Washington, DC, the Nation’s Capital of the United States is an amazing place to visit. There are museums, monuments, art, history, and wonderful cuisine. DC is awesome for families, couples, large groups, and budget conscious travelers, as most attractions are completely free!
Regan Washington National, Washington Dulles International, and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall are the three airports close to the Nation’s Capital. Amtrak Union Station is located in the heart of the city and trains and buses arrive at all hours, from all areas of the United States.
Getting around DC
As with most major cities, parking and driving around DC can get expensive and complicated. Luckily there is easy to use, accessible public transportation, of metro, buses, taxis, and Uber you can use while visiting. Please keep in mind that overnight hotel parking in DC can be quite expensive, so please try to get a hotel that includes free or discounted parking. DC is also great for walkers and bikes are readily available for rent throughout the city.
Where to stay
There are thousands of lodging options in DC and the surrounding areas and since there is so much competition, the customer wins. The customer wins because compared to other cities around the world, the lodging prices in DC and its surrounding areas are quite competitive. Just outside DC, you find two Ritz Carlton Hotels, The Ritz Carlton Tyson’s Corner and The Ritz Carlton Pentagon City, both of these luxurious hotels are excellent and compared to Ritz Hotels in other cities, the prices are very affordable. Airbnb is widely available for larger families or for those whom prefer apartment accommodations.
Where to eat
Washington DC has an active and upcoming food scene. There are wonderful options for dining, for casual street Mexican style tacos, my favorite is Taco Bamba Taqueria. For Texas style barbecue I recommend Hill Country Barbecue Market. For awesome guacamole and margaritas you can head over to Rosa Mexicano. For afternoon tea, my favorite option is Mandarin Oriental Hotel, visit Chef Jose Andres Jaleo for the best Gin Tonics in town and awesome paellas and tapas. For Southern fare including awesome shrimp and grits, visit Busboys and Poets. For the best Sunday brunch in town, head over to Seasons Restaurant, located inside the Four Seasons Hotel, with bottomless mimosas! For an awesome cappuccino and freshly baked bread and pastries, I like Maison Kayser. For a quick lunch, head over to Luke’s Lobster, and enjoy a fresh Maine style lobster roll. For Michelin Star restaurants I suggest trying to get a seat at Rose’s Luxury or Pineapple & Pearls. For well crafted cocktails and awesome bites my favorite spot is Benjamin Bar and Lounge at the Trump Hotel.
Things to do
The hard part of visiting DC will be to decide what to do, because there is so much to do and as mentioned above, most attractions are completely free. Here I list a few of my favorite places to visit in DC.
For Arts & Culture: Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Museum of the Bible, National Air and Space Museum, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, National Museum of American History, National Museum of Natural History, National Gallery of Art, and The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
With the exception of the Museum of the Bible, all places listed above are free to visit. The Museum of the Bible suggests a small donation to visit, and it is so wonderful, do not let the small donation prevent you from visiting because it is truly a wonderful museum.
I suggest you search in Groupon for discounted tickets for sightseeing tours, double decker, and Hop-on, Hop-off bus tours, this will save you a lot of money.
Depending on the season you visit, you may be lucky to visit during one of the wonderful events in DC such as the National Chery Blossom Festival, DC Jazz Festival, Passport DC, Memorial Day Parade, Fourth of July Fireworks, Smithsonian Folklife Festival or the National Christmas Tree Lighting.
I invite you to come down and visit Washington DC, it is truly a magical place where you will learn, enjoy, and walk in history.