“One travels more usefully when alone, because he reflects more.” – Thomas Jefferson
Spring has sprung and that means flowers across the globe are about to be in peak bloom! In the spring of 2018, I flew up to Washington D.C. to visit a friend in hopes of also seeing the famous cherry blossoms are their peak. Unfortunately, the chilly March weather was not in my favor in regards to the cherry blossoms but we did have incredible weather the entire weekend!
I happened to visit during a very busy weekend in our nation’s capital! From the Cherry Blossom Festival to the March for our Lives protest, there were plenty of activities to keep us entertained! To highlight some of my favorite moments from the weekend, I’ve put together a photo guide of the must-see spots:
Baked and Wired, Georgetown
You will probably have to wait in line to get an incredible dessert from Baked and Wired (baked goods and coffee ;)) and they are totally worth the wait! We tried the seasonal cherry blossom cupcake and the pairing of sugary sweet buttercream and cherries mixed throughout made my tummy so happy. I recommend you take your desserts to go and go enjoy them down by the waterfront at sunset.
Astro Donuts and Fried Chicken, Downtown/Near the White House
Donuts AND fried chicken. Talk about a killer combo! Located a couple of blocks from the Mall and the White House, I highly recommend you get your booty over to this incredible food haven. From breakfast to early dinner, these guys have got you covered with some of the most delicious and decorative donuts. My favorites include the seasonal cherry blossom and crème brûlée, but honestly everything there is amazing. These pictures are say it all:
Farmers and Distillers
Alright it’s time for lunch or dinner and you are hungry. Farmers and Distillers recently open in Fall of 2016 to join their sister restaurant Founding Farmers (another personal favorite for myself and many others) in D.C.. Make a reservation for this hot spot, pick literally anything on the menu and enjoy! If you need a few recommendations, I highly recommend the Crab Dip and Parmesan Garlic Knots for apps, Steak Frites Bearnaise or the Ribeye with the Cucumber Delight, a delicious adult beverage that comes in a copper pineapple, makes for hella cute pictures and is perfect to share with the group!
Let me just preface that there countless activities throughout Washington D.C. that are completely FREE. How great is that?! While many activities, especially museums, are free it is highly recommended to make a monetary donation to keep the exhibits alive! Any who, here are some of my favorite free activities from my weekend in D.C.:
Iwo Irma Memorial, Arlington
The famous picture seen my millions recreated in real life. This historic memorial has an incredible amount of meaning behind it after the U.S. defeated Japan over the small island off the coast of Japan. In addition to recognizing the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for our country, this monument honors those who have fallen from numerous wars. This statue was built thanks to the generous donations of many and continues to be a staple in the tourist route. With an incredible view on the hill overlooking downtown D.C., this is an inspirational must see.
Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington
The nation’s most sacred shrine honors the lives of more than 400,000 soldiers and counting as they hold up to 158 burials each week. When you visit, make sure to stop by President JFK’s gravesite, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and appreciate all those throughout the cemetery. You can even google to see if you had a family member buried there!
Library of Congress, Capitol Hill
Located right behind our nation’s capital, the Library of Congress stands big and bright with stunning architecture inside and out, with its Italian Renaissance style. The Library of Congress contains stunning staircases and intricate details throughout. This grand library was the largest library in the world when it opened back in 1897, where it made famous literature available to the public in addition to serving Congress. It remains the largest library in the U.S. and it home to 33 million books, 155 million items in total across 883 miles of shelving. WOW. You can spend anywhere from 20 minutes to 1-2 hours here, depending on your preference of activities.
The National Mall, Downtown
A classic must-see is the National Mall. The famous Mall stretches over 1.9 miles or 146 acres, includes numerous national monuments, Smithsonian museums, and more. I highly recommend doing a DIY bike tour around the National Mall to make the most of your time, especially if you are there just for the weekend. My personal favorites are the Lincoln Memorial with the reflection pool and the Tidal Basin area.
Blind Whino, Southwest D.C.
This colorful church went from vacant to a vibrant entertaining space in Southwest Washington D.C. I definitely recommend stopping by this hip venue for some cute pictures and to grab a bite at the unique flavors of the local food trucks.
Washington National Cathedral, Tarrytown
The National Cathedral holds a religious gathering for a variety of denominations and non-secular events. I was fortunate the visit the second largest church in the United States on Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday, whichever you know it as. I snuck in between masses since I slept in a little bit, but thankfully they were practicing for the next mass so I got to hear the reading anyways J. The already gorgeous cathedral was decorated with palms on this Sunday in addition to its grand arches, Gothic Revival architecture, and exquisite stained-glass windows. This church is a must-see for those architecture and religious fans. I recommend taking a tour or listening in on one to learn about more of the detail and passion poured into this sacred place.
D.C. is a little tricky in regards of transportation because it really requires a mix of various types of transportation. Personally, I would not rent a car because using a combination of Uber, public transit, scoot scoots, walking and riding a bike will be more affordable and less of a hassle in regards to parking. Ubers are relatively affordable throughout the city, which can help you get to and from those longer distances in a short period of time and to conquer those hills up to Tarrytown to see the Cathedral. I recommend walking or riding a bike throughout downtown to save time and still be able to see all the monuments because they are father apart than they appear. You probably noticed I had the same outfit on in a majority of the photos because I rode a bike all across Washington D.C. to maximize my time and experience the most of our nation’s capital! You’ll probably end up using a mix of transportation to help the budget which will also help you save time! I recommend using Google maps to see which route works best for your time and budget, then go from there! Here are some pictures to inspire you to book a trip Washington D.C.
I hope you enjoy the first of many weekend warrior blogs. With limited vacation days, extended weekends are a great way to see a little more of the world one trip at a time. I have many fun little weekend trips planned throughout the year with friends and family to keep my wanderlust under control (kinda ;P). Also, shoutout to my friend Meg for letting me crash at her place and for fitting me in her busy schedule. Stay tuned for more weekend warrior posts, travel inspiration, and more! As always, keep exploring and continue to live life on purpose!