Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wednesday World Travel - Washington, DC

In honor of the 4th of July, this week's travel takes us to Washington, DC. In full disclosure, I grew up just outside of DC, so I am particularly fond of the city, it's sights, and it's residents.

Willard InterContinental Washington, image from their website

Dropping a lot of money on lodging, the Willard is a fancy pants hotel up to it's eyeballs in history. My favorite bit is that Allan Pinkerton insisted that Lincoln stay here the weeks before his inauguration.

DC can be hot and sticky most of the summer, but the museums will be chilly. This dress will be cooler during the outdoor sights, and the jacket and camera can be stashed in the large bag until needed.

Arlington National Cemetery, photo by me

The first stop in the morning should be at Arlington National Cemetery before it gets too warm. Stop and see the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier. It can easily take several hours to tour the cemetery.

National Cathedral, image from Flickr member ehpien

Stop by the National Cathedral afterwards. It is a gorgeous building, and the surrounding grounds are lovely. Make sure to view the 3 Rose Windows in the cathedral.

The Last Judgment Rose Window, from the National Cathedral

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, image from Flickr member SnoShuu

An afternoon exploring the Smithsonian Museum and Natural History is hours well spent. The huge elephant greets visitors in the lobby. Dinosaurs, prehistoric camp sites, and the Hope Diamond are highlights.

Grant' Bar, image from Old Ebbitt Grill

Have drinks and dinner at Washington's oldest bar, the Old Ebbitt Grill.

WWII Memorial, image from Buy Washington Tours

End the day with a nighttime tour of the monuments. The heat will have died down, they won't be thronging with tourists, and the monuments are especially beautiful when lit at night.

As in any major city, there is SO much more to do in DC. Even a week of sightseeing wouldn't be enough. A few of my other favorite places are the National Zoo, the Air and Space Museum, National Gallery, Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Children's museum, shopping in Georgetown... I could go on and on. If you travel to DC, just pick what interests you the most, there is no way to be disappointed.

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