24 Hours in Washington, DC
I’m not going to lie, the idea of only having 24 hours to see all of this incredible city really caused me some stress. Before we got there seeing all of the things that I wanted to see (so basically everything) in such a short period of time seemed impossible, but much to my surprise, we were able to do it.
Our morning began with a two and half hour road trip from where we were staying in Southern New Jersey into Washington. Our first step was checking into our hotel on Embassy Row which we arrived at by early afternoon. Dupont Circle was a short 5 minute walk from the hotel, so after grabbing a quick bite to eat in this upbeat, busy little neighbourhood of the city we hopped on to the metro and headed towards our first stop of the trip: the US Capitol. We got off the metro at Union Station and walked for about 10 minutes through an adorable little park and towards the Capitol for our tour.
The tour lasted about an hour, and after it ended we walked from the east side of the building down around the side towards the west and the rest of the National Mall. Our next stop was at the reflecting pond right out front of Capitol where we were able to take a few minutes and enjoy the beautiful view of the building as it reflected in the water of the pond. After our short little break we continued our walk through the first half of the National Mall and headed towards the Smithsonian and the Washington Monument. Because of time constraints we were unable to actually go inside the Smithsonian, but seeing it from the outside was amazing nonetheless. After taking a few more minutes to soak in the view of some of Washington’s greatest sights and the amazing weather we were lucky enough to have, we took the metro back to Dupont Circle where we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the pink sunset and an incredible street performance before heading back into the hotel to freshen up before dinner.
For dinner we took a quick Uber ride over to Georgetown, a charming and bustling neighbourhood of the city that lies just outside the more popular tourist destinations and neighbourhoods that we had been visiting earlier on. Georgetown is known for its dining, shopping and recreational waterfront and is definitely not a spot to be missed when visiting the city. For dinner we chose Clyde’s, a semi formal restaurant right in the heart of Georgetown on M Street that served classic American cuisine. After dinner we explored the neighbourhood a bit more before heading back to the hotel for the night.
The next morning was an early one, after eating breakfast at a local bakery in Dupont Circle called Firehook, we hopped back onto the metro and headed back towards the National Mall to see the rest of the sights that we didn’t cross off the day before. We started at the Washington Monument, and then headed towards the Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King Jr memorials.
After visiting these two beautiful memorials, we crossed the street and wandered towards the Korean War Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. The Lincoln Memorial was nothing short of what I expected to be, and was just as incredible as it appears on all of those TV shows and movies. The architecture of the memorial was breathtaking, and made to look even more so sitting on top of a high marble set of stairs. The stairs to the top may look slightly daunting at first, but the view of the city and Lincoln statue that are discovered at the top make the trek well worth it.
Once we finally made our way through all of the major sights of the National Mall, we made our way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue where we saw the White House, one of the nations greatest and most sacred landmarks. Seeing the White House in person was for lack of a better word, insane. Although our timing was not the greatest and everything the landmark currently represents is extremely controversial, it was an amazing experience nonetheless.
By the time we finished all of this, it was late morning and almost the afternoon. After a quick stop for some caffeine, we were back on the metro again and headed just outside the city and into Virginia where we visited the Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon. The cemetery is the nations largest and most scared as its home to the burial sites of many American heroes as well as President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jackie O.
After a quick visit to the pentagon, we hopped back onto the metro for one last ride back to Dupont Circle where we returned to our hotel and gathered our things as we prepared to depart the city and head back to Southern New Jersey. If you ever have the opportunity to visit this incredible city, I urge you to take it. The history, character and charm of this city is unlike any other, making it a must see for all of you travellers out there. Washington now and forever holds a special place in my heart as an experience I was lucky enough to have, and I will definitely be back one day (hopefully for more than 24 hours).