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!