Washington, D.C.

Have you visited my adopted hometown? After more than 12 years living here, I have tons of local knowledge to share!

Washington, D.C.

Tours

  • How to Go Inside the Washington Monument - Updated July 7, 2020. This year is all about unique and iconic experiences in my home country, the United States of America. I hope you’ve subscribed to the newsletter so you never miss out! The Washington Monument is one of the most iconic and recognizable landmarks in the world, and it’s once again open forContinue reading "How to Go Inside the Washington Monument"
  • How to Tour the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, D.C. - Who likes money?! Then you need to visit the "money factory" in D.C. It's the Bureau of Engraving and Printing---not to be confused with the Treasury Department! It's a pretty fun tour for both kids and adults, so plan to include a visit to the Bureau on your next trip to Washington, D.C.!
  • Visiting the International Spy Museum - One in every 10 people you see in D.C. is a spy. Some for the United States... some not for the United States. Ha! I don't know if that's true, but I read that once and it's a favorite "fact" that may or may not be true. But what is true, is that you can take a tour of the newly re-located and re-opened International Spy Museum in D.C.!
  • Touring Ford’s Theatre - One of the things I wanted to do most when I first moved to D.C. nearly 12 years ago was to tour Ford's Theatre! I have a passion for history, and Ford's has a permanent place in local and world history. If you didn't already know, it's the place where President Lincoln was shot just days after the Civil War officially ended.
  • D.C. Tours You Never Knew You Could Take - So you probably already have the monuments and memorials, Smithsonian Museums, the White House, and the U.S. Capitol tours on your list of things to do in D.C., but if you've already been there and done that, or if you just want a little something special off the beaten path, this post is for you! Here's the list of incredible tours in D.C. you never knew you could take!
  • How to Tour Washington Nationals Park - It's America's favorite pastime: baseball! Its devotees are some of the most loyal fans around, and is it really possible to experience America in summertime if you didn't go to a game? You can tour plenty of stadiums around the country, but let's get real, touring Nationals Stadium in the Nation's capital city is the most American thing you can do!
  • Ultimate Guide to the Library of Congress - The Library of Congress! It has special meaning to me because: I love books, I got my first job here, and I love it so much I had my bridal portraits done here! So at long last, here is your ultimate guide to visiting the Library of Congress, or LOC!
  • How to Tour the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - There are two things I like to tell people about the Kennedy Center: they give FREE tours every day, and they give FREE performance every night of the week!
  • How to Tour the American Red Cross, D.C. - Looking for something a little off-the-beaten-path in D.C.? Are you a nurse? Blood donor? War and history enthusiast? If your timing is just right, you can go on this little-known tour of the American Red Cross Headquarters in D.C.! Here's how and what to expect!
  • How to Tour the Pentagon - Did you know you can take a tour of the Pentagon? You can! It takes a little legwork from you and some advance planning, but it's absolutely doable if it's on your list of things to do in Washington, D.C. My dad wanted to take a tour on his most recent trip to visit me, so we gave it a try! Here's how to get a chance at a tour for yourself.
  • D.C. Tours to Request in Advance - It's tour time in D.C.! Well, it's basically always tour time in D.C. And for that reason, there are some tours you must--I repeat--MUST request in advance! Here's a quick list of the most coveted tours and all the details on exactly how to request each one.
  • How to Tour the FBI Experience - This week I'm letting you in on one of D.C.'s best kept tour secrets: Did you know you can visit the FBI Headquarters? You can! They can (and have) shut down the tour whenever they deem necessary, but they recently reinstated the tour late last year. Visit while you can because I'm about to tell you how! Before you get started, here is what to expect.
  • How to Tour the U.S. State Department - This week I'm letting you in on a bit of a secret: You can tour the U.S. State Department's Diplomatic Rooms! Well, maybe it's not a secret, but it's definitely something most people don't know or think of when they visit Washington, D.C. My friend Kelly and I recently took a tour ourselves, and I'm letting you in on the process so you can plan to visit, too!
  • How to Tour the Treasury Department - Today I'm letting you in on a well-kept secret. You can visit the Department of the Treasury in Washington, D.C.! Who knew, right? I've lived here nearly 10 years, and I never knew until just recently that this was available. It does take a bit of planning and legwork on your part, so let's get started!
  • How to Visit the White House - A White House Tour is arguably the most coveted tour in Washington, D.C., and that's because it can be complicated. Yes, it's the people's house, but it's also the home of the President and his family, so you can expect to jump through a few hoops to land a spot on a tour. Want to see for yourself? This is your instruction manual!
  • White House Fall Garden Tour - I want to motivate you to find something cool to do in your own hometown or nearby. My dad just happened to be visiting the weekend of the annual White House Fall Garden tour, and my friend who works on Capitol Hill offered us tickets!
  • How to Visit the U.S. Capitol - The United States Capitol is part museum, part history factory, and part office building. It is also one of the most sought-after sites in Washington, D.C. You can certainly go through the Capitol Visitor Center at the Capitol when you arrive, but you will get a better tour if you request a staff-led tour from your Congressperson!

