Washington D.C. remains a top vacation city due to not only being our Nation’s Capital, but by being a great live, work, play, eat and shop city!
I love to walk outside. You too will need gym shoes or comfy walking shoes when you visit this city (no NEW shoes allowed). The first thing you want to do in almost any city you plan to visit or walk in, is to review a map! Spend time with a concierge to reinforce your location and that you’re making the best of your time. I usually take a business card from the hotel as well.
My first trip to Washington D.C. was with my school. We had planned a schedule and made appointments with docents that made the trip efficient. When I took my own children, I did the same thing. Cities like tourists to have a good time and be informed about what their venue offers. So next time you visit, book museums, art and historical, music and eateries in advance! You and your guest or family will be treated to easy tidbits of information like history, stories and memorable experiences. Some of my favorite museums are the Smithsonian Institutions, especially the National Air and Space Museum, the International Spy Museum (which was a real hit for little kids) and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Our family was touched by each docent and I found my kids to really listen to their private docents.
D.C. is a food and culinary mecca! I would recommend reviewing a top list of restaurants before you plan your trip. A few of mine are:
Zaytinya by star chef Jose Andres – they have all sorts of Mediterranean tapas dishes.
Fiola by star chef Fabio Trabocchi for great pasta and seafood located by the Potomac River (I love to walk by the water after or even before we eat).
Equinox by Chef Todd Gray with Mid-Atlantic Cuisine.
SHOPPING & SIGHTS
I like to stay at the Four Seasons in Georgetown or The Fairmont Hotel. We once rented a private home which was really fun too! Today, Airbnb offers more fun ways to visit cities around the world. Reviewing websites will give you the most up-to-date information before your trip, and hotels can help line things up!
I love the Library of Congress, The White House (contact your congressman or woman to get a tour) and walking to all of the monuments. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts always has good music and theater.
It’s funny how traveling can inspire us. After my own visit to Washington, I wanted to go back and work on Capitol Hill. I never got the opportunity. However, 4 of my 5 kids have had the opportunity to experience long periods of time there and one even worked on “the hill” for Senator Mark Kirk. I feel very nostalgic each and every time I visit. I try to learn and experience something new.
This fall with our grown children we will spend our “parents” weekend again in Washington D.C. What’s planned for this trip? We are trying to have dinner with the famous chef Peter Smith and his family, we will go to the National Zoo and see the giant pandas and the lowland gorillas and I think we may want to revisit The Smithsonians. They are constantly updating and bringing in new exhibits!
Plan, play and enjoy D.C. your way!