Last month my husband and I went on our first US based trip! After spending the past eight years traveling abroad we are finally branching out to the United States. For how much travel I’ve done abroad, it is crazy how little of the US I have seen. I’ve been to nearby cities like Cincinnati and Chicago but no farther than that. Spring break came and we thought it was the perfect time to travel. While most people were heading to sunny destinations… we headed for Washington DC! We are both history buffs so we were pretty excited to check out all of the museums (oh so many museums… seriously) and historical buildings.
Before our trip we talked about all of the museums we wanted to see out of the massive amount available. We knew there were a ton of museums in DC but oh man. There are A TON of museums in DC. Out of the many we wanted to see, we only managed a handful. The museums were so crowded and some of the bigger ones like the Holocaust museum needed timed tickets to enter. I hadn’t even thought about that so was wholly unprepared. Next time we head back we are DEFINITELY doing way more research and buying tickets.
Another standout from our trip was the experience of driving. I can not stress this enough, I wouldn’t drive in DC unless you absolutely have to. Driving is crazy and parking is a literal nightmare. That was definitely the biggest fail of our trip because we spent so much time stressing about parking. It’s hard to find and when you do, it usually needs to be renewed every two hours. Not very conducive to museum going! One of us had to constantly go back to the car to renew the parking which was a huge bummer.
We stayed in an AirBnB pretty close to all of the museums and monuments. We had a lot of fun walking between the museums and seeing all of the amazing architecture of the state buildings and the Smithsonian museums. I finally got to try out Blue Bottle Coffee and we found a vegan/vegetarian ramen at Sakuramen which is impossible to find here in Indiana. Or at least we haven’t found it yet!
The National Archives was definitely in demand! Every morning there was already a long line up outside and it looked like a ton of students came out for field trips. It always seemed so crowded every time we passed and we didn’t end up being able to go in because standing in line sounded like a waste of time with all of the other stuff to see! We did take a few pictures of the outside. Hopefully next time we’ll get a chance to see the the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence.
This museum was definitely the surprise MVP. We hopped onto a guided tour and we were so glad we did! Me and my husband both read at different speeds so this was a much more enjoyable way to learn about what was going on inside of this museum. We learned so much information from our guide who was truly passionate about the subject. It was cool to see the original Wright brothers airplane and touch an actual piece from the moon. This is a definite stop for space and air nerds!
I was so sad I missed Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors exhibit last year but I still popped over to Hirshhorn to see her pumpkin sitting outside. If you are into modern art with little information, this is for you. Modern art is about 50/50 for me, sometimes I like it and sometimes I don’t. The Inflammatory Essays by Jenny Holzer were intense to read and visually stunning.
The infamous Blue Bottle Coffee! I was so excited to find this coffee shop and give it a try after seeing so many Japanese and Korean people on Instagram brewing their coffee. It didn’t disappoint – their coffee tasted amazing and I loved how committed they were to the environment. Not to mention the freshly made liege waffle tasted out of this world good! Best breakfast ever.
We headed here for the Obama portrait, but got so much more. I wasn’t sure that I would like a portrait museum that much, but the amount of information with each photograph kept me going through to learn more. I especially loved the Civil War rooms. Obama’s portrait was super crowded and they even had security around it. It was crazy!
Funny story, we were actually walking to the White House (in the wrong direction) and ended up at the capital building. I actually said to my husband when I saw it come into the distance, “Look, there it is! The White House!” Yeah, it wasn’t the White House. He still isn’t letting me live that one down. My one of many Washington DC fails.
This was another, “Oh, there it is!” moments. We spent so much time wandering around because the buildings are pretty close together, so we were randomly passing things. The monument was huge, but under construction so you couldn’t get too close. Definitely a must see for history purposes!
We had a blast in Washington DC and already can’t wait to go back (sans rental car lol). Have you been to Washington DC? We kind of failed in the food department and went to too many bad restaurants. What are your favorite spots?