Date Night

  • D.C. Date Night: The Ballet - It's date night! My sweet husband proposed to me six years ago today (on Friday the 13th), so I thought this would be the perfect day to post about our recent Nutcracker matinee date in D.C.! Christmas is in full swing in the District, and that means lots of fun date ideas! I asked my husband to take me to see The Nutcracker at Warner Theater this year, and he kindly agreed!
  • 18 D.C. Dates for Any Budget - Is it time for date night? Are you in D.C. for a weekend getaway with your loved one? Here are my top 10 date night picks for every budget in Washington, D.C.!

Fun Things to Do

  • What’s Worth the Money on Your Trip to D.C. - With so many free places to go and things to do, museums you actually have to pay for don't tend to last. But there are a few things that even a broke single girl could justify doing in D.C. and the surrounding area. Opinions may differ, but here are my lists of things in D.C. and beyond that are worth the money!
  • D.C. for History Lovers - there are many lesser-known historical facts and places in and around D.C. than most visitors realize. This list is not exhaustive, but it's a good start for your next trip to Washington, D.C.!
  • Instagrammable D.C. - Instagram really is a nice way to find travel inspiration for future trips. That's why I'm sharing a local's (that's me!) insider info on the best places in Washington, D.C., to take photos for your own Instagram account, or just to take iconic photos for yourself! Take a look at my top picks and top "pics"!
  • 10 Reasons to Visit D.C. - It's Faraway Friday! But this week's destination is not so far away from me. In fact, it's my adopted hometown of Washington, D.C.! I moved here 10 years ago tomorrow, and in celebration of that, today's blog post is giving you 10 reasons you should consider a visit!
  • Solo Travel: Washington, D.C. - I moved to Washington, D.C., completely solo nearly 10 years ago, and I can definitely recommend D.C. as an excellent solo travel destination! Here is the low-down on traveling solo in D.C.
  • Where to Find Tennessee at the U.S. Capitol - Each state in the Union has contributed to the museum that is the U.S. Capitol Building over the years, and since my home state is Tennessee, I wanted to give it the spotlight today! I recently got together with a Tennessee Congressperson's office for a special tour of Tennessee's part in the U.S. Capitol. Come see what we found!
  • FREE Things To Do in D.C. - Washington, D.C., is known for its history, monuments, and, of course, politics. But when I moved here right out of college, I was delighted to find that so many things to do here are totally FREE! Here's my list of the top free things to do in my adopted hometown!
  • What to Do Off the Beaten Path in D.C. - I'm here to encourage you to think out of the box and find a little something out of the ordinary--find the obscure wherever you are! Washington, D.C., has plenty of interesting places to explore if you go just a few steps off the beaten path--sometimes even if you just cross the road! Here are my top picks for exploring Obscure D.C.

Food

  • Where to Eat in Foggy Bottom - You might find yourself in Foggy Bottom without even realizing it. Maybe you drifted in from downtown, perhaps you meandered up from the National Mall. Maybe you walked down from Georgetown on the Rock Creek Park walking trail. Maybe you're looking for a quick bite before a Kennedy Center show! No matter how you find yourself here, you'll definitely want to eat!
  • Afternoon Tea at the Willard Hotel, D.C. - It's no secret, I love afternoon tea! It's such a fun foodie experience, and I've been fortunate enough to enjoy afternoon tea in many of my travels. This time around, I met up with my friend Andrea for a very fancy tea at the historic and iconic Willard Intercontinental in D.C., and we highly recommend it to you!
  • What to Eat in Penn Quarter, D.C. - D.C.'s neighborhood pride is real! Each neighborhood has its cool places to go, cool things to do, and cool food. Here are some of my favorites from Penn Quarter, which is the area around Pennsylvania Avenue, the National Archives, and adjacent to Chinatown. Take a look and bring your appetite!
  • What to Eat in Downtown D.C. - There's a great selection, and even a few iconic restaurants Downtown. Take a look and pack your appetite!
  • Legendary Restaurants in D.C. - I have to urge you to put D.C. on your list of foodie bucket list destinations! D.C. restaurants have to be excellent to last around here, so when you find one with longevity, you know it's for good reason.
  • What to Eat in Georgetown, D.C. - Of all the neighborhoods in D.C., my personal opinion is that Georgetown has the best food! Businesses that thrive here have to be creative and original---no exceptions. So next time you're in D.C., put in a little effort to walk or Uber into Georgetown (the closest Metro is a mile in either direction!). You won't be disappointed.
  • Tea at the Trump Hotel, Washington, D.C. - I wanted to treat myself to something special, and there is nothing more special than afternoon tea in a gorgeous setting, so when I realized my hotel offered afternoon tea, I booked a spot. It's an experience I hope to repeat, but for now, here's your sneak peek.

Local Guides

  • National Treasure: Movie Moments in Revolutionary America - It's #MovieNight! One of my favorites since moving to D.C. is definitely National Treasure! I really like Nicolas Cage, and you know history is my thing! My husband and I re-watched it recently on Netflix, so I was inspired to include it in my Year of Movie Moments. Check it out!
  • How to Get into D.C. from Dulles (IAD) - If you're flying into the D.C. area, you have three options: Reagan National (DCA), Baltimore-Washington International (BWI), or Washington-Dulles International (IAD). If you're coming from DCA, you can simply take the Blue Line into D.C. for $6 or less. But if you're coming from BWI or IAD, you'll have to make a connection or two on public transportation. The next time you fly into IAD, this guide will help you know your options!
  • What to Do on a Rainy Day in D.C. - For the life of me, I could have sworn I already had a post written up on what to do on a rainy day in D.C., but I have not. So here it is! These are the best ways to stay busy and not feel like you're missing out if your trip to D.C. is a rainy one!
  • Religious Sites in D.C. - Let's be serious... D.C. is not the first city I think of when I think of religious places. However, Washington, D.C., is home to some important religious sites that might interest you. Here is a quick run-down of the top religious sites in D.C.
  • Your Guide to Arlington National Cemetery - There is no place I've been that fills me with pride and gratitude quite like Arlington National Cemetery. If you find yourself in the Washington, D.C., area, you will not regret spending some time here. I hope this guide gives you the information you need to make your visit a memorable and meaningful experience.
  • What to Do with Kids in Washington, D.C. - Washington, D.C. is a hot spot for school trips, family "edu-vacations," and young families who move to the area for jobs. As a result, there are tons of things for kids to do! If you're planning a trip to D.C. with kids, here is your ultimate guide!
  • What to Know Before You Visit Washington, D.C. - I've got all you need to know before your trip to Washington, D.C.! D.C. is not a hard city to figure out, but if you know these insider tips and tricks, you'll be buzzing around like a local!
  • A Guide to D.C.’s Smithsonian Museums - The Smithsonian. Why do I say "museum institution" and not just "museum"? Because, you may or may not know, the Smithsonian is not just one museum; there are 19 museums across the country. Eleven of these museums are in or near Washington, D.C., so if you're planning a trip to the Nation's Capital, your guide to our Smithsonians is here!
  • D.C.’s Metro System: A Guide - This Travel Tip Tuesday is dedicated to the movers and shakers who just moved and shook themselves to D.C.! Whether you've come for the inauguration, a job, or just to visit, here is your ultimate guide to navigating D.C.'s Metro System!

Day Trips

  • Your Ultimate Guide to Visiting Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens - If you've ever visited D.C. or ever plan to, there are probably a few things on your list the White House, Capitol, Library of Congress, Lincoln Memorial... and Mount Vernon!
  • Day Trip: Great Falls National Park - If you're looking for a day trip from the hustle and bustle of D.C.? Great Falls is just 30 minutes away, just up the river a ways! Here's your ultimate guide for a day trip to Great Falls from the District!
  • Day Trip: Sky Meadows State Park, Delaplane, VA - Need a minute out of the District? We all do once in a while! If you happen to be looking for a gorgeous hike and adorable little town within driving distance of D.C., I've got just the place: Sky Meadows State Park in Delaplane, VA. Here everything you need to know for a perfect day trip from D.C.!
  • Presidents’ Homes within a Day’s Drive of D.C. - I love living in the D.C. area. I do! And apparently, so did a lot of our presidents. A trip to the Nation's Capital gets you mighty close to many of their homes, so if you weren't already aware, here's everything you need to know about visiting the nearby presidential homes on your next trip to D.C.!
  • Day Trips from D.C. - Washington, D.C., has enough going on to keep you busy for weeks---or months!---but sometimes you just want to get out of town. Lucky for you, D.C. has tons of beautiful, exciting, fun, historic things to offer within driving distance! Here are my favorites, organized by state.

Itineraries

  • 1 Week in D.C. - Here is your flexible one week itinerary. Rearrange the days however you like, but the activities for each day are close together or are convenient to each other. I hope you love your time in my adopted hometown! There are a few things you'll want to know before you visit D.C.
  • 3 Days in D.C. - Whether it's a weekend getaway, a whirl-wind trip to visit friends in the area, or a quick trip because you found a deal on a flight, you can see a lot of DC in just three days! You want to see the monuments, the documents, the museums! You want to eat the food and catch a show! Here is your ultimate guide to D.C. (and a little more!) in just three days.
  • 1 Day in D.C. - Have you ever found yourself with a day in a new city--no more, no less? Maybe you were on a business trip and decided to take a personal day after, or maybe you just felt adventurous and took advantage of an incredible travel deal! No matter the circumstances, if you find yourself with a free day in DC, here is a killer itinerary to make the most of your experience!

Seasons

  • Your Guide to D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Festival - Springtime is one of the most beautiful--and busiest!--times to be in D.C.! It can be kind of overwhelming: the famous cherry blossoms only bloom for a couple of weeks (and are only at peak for about three days!), the crowds can be unbelievable, and there are so many activities to choose from, how could you possibly pick?! So to help you plan and make the most of your springtime in D.C., I've pulled together this handy guide!
  • The Best Christmas Trees in D.C. - It's Christmas! And it's one of the best times of year to be in D.C. The lights, the music, the ice skating, and the seasonal sweets of every sort all help to make the season bright, but what really lights up my life this time of year are all the Christmas trees! So here's the scoop on where to find the best Christmas trees in all of D.C. Happy tree peeping!
  • D.C. in Fall - With the change of seasons comes a new seasonal D.C. blog post! Today is the first day of fall, which is a beautiful time to visit my adopted home town! Here are my top 10 recommendations for things to do in D.C. in the autumn.
  • D.C. in Summer - Summer is just around the corner, and here in D.C., we're so ready for it! D.C. really comes to life in the summer time. Between Independence Day, daylight until 9:00pm and beyond, and baseball games, summertime really makes the District come to life. Check out my top 10 list of things to do in D.C. in the sweet summertime!
  • D.C. in Spring - Spring is springing early, and it's a beautiful time to be in Washington, D.C.! It's also the most popular tourism time because of the many many MANY school trips that happen between March and June each year. So if you find yourself planning a trip to D.C. this spring (or tagging along with your kid!), here are my top 10 spring time activities to make your trip the best!
  • D.C. in Winter - Winter is a beautiful time to be in Washington, D.C.! Contrary to many other cities in winter time, D.C. can be very sunny all day long. It's hard to feel gloomy when the sun is shining!
  • Christmas in D.C. - Thanksgiving is finished, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, and D.C. is in the Christmas mood! I absolutely LOVE Christmas in D.C. It's a magical time of year, and it is my favorite time of year to call D.C. my home. Check out all the fun things to do here!

Neighborhood Guides

Capitol Hill

  • 10 Things to Do on Capitol Hill, D.C. - D.C. has an awful lot to offer, and it can be overwhelming! Instead of trying to cram everything into one day, I recommend planning to spend each day of your trip in just one neighborhood, if at all possible. You can easily spend a day on Capitol Hill. Here are all the best things to do!
  • Ultimate Guide to the Library of Congress - The Library of Congress! It has special meaning to me because: I love books, I got my first job here, and I love it so much I had my bridal portraits done here! So at long last, here is your ultimate guide to visiting the Library of Congress, or LOC!
  • How to Visit the U.S. Capitol - The United States Capitol is part museum, part history factory, and part office building. It is also one of the most sought-after sites in Washington, D.C. You can certainly go through the Capitol Visitor Center at the Capitol when you arrive, but you will get a better tour if you request a staff-led tour from your Congressperson!

Chinatown

  • 7 Things to Do in Chinatown, D.C. - Chinatown is one of D.C.'s most well-known neighborhoods, thanks in no small part to the amazing food, Smithsonian Portrait Gallery, and CapitalOne Arena! Plan to spend a few hours here to see (and eat!) everything!

Downtown

  • Afternoon Tea at the Willard Hotel, D.C. - It's no secret, I love afternoon tea! It's such a fun foodie experience, and I've been fortunate enough to enjoy afternoon tea in many of my travels. This time around, I met up with my friend Andrea for a very fancy tea at the historic and iconic Willard Intercontinental in D.C., and we highly recommend it to you!
  • 10 Best Things to Do in Downtown D.C. - There is so much to do in Washington, D.C.! Sometimes it's easiest to choose things that are close together and knock them all out at once. That's very doable with my new neighborhood guides just like this one! Here are the best things to do in Downtown D.C.!
  • What to Eat in Downtown D.C. - There's a great selection, and even a few iconic restaurants Downtown. Take a look and pack your appetite!
  • How to Tour the American Red Cross, D.C. - Looking for something a little off-the-beaten-path in D.C.? Are you a nurse? Blood donor? War and history enthusiast? If your timing is just right, you can go on this little-known tour of the American Red Cross Headquarters in D.C.! Here's how and what to expect!
  • How to Tour the Treasury Department - Today I'm letting you in on a well-kept secret. You can visit the Department of the Treasury in Washington, D.C.! Who knew, right? I've lived here nearly 10 years, and I never knew until just recently that this was available. It does take a bit of planning and legwork on your part, so let's get started!
  • How to Visit the White House - A White House Tour is arguably the most coveted tour in Washington, D.C., and that's because it can be complicated. Yes, it's the people's house, but it's also the home of the President and his family, so you can expect to jump through a few hoops to land a spot on a tour. Want to see for yourself? This is your instruction manual!
  • White House Fall Garden Tour - I want to motivate you to find something cool to do in your own hometown or nearby. My dad just happened to be visiting the weekend of the annual White House Fall Garden tour, and my friend who works on Capitol Hill offered us tickets!

Foggy Bottom

  • 7 Things to Do in Foggy Bottom - No, really, that's the name of the neighborhood! Foggy Bottom is one of the oldest neighborhoods in D.C. You'll find it on the Blue, Silver, and Orange Metro Lines, but the thing you'll notice about it first is that George Washington University (GWU) and GW Hospital are located here. The next things you'll notice are the architecture and the food! But looking a little deeper will reward you with some pretty cool experiences and one-of-a-kind tours. Take a look!
  • Where to Eat in Foggy Bottom - You might find yourself in Foggy Bottom without even realizing it. Maybe you drifted in from downtown, perhaps you meandered up from the National Mall. Maybe you walked down from Georgetown on the Rock Creek Park walking trail. Maybe you're looking for a quick bite before a Kennedy Center show! No matter how you find yourself here, you'll definitely want to eat!
  • How to Tour the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - There are two things I like to tell people about the Kennedy Center: they give FREE tours every day, and they give FREE performance every night of the week!
  • How to Tour the U.S. State Department - This week I'm letting you in on a bit of a secret: You can tour the U.S. State Department's Diplomatic Rooms! Well, maybe it's not a secret, but it's definitely something most people don't know or think of when they visit Washington, D.C. My friend Kelly and I recently took a tour ourselves, and I'm letting you in on the process so you can plan to visit, too!

