March 18, 2013

Raise your hand if you've been to Washington D.C.! (You should know that I am not raising my hand.)
Last week I mentioned that we bought plane tickets and this is where we're flying. I've never been, but I already know I'm going to love it there. I just have a feeling. I've heard it's such an unbeatable city. Can't wait to ride their "clean" subway and see the monuments at sunset and visit each neighborhood and eat at some great restaurants. And be in amongst the history! I'm so excited you'd think we were going to Paris. 

We're not leaving until the day after school gets out, so we've got a long while to daydream and plan. Which I like. (Although they're gearing up to start the 4th Quarter at Grant's school already, so it's not too far.) Here's where you guys come in. Help us plan! If you've been to or lived in D.C. do tell me your favorite things to see, do, and eat. Which neighborhood is your favorite? Georgetown? Adams Morgan? Capitol Hill? Dupont Circle? I really want to hear your experiences! There's something about a firsthand recommendation that makes it 10x better. I'll go where you send me! :) 

Top 5 D.C. recommendations.. Go!

23 comments:

ellen said...

I was there in May and the Newseum is amazing and they give you a ticket for 2 days.

http://newseum.org

Hannah said...

Arlington Cemetery is my favorite place; especially in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom. Also, if you are willing to venture out of the capitol, Mount Vernon, George Washington's home, is fascinating.

The Minnesotan with the German-Irish Name said...

My absolute favorite thing to see there is the Library of Congress. Unfortunately, you can't get into the actual library without a special researcher pass, but the part that is open to the public is really cool.

Last time I was in DC, I went to the Washington monument right when it opened, and being there early in the morning was pretty cool.

The best thing about DC, though, is that so much is free! All the monuments, the White House, the Capitol, and even all of the Smithsonian museums (I like Air and Space, and American History). If you haven't already, check the websites of your congressmen; they can get you advance tickets for some of the popular sites so that you don't have to worry about waiting in lines.

I bet Hadley will love the Smithsonian museums. A lot of them have hands-on areas for kids.

If I were going back again (and the congress was in session), I would do a little research about current issues and then make an appointment to visit my congressperson and express my opinion! And then I would see if I could eat lunch in one of the Capitol cafeterias.

Brittany Bennett said...

Wow I was just reminiscing with someone about my trip to Washington D.C. last night. It was my all time favorite vacation!

The Smithsonian museums are fantastic. I believe the American history museum even has Julia Child's kitchen in it :)

Contact one of our Minnesota senators to get a tour of the Capitol building. You may get a chance to meet the senator and they provide you with a great tour.

Ford's Theater was a neat place to visit and doesn't take long to tour.

It is difficult to be disappointed with any activity that you choose because there is so much history available to devour!

Hannah said...

Summer, I know I've already told you about the monuments...but seriously. That's hands down my number 1 recommendation. In the D.C. heat it's much cooler, less busy, and even after the sun goes down, it gives the monuments a whole new feel with the lights.

So, here are my top 5 :)

1. Monuments at night

2. Museums- there are so many free ones (like the Smithsonians), that are really interesting. If you're interested in something a little more fun and adventurous, try the International Spy Museum. :)

3. Arlington National Cemetary- Just an all around good, meaningful place to visit. I also think the old plantation style house on site was just beautiful. It was fun to walk through and imagine life as it was there.

4. The Eastern Market- a little "village" not too far off the mall. There were some shops with really neat old buildings, a farmer's market (at the time, anyways), and less busy, yet interesting restaurants. Kind of an "off-the-beaten-path" feel to it.

5. We visited a lot of military museums/monuments, just because that's what a lot of our life is centered around now. :) It might not be as big of an interest to you, but there were some great museums and places to visit!

I'm no D.C. expert, I've only been there twice..but this is what I loved. :) I have a D.C. photo album on facebook if you want to look and get ideas too!

Yay! Should be such a fun trip. I think everyone needs to go to D.C. at least once in their life.

Julie said...

I would like to reiterate the Smithsonians - Air and Space as well as American History with Julia Child's kitchen!

