Washington, D.C. is not only our nations capital but it is rich in American history that you rarely can get in one location.
Traveling to Washington, D.C. can be one of two things and there really isn’t much in between honestly. It is, however, a must make trip.
If you haven’t been planning a trip to our nations capital, you should be. Whether you are in California, Washington State, or across the Potomac river and up or down I-95, if you haven’t been there, you need to go.
Don’t let politics or agendas ruin your image of the city. Rich in history, there is something literally enough going on to satisfy even the more picky interests.
The biggest question you have to ask yourself and your family, is where do you want to begin? Let’s start with your first option to visit the capital.
So you are on vacation and Washington is an hour or even two out of your way but you have time to detour. Taking that detour if you have never been can be very exciting, especially for children. You don’t have to do much and you don’t have to get out of your car, but if you do, there is ample parking on the National Mall (the area between the Lincoln Memorial and the World War II memorial).
If you literally just drive through, you will be able to see the Capital building, the Washington Monument, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and a decent glimpse of the Lincoln Memorial. If you cross over the Potomac you will see the Pentagon.
This is a nice way to see the monuments if you can’t stop and while you can say, “Yeah, I’ve been to D.C.” you really haven’t “been” to DC.
Even one day in Washington, D.C. is worth the time and effort of your travel.
Parking by the Lincoln Memorial puts you within a five to ten minute walk of the memorial itself and you can climb the steps to the rotunda. The Vietnam Memorial Wall is to your left looking back over the Reflection Pond towards the Washington Monument. To your right is the Korean War memorial which in my opinion is very underrated.
If you make this quick stop, your good enough for now.
More than a day trip
Do you have more time? A week even? D.C. is pretty cool and yes, having a week to take it all in will still leave you with more to do. The Smithsonian Museums are free and they alone can take almost an entire day for each one. There are several and in the case of the Air and Space Museum, there are two separate parts located miles from each other. One is the resting home of the Space Shuttle Discovery.
From monuments, to museums, you can schedule a tour of the White House and the Capital Building. National Museum of African American History and Culture sits only a few blocks west from the Natural History Museum and is an incredible look at our nations history and the history of our Black American brothers and sisters.
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Cross over the Potomac into Virginia and you can spend the entire day at the National Cemetery in Arlington. Here you will find the resting places of both Robert and John F. Kennedy. The Tomb of the Unknown is incredible but the changing of the guard ratches that up a notch.
The Ford Theater, hundreds of restaurants and even more food trucks will greet you seven days a week. Hit D.C. during Cherry Blossom season and surround yourself in pink flora. And for those Marvel fans, take a jog around the Tidal Basin where Captain American ran past The Falcon in Civil War.
Frankly, there is far too much too list on such a general travel tip but plan ahead and give yourself time to read the print, enjoy the sounds, and realize that you are walking where some of the greatest women and men have walked.