Georgetown

  • 8 Things to Do in Georgetown, D.C. - One of D.C.'s most famous neighborhoods is historic, beautiful, semi-suburban, non-Metro accessible Georgetown! It's prestigious, pretentious, and one of the most charming spots in D.C.! Take a look at the very best things to see and do in Georgetown.
  • What to Eat in Georgetown, D.C. - Of all the neighborhoods in D.C., my personal opinion is that Georgetown has the best food! Businesses that thrive here have to be creative and original---no exceptions. So next time you're in D.C., put in a little effort to walk or Uber into Georgetown (the closest Metro is a mile in either direction!). You won't be disappointed.

National Mall

  • 7 Things to Do on the National Mall - Okay, so this neighborhood guide is not exactly a "neighborhood" since no one lives here and so there are no neighbors, per se. However, there is a lot to do here! You could easily spend all day on the National Mall, so here are the best thing to do!
  • How to Go Inside the Washington Monument - Updated July 7, 2020. This year is all about unique and iconic experiences in my home country, the United States of America. I hope you’ve subscribed to the newsletter so you never miss out! The Washington Monument is one of the most iconic and recognizable landmarks in the world, and it’s once again open forContinue reading "How to Go Inside the Washington Monument"
  • D.C.’s Monuments and Memorials - So you're coming to DC! Whether you're here for a school trip, a weekend getaway, or playing tourist around a conference or business trip, DC's monuments and memorials are probably on your list of things to do. Here's your guide!

Penn Quarter

  • 7 Things to Do in Penn Quarter, D.C. - Washington D.C's Penn Quarter neighborhood has lots to offer---from amazing food to iconic sites to a great location just blocks from the National Mall! Next time you find yourself in this neighborhood, check out all my favorite things to do!
  • What to Eat in Penn Quarter, D.C. - D.C.'s neighborhood pride is real! Each neighborhood has its cool places to go, cool things to do, and cool food. Here are some of my favorites from Penn Quarter, which is the area around Pennsylvania Avenue, the National Archives, and adjacent to Chinatown. Take a look and bring your appetite!
  • Touring Ford’s Theatre - One of the things I wanted to do most when I first moved to D.C. nearly 12 years ago was to tour Ford's Theatre! I have a passion for history, and Ford's has a permanent place in local and world history. If you didn't already know, it's the place where President Lincoln was shot just days after the Civil War officially ended.
  • Staying at the Trump International, D.C. - What is the best hotel experience you've ever had? I've stayed in quite a few hotels and various other accommodations---everything from hostels and Air BnBs to real bed and breakfasts and luxury hotels! My favorites have one thing in common: history! I just love staying in a place steeped in history, seeing unexpected pieces preserved, and being inspired by the places that have withstood the test of time.
  • How to Tour the FBI Experience - This week I'm letting you in on one of D.C.'s best kept tour secrets: Did you know you can visit the FBI Headquarters? You can! They can (and have) shut down the tour whenever they deem necessary, but they recently reinstated the tour late last year. Visit while you can because I'm about to tell you how! Before you get started, here is what to expect.

Southwest

  • 10 Things to Do in Southwest D.C. - Southwest D.C. has come a long way in the last decade. It used to be the place you never wanted to be at night, but now it's come to life and is coming into its own! There is plenty to do there these days, so don't shy away because of its former reputation. If you do, you'll be missing out!
  • How to Tour the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, D.C. - Who likes money?! Then you need to visit the "money factory" in D.C. It's the Bureau of Engraving and Printing---not to be confused with the Treasury Department! It's a pretty fun tour for both kids and adults, so plan to include a visit to the Bureau on your next trip to Washington, D.C.!
  • Visiting the International Spy Museum - One in every 10 people you see in D.C. is a spy. Some for the United States... some not for the United States. Ha! I don't know if that's true, but I read that once and it's a favorite "fact" that may or may not be true. But what is true, is that you can take a tour of the newly re-located and re-opened International Spy Museum in D.C.!
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