• A Capital Experience – Washington D.C.

    Michelle Hamilton
    What if I told you there’s a destination with scrumptious food, learning experiences for your children, so many gorgeous sites you can barely fit them all in — and wait for it — many attractions are FREE?

    The U.S. capital, Washington D.C., has all of these and much, much more!

    Let’s start with sightseeing on the National Mall.  If you walk to the Washington Monument – you can’t miss it, it’s the tallest building in town– you can gaze right, left, straight ahead and behind you, and take in the U.S. Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, and the Jefferson Memorial. How’s that for a view from one spot? Even as I write this, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, beckoning visitors and locals alike to take a leisurely stroll around the Tidal Basin in front of the Jefferson Memorial. Springtime is so lovely in Washington.

    Cherry blossoms in bloom in front of Wbashington Monument.  Photo credit: BanyanTree via Wikimedia Commons

    Cherry blossoms in bloom in front of Washington Monument. Photo credit: BanyanTree via Wikimedia Commons

    Though no doubt you’ve heard that the public tours have been cancelled at the White House, there’s no need to worry. The tours are still active at the U.S. Capitol, and there are U.S. Park Service personnel at the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial to answer your questions.

    Now for the museums—you may not realize it, but the Smithsonian Institution is the largest museum and research complex in the world.  It features 19 museums including the National Zoo, so lace up your walking shoes and decide whether you want to view dinosaurs or the Hope Diamond, the First Ladies’ dresses or rockets, the original Stars and Stripes or steam locomotives. The list just goes on and on.

    Here’s just a smattering of the museums available—and remember, entrance is FREE!

    • African American History and Culture Museum
    • Air and Space Museum
    • American Art Museum
    • American History Museum
    • American Indian Museum
    • Natural History
    • Portrait Gallery

    For more information take a look at the Smithsonian’s website: http://www.si.edu/Museums

    With all these cultural adventures, no doubt you’ll work up an appetite, so once again you’ll be spoiled with choices with all the eateries available in Washington.

    Let’s say you need to cater to several of tastes all at once.  Check out the food court on the lower level of Union Station.  http://www.unionstationdc.com/restaurants.  Union Station is gorgeous!

    Perhaps you are looking for something a bit more upscale.  The Capital Grille has superb service and mouth-watering steaks. https://www.thecapitalgrille.com/pages/locations/?id=8003.

    Looking for interesting seafood?  Then McCormick & Schmick’s is the place for you.  Be sure to save room for dessert. Their upside down apple pie is to die for! http://www.mccormickandschmicks.com/locations/washington-dc/washingtondc.aspx?groupid=29.

    How about something lighter or a little easier on the wallet? Try Paul: French Family Bakery and Patisserie http://www.paul-usa.com/ or Cosi http://www.getcosi.com/. Both offer fresh, delicious lighter fare.

    Needless to say, the possibilities for enjoyment and exploration are limitless in Washington, D.C.  You’ll want to go back again, and again.

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