Playing tourist in DC over the weekend is perfect for this time of year. Here are a few of our favorite things to see and do around the city:
Rich in American history, DC boasts dozens of landmarks that draw visitors from all over the world. These include the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, Ford’s Theater and many more. Because many of these landmarks are located right near each other, you can easily make a day trip out of visiting several of these historic sites. Moreover, many of the landmarks offer tours led by experts who have a wealth of knowledge about our capital’s history.
DC is home to the Smithsonian Institution, a collection of museums and research centers. Operated by the National Park Service, these museums are free to all visitors. While there is a museum that appeals to every interest, my two favorites are the Natural History Museum and the Air & Space Museum. The Natural History Museum has exhibitions on rare gems and minerals, as well as different animals and species that existed in the past. If you visit, don’t forget to take a peek at the Hope Diamond, a 112 carat diamond from the 17th century. The Air & Space Museum covers all things aviation, including space exploration; you can even see pieces of the moon! This museum has two locations: one at the Udvar Hazy Center near Dulles Airport, which displays a number of retired planes, and one on the National Mall in DC, which also has several aircrafts to see. If all the walking has worn you out, sit back, relax and watch an IMAX movie at either of the museums.
In addition to its plethora of Smithsonian museums, DC is home to the Newseum and International Spy Museum. The Newseum (as the name may indicate) focuses on the news, journalism and media. Fun for all ages, the Newseum has interesting exhibits on the unfolding of various journalistic events and even allows visitors to try being a news anchor or reporter on TV. \Furthermore, the International Spy Museum exhibits different espionage artifacts and highlights the stories of different spies, along with their missions and how they were discovered. You can even go on your own spy mission! If you’re really into this whole espionage thing, check out the book Spy Sites of Washington DC.
Shopping and Dining
If you’re a shopaholic or a foodie, Georgetown is the place to go! The streets of this 18th-century neighborhood are laden with boutiques and fancy restaurants. Hidden deep inside this neighborhood is the 1789 Georgetown University built in an elaborate gothic style. If you’re interested, step inside Healy Hall to say you’ve been “admitted” to the university. On the way back to the main drag, stop at Georgetown Cupcake for its famous treats featured on the TV show DC Cupcakes on TLC.
Washington Nationals Baseball
Unwind in the evening with a Nats baseball game, and cheer on the curly W. If you’re looking for neighborhoods to explore before the game, check out the area around Capitol Hill, Eastern Market, and Barracks Row, or the Yards section of the Anacostia river front. While all of these areas have great restaurants, cafés and shops, the Yards are set up more like a park and offer summer weekend concerts and lush walking trails. If you’re nostalgic for small independent book stores, visit Capitol Hill Books.
If you’re up for exploring outside of DC proper, check out National Harbor and Old Town Alexandria. The National Harbor boasts many funn activities, from the Capital Wheel with great views of the District to the new MGM Casino to paddle boating near the harbor. Opposite National Harbor on the other side of the river is Old Town, which is where Halt, Buzas & Powell’s offices are located. Old Town Alexandria was recently ranked as one of the best downtown areas in America and hasn’t changed much since the days of George Washington. It’s a really cute coastal town with a great waterfront to walk along and relax. A water taxi connects Old Town Alexandria, National Harbor, the Yards and Georgetown.
Written by Rob Roudik; Outsourced Accounting Supervisor.