W is for Washington DC (A-Z Blogging Challenge)

How to do Washington?
It's "W" Day for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Washington DC has so much to do, see, and experience that you could easily spend a month there and still be pressed to find enough time. We’ve realized that, like other great cities in the world, you can’t do it all in one trip. Luckily for us, D.C. is an easy transit point for us when we travel back to the States. Dulles is an easy airport to change planes (and who doesn’t love those Star Wars intra-terminal buses).

We usually plan on spending 1-2 days in the area before continuing on to our destination and have been through DC about 4 times now. We’ve just barely scratched the surface. Of course, the Mall, the White House, and all the memorials are must sees. And no matter how many times you visit, there’s always more to discover at any of the Smithsonian museums (my favorite is the Air and Space Museum).

Knowing that we will be going back to Washington has really made our visits much more manageable. We don’t try to do it all. Instead we concentrate on one or two things with each visit. The last time we were there we visited the National Harbor, Mount Vernon, and The Smithsonian’s American History Museum.

The National Harbour wasn’t someplace we would normally have gone. It’s not really our scene, because it’s mostly an outdoor shopping mall in an upscale purpose built urban area along the Potomac river. It hosts outlet shopping, mid to mid-high quality national chain stores, restaurants, and  hotels. So why were we there, and why should you go? It just so happens that this is the new home of the National Children’s Museum. This is an awesome, highly interactive experience museum for little kids, if you’ve got children under 8 years old you should make the time to go there. Plan ahead, you need to buy tickets in advance. And, by the way, no kids? Don’t bother. Adults MUST be accompanied with a minor! We got in only because Corinne had a photo chosen to be placed in one of the permanent exhibits. I know, right? Amazing!

Have you been to Washington DC? Any recommendations? You know we’ll be going back…

It's "W" Day for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge

27 Comments

  1. We often fail to look at destinations closer to home like this when planning a trip but Washington really intrigues me. Although I recently heard that non-Americans can no longer tour the White House which made me a little sad – not sure if this is forever or just during the government shutdown last fall.

    1. I think it’s a permanent thing, but it’s not surprising. I’d guess it’s political in nature.

  2. Interesting about that Children’s Museum. We have family in DC (I feel like I say this about everywhere) and we’ve gone to the city many times to visit them, and on separate occasions. For me, it’s just one of those places I know I’ll return to again and again. I love the variety and would absolutely love to move to the area one day. I agree with you about knowing that you’ll go back, you don’t rush everything. It changes the whole dynamic of a trip.

  3. Have never done more than scratched the surface so no brilliant suggestions! We stayed a couple of nights there at either end of a conference in Baltimore once, and loved it. Last time we visited it was at the end of a holiday which had been mainly walking and small towns and we found it just too overwhelming! Since then, we’ve tried to put city stays at the beginning of a holiday.

  4. We had an amazing time in Washington DC last year even though we only spent a weekend there. Traveling to DC from Harrisburg, PA we were able to head through Maryland and then Virginia which are both gorgeous states in terms of natural scenery. But arriving in DC is when our enjoyment really started. The National Mall is awesome and the fact that everything (or almost everything) is FREE is a huge bonus, especially nowadays where you usually have to pay for museum entrance etc.

    Great post Corinne, glad we picked the ‘other’ Washington for this letter!

  5. I’ve been to Washington many times, and you’re right, Corinne, there’s always so much more to see. Each time we go, we visit the Vietnam Memorial. My husband picked out a random name years ago, and promised that each time he visited Washington, he’d find the name on the wall, and pay his respects to that soldier. Since then, my son and I have also picked out random names to honor. I wrote a post about this last Memorial Day. One thing we’ve not yet gotten to, believe it or not, is the American History Museum. It’s at the top of our list for the next visit!

  6. I love DC especially the museums at the Smithsonian. I was lucky to be there once in the Spring and the sight of the Capital surrounded by the cherry blossoms trees was just so lovely.

  7. We live within 2 hours of DC, but never visit unless we have out-of-town guests that want to see it! My mom grew up there, and even she hasn’t seen or done everything. The monuments are definitely my favorite. We had the opportunity witness the WWII honor flight vets breaking down the government shutdown barriers to see their monument. I was never more proud to be an American than at that moment.

  8. Hi Corinne,
    Most of my recent trips to DC were for business so didn’t much time to explore as I want. I love visiting Smithsonian again and again. As you said, there’s always something to discover. I normally love walking around Georgetown and love the dining scene there as well.
    it’s so awesome that your photograph was included as permanent exhibit at the museum! Congratulations!

  9. While it appears I’m going backward, I’m just picking up posts I missed. We too love DC and so agree it takes multiple trips. We’ve really not done any of the museums yet. Much prefer the outdoor stuff. We did once do a part of one art museum that was opened on a rainy Sunday. We toured a battleship last time we were there and it was awesome…………took alot of time though, they suggest like 2 hours, believe we there more then double that, lol
    sandy recently posted…El Tunel Del Port, Olympic Port, BarcelonaMy Profile

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