Oh, our capital…. a place of beautiful buildings and unhappy faces. I have been to DC many times. I went to graduate school at George Washington University for a semester in fall 2013. Yes, only a semester until I transferred to the lovely University of Pittsburgh. I hated living in DC with a passion. I can’t really even say I lived there though. I drove down on Tuesday mornings and left to go back to PA by 6am on Thursday mornings, a 3 1/2 hour commute one way. It was definitely not the place for me to live. However, visiting is pretty cool.
Andre had never been to the sites in DC. He went to DC for Obama’s inauguration in 2008 with a group from college, but they just went to that then left. This was a crash introduction for him.
For our trip, it was a great two days with nice weather and TONS of walking. I told Andre “Hey, we will be walking a lot so be prepared”, and I still got the “Urg.. I didn’t know there would be so much walking.” -_- Sigh.
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Rosslyn at Key Bridge. It is a beautiful hotel with spacious rooms with great views of the city. It has an amazing fitness center. It also has FREE parking! This is a rarity in DC, so take advantage of it! It was a quick 3-5 minute walk to the metro station. Always take the metro in DC. It is cheap and easy to navigate. Every morning we had breakfast as the hotel. There is a charge for it, but it was not expensive and it had a decent spread.
I won’t get into specific details on every place that we went, but will give an overview of our itinerary. All the Smithsonian museums along the Mall are free, so take advantage of those! We also just ate lunch at food trucks parked along the Mall streets. For us, it was easier than having to find a place to eat in the city. We used dinner as our splurge meal.
- Washington Monument
- White House (outside only)
- WWII Memorial
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial
- Korean War Memorial
- Lincoln Memorial
- Martin Luther King Jr Memorial
- Smithsonian Castle
- National Museum of Natural History
- National Gallery of Art
- National Museum of American History
Dinner at Busboys and Poets: We went to the one on 14th and V Street. I really loved the hipster vibe of the restaurant! One thing that I do like about DC is the availability of restaurants. You really cannot get much diversity in Western PA unless you go to Pittsburgh. I can’t remember what Andre had, but I had the roasted turkey sandwich. I loved the bread!
- Arlington National Cemetery: My first time visiting, and wow, this was powerful. We spent a good bit of time here. We saw the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier’s Changing of the Guard, JFK’s grave site, and Thurgood Marshall’s grave site to name a few.
- Pentagon: The memorial for 9/11 was also very powerful. This was the first time I went to it, and I think it is a must-see.
- Air and Space Museum
- Capital Building (just outside)
- Library of Congress
We took the metro to the Cemetery and the Pentagon, which made the commute quick and easy.
Dinner: We ate at Farmers Fishers Bakers at the Washington Harbour. I can’t remember what I ate there. Honestly though, I can remember that I was not too impressed. It was a beautiful restaurant, but, to me, the food was just “meh”.
Next stop… Shenandoah National Park!