Washington D.C. Our nation’s capital. Why it is not its own state, I am not sure. It is just a city or District that floats in the middle of all the states that surround it. But it is full of rich history built by our founding fathers and totally worth a visit. There are many things worth visiting and doing in Washington D.C. Here is a tourist guide if you have ever thought about visiting our nation’s capital.
The Museums are Free!
Yes you read that right. Our nation’s history at your fingertips, and it’s free. And there are a LOT of museums to check out in Washington DC. You can plan your whole visit alone on museums. The Smithsonian. Free. Every single one of the multiple museums are free. The Portrait Gallery: Free. The American Museum of History: Free. The Holocaust Museum: Free.
White House and Capital Tours
You can take FREE tours of the White House and State Capital. To plan a White House tour you need to call and schedule it weeks in advance of your time being there. The Capital tour can be scheduled online and should be if you are going in the busier times of the year. If you are going to Washington D.C. in the off season you can most likely go on in and grab a ticket. This is a general tour that starts with an informative film and divides you up into groups and takes you through a brief history of some of the rooms inside the capitol. You can take a separate tour of the senate and house but that is not part of the general tour and requires extra planning. But there are multiple free option tours right when you walk in the door or to schedule online.
Washington D.C. is covered in History. Ford’s Theater is where Lincoln was assassinated. It is just a few blocks from the White House. It is worth the visit and the tour and it is also free. Surprise. The most disappointed part of this was to find out that the theater is a recreation of the original theater and the inside decor and design was torn down after the aftermath. It wasn’t rebuilt until the 1960’s, but rebuilt to its original form, just as it was the original day. The tour guides are very informative and it’s an interesting history of your past.
Be Prepared to Walk
DC has a great Metro system and if you are staying In D.C. Proper then you will be able to get around quite easily. However, most of the museums and historical attractions are on the National Mall. There are a few metro stops to get there initially, but not many to run you from place to place. So you can either walk to mall or pick a bike share and ride your bike up and down the mall. We did this our last day to save our feet and it was really cool to ride your bike by the Lincoln Memorial.
The Memorials Are A Must See.
I think these need two trips to visit. One in the day and one in the evening. It you get a nice sunny day in Washington D.C. then you get a lovely clear view of how all the memorials are layed out. From the Lincoln memorial you can see the other end of the mall where the capital is. In the evening, you can see it as well as everything is lit up and glowing and gorgeous. This was one of my favorite parts of the trip as the memorials are so breathtaking and powerful. You will not be dissapointed.
Outside of History
If you’re not a history buff, that is okay. Washington D.C. has plenty to offer. It’s not all free like the museums though. The Washington Capitals are the Stanley cup champs. Go to a hockey game and see what the fuss is all about. OR check out a Football game with the Redskins or a Baseball game with the Nationals. The theater scene in D.C. is quite strong. Pick a local theater and check it out. We were not disappointed. An the blues and jazz scene is thriving as well. Check out a live show. It is easy to buy tickets online and search for shows around town. We enjoyed our time at Blues Alley in the Georgetown Neighborhood, as well as Busboys and Poets which has multiple locations in the D.C. and Baltimore area.
The Metro is nice and convenient in Washington D.C. and also an option to and from the airports. When flying in and out of Ronald Reagan National Airport, you can easily take the Yellow Metro line right into town and transfer where you need to go for a mere $3.00. It saves a lot on an Uber or taxi. If you Flight out of BWI airport in Maryland, you can also take the train for a cheaper option. It will be about $9.00 and you will take the Amtrak train to or from D.C.’s Union station. It takes longer but will save you money in the Long run.