Welcome to the city that’s home to the White House, the Smithsonian, and enough traffic to make you want to pull your hair out. Yes, we’re talking about Washington DC, the political hub of the United States. But don’t worry, it’s not all politics and bureaucracy here. There’s plenty of fun and exciting things to do and see in the nation’s capital, and we’re here to give you the lowdown.
First up on our list is the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Now, we know what you’re thinking – “Wow, this is going to be a real pick-me-up.” But trust us, this museum is a must-see for anyone visiting DC. It tells the story of the Holocaust through personal accounts, photographs, and artifacts, and is a powerful reminder of the importance of standing up against hate and bigotry. Plus, the museum has some seriously impressive architecture, so even if you’re not into history, it’s worth checking out for the Instagram opportunities alone.
Post Covid things to know. Do you need reservations? Yes, you need reservations. So make sure to plan in advance. But even if you didn’t, don’t give up. We spent three days waking up at 7 AM in the morning to get reservations for that day. (Which you don’t have to do if you plan in advance), The system crashed and we couldn’t actually get the tickets online. So what does one do if they really want to see this? Yep just show up early in the morning. and hope for the best. So on the third day, I took a screenshot of what I was viewing online. Took the screenshot to the door in the morning and they let us in. YAY!
When I first walked in I was a little overwhelmed by the power of what was happening to the Jews. My eyes welled up with tears. Reading the stories was horrifying. I think what even made it more real for me, was I was experiencing this while standing next to a man whose dad had been captured and taken to Auschwitz when he was 12. His dad was one of the lucky ones that lived to tell his story. And the stories go on and on. I didn’t realize how much time had flown by when I was there. So please give yourself some time about 2 1/2 to 3 hours to look around. It’s a pretty powerful museum and there’s a lot of stuff to take in.
If you’re looking for something a little lighter, check out the National Museum of American History. You can see the actual Star-Spangled Banner that inspired our national anthem, as well as Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz. And if you’re a foodie, don’t miss the exhibit on Julia Child’s kitchen – it’s a must-see for anyone who’s ever tried to cook a souffle.
For all, nature lovers out there, the National Museum of Natural History is a must-visit. You can see the Hope Diamond and get up close and personal with some of the world’s creepiest crawlers in the insect zoo. And if you’re feeling brave, check out the tarantula feeding – it’s not for the faint of heart.
Now, let’s talk transportation. DC is a very walkable city, but if you’re looking for a little more speed, why not try out one of the electric scooters or bikes that have taken the city by storm? Companies like Bird and Lime make it easy to rent a scooter or bike with just a few taps on your phone, and it’s supposed to be a fun and eco-friendly way to see the sights. Just be sure to follow the rules of the road and wear a helmet, because nothing ruins a vacation like a trip to the ER.
But our story was a little different, LOL.
Scooters and Bikes
Renting scooters and bikes seems to be an easy way to travel through the mall. As I said it is supposed to make getting from point A to point B a lot quicker (if all goes well)
Our experience with the scooters was one to remember. Or hope to forget whatever you choose. We see a big group of scooters and think wow this will be so much faster to get around. We download the app and the first one doesn’t work. That’s OK we decide to download another app called The Bird. It lets us think we are ready to ride. But will not let the scooter go anywhere. So we try to disengage from the scooter and it won’t let us disengage because it says we’re not at a legal “parking spot”. Yet it happens to be the same spot we picked it up from we hadn’t even moved two feet!
The clock on the app keeps ticking away, charging me by the minute for a ride that won’t move forward, nor let me return the scooter. So in frustration, we decide to just leave the thing behind and start walking towards the mall. We find another place that has a bunch of scooters and decided to attempt this again. It lets us know that we can’t rent another one because we are still on the first one. Oh boy, this was quite funny (to me and quite infuriating to my partner) trying to get these things to work.
We finally get the scooters working. Yay, we are on our way, and they are fast and we are really cooking now. We get to our first stop and decide to lock them up because we were going to use the same ones later (don’t do that again!!! Just get different ones), so we lock them together. We return to our ‘saved’ Scooters but now we can’t unlock them….we are stuck again so frustrating but comical at the same time.
So we abandon these two scooters and find a single that is working. We decided it was too frustrating to try to get two to work so we rode together. It was great until it just stops in the middle of the street. We must have looked like complete imbeciles walking our scooter.
All in all, was it worth taking the scooters? I think so it was worth the frustration even if it is just to make such great stories to talk about!!
Suggestion Don’t use the Bird they were terrible. The only thing we wanted to give this company was the Bird. Lol
Speaking of seeing the sights, we can’t forget about the monuments! From the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, DC is home to some of the most iconic monuments in the country. And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try visiting them at night? The monuments are beautifully lit up after dark, and it’s a great way to beat the crowds and get some amazing photos. Just be careful not to trip over any tourists who are also trying to get the perfect shot.
I’m a native California girl, so I didn’t get to experience all the history that the East Coast takes for granted. It is breathtaking.
Now, let’s talk food. DC is a foodie’s paradise, with options ranging from high-end restaurants to food trucks serving up delicious eats on the go. And if you’re on a budget, the food trucks are definitely the way to go. You can find them all over the city, offering everything from classic American fare to international cuisine. Plus, there’s something about eating from a truck that just makes everything taste better, am I right? And if you’re feeling fancy, check out one of the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants – just be prepared to shell out some serious cash. We opted for the donut chicken sandwich. But before you laugh at us, as we laughed at the people in front of us who ordered it, it was beyond delicious. Savory and Sweet!
And finally, a word on safety. DC is generally a safe city, but like any urban area, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to protect yourself and your belongings. Make sure to keep your valuables close and be mindful of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas like the National Mall. And if you’re out after dark, stick to well-lit areas
As always, let the cool wind blow through your hair as you experience the great history of the Washington DC Pedestrian Mall.