I recently returned from a weekend trip to Washington, D.C. and thought I’d share the wonderful time I had with you all. I was already in the area visiting with the rest of the moderation team (see communitymanagers's recent post) so I extended my trip and spent the weekend doing a solo adventure in the city.
I’m a huge history buff so exploring the National Mall and museums makes for a perfect weekend!
Since this was a short trip, and the National Mall is huge, I needed to find the best way to get around quickly so that I could see as much as possible. Prior to the trip, I had told my mom that I really wanted to rent a bike. This was right before Jonas hit, so I got laughed at for the idea. But, I was pleasantly surprise to arrive and find no snow, blue skies, and the perfect weather for bike riding! Here’s my proof!
It was glorious. Saturday morning I woke up early, hopped on my bike, and rode around to all the memorials until the museums opened at 10.
I spent most of my time in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and National Museum of American History. The last time I was in D.C. and in these museums I was in fifth grade, so I had forgotten how truly amazing these museums are. The amount of artifacts, history and information they hold is absolutely incredible. A few highlights:
- Abe Lincoln’s top hat
- The Star-Spangled Banner
- Julia Child’s Kitchen
- Giant crystals three times the size of myself
- A giant squid
- …the list goes on and on
I was also able to do quick run-throughs (and we’re talking quick) through the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Gallery of Art and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Like I said before, I was determined to get in as much as possible. I think I did a pretty good job! The bike definitely helped, because in most places they were putting in new grass in the middle of the lawn, so there was no cutting across. You had to loop all the way around on the sidewalks.
My flight on Sunday wasn’t until 5:30 p.m., so I got almost another full day to spend exploring. I decided to head South East of the National Mall to the Capital Hill neighborhood to get breakfast and check out the famous Eastern Market. The neighborhood is adorable and reminds me a little bit of my neighborhood in Portland, OR. All the houses are painted different colors and there’s funky exterior décor like piano key staircases and giant paper maché statues in the front yards.
No day for me begins without coffee, so I stopped for breakfast at a cute café called Le Pain Quotidien, where I got coffee and the most delicious avocado toast ever! For you avocado lovers out there, this is for you - Avocado on avocado on avocado!
Next was the Eastern market for local arts, crafts and food. The building is awesome. It was built in the 1800’s and has served as a community center ever since.
On my way back into the National Mall and I stumbled upon another highlight of the trip – The United States Botanic Garden! Gardening is one of my favorite pastimes and I love learning about different types of plants, so this was a treasure trove of a find. The gardens are broken up into sections by climate type (tropics, desert, etc.) and I spent two hours or so walking around looking at everything and learning about plants I had never heard of before.
It was a little difficult getting a decent photo of the place since there was so much going on, but here’s a look into the tropics section. It was very warm and humid!
I could have spent all day there, but alas, I had to return to the hotel and get ready for the trip home. I was actually a little late heading to the airport because of how much time I spent in the gardens, but I used Marriott Mobile App’s check-out feature, which allowed me to leave my keys in the room and head out the door when I was ready. The app is great for quick check-ins also. Definitely recommend using it!
Overall, my time in D.C. was amazing and I look forward to more extended weekend trips like this. For those who have visited Washington, D.C., what are your favorite places to visit and explore?
Thanks for reading!