A week ago I was returning to work from fall break.
What did I do for fall break?
I already told you about my weekend in New York and a post is coming about our trip to Longwood Gardens, but right in the middle, I went to Washington D.C. My friend Allison flew into the Reagan Airport and I drove down from my home in PA to pick her up and start our mid-week, 48 hour adventure, except that I thought she was flying into the DC international airport. She wasn’t. This was her face when I finally made it to the right place.
Where we stayed:
We stayed at an airbnb in parking district 6. I don’t know the name of the neighborhood (maybe Stanton Park?) but they got us a parking pass, which was VERY nice as we were able to park closer to the National Mall and walk to our destinations, rather than fully rely on public transportation or ubers. That said, we did do a lot of walking. If you are looking for nice accommodations for 2, this was a great, affordable spot!
How we traveled:
We traveled mostly by car, once by subway (which they call the Metro) and twice by kick scooter. Traveling by car is nice when parking is figured out. Traveling by Metro is great if where you are going is within walking distance from a stop (which is not always the case in DC). Travel by kick scooter? Well, that’s just plain fun.
You can get a scooter by downloading the app, scanning the code, and riding. You park a scooter by leaving it somewhere (anywhere) and telling the app that you’ve stopped. The scooters are electric, which means less kicking and more balancing. And less walking. And entertaining if you want to make Insta stories. Win, win, win.
What we did:
Walked. When two frugal girls who aren’t afraid of walking meet a city with poorly connected public transit, they walk a lot. But we didn’t mind. Walking is the best way to meet a city, I think.
La Colombe Cafe. When we first met up we had a lot of catching up to do, so we found a coffee shop and hashed it out. There is a La Colombe in Philadelphia, which we usually frequent when she visits me, so it only made sense to hit up their location in D.C. as well.
Arlington Cemetery and The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We narrowly arrived in time to see the hourly changing of the guard. I think the things that stood out to me were 1. the oddity of visiting graves as a tourist activity, 2. the quantity of people who have died for this country.
Library of Congress. As the largest library in the world, it is sure to impress! They also have some interesting exhibits to explore. We missed the free tour but still enjoyed the size and beauty of it all.
Museum of the Bible. It is, as advertised, a museum entirely about this one book, from how it’s made, to how many languages it’s been translated to, to stories from it, to how it’s affected the world. It is by donation and very well done. I would recommend if you are at all a fan of (or even just curious about) the bible.
The National Symphony Orchestra. We got $15, far away seats, perfect for enjoying the music and resting after a long day of walking. The Orchestra provides a shuttle bus from the Metro station. We recommend it.
Day 2 we hit the National Mall, including the Lincoln Memorial and a long walk to separate museums.
National Museum of African American History and Culture. Phew, what a long title. Well, after the Lincoln Memorial Alison and I split up because she wanted to see the Holocaust Museum and I already have and I wanted to finish what I had started of this museum (as I had been there previously, to the top 2 floors). If you haven’t been here, please go! It was not only interesting, but informative and compelling!
Why to visit Washington D.C.
- So many free things to do! All the Smithsonian museums are free, not to mention walking, street markets, and cemeteries.
- It has it’s own interesting feel that’s different than other major cities. Perhaps because it’s so political? I don’t know. But walking back to the airbnb on empty streets at 10 pm is weird to me.
- The bearable weather. It’s a little bit south, so they get seasons but not extreme ones, I think. Not too many severe days that keep you from walking and exploring.
- History. Politics. America. It’s the capital for goodness sake. I think that makes it worth something!