History, museums, beauty, and incredible food.. follow along for the perfect weekend in our Nations Capital, D.C.!
As a nomad with a loooove for all things Europe, I used to think that traveling around the U.S. was boring because it lacked the level of charm and history that is innate in cities like London, Paris, Berlin, Rome.. the list goes on and on! But, the second I arrived in D.C., I knew that this was the history that I had been missing. I must admit, I didn’t want to fall in love with city as easily as I did… mainly just to prove my best friend wrong… but, sadly… he was right! So the moral of the story nomads is to remember every trip big or small is an adventure in itself – don’t be a “big” trip snob like me!! If a trip to D.C. isn’t on your wanderlust bucket list, it should be!
With all that being said….
Here is your perfect weekend itinerary in our country’s gorgeous capital, Washington D.C.! There is nothing more enchanting than a city with a rich and vibrant history that envelops you. D.C. is the epitome of this. With the history of downtown from museums you’ll never want to leave to endless monuments and quintessential Georgetown, this city is a dream! To help you get the most out of a visit to our Capital, I’m going to break down for you how to see and do it all while in D.C. – your perfect itinerary!
First Stop: The White House
The White House is the perfect site to begin with! Every American needs to see The White House – it’s truly awe-inspiring. I swear I just stood there and stared for a solid 10 minutes. So, take your time, soak it up and take your touristy selfie!
Second Stop: The Washington Monument
Honestly, one of my favorite stops! There’s something about the simplicity of the monument that makes it so beautiful. With a view of the White House, The Lincoln Memorial and The Capitol, this site is unbelievable, especially in the fall! I can’t get over the gorgeous colors surrounding each site… I mean just look!!
It’s just a short walk from The White House and the walk is equally as pretty! Walking around D.C. in the fall truly blew me away! The changing colors and beautiful parks and greenery is idealistic and will leave you feeling patriotic.
Did I mention the gorgeous sunsets??? Also, this is the view from our next stop.. The Lincoln Memorial. This view is insane, it’s the perfect location to see a little bit of everything (peep The Capitol in the back).
Third Stop: The Lincoln Memorial
Okay, I know I said The Washington Monument was one of my favorites, but this really was MY FAVORITE! Just a brief walk from The Washington Monument, this historic site is astounding. A clearly recognizable and well-loved monument..it’s truly the kind of place where you find yourself pondering the complexity of life unlike any other touristy site can! The history surrounding you and the utter beauty.. ugh I’m going to run out of adjectives soon.. but let’s just go with this… it’s freaking stunning!!
Perfect spot to sit deep in thought while your friends take “candid” pics of you (it’s ok.. we all do it).
We spent the majority of our time here because I just never wanted to leave!! There’s something so serene about the experience and it’s safe to say this monument photographs well! (Also say hi to Tyler, he doesn’t like being on social media… but he’s best friends with a blogger so SUCKS TO BE YOU)
Fourth Stop: Bike Tour
From here I recommend biking around the city to cover some more ground! It’s truly a gorgeous city and there’s only so much walking that someone can do! So, take a load off your feet and cycle around the historic city. Warning, when it’s old out.. you’re going to need gloves and a hat, and a parka, and hand warmers, mini heater? Maybe I’m a little dramatic because I’m a Texan living in the Sunshine State with NO understanding of how people function in the cold, but either way, the second you start biking it becomes sooo much colder. I could barely feel my fingers at first, but then you block out the cold and just look around at a gorgeous city and it all becomes worth it!
There are bike stations scattered around the city making them easy to find! We used Capital Bikeshare, it was easy to use and worked perfectly for us! But, there are tons and tons of options!
The second day is all about museums!! I know some people might be a little apprehensive hearing this.. but I promise you, these museums are worth it! The plethora of amazing museums around D.C. will blow your mind! If you’re a museum fan it’s hard not to be overwhelmed!
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Let’s start with the infamous Natural History Museum! This was our favorite by far! The entire museum had more exhibits than we knew what to do with, so we decided to chose our top five and go through them. Even without going to every exhibit it still took us a solid two hours because everywhere we turned there was an interactive display or videos that caught your eye! I promise you, you won’t be bored! Oh, and it’s a bonus that all the museums are right next to each other and just a short walk away from each other!
So, why go? One, it’s free! Two, get some culture nomads! And three, it really is a fun experience for all ages! There’s something special about walking into the rotunda of The National History Museum and seeing the iconic Elephant that greets you that makes you feel a sense of excitement!
