1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Things to do in Washington DC

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Bailey_, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. Bailey_

    Bailey_ Guest

    Hi All,

    I have three and a half days in Washington this April and I'm looking for suggestions. We haven't booked a hotel yet so we are looking for somewhere to stay. Obviously, we are looking forward to walking the Mall to see all the memorials and monuments. We'll see the White House and do a tour of the Capital. I'm looking forward to the Smithsonian (particularly the Air and Space Museum, Natural History Museum, and American History Museum). I want to go to Georgetown because I've heard it's fabulous!

    Does anyone have any other suggestions -- hotels, restaurants, things to see? I'd really appreciate any information...

  2. Twizzler

    Twizzler Well-Known Member

    The spy museum is really interesting if you are into that sort of thing.
  3. Sylvia

    Sylvia U.S. Regionals are underway - 6 down, 3 to go!

  4. Nomad

    Nomad Celebrity cheese-monger

    I like the Museum of Women in the Arts.
  5. skateycat

    skateycat Minecraft Widow

    Eat lunch at the Mitsitam Cafe in the National Museum of the American Indian. Yum!
  6. Bailey_

    Bailey_ Guest

    Thanks for the link.
  7. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

    This! I was stunned to find food this good in a museum. :swoon:

    I loved the Newseum. You pay to get in, but it was worth every cent to me.

    Two small museums that I love are the Sackler Gallery and the Freer. They're near the Smithsonian Castle.

    The WWII Memorial was my favorite last trip - absolutely gorgeous. Someday I'll get back and do the night tour to see everything lit up.

    Only place I won't visit when I go is my company's DC branch. :lol:
  8. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    Sackler/Freer are nice and NEVER crowded. In April, you should get to see the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin.
  9. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    The thread from last year was mostly about places that were "off the beaten path." One place on the beaten path that you should consider going to is Mount Vernon. There are a lot of different ways to get there, and one that you might want to consider is by boat.

    One place that I have never been to but hope to visit on my next visit is Theodore Roosevelt Island.

    Washington is well known for its Ethiopian restaurants. I don't have any specific recommendations, but I do know that the Adams Morgan neighborhood does have some good ones.
  10. Aimless

    Aimless Active Member

    Do not delay in reserving your hotel. That's one of the most popular times of year in Washington and you may already be late.
  11. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

    If you are planning on not driving in D.C. and cost is not prohibitive, I recommend the Woodley Park Marriot. Its on top of a Metro station and in one the most beautiful parts of town. Also, there are some nice restaurants right there.

    If you have three and a half days, you don't need any recommendations on things to do since you are already planning to visit the Mall. That will take all your time and you don't want to take any time away from that IMO. Seeing the Capitol, the White House, the Smithsonian Museums and the National Gallery, as well as the monuments will be all you'll want to do.

    Once recommendation I'd make if the weather is good and you like to walk is to take dbell's suggestion and go to the WWII memorial, then walk through Constitutional Gardens and see the Vietnam War memorial and then down to the Lincoln Memorial. I think the Lincoln is the most moving of all the monuments.

    If you like to shop, then you might want to fit the trip to Georgetown in too, and Georgetown has many excellent restaurants. If you just want to stroll a city neighborhood, then I recommend Dupont Circle, which is the best part of D.C. in my humble opinion based on over 50 years of living here. :) If you like Middle Eastern food, you might try Levante restaurant which is right off Dupont Circle, if the weather is nice you can eat outside.

    Don't go to Adams Morgan, its a pit. :shuffle:

    I'd suggest the Hilton Garden Inn if you want to stay right down near the mall, but I'll bet its long since been full for April. Great location though.

    And don't get too excited about seeing the Cherry Blossoms, at the rate the weather is going they are likely to come and go in March.

    But it will be beautiful in April anyway.
  12. redonthehead

    redonthehead Well-Known Member

    The Holocaust Museum was one of my favorite things when we went. Just be sure to have plenty of time because it's so emotional and packed full of information that it can't be done right if you are rushed.

    The WWII memorial and the Korean War memorial was other favorites of mine. But by far the one reason I want to go back so bad is to visit the Holocaust Museum again.
    paskatefan likes this.
  13. cailuj365

    cailuj365 Well-Known Member

    I love the Newseum. The tickets are insanely pricey ($20/adult) but they're also good for two days. The exhibits are really fun and interesting too.

    Unfortunately, The Mall is under construction right now, but all of the surrounding museums and monuments are still open.
    paskatefan likes this.
  14. Reuven

    Reuven Official FSU Alte Kacher

    I concur. We stayed at the Omni Shoreham last time we were there which is just down the street. Great restaurants all in one block and the Metro stop right there. Very convenient.

    paskatefan likes this.
  15. ballettmaus

    ballettmaus Well-Known Member

    Can you still go into National Archives where they keep the Declaration of Independence? Might be worth a look.

