One of my best friends recently moved up to Washington, D.C., so a group of us decided to visit her and be tourists for the weekend. Washington is a quick two-hour drive from Harrisonburg, VA, making this a quick and easy weekend getaway (at least for me), and as a plus, there’s plenty to do for free!
Here’s my top eight DC must-sees (and eats) that we crossed off on our bucket list this past weekend with the help of our favorite new DC tour guide:
- Brunch at Zest Cafe, a cozy, hip eatery in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. (Don’t forget the spicy cheese grits)
- See giant panda cub Bao Bao at the Smithsonian National Zoo. Yes, we waited in line for an hour to see the zoo’s most talked-about new resident (and endangered species), and yes, he was asleep, but it was SO worth it.
Photo courtesy of Smithsonian National Zoo Flickr.
- Visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. We spent a few hours walking around, only to be able to read about 1/4 of the information here; we could’ve easily spent the entire day walking around the exhibits. Though very heavy on the heart, the Holocaust Museum is a must. I could go on for hours about how this museum impacted me personally, but it’s truly one of those places you need to experience and reflect upon for yourself.
- Spend some time sight-seeing the local monuments. (Loving this comprehensive guide to DC’s monuments and memorials)
- Tex-Mex and Tequila (or sangria, or bloodies) at Tortilla Coast. With two DC locations and impressive happy hour, brunch, and lunch/dinner menus, this vibrant restaurant is a must for lovers of local Mexican fare.
- Grab a homemade pop tart from Ted’s Bulletin. Bonus points if you stay to watch them make these amazing treats!
- Make time for at least a few of the many Smithsonian museums (there are 18 and counting; don’t expect to see them all in one weekend)
- Downtown Drinks & Nightlife – Okay, this one’s obvious. Who goes to DC and doesn’t explore the nightlife at least once!? One of our favorite spots was Madhatter (and its more breathable upstairs bar).
A special thanks to my best friends for helping with the photos and itinerary included in this post! And DC, you and your endless free activities will be missed. But even more so when you swap out the brisk temps and harsh winds for sunshine and cherry blossoms.