There were two exhibits that really stood out to us, firstly, the Mammals museum was fantastic! Everywhere you looked there was another animal.. it was like walking through a safari! Secondly, The Last American Dinosaur exhibit was one I was dying to see! It was so fun walking around the skeletons and see the GIGANTIC T-Rex was really exciting! Also, don’t miss seeing the Hope Diamond, it’s exquisite and will give you diamond envy!
Unfortunately, we did not really enjoy the American History Museum! We had really high hopes for it, but just personally felt like it fell flat! But, nonetheless, to each their own!! Here is a run down of some of the other museums to check out:
- National Air and Space Museum (I went years ago and LOVED it)
- United States Holocaust Museum
- National Gallery of Art
- International Spy Museum (I went as a kid and had sooo much fun, it’s a must!!)
- National Portrait Gallery
- National Museum of African American History and Culture
These are just a few of the many many options and if you check out my restaurant recommendations at the bottom Hamilton is very close to these museums for a good lunch!
First Stop: Georgetown
I fell in love with Georgetown’s quaint charm. There was such a contrast between the monuments and city feel of downtown to the intimate streets and hills of Georgetown! I could have walked around forever and loved every second of it! So, lets get started on the day!
For breakfast we went to Martin’s Tavern and it was honestly some of the best food I’ve had! We dined like queens (and a king) with incredibly fluffy pancakes, delicious crab cake Eggs Benedict, mimosas, and lattes! What made it even better is the history of this amazing Tavern! The Tavern is “honored to have served every President from Truman to Bush” and you can feel that history! With booths like the Madeline Albright booth, and even the Proposal Booth where Senator John F. Kennedy proposed to Miss Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, you feel like you’re dining with figments of our Nation’s history, it’s truly special!
^^ The delicious (and rather large) Mimosas are a MUST!
Walk Around Georgetown
Georgetown was an absolute dream! I came right at the end of Fall so I still got to see some of the changing colors and leaves lining the streets.. it was breathtaking! When we went, we went for breakfast and during our wait before getting out table we had time to stroll around and see the gorgeous townhouses that I fell in love with. Around each corner was another picturesque street that I HAD to take a picture of!
^^^ I fell in love with this sweet blue building with the puppy and woman looking out the window! BUT, could you tell it was all painted on? To me it’s the most beautiful “street art” possible to fit the classy feel of Georgetown!
Honestly, I think just exploring Georgetown without too much of an agenda is the best way to do it! I just want to give you some main points so that you don’t miss out! So, after breakfast I’m going to give you some bullet point ideas that you can mix and match to create YOUR perfect itinerary for the day!
- Georgetown University – walk around the gorgeous campus and be a hoya for a day!
- Georgetown Waterfront – In my opinion this is a MUST! It’s also got tons of restaurants and could be a great place for lunch
- The Exorcist Steps – fan of The Exorcist? Check out the steps & even get the chance to climb them!!
- Shopping – with a mixture of boutiques and trendy shops you can find it all!
- C&O Canal Towpath – beautiful place for a stroll
- Washington Monuments Cruise – Seeing the monuments from the water.. what could be better?
- Key Bridge Boathouse – depending on what time of year you go, you can rent kayaks & canoes for water activities
- Washington Harbour – The perfect place for happy hour!
Old Ebbitt Grill is an extremely popular and historic restaurant located near The Treasury and steps away from The White House.. it’s the perfect start to the morning! But, its safest to make a reservation because of how popular the spot is!
Filomena is no stranger to the political scene and with incredibly indulgent pasta dishes and a wine list to die for.. it’s definitely an expensive but well worth it meal! They even decorate for the different holidays, so it’s festive as well if that’s what you’re looking for! You’ll definitely need to book ahead though so don’t forget! Wow, this is an insane close up of my food, but it’s just to prove that it was SOOOO GOOD. What could go wrong with homemade pasta, lobster, and cream???
We actually stumbled upon Hamilton, but the food was incredible and so was the location! It’s right next to the Treasury and The White House, so it’s perfect for tourists, who want a delicious meal!
I hope this has given you a good idea of what to do in D.C. for the weekend! I absolutely loved my trip and am trying to plan another the SECOND the Cherry Blossoms bloom (normally in March). There’s something incredibly special about visiting the Nation’s Capital that makes you feel proud and patriotic. I hope you have that same experience and share pictures with us when/if you go!!
A Nomadic Dreamer,