How to experience D.C. in 1 day

Happy Monday friends! Hope you all had a good weekend, and are feeling refreshed to start a new week. Mondays always hit me one of two ways. Either I am super pumped about the week and motivated to make it good and productive, or I am sluggish, can’t seem to find my footing, and am ready to crawl back in bed. Since last Monday was more of the second scenario, this Monday I am insistent on making it a good one.

Wth it being election week, I figured I would throw it back to the other weekend when we went to DC. I expected for there to be a lot going on, with it being so close to the election, but believe it or not, it was very quiet.

A couple weeks ago we went to West Virginia for a wedding, and flew into DC. Goodman and I both hadn’t been since we were in 6th grade, so we were really excited to be able to spend a little bit of time in the city on Friday before we drove over to WV, and then on Sunday before we flew out again. It was the perfect amount of time for being a short amount of time. We went in with no expectations or plans really. I’ll be honest, unlike myself, I did no research leading up to the trip, but thankfully one of my good friends used to live in Virginia and gave me the “must-dos.”

I am going to give you a list version of what we did so that you don’t fall asleep before you get to the end of this, but seriously, I really do feel like we were able to see and experience the city, yet do it in a very short and condensed time. We were not able to go everywhere, and definitely couldn’t go in depth anywhere, but we are already planning to go back and delve in a little deeper next time!

  1. We parked in the middle of the city (we just parked in a garage since it would be a flat rate for the whole day)
  2. We ate lunch at Founding Farmers DC. It was incredible. Awesome family style tables and such a neat atmosphere. We actually split the reuben (it was huge), and then also got the cornbread, which is a must And I got the best sweet tea I’ve ever had. It had a tinge of mint? So good. dsc_0155
  3. We walked a lot. But I feel like that is the best way to feel and experience the city. There are so many beautiful parks and areas that are great to just play, picnic, and walk in.
  4. The Lincoln Memorial was the first stop. It really was breathtaking seeing something so historical and enormous. Definitely worth going to. dsc_0138dsc_0141
  5. Right from there we walked to the Vietnam Memorial and took in all of the names on the wall. It is so humbling to see all of the names and personalize what feels like just something we read about in history books.
  6. The reflection pond connects the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument, so we walked the length of that and then just walked around the Washington Monument. (You can pay to go in it, but with time and weather restrictions we decided not to). We spent a lot of time hanging out by the Reflection Pond and looking at the ducks. dsc_0176dsc_0123dsc_0163dsc_0181dsc_0194dsc_0180
  7. After that we walked about a mile and went to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. This was incredible, and all of the Smithsonian’s are free. This is what I remember most from my trip in 6th grade. Faye loved all of the animals, and the displays they had set up were unreal. Such a good place to bring kids, but it holds so much information that it keeps adults busy for hours as well. (Allow at least 2 hours for this) dsc_0196dsc_0213dsc_0214
  8. Because it started to rain, and it was getting late, we called it a day and headed out. However, we got up early on Sunday morning, and drove through beautiful Maryland straight back to the city.
  9. We spent a good portion of Sunday in Georgetown. I wrote a lot about this amazing spot here if you want to read about it.
  10. After that we drove back into DC, parked on the street (because on the weekends parking is free), and went to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. This place is mind boggling to me. I just don’t have a science mind, so for me to wrap my head around how people design and build planes and spaceships is amazing. However, they have an incredible interactive exhibit that is great to learn basic principles of science. It’s really for kids, but that’s where I think I learned the most!dsc_0537
  11. Finally, we grabbed dinner at a food truck on the National Mall (which is a huge stretch of field that reaches between the Capital building and the Washington Monument and picnicked in the shade of some of our Nation’s most historic buildings. dsc_0544dsc_0602dsc_0551dsc_0609

It was one of my favorite quick trips that we have ever taken as a family. It was packed full, but so much of it was walking, experiencing, and just taking it all in together. I feel like we could go for two weeks and still not see everything, but for the amount of time that we had, I feel like we were able to learn a lot and understand it just a little bit more.

The whole time we were walking around the city, I felt kind of star struck? I’m not sure if that is the right word, but I’ll try to explain. Whether or not we agree on politics, or what goes down in DC all the time, it is amazing to be in the place where so many powerful have been.  The people that built our county. I had a sense of awe being there. I think we could all agree that there are times that this country feels like it has come so far away from what it was founded on, but it is amazing so many of the things that have made our country great happened right there. It’s a place unlike any other.

Anyway, hope this helps if you all ever decide to take a trip to DC, but for those that have been, what are some of your favorite things to do?

Today on my agenda is voting, and I am just thankful we live in a country where we have the opportunity to do just that.




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