Also love Eastern Market on the weekends.

Georgetown is so fun to walk around, especially in nice weather. The feel of the neighborhood is pretty cool - old style buildings, lots of restaurants (many with outdoor cafe seating), tons of stores to poke around in.

If you can make it down to Mount Vernon (G Washington's home) it would be so worth it. Take the boat ride along the Potomac.

Obviously the monuments and just wandering around the Mall is great!

Anonymous said...

Might be tough with the baby, but a good way to get an idea of the layout of the city is a Segway tour! We went on one last fall and had a blast. There are bike lanes that you ride in most of the time, so you have plenty of room to ride.

Kaylan said...

We love DC! Such a great city for families and kids. Our favorites are the national gallery, the holocaust museum, the newseum, and the museum of natural history. Also love walking around the gardens. You must get pizza at 2Amys. Here's a little post from the trip we made there last summer http://emeraldhomestead.com/?p=201

Katie Hollander said...

pizza at 2Amys

sweets at Baked&Wired in Georgetown (skip Gtown cupcakes, B&W are much yummier and off the beaten path a bit)

Portrait Gallery: see portraits of all the Presidents and hang out in the lovely courtyard area

you can get a snack in the National Gallery Sculpture Garden, where they also have Jazz on Friday nights in the summer

Mt. Vernon is a bit of a drive south, the the tour is great and the view of the Potomac is great there

I live in Old Town, Alexandria, which is a really fun area to walk around, eat good food, and see some history. You guys will have a great time! Can't wait to hear about your adventures.

Anonymous said...

Ben's Chili Bowl is a must! Historic, Delicious, very reasonably priced.

Michelle said...

Ditto to what everyone said about Arlington and the Smithsonian museums. They are a must. The National Zoo is free and great for kids, obviously. Georgetown is a fun, relaxed walk. I believe the Washington Monument is closed right now. A good alternative for a 360 degree view of the city is the clock tower at the Old Post Office, about a 5 minute walk from Ford's Theatre.

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beckyk said...

fun! I spent a summer at Georgetown and loved it. I echo the recommendation to walk about the neighborhood near the university - it's got a cool, old world vibe and you can imagine the Kennedys living there. You should try The Tombs for food - http://www.tombs.com/main/index.cfm - it was the inspiration for the bar in St Elmo's fire and it's a definite local spot that makes you feel like a student again :) (You can take buses from Dupont Circle to Georgetown) If I were taking my kiddo, we'd have to do the air and space museum - so much to see in the air! I also like to stroll through the Vietnam War Memorial - so moving. And the Lincoln Memorial is so inspiring.

Bethany said...

Lots of great suggestions. I don't think any one has suggested the National Zoo (part of the Smithsonian, so it's free). I love zoos.

I also love Arlington Cemetery, especially the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Changing of the Guard. There's also Arlington House which belonged to Robert E Lee's family and is a museum now.

Here's a couple of military related things. In the summer, the Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps and Silent Drill Platoon perform at two locations. The Evening Parade on Fridays at Marine Barracks Washington (also called 8th and I) and the Sunset Parade on Tuesdays at the Iwo Jima monument in Arlington Cemetery. I've never seen them perform there, but they were here in California last weekend and they put on a great performance. I bet Chesty, the official mascot of the Marine Corps would be there too; he's an English Bulldog puppy. I think the Evening Parade requires a reservation, but the Sunset Parade does not.

I also like the National Museum of the US Navy at the Washington Naval Yards. They have the USS Barry, a destroyer, that you can tour. It's a little harder to get to because it's not near a metro stop and you have to make sure you know what the security procedures are, but I think it's worth it.39

ashley maureen said...

yipee for coming out east! dc will be a great trip for you guys. you must see all the historic sights-- many are listed in these comments. georgetown is a beautiful place to walk and shop (or window shop!) and grab some lunch or coffee (dean & deluca). i just ate at graffiato in chinatown and it was amazing… highly recommend!!

Jordan and Jandee said...

How long are you staying? Lots of great recommendations above, but don't miss the Holocaust museum, profoundly moving.

