If I said I was going to England, you’d think of London. If I said France, you’d think of Paris. If I said Italy, you’d think of Rome (and not just because you’ve read my previous posts here). So why is it that when we think of great travel destinations in the good ole US of A, we rarely think of our own capital city, Washington, D.C.?
I admit, I myself was in this group — I still am, in a way. Despite living just an hour from the nation’s capital during my four years of college, I’ve only been there on three different occasions — and only once during that four-year stint in Baltimore. That trip was in April, to see the famous cherry blossom trees, but as there is so much to do in D.C., we didn’t even make it there, so it’s still on my to do list.
This past trip to Washington, D.C. was just for an afternoon, but we still managed to squeeze in a lot of destinations. I’d already been to some of the Smithsonian museums (and there are so many that it’s basically a week of your time, right there), so we skipped that and first headed for the National Archive Building, as it’s somewhere neither me nor my travel buddy had been before.
Inside was dark and cool and quiet, but still pretty awe-inspiring. It may not be the best place to bring kids who may not “get it,” but for us, it was amazing to see the documents that created the foundation for our country. Unfortunately, National Treasure exaggerated the quality of the Constitution — it’s extremely faded — but still remarkable to see in person.
The one museum we did go to ended up taking a lot more time than we expected, just because the exhibits in it were so fascinating. The Newseum (pictured), which features displays pertaining to the media, was absolutely a place I’d want to go back to. We were there for almost two hours and only tackled two of the seven floors! The exhibits we did see, including on the Berlin Wall, Pulitzer Prize winning photographs, and an amazing rotating exhibit on the F.B.I., had incredible artifacts and amazing stories behind them.
Obviously no trip is complete without food, and it would be a crime if I failed to mention two of the establishments we ate at while in the city. The first, Bobby’s Burger Palace, is run by Food Network celeb, Bobby Flay. His burgers are “crunchified” with a pile of potato chips and he serves spiked milkshakes. I had Kahlua Mocha Vodka, and my friend had Vanilla Caramel Bourbon. Come. On. In continuing with the drinking theme, our night ended at ChurchKey, a bar with over 100 beers on tap — not to mention 300 varieties available bottled. It was overwhelming, especially for someone like me who is not a huge beer drinker, but the staff was incredibly knowledgeable and helpful.
With this trip, I scratched away a little more at the things to do in D.C., but am nowhere close to finished — don’t pass up the chance to visit our nation’s capital!