How many of you have NOT been to Washington DC? Whenever I asked for some fun things to do there on Insta, it seemed like everyone was willing to give information! Thank you so much to all of those who helped, I definitely checked out some of your Washington DC tips and had an amazing time! This post covers fun things to do and tips on packing for DC in August (because we all know that different parts of the year allow for different scenarios). This trip was hard, because 3 of us (including myself) had been to DC multiple times, 2 of us lived there, and 3 of us had never been!
The Changing of the Guard at the Arlington Cemetery
The Jefferson Memorial at Night
The Archives Museum
Remnants of the Berlin Wall
T and I on the Happy Hour Cruise
The Washington Monument and the Reflecting Pool
Pictures from the National Aquarium
Tips for Washington DC:
Packing for DC in August: This was easy, it was HOT, but not as hot as it was here in Texas.
For the daytime, I packed mostly workout clothing, khaki shorts, and jean shorts. Make sure to bring comfortable shoes. You walk and walk and walk and WALK SOME more in DC. I would also recommend a light jacket you can tie around your waist. Stepping inside a cool museum on a hot day will leave you with a chill. We were could inside of every single building or restaurant we went into! Don’t forget your sunglasses AND your sunscreen. I actually got burnt walking around one day!
At night it could get a little chilly, especially if you had a breeze. I mostly packed rompers/jumpsuits or dressy shorts for nighttime. Men will need nice pants and a collared shirt to get into a lot of the bars in DC. My brother-in-law got turned away at the W hotel for being in khaki shorts. I also packed comfortable shoes. The last thing you want to do is hobble around in uncomfortable heels after walking all day long!
Things to Do:
Day 1. We went to Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. The men didn’t really care for it because it is mostly just walking around shopping. I am a huge shopper, and the only thing I bought was some soap! It is just a quaint little town with a lot of history. You can also walk down to the harbor and sit by the water to rest your feet at the end! We ate dinner at Fish Market and ended up with a table full of amazing seafood. That night we drove to the Lincoln and Jefferson monuments. They are so amazing to see at night and something I had never done. We were basically the only ones there!
Recommendation: If you are strapped for time, I would skip Oldtown, but definitely try to go see the monuments at night!!
Day 2. Baltimore Harbor, Maryland. Make sure that you don’t catch rush hour, because a 45 min drive will turn in to an hour and a half (yes, we experienced this!) Baltimore Harbor is home of the Orioles and the Ravens, and you can see both stadiums as you drive up. Be prepared to pay for parking. Even with a validation sticker it was $15. The National Aquarium is a MUST (even though the tickets were $40/person), and it is where we spent the first 3 hours of the day. Make sure to spend the extra $5 for the 4D movie (Sea Monsters was pretty good). After the Aquarium we grabbed some food at Shake Shack (Um, YUM!) and then walked around a little! If you like hot sauce, there is a pretty cool store facing the harbor with tons of tons of different hot sauces for sale and sample. They also have a pretty huge candy store as well! We ate dinner at District Taco (apparently a must to try according to my sister). It is pretty hard getting a seat on a Saturday night in a taco joint there we we had to split up. Then, we ended up at a bar in Clarendon called Don Tito. Make sure to get there early so that you can get a seat on the roof. If not, you will be waiting in line all night long. Also, don’t get a margarita. They fill your cup completely with ice and you get maybe 2 sips from it. Other mixed drinks were poured differently.
Recommendation: GO TO BALTIMORE! It is a MUST to see the aquarium and the stadiums. I would recommend getting tickets at Camden Yards to see the Orioles. Apparently if you sit at the top you have an amazing view of the harbor.
Day 3. Saturday was all about sightseeing since a few in our group had never been to DC. In the morning, we all went to the Arlington Cemetery to see JFK’s gravestone and to see the changing of the guard. It was pretty incredible, but a lot of walking. In August, they change the guard every 30 minutes. From there, half of us went to the Air and Space Museum at the Dulles Airport (you can see a space shuttle and tons and tons of war planes.. even the one who dropped the bomb on Hiroshima) and the other half went to tour some other museums. I was in the group that went to the Museum of Natural History, the Archives, and the White House. The fossil exhibit was closed (booo) but it was pretty cool seeing the Hope Diamond. The archives were pretty interesting as well, but by then we could barely walk! You can see the original Declaration of Independence and Constitution in there! Then we went to see the White House. Make sure you see BOTH sides of the White House. You can see it much more clearly and closely from the back! At night we went to Georgetown and did the DC Happy Hour Boat Cruise. It was sooo fun! It was an hour and half long and the view was so beautiful. We then shopped a little in Georgetown and went to Luke’s Lobster for dinner (YUMMMM).
Recommendation: See all of it! ALL OF IT. Definitely don’t miss the HH boat cruise out of Georgetown.
Day 4: Sad day, we had to leave. Before our flight we went to Busboys and Poets (very interesting place!) Then we drove to the Newseum. This was probably one of my favorites. They had remnants of the World Trade Center, the Berlin Wall, etc and they had every single Pulitzer prize winning photograph up on the wall! You could also see newspapers from every year!!
Recommendation: I could have skipped Busboys and Poets, but my family really enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend the Newseum! Give yourself around 3+ hours to enjoy it!
Things we wanted to do but didn’t have time for: Gettysburg, Mount Vernon, and the Capitol Building
Tip: Give yourself 5 days at least!
Hope this helped! Leave a comment below with what you loved most about your visit/visits to DC!