Linnea Castro said...

Summer, this is so exciting! You are going to love it there... hopefully the cherry blossoms will be budding, too! I used to live in northern Virginia and love that area. Visit as many Smithsonian museums as you can. Also, Design Sponge's Washington, D.C. city guide is always a good place to start:

http://www.designsponge.com/2010/07/washington-dc-design-guide.html

Have fun!

Maggie May said...

I lived in DC for 4 years before moving a short distance away for the last 2 while my husband attends grad school. We're moving back in May and I can't wait!

1. Dupont Circle is great! Eat at Teaism while you're there (another location is in Penn Quarter). Skip Adams Morgan (it's all about 20-somethings partying hard).

2. The zoo! It's free, beautiful, and will be fun for Hadley.

3. Sweet Green has a number of locations (the original is in Georgetown) and is a delish salad place.

4. Pizzaria Paradiso in Georgetown is wonderful.

Enjoy DC!

Amanda said...

I have no recommendations because I've never been, but I just had to tell you that it's funny, because I was JUST saying to a friend this morning that we should take a road trip to DC. I want to visit so badly. Can't wait to read about your adventure there!

Becky B said...

I currently live in DC and often recommend things to visiting family. The monuments at night are beautiful and quieter than the daily bustle. (Note- the Washington
Monument is currently closed.) The Old Post Office Tower is a great alternative to the Washington monument, is free, is hardly ever crowded, and is a great view of DC.

I would pick out a couple Smithsonians, it might be hard to try to see them all. Kids' favorite seems to be the Air & Space.

Arlington Cemetery- you can buy tickets for a shuttle that makes frequent stops at the most popular sites (Grant's house, the Kennedy graves, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier). If you don't opt for the shuttle, it's a lot of uphill walking.

The National Zoo is also a popular stop for those with children.

BONUS: Eastern Market area(see where the locals live and shop)and on weekends there is a large market with great arts and crafts vendors.

Nessa Bixler said...

I used to spend a lot of time there for work... and I ditto the monuments, smithsonians, arlington and Georgetown. I love the East Market.

Dupont Circle is really fun - I bought a really neat pencil sketch of DC for a few dollars and framed it at home - way better than a postcard. The circle sometimes has special things going on.

If you can - making a reservation to see the White House is worth it in my opinion. You don't get to see as mich as before - but just to be there is amazing.

The Gardens!!!!

The food court at the American Indian Museum has cuisine from all over the states. Great for a lunch. There salsa selections and buffalo burgers are amazing.

Rachel said...

You'll have such a good trip! I've lived in DC for 5 years and absolutely love it. My DC top 5:

1. Newseum (not free like the Smithsonians, but definitely worth it) and Smithsonians.
2. National Zoo
3. Eastern Market on weekends
4. Paddle boating on the Tidal Basin (you can rent them by the hour just northeast of the Jefferson Memorial)
5. Restaurants! Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill, Founding Farmers, Old Ebbitt (a classic DC restaurant near White House/Treasury), Protein Bar, Taylor Gourmet - too many to list!

Debbie said...

I live in Virginia and love the DC area. Some great suggestions here. Ben's Chili Bowl is a great restaurant. They have great milk shakes in addition to the Chili. The Zoo, Smithsonians, Capital, WW II Memorial, go to a Washington Nationals game if there is one while you are here. There are different boat tours you can take to see the city from the Potomac River. You can go to Mt. Vernon by boat I am pretty sure. You can take the subway out to Arlington -the Court House station and visit that area. There are lots of stores and restaurants there. Have fun, there is so much to see!

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Hello, I'm Summer. A people-loving introvert whose hope and life is in Jesus. His promises are my passion and my ministry is homelife. This blog is a place for me to write about everyday things. Especially food. My favorite thing to do is sit around a table, lingering over a long meal with good conversation. I live with my husband and our 2 littles. We like blizzards, thrifting, grammar, guacamole, cheerful hearts, nice manners, good movies, and making simple, real, nutrient-dense food.

"If Christ be anything, He must be everything."
-C.H. Spurgeon

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