Being a Tourist while at Home

Washington Travel Blog

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The Capitol

I was born in D.C. and have lived near it for years, so why haven't I seen everything and done everything there? It occurred to me that as much as I love to travel, I overlook that which is so close to home. And so my girlfriend and I take a day trip to visit our nation's capital only 5 days after Obama's Inauguration. Needless to say, D.C. has a lot going on, so maybe I should pay more attention.

Walking D.C. is definitely made easier by taking the Metro. I parked over in Greenbelt and rode it in to the Mall. Pop on out of the ground and you're in the middle of it: Smithsonian, National Gallery of Art, National Air and Space Museum, the Capitol, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial and the 5-year-old WWII Memorial. Not to mention the Jefferson Memorial is just across the river.

The Nats get killed by the Mets
I've been to the museums on a few field trips, and I've driven by the memorials countless times, so it was actually a pleasure to walk on up and simply enjoy. The Washington Monument is the tallest Obelisk in the world (the second tallest is in Dublin, the Wellington Monument). Boasting over 500 feet, the tower finally allows visitors up to the top for the first time in quite a few years.

My girlfriend and I meander around the museums to catch glimpses of Van Gogh, Monet, and DaVinci. We check out the American War exhibit at the Museum of U.S. History. We gape in wonder at pre-historic creatures of the tertiary period in the Museum of Natural History. After that, we take a leisurely hike down the reflection pool to see Honest Abe as he enjoys one of the best views in D.
A curious panda
C.

The nation's capital is a must-see for anyone coming to the East Coast of the U.S., but there's way more to it than just monuments and government. If you're feeling expensive, try out a few of the clubs on M street, great fun for anyone interested in dropping $30 at the door and then another $30 for the first round. Or for a more relaxed pace, check out the bars at Georgetown. There are some great places to eat too. So far, I've gobbled down chili dogs from Ben's Chili Bowl (A favorite of Bill Cosby's) on U Street. I've also tried the best Chinese food I've ever had (granted I haven't been to China yet) at City Lights in Dupont Circle.

I've also seen the National Zoo, one of a few places outside of China to have Pandas (San Diego also has a few). Just a quick shot down Connecticut Ave and you're there. On they way, you'll pass the Uptown Theater, a good way to relax away from the summer heat. Or, for a good old-fashioned American pass-time, take the Green Line to the Navy Yard stop and catch a Nats game in their brand new stadium. You can get cheap tickets for $5 or some pretty good ones for $30.

So if you're into D.C. for the education, it's there. If you're into it for the family fun, look no further. If you just want to eat some good food and get drunk, what more could you need? D.C. has got it all, and for some reason, It took me this long to figure that out.

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The Capitol
The Capitol
The Nats get killed by the Mets
The Nats get killed by the Mets
A curious panda
A curious panda
Washington
photo by: b93sp