The last time I went to Washington, DC was over ten years ago, on one of those bus trips that takes you to different US cities. The National Mall was awe inspiring, but I remember feeling frustrated because I never had enough time to explore the cavernous museums. Earlier this month, I returned to America’s capital, and made sure I had ample time to wander.
I went to the hits:¬†Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, National Gallery of Art, Space Museum and a few other Smithsonian Museums. I had my Nicolas Cage in National Treasure moment when I saw the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives.
My favourite museum has to be the Newseum. It’s not free like all the Smithsonian Museums, but it’s worth the admission. Even though I’d heard good things about it, I’d still assumed it was going to be boring, with old newspaper archives and stuff like that. Well, I spent over three hours in there. 4D movies, a TV studio, interactive games‚ÄĒyou learn everything about journalism and more. Even the archives are exciting, believe it or not. There’s so much to see that the ticket is valid over two days.
A¬†local I met describes DC as a “brain city.” New York is a “money city,” but in DC, people care more about how educated, well read and well travelled you are. That may be, but my impression of Washingtonians¬†is that they’re very friendly and helpful. When we were lost looking for our hotel, a man on the street asked if we needed directions. Even on the plane ride in, my seat neighbour, a student from American University, saw me flipping through the Washington Lonely Planet guide and offered to give me a list of activities, neighbourhoods to check out, and her favourite places to eat, which really came in handy. Some of the places I wouldn’t have known about on my own, like Bus Boys and Poets, Dakaiya, and Georgetown Cupcake (where I realized that I’ve actually seen their¬†TLC reality show). Most of the¬†recommendation below are from her. Thanks, Neha!
Dan, a new friend from Washington, told me about the¬†Segway tours they had around town. I’ve seen a lot of these tours around, and people looked pretty nerdy with their safety vests, helmets, and headsets,¬†traveling like ducks in a row. I don’t know how it happened, but we went from laughing over how stupid Segway tours were to being on one. Although the safety video they made us watch scared me straight, zipping around Washington on a Segway is the funnest thing ever.
Bike and Roll DC Segway Tour | National Cathedral | Smithsonian Museums | Newseum | National Archives | Library of Congress | Supreme Court | US Capitol Tour | White House
Adams Morgan | DuPont Circle | Farragut North | Foggy Bottom | Georgetown |¬†National Mall | Meridian Hill Park | Metro Centre | U Street
Amsterdam Falafel Shop | Baked and Wired |¬†Bus Boys and Poets | Cafe Bonaparte |¬†Cafe Milano |¬†Cava Grill | Captain Cookie & the Milk Man |¬†Co Co. Sala | Char Bar |¬†Cuba Libre | Dakaiya |¬†District Doughnut |¬†Dolcezza (gelato) | Farmers Fishers Bakers |¬†Founding Farmers | Georgetown Cupcake | Good stuff Eatery | Kramerbooks and Afterwards Cafe |¬†Momofoku | Old Ebbitt Grill | Open City at National Cathedral |¬†Otello |¬†La Colombe |¬†Le Diplomate |¬†Leopold’s Kafe | Mai Thai |¬†Nandos |¬†Peacock Cafe | Rasika |¬†Sichuan Pavilion |¬†Simply Banh Mi |¬†Ted’s Bulletin |¬†Thomas Sweet (ice cream) | Tryst | Zannchi |¬†Zaytinya |¬†Zombie Coffee and Donuts
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Photography by Annie Zhu
What are your favourite things to do in Washington? Let me know in the comments below!