Always, always a great place for you to take kids, adults, the grandparents - everybody! But here’s how to make it the best time ever for the kids, especially…..
See the National Mall, of course. But do some of it AT NIGHT.
That’s where everything is and you won’t be able to get it all in during the day so make sure to some things at night (my list is below)! The lights, the buildings all seem more alive in the night to me than in the day.
Here’s what you’ll do at night: The Lincoln Memorial, The Washington Monument and the WWII Memorial. It would be cool to do the Korean War Memorial at night too, but it can be a little scary if they’re too young so leave that for the 10 year and up group.
In the daytime, RENT BIKES!
They will love getting exercise and riding from exhibit to exhibit. Here’s where you take them to the Tidal Basin and see the Jefferson Memorial, The Roosevelt Memorial and Martin Luther King Memorial. Between the parks and the lake, they’ll have a great time. But don’t get too close to the edge of the water……..
Or if you’re a really adventurous family - do the scooters! But, please, make sure you’ve practiced in a safe spot or at home first. Remember how you learned to ride a bike? You do that home first - not in unfamiliar territory.
And then when the weather is bad or hot?
Then you go inside and do the Smithsonian or the National Archives. Any part - it’s all great. Pick your favorite and go!
Have you been to the Spy Museum or the Holocaust Museum? Also great if you have time.
But most of all, DON’T WORRY about trying to get it all in. You won’t be able to. That’s the beauty and struggle with DC all at the same time. You’ll be back……and you’ll get to the things you missed, I promise.
Can’t do much walking riding or biking?
Then you’ve got the Circulator! It’s the big red bus that helps you go from spot to spot. Also great when the heat index reaches over 100......(personal experience on that one)
Here’s my Top 10 List of Things to Do in Washington DC:
1. Lincoln Memorial at night
2. Washington Monument at night
3. WWII Memorial at night
4. Vietnam and Korean War Memorials (daytime)
5. Tidal Basin Area (Jefferson, Roosevelt, MLKing Memorials
6. The White House
7. US Capital Building
8. Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum
9. National Archives Museum
10. Ford Theater Historic Site Visit (where President Lincoln was shot)
11! But, always, always check the events schedule on what's happening in DC and you could end up doing something fun like catching the 50th anniversary of the Apollo landing on the moon.........
Here’s where I have stayed that I enjoyed:
1. Omni Shoreham
2. Marriott Wardman
3. Churchill Hotel (boutique)
Note: I have also stayed at the Washington Hilton but I would not recommend it other than with these two exceptions; a)your conference meeting is there and you like staying with ALL OF YOUR CONFERENCE FRIENDS or b)you can book a room there for a ridiculously lower price than any other hotel. It’s a clean hotel and the staff is good, just way too crowded in their limited space with conventioneers.
And some restaurants that I enjoyed (either chanced upon near tourist sites or destination venues):
1. b DC Penn Quarter (otherwise known as Plan B) is located by the National Archives (see Instagram story in the gallery on the archives!)
2. The Russian House - Russian food with a Georgian slant. And those vodkas! Best selections in the US! We made an evening of this and had a fantastic meal. It’s located at 1800 Connecticut Ave NW.
I'll update this every time I get to DC (which is often) so keep checking back!