Last week I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to join my Mom on a sightseeing trip to our nation’s capital in Washington D.C.
Visiting Washington D.C. was always on my bucket list of cities to see. I’ve always had a passion for American History and what better place to immerse myself into everything United States than the birthplace of our country. Needless to say, as we flew in over the city at night and the national monuments were lighting up the skyline, I was excited to get our trip started! Below are all the details of what we did throughout our 5-day Washington D.C. trip.
DAY 1 : THURSDAY
7:30am — We got up extra early to start our day (and the entire trip) by taking a tour of The White House. Although rather short in length, it was still pretty remarkable to walk through the President’s house and see a selection of the state rooms that still held furniture from the days Jefferson was in office. Side note because I know you’re all wondering… no sighting of Olivia Pope on this trip!
Tips : be sure to book your tour well in advance as they only offer them a few days a week. Also, they don’t allow you to bring in any sort of handbag, wallet, camera with a zoom lens, etc. so plan accordingly.
9:00am — Breakfast at Old Ebbitt Grill located near The White House & the U.S. Department of Treasury. It’s the oldest saloon in D.C. as it opened in 1856!
Took the Metro back to the hotel in Arlington to grab a little nap and then we headed right back into the city.
12:00pm — Walked over to see the infamous Ford Theatre and the Petersen House where President Lincoln was shot and the house across the street where he ended up passing away the next morning. It was incredible to see how small the house actually was when you think of Lincoln as this tall, statuesque President.
1:30pm — Lunch at Central by Michel Richard. Sat out on the patio on Pennsylvania Avenue and enjoyed quite possibly the best chopped salad I’ve ever had and the glass of Rosé was the perfect way to watch the city go by.
2:30pm to 5:30pm — Walked the National Mall & Memorial Parks. We stopped to view the National Monument, World War II Memorial, Reflection Pool, Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial. They are all truly remarkable sites and probably one of my favorite stops throughout the entire trip. Seeing these historical landmarks up close is absolutely breathtaking and their sheer size leaves you speechless (Lincoln I’m talking to you!).
I must say I was really moved by the WWII memorial quite simply by the fact that it made me think of Grandpa’s who both served in the war, one in the Pacific and one in the Atlantic. Everything about the Memorial was beautifully done and I spent quite a few moments stopping to reflect on what the history of this war meant for our country and the hundreds of thousands of lives that we lost in order to secure our freedom. I felt so undeniably proud of Grandma Nibs and Grandpa Roman at that precise moment for everything they did and everything they had to endure the rest of their lives.
5:45pm — Happy Hour on the patio at BlackFinn Ameripub. Let’s just say I had a rather interesting experience with a homeless woman!
We finished off the night by taking the Metro back to Arlington and walked to a nearby Irish restaurant to rest our legs and ultimately call it a night at the hotel. All in all we logged approximately 9.4 miles on Day 1 with lots more to see!
DAY 2 : FRIDAY
Needless to say we allowed ourselves the opportunity to sleep in after a busy day and grabbed a Metro straight to the Smithsonian to get Day 2 started.
10:30am — National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian. Bring your best walking shoes and leave a full day open when you plan to stop at any of these museums! We didn’t have a full day open, but we did manage to spend 2.5 hours mainly walking through the war history of our great country starting with the Revolutionary War up to present day. It was utterly fascinating & I enjoyed every minute of it. I do wish we could have had more time to walk through the other exhibits but we had to be on to our scheduled tour of the Capitol!
2:00pm — Guided tour of the U.S. Capitol. I’ll be honest, at first I wasn’t very excited about visiting the Capitol, but I’m so glad my Mom had arranged for us to do this. The structure alone is worth viewing up close, but once you get inside and learn about the history that has taken place within this building it’s worth taking the time to go on a tour. Unfortunately they are remodeling the top of the Capitol while we were there which wasn’t very photogenic.
3:00pm — Walked over to the adjacent Library of Congress. Let’s just say the architecture and attention to detail is remarkable!
Right next door to the Library of Congress is the Supreme Court building. The architecture and grandiose size sure does fit the bill with what goes on inside!
3:45pm — Walked to Union Station and then throughout the city to 7th Street, otherwise known as “Restaurant Row.”
5:30pm — Dinner and drinks at District Chophouse & Brewery. This was our first meal of the day so we didn’t spare any expense towards treating ourselves to a great meal. A bottle of Chardonnay, a decadent shrimp appetizer followed by steaks and lobster and we were rolling out the doors.
Back to our hotel for an early night in.
DAY 3 : SATURDAY
10:15am — Time to head out of the city and off to visit the home of our 1st President, Mr. George Washington, in Mount Vernon. Before we headed up to walk the grounds of his gorgeous farm nestled on the Potomac River, we had ourselves a nice lunch at the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant.
I loved having the opportunity to get out in the country and view Mount Vernon. They truly had themselves the best of the land and being able to take a tour of their home, walk amongst the gardens and even see the family’s tomb, it was a sight to be seen. It makes you stop and take a moment to realize that you are walking the same paths that our 1st President walked on. How surreal is that?!?!
3:00pm — Taxi to historic Alexandria, VA. History cannot be taught without mentioning how much of it passed through the streets of Alexandria.
3:45pm — Drinks at Columbia Firehouse Restaurant & Barroom. A beautifully preserved historic firehouse built in 1883.
4:30pm — Boat ride on the Potomac River to Georgetown. Somehow, someway I completely forgot to take any pictures while on the boat! Once we got off the boat, we completely forgot about it being Halloween and the streets were packed! It was definitely a fun way to see a new part of the city with all the crazy commotion going on.
7:00pm — Dinner at Piccolo Italian Restaurant in Georgetown. An absolutely wonderful meal where they even served gluten free spaghetti with a bolognese sauce complete with a charming violinist. It was heavenly.
Back to hotel for another good night’s rest!
We certainly managed to accomplish quite a bit in the first 3 days of our trip. We never did stay out too late as we were often left exhausted from all the walking. That was fine with me because my motto when visiting a new city is to eat and drink your way through it so I got my fair share of wine and good eats throughout the day and early evening!
Stay tuned for all the adventures we had on Day 4 & 5 in the next installment showcasing our historic trip to Washington D.C.!