Friday, August 5, 2016

A Weekend in DC

Last August I spent a weekend in Washington, DC with my family. However, due to the craziness I came back to (decorating my apartment, prepping for sorority recruitment, and getting ready for school) I never got to share my post about it with you guys. There's so many different things you can do in the area, so I thought I would put together my itinerary of a weekend in DC.  If you're planning a trip it could come in handy.

Day One:
Check into hotel
If you're looking for something bit more affordable, then look for hotels that aren't right in Georgetown or DC. We snagged a great deal at a hotel in Arlington, VA right across from The Pentagon.  The hotel was a five minute walk from a metro station, so once we parked out car in the garage we didn't need it until we left to go home. 

Brunch is a great place to start with any trip.  Since we were staying on a weekend, there were tons of brunch options. We opted for a place in downtown Georgetown called J. Paul's.  I had the crab eggs Benedict and mimosa. They had a great deal on weekend mimosas.

After brunch we walked around town and browsed a few of the shops. There's so much great shopping's a little dangerous for a college bank account.

Georgetown Cupcakes 
We couldn't resist walking around Georgetown without making a pitstop at the famous Georgetown Cupcake store.  We waited a half hour in a line that went around the block.  Who would've ever thought people would wait that long for a single cupcake. These cupcakes are definitely worth the wait. I had one of their summer specials- lemon raspberry.

We've never taken an extended family trip to DC, so we had lots of options for exploring. We had a list of things that we wanted to do and see, but on our walk from Georgetown to DC we did a little exploring. We walked past the Greek houses at George Washington University. This campus was really pretty and had nice housing for the sororities. My mom and I both found our respective sorority and took a typical sorority girl picture next to each of them. Since it was the summer we didn't run into any fellow sisters.

National Mall 
It was really hot and crowded when we got here. It was a bit overwhelming deciding where to go first since that was our first time there. We walked around all the great sights here (World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Constitution Gardens, and the Washington Monument). There was so much to see and learn about. We enjoyed our Georgetown Cupcakes on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that overlooked the reflecting pool.  We also walked to the Whitehouse and saw it. After spending several hours here, we wandered through the streets of DC and found a metro station to catch the metro back to Arlington.

Did you really see the Whitehouse, if you didn't take a selfie?

Pizza at the hotel
After a long hot day, we weren't in the mood to get dressed up for dinner. We were all tired, so we opted to order pizza to our hotel.  As plain as pizza can be, sometimes its fun to try out different places. I've found that different places across the United States have different types of pizza.

Day Two:
Breakfast at the hotel
Our hotel didn't have a complimentary continental breakfast, but it did have a Starbucks and small cafe.  We ate breakfast here. I had a parfait and an iced coffee to jumpstart the day.  After breakfast, we walked to the metro station and caught the next ride into DC. After getting off the metro, we headed towards the direction we thought the Newseum was.. turns out we walked in the opposite direction for thirty minutes. (Looking back it was actually kinda funny).

We spend several hours touring the Newseum. It was easily one of my favorite things we did on the trip.  The museum is dedicated to free expression and the five freedoms of the first amendment. It's an interactive museum with a focus on communication, historical news events, and the evolution of technology.  There are exhibits on 9/11, dogs of the Whitehouse, Civil Rights, the Berlin Wall, CNN Politics, a journalist memorial, news cooperation history, Pulitzer prize photography, Vietnam, today's news front pages, and much more.  The top of the museum has a terrace that provides you with an excellent view of the city. We laughed our tour with a free viewing of a 4-D movie. This was an experience I was apprehensive about, but I absolutely loved the interactive film about news reporting during Vietnam. If you're planning a trip to DC, then I highly recommend adding this to your itinerary despite the small entrance fee.

By the time we finished up at the museum, it was early afternoon. We grabbed a snack at Le Pain and then began walking around the city. We walked  through several cute parks, past the Smithsonian and other museums, and took in the all fabulous architecture that DC has to offer.

We found a great spot to go paddle boating that allowed us to boat around a basin of water in front of the Jefferson Memorial.  Tidal Basin Paddle Boating allows for reservations, but luckily we didn't need one. My mom and I enjoyed riding around the small boat, while my dad and brother paddled us around the basin. It was a hot day, but we had a lot of fun getting to see DC from a different view.

Dinner in Georgetown 
After paddle boating we walked back to Georgetown.  The previous day we had seen lots of restaurants that we wanted to try. My mom had read great reviews about a burger place, so we decided to try it out.  Thunder Burger definitely did not disappoint. We spent a couple hours chatting at dinner and enjoying our burgers as well as a few drinks. I had the best Gin & Tonics there. For dinner I opted for the Love Me Tender Burger. After dinner, we caught the nearest metro back to our hotel where we watched a movie and went to sleep.

Day Three:
Checkout of hotel
This was our last day, so we checked out of the hotel and got our car from the parking garage. We opted for a light breakfast in our room that day (granola bars and bananas).

Arlington Cemetery 
We hopped in the car and drove to the Arlington Cemetery, which was only about ten minutes from where we were staying.  We enjoyed walking around the different memorials there. This sight definitely required a lot of walking up and down inclines, so I recommend wearing sneakers if you plan on going here. The best part of stopping here was getting to see the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier. There was something breathtaking about this.

We drove back to Georgetown to pick up souvenirs for a few of our friends and do some last minute shopping.  We needed something quick to eat, so we headed to Chipotle for lunch.  You can never go wrong with a bowl, chips, and guac!

Georgetown Cupcake
Before leaving town we stopped here to bring some cupcakes home. I grabbed an iced coffee to bring  with me.  Their iced coffee was some of the best that I have ever had.  I was glad we stopped here a second time because it wasn't crowded, so I was able to take some pictures and truly soak in the positive vibes the bakery gave off.

Catholic University tour
We ended our long weekend with a college tour. A year ago my brother was in the midst of finding his perfect place to go to college. This campus was definitely a nice one. I liked how accessible to DC and Georgetown. They had a metro station on campus! The university definitely placed a large emphasis on the catholic religion, the Pope visited there last September. My brother didn't end up choosing this university, but I would recommend any college bound student look at it if they love the DC area. After our tour, we headed up and it was back to reality.

This long weekend trip was a great one for our family. We were active and there was something interesting for all of us to do. After walking so much, this was the trip that made me want my own fitbit. I'm looking forward to the next time I can go to the DC area and do some more exploring.



  1. I so want to go there someday! Looks like a great trip!

  2. I'm itching to go back to DC sometime soon, and you gave some great suggestions that I have yet to do there! I really want to try paddle boating around the basin, that looks really cool! Thanks for sharing!

    Ashley //

  3. I loved the Newseum! We went on kind of a whim last time we were in DC and it was definitely our favorite stop!

  4. Wow, what a fun weekend! I'm thinking of bringing my daughter there soon.

  5. I love the Newseum! It's unfortunate that it's not a free smithsonian like most of the other museums in DC. Looks like you had a great time!

  6. I love DC! I haven't been in years but have been wanting to go back!

  7. I've been really wanting to take a trip to DC recently! I almost got the chance to go in July but those plans fell through :(


  8. How fun! I haven't been to DC in ages, but a trip is definitely in order.

  9. I love the Georgetown area its so cute! Georgetown cupcake yes please!

  10. The husband and I have traveled to nearly 40 countries, but have yet to see some iconic US destinations, like Washington DC. Making an emphasis on domestic travel this year!