Hi fellow readers! Thought I’d introduce to you my favorites from our capitol DC today. Such an iconic city enriched with so much history. Love this country I live in and our patriotic pride. Check out my recommendations below, Happy travels friends.
The Smithsonian Museums:
American History Museum – My favorite museum to roam through. Highlights include the First lady’s china sets/dresses, First lady’s inaugural gowns, Theodore Roosevelt Teddy Bear, Chelsea Clinton ballet shoes, Wizard of Oz ruby slippers & Glinda staff, star spangled banner gallery and Julia Child’s kitchen replica.
Natural History Museum – Favorite thing to see was the Hope diamond necklace, also thought the rotunda super dome had neat intricate architecture.
White House – If you’re lucky enough to get to do the White House tour, it was definitely the biggest highlight of my whole trip. Everything was so historic and neat to see. I was eager to take pictures of every little thing, but there was just so much to see and look at and they try to keep the people moving as there are a ton of visitors. You’ll get to walk room to room down a set path. Make sure to sign up for a tour 3 months in advance with your congressional office member. We didn’t get to see the oval office or resolute desk, but it was still pretty awesome to see the state dining room, blue room, red room, green room, east room and more. Only annoying part was not being able to wear a purse to carry all my things, but I’m glad they let you bring phones and cameras.
Blair House – President’s Guest House across the street. Interesting to see and pretty architecture. They used to let you walk down the street, but not anymore under the current presidency due to higher security.
Capitol Building/Capitol Hill – Loved the tour and especially enjoyed the house/senate galleries. You must get a separate ticket from your congressional member to see the galleries, but it’s worth it to check these out. Neat to sit in the rooms that I’m used to seeing only on television. The monumental canopy frieze dome and room full of paintings/statues is my favorite.
Supreme Court Building – Highlights include Old Senate Chamber, great hall, grand corridor, courtroom lecture and john marshall statue. Cutest souvenir (you can buy a mini gavel at the gift shop).
Lincoln Memorial/Reflecting Pool – My favorite national monument, make sure to find the Martin Luther King I had a Dream Speech spot. Definitely was the most crowded memorial we visited.
Jefferson Memorial/Tidal Basin – Second favorite national monument, rent the swan paddle boats in the summer for a romantic view. Such a peaceful place because it is farther out from the main area.
National World War II Memorial – absolutely beautiful, my favorite war memorial. Has a great view of the Washington monument.
Georgetown University – I had to visit since it was nearby and heard it was a fun area to go shopping and eat. Such a cute college town with lots of boutiques, expensive row house neighborhoods, and trendy eateries. The Healy building was my favorite. We took the red bus circulator from the main city area to get to Georgetown.
National Archives – Loved seeing the most famous documents in history: Declaration of Independence, Magna Carta, US Constitution, Bill of Rights and emancipation proclamation. Also has one of my favorite gift shops where I bought a ton of cool souvenirs.
Washington Monument – Both times I’ve visited DC the Washington monument has been closed for refurbishment. Hoping someday I’ll be able to climb to the top through the newly build elevator to see the amazing view of the city.
Library of Congress – Really enjoyed the fun tour. My favorite to see was the recreation of Jefferson’s library and the reading room. Also got to see the Gutenberg and mainz bibles.
Ford’s Theatre & Museum/Petersen Boarding House – Lincoln’s assassination site, very eerie and a little creepy to see but I loved learning all the history.
Washington Navy Yard/Nationals Park – Glad we got to see a Washington Nationals MLB game while we were in town. One of the newer stadiums I’ve visited. Got to see Bryce Harper play here before he got traded.
George Washington’s House Mt. Vernon – Kind of out of the way, but glad we made it out here to see Mt. Vernon. The most beautiful house & grounds where we got to sit on the back porch and watch the Potomac river as it rained. The burial site was a little eerie, but very historic and neat to see.
Pentagon – If I ever go back to DC I’d love to take a tour of the Pentagon, I’ve only seen it from a distance. Below you can see the Pentagon from Arlington National Cemetery.
Arlington National Cemetery – Highlight was seeing the Kennedy’s gravesite & eternal flame, Arlington House, Iwo Jima statue and changing of the guard/tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
US Botanic Garden – beautiful, but when we visited the flowers weren’t in bloom so the gardens looked a little bit bare. Still fun to see.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing – do the tour to learn about how they make money, very interesting and super fascinating. The gift shop is neat and you can buy shredded bags of money as souvenirs afterwards or special printed sheets of money.
Department of Treasury – neat to see the building from the outside, but we wish we could’ve gone inside to take a look around
Georgetown Cupcakes – favorite cupcake place in DC, used to love watching the show on food network
J. Paul’s – Restaurant we went to in Georgetown with delicious food. Located on the cutest street too.
Sette Osteria – FAVORITE Italian restaurant in DC, it was so good we ate here our first and last night. I felt like I was truly in Italy, food was so authentic tasting and absolutely amazing. Located in DuPont Circle, which was such a fun trendy area to stroll. I loved the mozzarella Alla caprese, fettuccine alla bolognese, moscato wine and lemon sorbet. Still dreaming about how wonderful the food was. Hoping someday I’ll get to come back.
BLT Steak – Loved this fancy steakhouse, the filet was cooked perfectly and I really enjoyed the sparkling prosecco. Our table also got the seafood platter as a starter. Finished off the meal with delicious peach sorbet.
The Palm Restaurant – Another delicious steak dinner, I had a delicious filet and their whipped garlic mashed potatoes were amazing.
Use the metro transit system – get a weekly pass card if you’ll be going in and out of the city a lot. We stayed in Virginia and used public transit every day
Go to the Smithsonian’s earlier in the day if you want to avoid the crowds
If you have time, visit the Lincoln & Jefferson Memorial both at day & night (amazing different experiences/fireflies come out at night and everything is lit)
Pentagon City stop on Metro has a large shopping mall
Can take the metro to do side trips easily to Boston, Baltimore, Philly, etc.
Alexandria Virginia – One of my favorite places on my trip, a stop at the end of the blue line on the metro and is the most gorgeous waterfront town with amazing restaurants, darling cafes, art galleries and shops on King’s street, lots of character and charm with the brick and cobblestone—trolley rides are free (Chadwick’s was my favorite restaurant=amazing!, Old Fashioned Pop’s Ice Cream Company)
Embassy Suites Old Town – we stayed here in Alexandria Virginia and it was super close to metro making it easy to get into the city. Also had beautiful rooms
Hilton Washington – We’ve also stayed at this hotel when we were in DuPont Circle and it was amazing. The rooms are so nice and it was easy to get to and from the city by uber (12-15 mins away). Loved all the restaurants in the area
There you have it! Enjoy our nation’s capitol and all of its beauty!
Loved this view of the national mall from above as we flew out of Ronald Reagan!