Sightseeing DC By Foot
1740 18th St.
Washington, DC 20009
Being the nation’s capitol, the District embodies all that is American. Breathtaking monuments are scattered throughout, providing a history lesson in disguise. There are a number of ways to tour the city, and informative guides are always recommended: bus, Segway, boat, walking. The Smithsonian Institution has over 15 museums in D.C., like the Natural History Museum and the Air and Space Museum. Families, particularly with small children, take great interest in the National Zoo. Don’t forget your walking shoes and your camera.
Cherry Blossom Festival
Date: March 20 – April 13, 2014
Beautiful Japanese cherry trees line the streets of D.C. and bloom during the spring, drawing millions of eager tourists. Most trees are on the grounds of the Washington Monument. Peak blooming season, called the National Cherry Blossom Festival, is March 20 through April 13, conveniently right around typical spring break vacations. The pink and white flowers are truly a vision. Along with the festival comes other family-fun activities: an opening ceremony, kite flight, firework show and parade.
All foodies can rest assured that appetites will be pleased with the famed restaurants. Consider planning ahead and doing your research before making a reservation. D.C. has a lot of unknown, off-the-beaten-path places to dine that one wouldn’t necessarily hear of in the mainstream media. A lot of restaurants are packed in the tiny district. Bakeries and coffee shops are not hard to come by. D.C. is very international, inhabiting people from countries all over the world, and the cuisine reflects such – there is something for everyone.
U Street Corridor
1211 U St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
The shopping in D.C. is unique. Georgetown is filled with notable one-of-a-kind boutiques. Outside of the huge malls, there are a number of different shopping areas both in and around the city: U Street corridor, Bethesda, Chevy Chase and National Harbor. Visiting non-chain stores will allow you to acquire merchandise that no one else in your town will have. Be sure to leave extra room in your suitcase so you can shop until you drop.
The D.C. metropolitan area has three convenient airports: Reagan, Baltimore and Dulles. Multiple airport options leave room for deeper flight searches, allowing people to find cheaper flights. Taking the Metro, D.C.’s rail transit system, is efficient and takes you virtually anywhere for a reasonable price. Buses and taxis are also abundant. Lodging in metropolitan areas just outside of the city is a smart idea when trying to save money. Even going five miles into Northern Virginia, like Arlington or Alexandria, can save hundreds of dollars. The further you get from DC, the cheaper hotels will be.
Kelly Johnston is a freelance writer living in D.C. She graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Fashion Retail and Merchandising and a minor in Journalism. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.