour we went on was the White House at night: secrets, scandals, and legends. And let me tell you, it was as scandalous as the title sounds. The enthusiastic guide made the tour even more memorable.
The United States Botanic Gardens is definitely a sight to see. It is unlike any I have seen before. The conservatory will take you on a trip around the world, showcasing beautiful plants and flowers found only in the Amazon all the way to Jurassic Plants, or plants only found in Hawaii. This is a breathtaking experience. The beauty starts before even walking in the doors letting you take a walk in the outdoor gardens, which forms a path around the beautiful Bartholdi Fountain.
On a different night, we did the Capital Hill ghost tour. This one did cost $20.00, but it was worth it. The creepy (but true) stories we heard were sending chills down our spines, and I loved every moment of it. Que creepy music.
Okay, so we’ve talked about Museums, scenery, memorials and more museums. One other thing you should put on your to-do list is a show. Washington is one of the cities where shows go before they hit the big stage of Broadway. We were fortunate enough to be going the same time the Beetlejuice the Musical was making its Pre-Broadway debut, and let me tell you, it was a killer show. Not only does it have you laughing, but the choreography also left you in awe. Bravo! Or should I say, Brava? You get what I mean.
My last piece of advice would be to look into an Airbnb. We rented one for our first time, and I swear I’ll never go back to hotels ever again. It was homey, roomy and much cheaper than a hotel in the city! Our wonderful host provided us with breakfast and metro passes, what more could we ask for?
Alright, fellow travelers, that’s the end of my…. Gibberish? Review? Whatever you call it, I hope this makes you want to roam the streets of Washington, D.C.
And if you’re interested, here’s the link to the free walking tours!
Happy Travels! 🙂