Washington DC in Three(ish) Days.
We took our three kids (ages 12, 10 and 6) to DC for three full days. We drove from Indiana and arrived mid-afternoon on Saturday and headed home after lunch on Wednesday. It was a great trip – exhausting but so fun!
TRAVEL DAY (SATURDAY)
We arrived to DC mid-afternoon on Saturday and checked into the Embassy Suites Georgetown. We parked our car in their garage and never used it until we left the hotel.
Once we unloaded our things into the room, we put on our walking shoes and headed out!
Lunch – Shake Shack (Dupont Circle)
Walking Tour (National Mall):
- White House (1.1 miles from our hotel) Tours of the White House are available, but you do have to request in advance. We planned our trip on the car on the way to DC, so we missed out on the inside tours.
- Washington Monument (.8 miles from The White House) The Washington Monument was closed for construction so we couldn’t go inside. However, it is still a beautiful site and great photo opportunity!
- National Museum of American History (.3 miles from the Washington Monument) *We stopped here because we needed a bathroom break. All Smithsonians are free.
- Capitol (1.1 miles from the National Museum of American History) Capitol tours are available, but you do have to request in advance.
Dinner – Room Service (which ended up being bad, but we were so worn out from all the walking).
DAY 1 (SUNDAY)
Originally we had planned to attend church somewhere in DC, but between all our walking and the time change (we sprang forward for daylight savings), unfortunately we slept in. Once we got up, we had breakfast at our hotel and headed to the nearest metro to buy passes. Our nearest metro was Dupont Circle Station – just under a 10 minute walk. We rode the metro back to the White House. We had a coupon for a free Oval Office photo after some purchases we made at White House Gifts the day before. After our photo, we walked (.6 miles) to Ford’s Theatre for our 12:30 tour.
- Ford’s Theatre – This is the one visit we planned ahead for. Be sure to buy tickets several weeks in advance for Ford’s Theatre. The tickets include the museum across the street and the Petersen House (where Lincoln died). Unfortunately the Petersen home was closed for renovations while we were there.
- Lunch – BIBIBOP in Chinatown (.4 miles from Ford’s Theatre) We wanted to check out Chinatown, and DC’s china town is not the traditional city’s Chinatown. It’s pretty commercial, but it was still fun!
- Arlington Cemetery (We rode the Metro from Chinatown to Arlington. The Metro station is very near the Arlington Cemetery welcome center.
- Dinner – The Front Page (Dupont Circle) and Krispy Kreme
DAY 2 (MONDAY)
- Museum of the Bible This museum is new to DC and not part of the free Smithsonian museums. However, we were very impressed and it’s a gorgeous facility.
- Lunch – Local Deli (I can’t find the exact location, but it was a deli called Sisters Cafe or something like that).
- National Air and Space Museum – This Smithsonian was only a .3 mile walk from the Museum of the Bible. It is the most popular of the Smithsonians, and it was really crowded.
- Dinner – Union Station (UNO and Sugar) After a brief break at our hotel, we rode the Metro to Union Station. Union Station is a gorgeous building, but it is attached to a train station and bus station (which isn’t so nice).
DAY 3 (TUESDAY)
- Hop-on Hop-off Bus tour Luckily I found a Groupon for this bus tour – it is expensive. However, it was a great way to see all the sights of DC. For our bus, there was a 30 minute gap in buses, so we chose to only hop off at a few places (the weather was pretty chilly and we didn’t want to wait).
- Lincoln Memorial
- Lunch – Food Court at L’Enfant Plaza – We lost a bag on the bus after getting off at the Lincoln Memorial, so we rode the bus the entire loop to get back to stop 1 where our bag was waiting. We ended up eating at a food court white we stopped.
- American History Museum – We stopped at this museum again because we realized we missed the First Ladies dress exhibit, and I really wanted to see it!
- Natural History Museum – We are fans of Night at the Museum, so we had to stop here. It was another very crowded, popular Smithsonian.
- Dinner – District Anchor (.4 mile walk from our hotel) and Crepeaway
TRAVEL DAY (WEDNESDAY)
Mount Vernon – We stopped by Mount Vernon on our way home, and this was by far my favorite stop of the trip. The home and grounds are gorgeous. Buy your tickets online in advance to save a little money and don’t forget to eat at the local restaurant.
It was a great trip!
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