Over Labor Day weekend, my boyfriend Cort and I headed to Washington D.C. for a much needed weekend get-away. It was both of our first time’s to D.C. and we instantly fell in love with the old architecture, deep rooted history, and Memorials of America’s Capitol. With three days and so many sights to see, we packed ours days full of site seeing with little down time to make the most of it – but always making time for that morning mimosa because after all it is vacation! 🙂
Day 1: National Mall
We stayed at the Kimpton Topaz hotel located in DuPont Circle. DuPont Circle is the perfect walking distance from all the major tourist attractions, tucked away in a quite and charming little neighborhood with it’s own predominant bar and restaurant scene. The Kimpton Topaz was so generous to upgrade us to an amazing sweet and greet us with some sweets & champagne upon arrival (tbh the doughnuts lasted about 5 seconds haha). Oh and did I mention that they have a complimentary happy hour and hors d’oeuvres every day?? I mean, does it get any better?? Once we checked in, sipped a mimosa and scarfed down a doughnut we set out for the National Mall.
To those of you unfamiliar, the National Mall is not a mall at all, but a large – 146 acre- outdoor pavilion that is comprised of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, US Capitol, the White House, World War 2 Memorial, Franklin D Roosevelt Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, among others. My boyfriend is a HUGE history lover so you can bet we walked all 146 acres of it (note to self: don’t wear brand new tennis shoes to do this- my feet are still recovering from the blister damage). If you aren’t loving the idea of walking each memorial/monument the city does offer various hop on/off bus tours and also offers city bike rentals. One thing that was recommended to us that we did not have time to squeeze in was touring the monuments at night by boat on the Potomac River. From afar they were so beautifully lit I can only imagine how gorgeous they would be up close! Here are a few snap shots of the National Mall:
Day 2: Arlington National Cemetery / Library of Congress/ U.S. State Capitol
On Day 2 we woke up early and got a cab to Arlington National Cemetery. Located in Arlington VA, it is still only a 10 minute cab ride from D.C. (One of the things we loved most about the city was the ability to get to all the major attractions in no more than 20 minutes. The trip to Arlington was hands down my favorite part of the trip. It was incredibly humbling to walk the resting place of so many brave souls who gave their lives for our country. To this day, over 30 funerals a day are held at Arlington. Within Arlington National Cemetery, you can see the resting place of JFK and Jackie Kennedy, the Tomb of the Unknown Solider, Changing of the Guards, as well as the Arlington House.
After trying out D.C’s subway system and taking the train back to downtown (this is a personal victory as I have lived in Chicago for 4 years now and still do not understand how the “L” works haha) we toured the Library of Congress and State Capitol. The Library of Congress was so beautiful I could not get over the detailing in the wall paintings and gold applique. Within the Library of Congress you can also see a collection of Jefferson’s Library. The touring of the State Capitol was a little bit of a let down. There really aren’t many rooms you can explore without signing up for a private/guided tour. And they made me throw out my travel sized hairspray before entering 🙁 #security I’m glad we went to say we did, but I enjoyed the sight from the outside much more. Can you believe how massive it is?
Day 3: Holocaust Museum / Georgetown
We saved the museums for our last day in D.C and I am so glad we did because it rained all morning making it the perfect indoor activity (with minimal walking which is what I was more concerned about given the state of my feet haha). There are so many museums to see in D.C and we really didn’t even scratch the surface due to time constraints. Most museums are free entry other than just a few. We herd great recommendations of the Holocaust museum and decided to check that one out. It took us about 2 hours to get through but you could easily spend double that amount. Other museums to chose from are the Museum of Natural History, National Air and Space Museum, Newseum, National Gallery of Art, International Spy Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum, just to name a few (yes, the list does go on:) #museaumsonmuseums)
For dinner we headed to Georgetown which is the cutest area filled with old architectures, cobblestone streets, century old canals and upscale fashion boutiques. We stopped in for cocktails at Martin’s Tavern. Open since 1933, the restaurant holds a lot of history and was a favorite to famous congressmen, senators, and presidents such a Truman, George W Bush and JFK. It is also where JFK popped the question to Jackie and is now marked as the “proposal booth”. Georgetown is filled with so many restaurants and bars and the night life is definitely a younger crowed given it sits on a college campus but also so much fun! Definitely take a day or half to explore Georgetown when in D.C.
This trip was the perfect way to close out summer while also falling more in love with our great country. For anyone needing a quick weekend getaway, we couldn’t recommend Washington D.C enough! 3 days was the perfect amount of time to see everything we wanted but you could easily spend a week in D.C and not see the same thing twice! Where did you guys travel this summer? Any recommendations for our next getaway? Let us know in the comments below!