About a month ago, I took a weekend trip down to D.C. Honestly, I’m surprised it took me so long to visit our capital, but sometimes you forget about the remarkable places that are so close to home. My decision to visit was a very last minute one, so I only actually got to spend a few hours in D.C. – the rest of my time was in Virginia (…but that’s another story).
With only a few hours to explore, it was clear that I had to get over to the National Mall (aka the big-ass lawn with all the must-sees). Top 5 you CANNOT MISS:
1) The Capitol.
Very awesome to see in person. Can’t lie though – all I could think of is the amazing scene in the movie Independence Day when the aliens blow up the Capitol. Terrible, I know, but awesome.
2) WWII Memorial.
Beautiful memorial. Charming and powerful.
3) Lincoln Memorial (and reflecting pool).
Just like the Capitol, seeing the memorial in person is so much better than any picture or film you’ve seen that has the memorial featured.
4) Korean War Memorial.
Extremely moving. Captivating design.
5) The White House.
Top 5 you should see, time permitting:
1) Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
2) Thomas Jefferson Memorial.
3) Smithsonian Castle.
4) DC War Memorial.
5) FDR Memorial.
What about the Washington Monument, right!? I know its hard to miss this one, considering it is right in the center. Now, I’m not going to lie – I was extremely underwhelmed. However, because I went recently, the monument was under construction. So technically, I shouldn’t judge by appearance. For historical reasons, you still have to see it.
While I’m not a big museum person, The Museum of Natural History was actually pretty damn cool. They have a butterfly exhibit! Oh, speaking of which, skip the Botanical Gardens. Cool, but not fantastic (probably because it is free).
Oh, I nearly forgot. I have a weird fascination with the Ulysses S Grant Memorial – you should definitely take a close up look at these statues!
But Nicole, what if we have more than a few hours and we want to do something non-touristy!?!? I got you covered. My co-worker Ben is a native DC resident and he is way cooler than I am. Here’s what you need to do:
Head over to 11th street, between Kenyon and Monroe. Grab a bite or a drink around here. A few good options are Room 11, The Coupe and Wonderland Ballroom. If you want to catch a show, walk west a few blocks to 14th and Meridian and check out The Dunes. It’s a very cool, second floor venue where you can consistently hear good music. Not to mention, his band even played there. His band is named Adios Ghost. See, I told you he was cool!