Sometimes all you need is a quick weekend getaway. D.C. was the perfect destination for a 36 hour whirlwind trip to get my dose of politics, history, and generally feelin' American.
I haven't been to D.C. since I was a kid, but after about a year of repeatedly saying "Man, we should really go to D.C.," my boyfriend booked us a weekend trip as a Christmas gift. So we had 36 hours to devour as much as our country's capital as we possibly could, while still finding time to sleep for a sec and stuff our faces with food. I think we did a pretty well rounded job so for this post, let me give you a rundown of our daily itinerary like the president's schedule is published.
8:00am - our flight took off from LaGuardia while we were still half asleep.
9:00am - the flight was a lot shorter than expected and we're already in a car on our way to drop our bags and start the trip off right!
10:30am - a blur of stuffing our faces with whatever food we found at the first restaurant we found, got some more coffee, and wandered around the Dupont Circle area on the way to the White House.
12:00pm - we started our tour of the White House. You can schedule a tour of the White House up to 21 days in advance through your state's representation office. The tour isn't guaranteed (since the White House is sorta important and might not want to have visitors on a certain day) and it's self guided through part of the East Wing. Honestly, it was a bit underwhelming but it was cool feeling to be inside the house that I've seen on countless TV shows, history books, and photos.
12:20pm - yeah, it was a quick tour. We took some more photos outside, stopped by a protest happening in front of the White House, and started off to see more sites.
1:15pm - after strolling past the Washington Monument, we did a lap around the World War II memorial, past the Reflecting Pool, and ended up at the Lincoln Memorial. Lots of memorials to take in, but all stunning in their own right.
3:00pm - we took a quick sit break and then we Lyft'd it to the United States Capitol for another tour. You can also schedule a tour of the Capitol with your state representatives office (lucky for us, da bae's cousin works in the Hawaii state rep's office and gave us the Hawaii version of the tour, including a stop by the coolest statue in the place). The building is incredible, picturesque, and full of history - definitely worth a tour!
4:00pm - connected to the Capitol building through an underground pathway is the Library of Congress. To my surprise, there's a literal library there that anyone can go study in - and in a building this beautiful, why wouldn't you??
5:00pm - after another photoshoot in front of the Capitol (because of course), we rushed to The Hamilton to make it in time for happy hour. Half off sushi from 3 - 6 and after 11 everyday = a delicious first dinner before our second dinner :)
9:00pm - since it's good to walk after your stuff your face, we did a lap by the Jefferson Memorial, Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial - all pretty badass. After all that walking, we worked up our appetite again and hit up The Capital Grille - it was Restaurant Week in D.C. and so we ended up with a 3 course meal, including an insanely juicy steak and drool-worthy creme brûlée. We then proceeded to enter a food coma.
11:00am - I'm the worst at mornings, we took our time grabbing coffee and checking out of the hotel before hitting up the Air and Space Museum (in case you didn't know, you can almost always leave your bags at the hotel even after you check out so you don't have to lug them around all day). The museum was huge and packed full of spaceships and airplanes, but suuuper family friendly - lots of stoked kids running around!
11:45am - we walked down the National Mall to hit up the National Museum of African American History. Since this museum opened only 2 years ago, you have to actually reserve your tickets online since it's in such high demand. Tickets are available the morning of and free. The museum itself is extremely powerful and well curated - it for sure comes in 1st out of all that I went to.
2:00pm - MORE WALKING all the way to the Old Ebbitt Grill for lunch - aka the oldest saloon in Washington. They also were on restaurant week (3 course meals for $25-$35, I just accepted that I would be stuffed the whole trip) and the oyster gumbo and roasted cauliflower were out of this world.
4:00pm - once again, we were stuffed and ready to walk. Next stop was the Hirshhorn Art Museum. Definitely on the smaller side as far as art museums go (or maybe I'm just spoiled in New York) but still worth the visit - Ann Hamilton's "At Hand" was my fav exhibit.
5:30pm - we spent some time wandering around Georgetown - aka home of Georgetown University - which was filled with shops, cafes, bars, restaurants and plenty to see. We taste tested the infamous Georgetown Cupcake (as seen on TLC) against the less famous Baked and Wired. In my expert cupcake opinion, if you have to chose one, I'd go with Baked and Wired - more unique flavors and better cake.
7:30pm - our trip is nearing its end so of course we wrapped it all up with more food. And holy cow did we end on a high note - DAS in Georgetown was crazy delicious, unique, and the service was downright lovely. We filled up on injera, meats, and veggies (mind you, this is after 2 cupcakes), and we were done for.
10:00pm - we're back on the plane to NYC!
These crazy weekend trips are definitely not relaxing, but also a great way to get the most out of a new city. Not having a lot of time makes you utilize every minute (except early mornings in my case haha) and forces you to decide on only the most important things you want to experience.
Have any other recommendations for cities that are perfect for quick trips? Let me know!