I think it’s safe to say- if you travel at all- D.C. is a place you’ve either visited or plan to visit. Whether you’re from the US or another country, our Nation’s Capitol seems to be on everyone’s bucket list!
Like everyone else, I couldn’t wait to spend a few days touring an area rich in museums, history and all things politics. Although I’d been to D.C. several times as a child, we’d never made the trip as a family. My children were somewhat interested in the last presidential election and while watching the inauguration coverage I decided 2017 would be the year I’d make a trip happen.
This year also coincided with an American History unit we are working on for Worldschool. As we study the founding of our country, the presidents and all things political- there couldn’t have been a better time for us to get hands on in Washington! My initial itinerary gave us 4 days in the D.C. area before we headed north to Boston for more history experiences. However, our plans took a little turn.
Our road trip went from one week to two, but we added about a million stops. Travel is so addictive and the more I researched, the more I wanted to see! The 4-day stop in D.C. got cut in half…and then again. Yes- I left just 1 day to cover EVERYTHING. Which was crazy. But D.C. was our closest major stop to home, so I planned to just do a quick overview and return for a full stop soon. In theory this plan sounded do-able. In reality, though, I just couldn’t narrow down the list.
That brings me to my first major tip- do not, under any circumstance, attempt to cover the whole D.C. area in a day. I promise, the experience will be unforgettable- but not in the way you’d hope! I think my husband has finally forgiven me. But, I’m under strict instructions NOT to plan anything like that ever again. Ha!
If you give yourself time, there are really endless amounts of things to see and do in D.C. But, if you’re like me and trying to cover a lot of ground quickly- here are the top 10 things you can’t miss:
- The White House
- The Smithsonian Museum
- The Lincoln Memorial
- Capitol Hill
- National Zoo
- The Washington Monument
- Museum of The Bible
- National Mall and Veterans Memorial
- National Air And Space Museum
- Jefferson Memorial
In addition to these 10 places, I highly recommend a visit to Arlington National Cemetery. You will need to plan for about half a day here as it takes a while to park and go through the Cemetery. Be sure to check their website for specific hours and The Changing of the Guard information.
What are your favorite things to experience in D.C.?
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like: