WASHINGTON D.C, United States OF AMERICA
If you are spending time in the American Capital during winter, it is freezing! Coming directly from Honolulu as we did, dressing for the weather is important (and so I found out the hard way, no socks equals freezing to death). So here is what we did in Washington DC in a day.
Things you should know before you go
Check ivisa regarding visa requirements. Ivisa’s quick and easy system is an efficient way to organise your required visa’s online. It is the best way to ensure you aren’t caught looking silly when you arrive at immigration.
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In Washington D.C, the summers are warm and muggy, the winters are freezing, and it can be partly cloudy all year round. Over the year, the temperature typically varies from -1°c to 31°c and is rarely below -8°c or above 35°c.
When we are hiring a car we tend to be loyal to one provider which is Avis and here is are a few reasons why,
- Being a WIZARD member allows me to make a booking with ease, all of my preferences are already in the system, so I do not take very long to make a reservation.
- Receiving your car at some airports is as easy as heading straight to the carpark, looking up at the board, seeing your name and registration plate number and heading to the car. The keys are already in the car, so no unnecessary waiting occurs. (Thank you Sydney Airport I love this service).
- If you are a Qantas Frequent Flyer, you receive points for every booking made worldwide. I know that other airlines also offer this service so you should check before you book. You can also book the car through the QANTAS website, which can sometimes be more affordable than booking the car direct.
- Members specials, I receive weekly alerts with specials from them, whether it is a free upgrade or extra frequent flyer points, it all helps.
- It is a global company, so we have been able to book in most countries.
Driving – Driving from N.Y.C. to Washington DC takes approximately 6 hours, and although this is a relatively easy drive, during winter can make the journey complicated.
Train – From N.Y.C. to Washington, D.C, can be a better option in winter. If you take the Acela, the train will take an average of 2 hours and 56 minutes, while the Northeast Regional will take about 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Bus – There are many options via bus, and this is by far the most affordable route. There are many options, such as BestBus and Megabus, with many daily departures. Depending on the bus company, the journey can take anywhere between 4 and 5 hours.
If you aren’t already signed up to a hotel loyalty program, then here is the time to do so, we love the Marriott chain for lots of reasons.
1- The point system is much more generous than other hotel chains we also have a membership.
2- They often offer members specials, free services such as parking and access to the executive lounge (be mindful that not all lounges allow children under the age of 12).
3-They have a large variety of hotel selections for all price ranges so that they will fit any travellers budget.
The view we had from our hotel room was so beautiful at night, top that off with the location (walking distance to the Whitehouse), and the bed gave me the best night sleep I have ever had (the jet-lagged helped as well).
If you are like us and do not have the luxury of time, then a day tour is the way to go. There are so many sites to see and one day isn’t enough to explore the place on your own. Our group was tiny, which was excellent, and the tour guide was somewhat knowledgeable (the thick accent was a little hard to understand him at times, though).
The tour group we used was Zohery, which we booked through Viator online. There are many other options to chose from, but we went for the basic Washington D.C.D.C. tour. There was a little confusion with the pickup time which saw us waiting in the lobby for much longer than we hoped.
Be sure to email them and confirm pick up time before the day of the tour.
Below is a list of books to read or shows to watch before you go, if you are like me I do a lot of research before we travel.
- Night at the Museum
- Frommer’s EasyGuide to Washington, D.C.D.C. 2017
- The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr
- House of Cards
For those who love history, then this is a great place to start, learning about what President Lincoln did for his country mixed by a large memorial makes this a great place to visit. However, if it is all about visiting because you have seen the monument in a movie or two, then you will not regret the decision to attend either. The Lincoln Memorial is situated within walking distance to both the Vietnam Veteran Memorial and the Korean War Veteran Memorialboth a worth visiting. Behind the Memorial, you will find the Arlington National Cemetery; however, from the top of the staircase, you will find a great view of the Washington Monument and Capitol Hill.
If you want more information, click here for more tips on Lincoln Memorial.
Martin Luther King Jr Memorial
This monument was incredibly moving if you walk along the inscription wall and read his words of wisdom; you can understand why so many people stood up and listened to what he had to say. This Memorial is relatively new as it built in 2011, but I believe it was a long time coming. You will find aa the wall quotations such as “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope” from his I had a dream speech back in August 1963. You will find this Memorial walking distance to Franklin Delano Roosevelt (F.D.R.F.D.R.) Memorial, which is also moving in its design.
The National Wall isn’t just for American history buffs; it is for everyone. You will not walk away without the feeling that the United States has so much history, and you can not help be moved by it. There is a lot to do and see in and around this area. So take your time and enjoy it (even when the weather is so cold you can not feel your hands).
It is hard to explain the feeling you get when you enter this cemetery, with as many as 400,000 graves, it is incredible to see in person. When walking around and reading the sides of the Marine Corps War Memorial, it is hard to believe that there have been so many wars fought. The monument itself is huge and was built in the ’50s. It is hard to believe that this was copied off a film that was taken in the 40s of real Marines.
I wish I had taken my camera with me the night before as the daylight does not give it justice. During the day there are big crowds which make taking an unobstructed photo difficult. At night the Christmas tree is set up beautifully, and the area with all of the other Christmas Trees representing the fifty states along with the decorations and train sets is breathtaking.
OTHER MUST DO’S –
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