Family Field Trip: Washington DC

At the White House

We are back from our whirlwind trip to Washington DC. It was so much fun! I didn’t think we would manage to see everything in 6 days, but we pretty much pulled it off. Today I am going to share some of the highlights from our trip and some of the things we learned along the way! First: The Metro is your best friend! Seriously, traffic in the city is beyond crazy. Just trying to get to our hotel we had to make a complete circle because of all the one-way streets, and it was bumper to bumper all day long. When we first arrived at the Metro, a very friendly staff member helped us pick out the best passes for us (I was genuinely surprised at how friendly and willing to help the people were up there! I figured in the fast-paced city that might not happen). We purchased the one-week short trip passes. They cost $48.00, but allow you to ride as many short trips as you want. This was really helpful as we were taking one and two-stop trips during the day. If you take a longer trip (like the 9 stop ride to our hotel) you have to pay a little money after you get off the metro, but it was never more than 30 cents. There’s also a great Metro app that allows you to find the nearest station and tells you when trains are due in.

The first day we were there we hit the Museum of American History, which was awesome. Their display of the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write The Star Spangled Banner brought tears to my eyes. My hubby and boys really enjoyed the interactive displays at the Air and Space Museum too. And of course, we walked the National Mall and saw all the monuments!

The Lincoln Memorial

On our second day, we toured the Capitol building, the National Archives, and the Library of Congress. I have to say, they are so breathtaking in person. Our guides told us that we were there at the perfect time, because most of the tourists were gone and the lines were very small. Also, the weather was perfect, cool, but not cold. We could have spent hours poring over the Declaration of Independence, and I loved the gorgeous columns and murals in the buildings.

The hushed tones at the war memorials and Arlington were moving and humbling. We saw quite a few Vietnam Veterans there. I thought the World War II memorial was the most beautiful, and I was really amazed at the Korean War Memorial too.

The International Spy Museum was high on my son’s list of things to do, but I was a little concerned about the price. However, I was able to find an online deal for tickets at $11 each, so we went and it was totally worth it. They have a ton of interactive displays that are just so much fun!! We were also very fortunate that our hotel offered a free breakfast and came with a kitchenette. I brought my crock pot and made meals in the morning, so we really only ended up paying for lunch, which saved a lot of money. Of course, there are so many great places to eat in DC! You can find pretty much everything. The food trucks even have their own app (Food Truck Fiesta) that allows you to track their location!!

By far, the favorite part of trip was our last night there. We stayed in the city for dinner that night, and then went to the National Mall and saw the monuments all lit up. They were so breathtaking at night. Honestly, if you go to DC, be sure to make time to do this!

So, this was, hands down, one of the best trips ever! Even though we had a 15 hour drive, we didn’t mind a bit!

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