Have you been to the Capital of the United States?
In case you didn’t know, DC stands for District of Columbia. Washington, DC is not a state, it’s a district. The city was named Washington in honor of the first US President, and it has been the capital of the United States since June 11, 1800.
When I visited DC, it was in the fall of 2020. The city was still mostly shut down. The museums were barely opening back up with a 25% capacity, and you needed to make a reservation prior. So I did not get to visit any.
However, I was able to do a lot of activities during my 3 day stay in the nation’s capital.
This is everything I got to sightsee during my visit:
- US Treasury Building
- White House
- National Mall
- Lincoln Memorial
- Korean War Veterans Memorial
- Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
- Tidal Basin
- Thomas Jefferson Memorial
- United States Botanic Garden
- United States Capitol
- Supreme Court of the United States
I arrived to Washington early in the morning, and after checking in at the hostel, I made my way down to the National Mall.
You can find monuments and memorials at The National Mall, which is considered to be one of the most visited national park in the United States. The National Mall is centrally located in Washington, DC, stretching over 2 miles from the Lincoln Memorial on the west end to the US Capitol on the east end.
I walked EVERYWHERE.
I started sightseeing at President’s Park.
There you will find the US Treasury Building, which is the oldest department building in Washington. Like the White House, it has been in its original site since 1800. It was temporary the presidential office of Andrew Jackson, while First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln remained in the White House after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.
Next to the Treasure Building is the White House, home of the United States President. It was very interesting seeing The House in person. It is a big building, however, it is not as big as I thought it was going to be. The T.V. definitely make it look bigger than what it really is.
I always wanted to see the Lincoln Memorial, and it was one of the main reasons why I wanted to visit DC.
Built 100 years ago in 1922, the Lincoln Memorial has been the site of various famous speeches like the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorable speech, “I Have a Dream.” It is one of the several memorials built to honor an American president.
To the right of the Lincoln Memorial, you can find the Korean War Veterans Memorial where you will see 19 statues. The statues represent 4 of the major branches of the U.S. military as well as an ethnic cross-section of the American melting pot. This was probably my second favorite Memorial at the National Mall.
Across the street is the West Potomac Park where the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is located. The MLK Memorial is the first to honor an African American individual on the National Mall. Behind the statue, there are two walls with quotes engraved from his famous speech.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial surround the Tidal Basin. Water from the Tidal Basin is used to maintain water levels in the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting pool. Here is where you can come watch the Cherry Blossom Festival celebration. You can rent paddle boats during the spring to the fall, which is a very popular thing to do.
The Thomas Jefferson Memorial stands in a straight line with the White House. During my visit, they were doing a roof replacement and dome cleaning, so I did not get to take some nice photos.
Along the side of the National Mall, you will find the Smithsonian and its museums. The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex. This is another reason why I wanted to visit DC. I really wanted to check out the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History.
Since the National Mall is very long, I got tired of walking, (and well, I wasn’t wearing “walking shoes” so that was not too smart of me!) so I rented an electric scooter. You will find them all over the area. Now, some areas are prohibited, so the scooter will turn off, and some areas you can’t go too fast.
Towards the end of the National Mall, you will find the US Botanic Garden. It is the oldest continuously operating botanic garden in the United States. Sadly, it was closed during my visit and didn’t get to see any of the plants! I am a plant lover, and was excited to see it.
At the end of the National Mall, next to the Botanic Garden, is the United States Capitol. This side of the Capitol, is the “back” of the building. The “front” of the Capitol has traditionally been the eastern side facing the Supreme Court. Each year, it is visited by an estimated 3-5 million people from around the world.
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States. Due to recent events, the court is temporarily closed to the public.
I enjoy visiting the Chinatown areas when I travel, but the one in DC was very small compared to other ones I have been to. However, I still wanted to find the Friendship Arc. It is one of the largest ceremonial arches outside of China.
One of my friends recommended The Pig for lunch, which is a BBQ restaurant, but as a Texan, I was not impressed. For dinner, I went to a small Mexican restaurant, El Sol (next to the hostel), and that was actually delicious and at a great price!
The next day, I took a day trip to Georgetown.
I took the bus from the bus stop near the White House (my hostel was blocks away from it.) It was a about a 15 min ride. I arrived to the Georgetown Waterfront. There are some restaurants, the Potomac River Waterfront and some shops. I spent sometime there just relaxing.
Then I made my way up town. I wanted to find an art installation by Tweed and Twigs, but sadly, is no longer there.
And of course, I had to go find the Exorcist Stairs. The 76 Exorcist Steps became a DC Landmark and official tourist attraction during Halloween in 2015. It is often used as a leg strengthen workout! AND LET ME TELL YOUUUU… IT IS A WORK OUT!
After going up the stairs, I reached one of my destinations: Georgetown University. I’ve seen this University in a lot of movies and shows, so I wanted to check it out.
Then, I made my way down, where I found a cute pink building. Apparently it is a very popular Jewish Deli. I didn’t get to try it, but there was a line to get in! Will have to come back and try it out next time.
I wanted to check out the Tudor Place, but it was full for the day. Tudor Place was home to six generations of Martha Washington (George Washington’s Wife) descendants from 1805 to 1983 and the enslaved workers and servants who lived and worked there.
Walking back to town, I found the the Old Stone House, which is the oldest unchanged building in Washington DC.
One of the guys at the hostel recommended to grab a bite at Ristorante Piccolo. And let me tell y’all… it was soooo good! Highly recommend.
I finally made my way back to DC, and stopped by the Lincoln Memorial and the White House once again for photos. Then, went back to the hostel to pick up my luggage, before heading out to the airport.
That was my three day trip, and well, it just wasn’t enough time to see everything. I will definitely be back, and this time check out the museums and the Botanic Garden!