destinations North America tips & guides

What to see in Washington DC

The many monuments and museums that populate the US Capitol means there's a lot to do in Washington DC.

Ok, I’m still alive… I know I haven’t posted in a while, it’s just been a busy few days yeewww!

I’m typing away from the basement of a Chicago Hostel, whilst doing laundry. Unfortunately, it’s still a chore that has to be done!

In the past week (since I left you in Europe), I’ve hit three big cities on the East coast. Landing in Washington DC, “training” it up to New York then “bussing” it up to Boston and now my first full day in Chicago as I mentioned earlier. Definitely covering a bit of ground.

Rewinding back to the start, Icelandair – the carrier I took from Europe to the States, is fantastic. Plenty of leg space, good service and as a budget airline, cheap! They coordinate the transatlantic crossing well, with scheduling that makes sense. Definitely worth flying. I got into Washington DC rather easily. Other than the fact Dulles International is in the middle of nowhere. A night bus ride into town then wandering the streets to connect to a subway then walk to my hostel was interesting.

The late sunsets in Europe, long forgotten with 7pm feeling like 9. Streets are pretty easy to navigate around if you can count, know your norths from your souths, easts from your wests and multiple variations of each, or if you ask someone. The Capitol marks the centre with numbered and lettered roads emanating with a directional prefix. Handy to know… Also handy on deciding to walk or find a cab when you are on the corner of 101st and H and you need to go to 78th and P.

DC is fantastic – for a few days. It’s museum heaven for those who can’t google. They are all free and have the “largest collection in the [insert world/country/state/area]” … It’s what Americans do. I recommend taking a walking tour of the city. HI Hostel (where I was staying) ran a free one, led by a volunteer. He was very good. Taking us around Capitol hill and into the Supreme Court. Happy to say, I peed in both. You will discover walking “a couple of blocks” is equivalent to walking across suburbs. Blocks are rather big and Washington is really spread out. It’s also flat, built on a swamp and gets rather hot in the summer. There are many monuments around, a lot of people that have just phased out in history (harsh but fare?) but I had to see the Lincoln memorial – only because of the Simpsons episode where Lisa visits it… It is also the sight where Dr Martin Luther King gave his famous “I have a dream speech”. The latter commemorated with an engraving on the ground at the site. What actually gave me a few chills was walking behind the Capitol and overlooking the place where thousands had gathered to see President Obamas inauguration. The place is HUGE. On a side note, the back of Capitol hill is also nicer than the front. And also for future notes, the monument on the top of the Capitol is in fact a woman, not a man – save yourself that embarrassing question!

We finished the walking tour at the burger joint (it would be rude not to) opened by Spike Mendolhson, a contestant on America’s Top Chef. Great burgers and great mayo. The nightlife in DC is definitely not as big or known, but a good district is Adams Morgan… And find Dan’s Cafe. It’s definitely a locals pub. From the outside you wouldn’t pick it for a bar either. Let’s just say if you wanted value for money for your drinks and you wanted a good night… It’s easily the best place to go. If you wanted a thought – lets just say, shots aren’t meant to be distributed in tomato sauce squeezy bottles. I leave you with that.

My washing is done, so I will post NYC next chance I get!

Until the next stop

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1 comment on “What to see in Washington DC

  1. This blog is awesome!! You make me so jealous of your travels 🙂 I am waving hello from much further south and I hope you are having a blast. Your Lyon post made me miss it from the ’08 trip when we were there!!

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