I went to Washington DC a couple years ago to visit some relatives and took the time to tour the city. Washington DC is a great city if you’re into museums. I happen to love museums, so this trip was a blast.
The National Mall is a strip of Smithsonian Museums in front of the Capitol in Washington DC. Because the Smithsonian Institute is government funded, all the museums in the National Mall are free, which makes DC an ideal vacation spot for those of you who want to take a trip on a budget.
Make sure you check what other events are occurring during your trip. I didn’t and happened to go to DC when there was a national Boy Scout convention. These kids traveled in the 20s and were in every museum, making it difficult to see each exhibit.
We went in August and the weather was scorching! The 10 minute walks to and from each museum were difficult in the 90 degree weather. I would recommend going in the spring or fall when the weather is less extreme.
The National Air & Space Museum
Holocaust Memorial Museum
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Mt. Vernon (George Washington’s home)
I would skip:
International Spy Museum – Was pretty lame and not worth the $18 entrance fee
Since there are tons of interesting museums in DC, I created an aggressive itinerary to follow on my trip.
Itinerary and photos after the jump.
This itinerary may not be realistic for some of you, so make sure you adjust the attractions and times to your comfort.
|10:00 am||Grab Tickets for Holocaust Memorial Museum (10am-5:20pm)|
|IF YOU CAN’T SEE HMM UNTIL AFTERNOON,|
|10:30 am||Visit Memorials
|Afternoon||Holocaust Memorial Museum (10am-5:30pm)|
|5:00 pm||National Museum of Natural History (10am-5:30pm)|
|IF YOU SEE HMM AT 10AM,|
|10:00 am||Holocaust Memorial Museum|
|2:00 pm||National Museum of Natural History|
|5:00 pm||Visit Memorials (at sunset)
|9:00 am||Fords Theater (9am – 5:00pm; 15 minute talks except between 12pm-2pm)
- Theater where Abraham Lincoln got shot. You can visit the house where he died is across the street.
|10:00 am||National Air and Space Museum and lunch (10am-5:30pm)|
|2:00 pm||National Museum of the American Indian (10am-5:30pm)|
|5:00 pm||International Spy Museum (9am-8pm) (tickets are $18 per person)|
|8:00 am||Arrive at Mt. Vernon (8am-5pm) (tickets $15)|
|2:00 pm||Arlington National Cemetery (8am-7pm) (parking $1.75 for first 3hrs, $2 after that)
- Cemetery with the eternal flame, tomb of the unknown and JFK.
|3:30 pm||National Zoo (10am-6pm)|
|6:00 pm||Dinner: Lebanese Taverna|
|9:00 am||Manassas Battleground Park(8:30am-5pm) ($3 for 3 days)
- Battlefield where the Confederates won during the Civil War. I’d rather go to Gettysburg (where the Union won) but it was too far
|1:00 pm||National Gallery of Art East (10am-5:00pm)
- Modern and Contemporary art
|3:00 pm||National Gallery of Art West (10am-5:00pm)
- Classic European Art from the Medieval time period
|9L00 am||Tour of the Capitol (Got a hook-up from my uncle, but you can request a tour prior to your trip by filling out this online form here.)|
View of the National Mall and the Washington Monument from the National Post Office
The International Spy Museum
Pool walking up to the Lincoln Memorial
The Washington Monument