    Also, the hop-on-and-off Trolley Tours might be a good way to get around because they stop everywhere you'd want to go. They include Georgetown and the Washington Cathedral which I find pretty impressive and you get some info about the sights/city.

    But with what you've planned I don't think you'd have difficulties filling those three days and a half.
  16. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    My mum is going there for 9 days in August. She was saying she wants to visit the Textile Museum. What is it like?

    I went to DC in 98 and loved it. So much stuff to do. Fantastic place to visit.
  17. Erin

    Erin Well-Known Member

    I'll put in a second vote for Mount Vernon, probably one of my favourite things that I did in DC.

    I also really liked Alexandria's Old Town. Nice area to walk around, do a bit of shopping, do a bit of eating, and see the historic sites. There are also various cruises on the Potomac from there, or you could take a Water Taxi to the National Harbor, which is what I had done.
    paskatefan likes this.
  18. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

    Some DC restaurant suggestions:

    Penn Quarter:
    Oya (Latin Asian fusion)
    Zengo (Latin Asian fusion)
    Oyamel (Mexican)
    Zaytinya (Mediterranean)
    Central Michel Richard
    Matchbox (pizza Burgers)
    CoCoSala (restaurant and chocolate boutique)

    Near/Around White House etc.:
    Old Ebbitt Grill
    Occidental Grill
    Drinks or tea at Willard Intercontinental Hotel
    Georgia Browns (Southern)

    Near Kennedy Center/GW Univ
    Founding Farmers

    Good deals
    CF Folks
    AmsterdamFalafel Shop (ask PRLady for her reccomendations if you like falafel)

    Mie N Yu
    Georgetown cupcake is all the rage

    Wash Post restaurants lists:
  19. DCA

    DCA Member

    Re: National Archives. Yes, the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Magna Carta are all on display. At that time of year, you should think about getting advance tickets (http://www.archives.gov/nae/visit/reserved-visits.html). The line to get into the Rotunda can get rather long during peak season.
  20. skaternum

    skaternum Grooving!

    If you're there on a Friday night, go see the Capitol Steps. It's hilarious musical political satire. Always a great show, and there should be lots of great material since it's an election year.
    KCC likes this.
  21. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

    The DAR Museum was fabulous. No, I'm not into geneology or a DAR person, but I was told to try it out when I was up there a few years ago.

    It is free, and it has a tour which consists of individually decorated rooms for each state in the union. The individual states used artifacts, antiques, and memorabilia to create a snapshot of their state during one period of history. Some were backwoods. Some were Victorian era. Some were colonial.

    One thing that blew my mind was in the Massachusetts room, they had a tea chest from the Boston Tea Party. It was beautiful! I didn't know tea chests were decorated. I also loved the New Jersey room. It had pieces of wood that had been found underwater which were parts of gunrunning boats from the American Revolution. They had been repurposed into artwork.

    If you like history, I recommend it. It also has the nation's largest library for geneologists. I don't have Tombstone Twitch, so I didn't care about that but it was impressive.

    Here's a link to the tour of rooms:

  22. PRlady

    PRlady foot in both camps

    I live in "Little Ethiopia" -- you want to go to U Street and walk it from 16th to 9th. It's a historically black neighborhood, now very diverse, and in addition to the Ethiopian food there's the famous Ben's Chili Bowl and just about every other cuisine. Much better than Georgetown which is now mostly chain stores, I'm sure you have Pottery Barn and Banana Republic at home. :drama:

    Vintage clothing stores on U, too. It's on the Metro Green Line.
  23. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    Go bicycling, Bailey. ;)
  24. skipaway

    skipaway Well-Known Member

  25. KCC

    KCC Well-Known Member

    I HAVE to see this group this year. They are really funny, and with all their new material, it is sure to be side-splitting/crying hilarious regardless of how the election turns out. Hoping they come my way by year's end.
    paskatefan likes this.
  26. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member


    I'm hoping to visit the National Museum of African American History & Culture next month. It looks like I'll need to get a timed pass early on the day of the visit or try to do a walk-in at 1:00 p.m. With that in mind, any guidance on how much time I should allot to see the museum and on how early I would need to get there for the walk-in would be appreciated.

    I would also appreciate iany advice on good Ethiopian or Eritrean restaurants in the District and good Asian restaurants in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
  27. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

    I haven't ventured to try getting in the African American Museum. I figure to give it a couple of years before trying. So I can't help there.

    I just had Ethiopian lunch from a food truck. :lol: But the Ethiopian restaurants I liked closed. No help there either.

    useless Washingtonian...
  28. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    And yet some wonder why we auslanders don't trust people from inside the Beltway. :p
  29. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

  30. NinjaTurtles

    NinjaTurtles Teenage Mutant

    I really like Keren Restaurant in Adams Morgan.

    Also haven't gotten to the AA museum; waiting for the demand to die. :shuffle:
    Vagabond likes this.