Washington D.C. is a metropolitan full of beauty, history, architecture, and culture. You might think that D.C. is only good for visiting monument, politics and museums, though these are three big factors of D.C. they aren’t the only things to do while you are traveling to our Nation’s Capital.
Timing is everything when you are planning a trip to D.C., though there is always something interesting going on in this great city, if you are wanting to avoid insanely long lines, it is good to plan your trip away from the high seasons. Summer is a very busy season, D.C. is also hot and humid during the summer so if you are traveling with younger kids, you might want to factor in the heat before traveling to D.C. in the peak of summer (July/August). Fall and Spring are beautiful times to visit D.C., picture the cherry blossoms in full bloom and the city is painted pink with Japanese flowers lining the pathways of the National Mall. Or the perfect East Coast fall as the oranges and reds tint the horizon.
Best tip: if you are wanting to get around without fighting with traffic or finding parking, use the metro system to get around. Used by tourists and locals alike the metro system is the easiest way to get around. This will also save your feet from walking miles and miles from one side of the city to the other, saves you time too.
If you wanting to visit the White House while visiting our Nation’s Capital, like many do, plan a head. The tours get full months a head of time so once you know when you are traveling and want to visit the White House, book it.
Many travelers think that if you are going to “do Washington D.C. right” you have to spend a ton of money to see and do everything but in reality, that’s not true at all. Most of the museums and galleries are free! All the Smithsonian’s, monuments, memorials and the zoo are all on that list of free places to visit.
If you want to really enjoy the National Mall, rent a bike. There are lots of rental locations on either side of the National Mall where you can peddle your way through historical sites – best way to stop and smell the roses, or cherry blossoms, and truly experience the city. I did this during the Cherry Blossom festival and it was AMAZING! I was able to experience the festival, travel around the city and not have to stress about parking or traffic.
This might sound silly, but if you are planning on visiting D.C., wear comfortable shoes! If you are riding the metro, taking a cab, or biking, you are still going to be doing a lot of walking and standing. The museums and monuments are big – you will still be putting some miles on your shoes make sure you don’t regret your wardrobe choice by the night’s end.
While you are visiting the Nation’s Capital you can taste your way around the world all in a single city. Washington DC is a fantastic food city. There are so new restaurants opening all the time. In this city not only will you find hot new restaurants by Top Chef contestants like Mike Isabella’s Kapnos and Graffiato but you’ll also find a overabundance of ethnic cuisines. Ethiopian is very popular, and you can find a region of great in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. Another great way to taste your way around the world on a city food tour. On a tour, you can get to know the city, the culture and of course the restaurants. Be sure to check out the food tour in the U Street neighborhood, which blends history and food in one of the coolest areas of town.
Photography Tip: if you are looking for the perfect D.C. Instagram photo, visit the monuments at night. All the monuments are open 24 hours a day and with the beautiful lights, you will have a beautiful space that will light up your Instagram feed.
Finish up your trip to D.C. to Old Town Alexandria. “Start at the very beginning, a very good place to start” as the song goes! Take the metro to King Street (don’t expect to find parking) and start walking south from there or take the free trolley if you’d rather not walk. There are dozens of shops to browse, sidewalk cafes and some great restaurants. Towards the end of the street is the Potomac River Harbor that’s filled with boats and has amazing views to enjoy the sunset. Chart House is an absolutely must!
Whatever strikes your fancy when you travel, D.C. offers something for everyone! History, food, culture, amazing views, wander the city to explore our capital’s rich history and cultural diversity.
Traveling Photographer Out!