What to See on a Weekend in Washington DC

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What to see and do in Washington DC

 

Whatever the politics centred around Washington DC, USA, you may or may not agree with it (and I don’t think this is the forum to go into my personal opinions), I wanted to share just what a great place it is to visit, if you happen to be going there.

My husband and I spent a long weekend in Washington exploring the city by foot, subway and segway.  Here are a few of my favourite memories.

NewseumWhat to do on a weekend in Washington DC; Newseum in Washington DC

Newseum – This has to be one of my favourite museums of all time.  We spent an afternoon, followed by a morning here, it was fascinating and thought provoking.  It’s the museum that is all about news and that lens through which we see much of the world and how we review much of our recent history.

Newseum: 555 PENNSYLVANIA AVE., N.W., WASHINGTON, DC 20001  Open 9am – 5pm except major public holidays.  Find out more here

SmithsonianWhat to do in Washington DC: Smithsonian

Smithsonians – there are many of them!  Take your pick, see one, see all. From art galleries to history museums, there are just so many options.   We spent time in the Smithsonian Castle, Portrait Gallery, and the Science and Technology Museum seeing space ships, planes and all sorts of other fascinating things.  A fabulous place to bring your kids too!

Opening hours are 10am – 5.30pm – find out more about locations, exhibitions and more at the Smithsonian website.

See the Sights on a Segway

What to do in Washington DC _ see the iconic buildings

Segway Tour of the Big Buildings – White House, Capitol Building, Lincoln Memorial plus so much more – this is the most fun and easiest way to get around DC.  Everything is very spread out and the blocks are long, so taking a segway tour gets you a guided tour of many of the important monuments and buildings, plus it was masses of fun.

What to do in Washington: Segway tour

From the White House to the Lincoln Memorial, watching the sun set on the steps of the Capitol Building as a jazz band played.  Lots to see and experience and so much easier on the legs than walking.

City Segway Tours website has lots of different tour options and are located at 502 23rd St NW, Washington, DC 20037

Arlington Cemetery

Arlington Cemetery – you’ve seen this cemetery in movies and on TV (it’s definitely appeared in House of Cards) and is the burial place of many American presidents and their families (including the Kennedy’s) as well as many soldiers who have served their country.  It’s beautiful and moving and a lovely place to wander through.

What to do in Washington DC - visit the Arlington Cemetery

There are tours you can take, or you can wander through.  Experience the changing of the guard.

Arlington National Cemetery is in Virginia, just the other side of the Potomac River – and  is open every day – find out more here.

Eat in Georgetown

Eating in Georgetown – down by the banks of the Potomac river in Georgetown are lots of restaurants and bars.

Where to eat in Washington: Georgetown

There are so many bars and restaurants here, we were recommended Farmers Fishers Bakers, and the food didn’t disappoint.

Farmers Fishers Bakers – check out the menu and make a booking  The Washington Harbour, 3000 K St NW, Washington, DC 20007

How to Get Around in Washington DC

Getting around – the subway system (Washington Metro) is easy to use.  You buy a reusable, reloadable ticket, add money to it, and swipe it on and off.  It lets you know how much you have left on it, and you can recharge it at any subway station.

How to get around in Washington

Alternatively the cabs are plentiful as are the Uber drivers.

What are your favourite things to see and do in Washington DC?

What to do on a weekend in Washington DC

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7 Comments

  • Heartfelt thanks for not getting into the politics.
    I liked the Freer Gallery. When I toured a long time ago, it was said that they were not allowed to add new acquisitions so the curators just changed things around. 😀 Very nice Asian art. Quite the ornate turquoise bedroom.

  • DC is a great place to do a long weekend with no car needed. I agree with your suggestions, e.g. Smithsonian museums and Arlington Cemetery, etc.

    I highly recommend seeing all of the memorials in DC: Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, Roosevelt, all of the war memorials (including the random little corner parks with a single statue) both during the day and at night. Don’t rush when you are there. Linger. Talk to the Park Rangers. One evening I was at the Lincoln memorial talking to a Ranger who pointed out lights in government offices and told me stories about seeing lights on at night and what was going on in the news. If you get a chance to go up the Washington Monument take it!

    One fun thing to do is to pick up a Passport to the Parks book and collect “cancellation stamps” in your passport and on postcards. All of the National Parks and Monuments have the stamps and some non-park-affiliated places offer their own stamps https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Park_Passport_Stamps

    Visit the National Zoo, Library of Congress, Conservatory, stroll the Mall. Check out the local events listing especially in summer for street fairs and outdoor movies. If you go in spring check out the cherry tree blossoms.

    If you are a US citizen, visit your Congress person’s and Senator’s office (or call before you leave for DC), because their staff can get you passes to the visitor’s gallery for the House and Senate, and sometimes give you tours of the Capitol that you can’t get from the tourist companies.

    Sorry not sure how getting tours of the Capitol works for foreign visitors, but I think anyone can get a tour of the US Supreme Court building if they’re not in session. At least the last time I was there you just had to stand in a line.

    So many other things I’m probably forgetting.

  • My father designed the floor lights on metro platforms to announce the arrival and departure of the trains. He was challenged to find a nonverbal/sound way to let people on the platforms to know when a train was arriving. He also worked on other systems and people movers. He was one of the United States experts on mass transit.

  • The spy museum is a fun place, especially for kids. It covers the history of spying (and includes James Bond’s spy car) It was founded in part by the man that helped get some of the US hostages out of Iran. They also have activities where the family can go out on a spy mission.

  • Would add to the list a visit to the National Cathedral. It is considered to be the last Gothic cathedral that will be built. Even with modern means it was under construction for over 100 years. Three generations of stone masons from the same families worked to carve the gargoyles and statues. Exquisite stone work and carving, stained glass windows (including one holding a specially provided moon rock), lovely gardens in season (Frederick Law Olmstead). A local Episcopal parish — actually The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul — it also hosts presidents and heads of state, important events, and concerts. The docents provide great tours. Not to miss – any musical event. Whether Bach’s B Minor Mass, singing with the Christmas Revels, or an organ recital it’s an experience you will long remember. ( A bit off the tourist circuit of the Mall, but still easy to get to. 3101 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016)

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