Hey, guys. I wrote a post last year about traveling in New York City In One Day. Since I also went to Washington D.C last summer and have been there many times, I decided to write a similar post. Then, of course, life got in the way and this draft got buried under ten others and wasn’t a priority. Finally, a year later, I’m writing it. The New York post took so long to write that I didn’t feel like putting in so much time to write another one, which is why it took so long to publish. Now, here’s what you can get done in Washington D.C. In A Day.
If you’re only in D.C. for a day, spend it at the National Mall. It’s free and has the biggest museum in the world. The Smithsonian is something. I’ve been there three times and still haven’t seen all of it.
This map doesn’t do the place justice. It’s HUGE. Be prepared for a lot of walking.
//Native American Museum
It’s technically called the American Indian Museum, but I’ve always called it the Native American Museum. I’m starting with this one because I’m trying to give you a route that has the shortest amount of walking.
//Air And Space Museum
I am actually sick of this museum, but not for the reason you think. Whenever we go to D.C., my grandfather always makes us promise to go to this museum because he worked for NASA. Plus we usually go with other family members when we go there and this is a very popular museum. If it’s your first time, you should definitely go, but I’ve memorized this museum by now.
//Natural History Museum
This museum is really cool. It’s divided by category, continent, and biomes. There’s a section for ocean creatures. There’s a section for the evolution of humans. There’s a section for precious stones. They’ve added a lot of tech advances over the years, so there are 7-minute documentaries in every section explaining everything. This may not be your cup of tea, but I love it.
//American History Museum
This is by far my favorite museum. I wouldn’t have expected it to be, but it is. It doesn’t rehash everything your school textbooks say. There are so many cool and quirky things in this museum. For example, there is a whole section that has the plates and china that the first ladies in the last few decades have chosen. That’s such a cool thing to keep.
It shows history too, of course, but it’s presented in such a cool way. It’s like walking through a maze and there are artifacts everywhere like tools, clothes, and toys. I’ve been to this museum three or four times and still haven’t seen all of it.
//Museum Of Your Choice
Those are the must-see museums in my opinion, but after going through those, go to any museum you want. You can’t see ALL the museums in one day, but you can probably manage five (and still not see everything in them). Last summer, we went to the National Art Museum because they had a Leonardo Da Vinci painting for a limited time. It was a nice museum, but I will say that art museums aren’t my cup of tea.
//National Monuments + Other Cool Stuff//
I’m only going to name the main four everyone wants to take pictures in front of. There are a bunch more that you’ll see walking through the National Mall.
//The White House
This is where the President and his family are supposed to live. I remember the last time I went there, I thought about what Michelle Obama said: “I live in a house built by slaves” and how she watched her daughters play and grow up there. It really puts things in perspective.
//The Capital Building
This is where Congress debates and makes decisions. There was construction going on around it when I was there last summer, but we still snapped a picture.
This is where Martin Luther King did his famous “I Have A Dream” Speech during the March On Washington to end Segregation.
You know the giant statue of Lincoln sitting on a chair? Yeah, that one. That’s the Lincoln Memorial. The walls are carved with his speeches and it’s quite a sight to see. It was raining by the time we got there, so I won’t post those pictures and can’t seem to find the pictures from 2014, so use your imagination
//Other Memorials And Government Buildings
The architecture up there is really cool and there’s a lot to learn. There are memorials for all the wars with information on them. You can see the National Treasury and random statues of people you’ve read about in textbooks but have already forgotten about (heh). Just walk around and enjoy. By the end of the day, you’ll have worked up a sweat.
//Where To Eat//
There aren’t many restaurants around, but there are food courts in some of the museums. I remember the food from the Natural History Museum food court to be good. Make sure to try the macaroni and cheese. The food court is laid out similarly to IKEA’s where you put food on a tray and pay based on what you get. Make sure to check the prices because you may accidentally spend too much. (My uncle did)
That’s pretty much it. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but your feet will be hurting by the end of this day. There are so many cool things to do in Virginia, but if you only have one day to explore, go to the National Mall and Smithsonian Museum. It’s free and those are the best attractions. Besides, sometimes walking around is the best way to get to know a city.
Have you ever been to Washington D.C.? Is the Smithsonian on your bucket list? What is your favorite museum?