Friday, December 11, 2015

The Capital: 2 days in Washington D.C.

Washington DC is the capital of US. You've seen it in various shows, movies, drama, so I assume that you are not unfamiliar with it: a hub for American politics and history. Most of the attractions are packed on the National Mall, this makes Washington D.C a walking town. You can also pick up a bike (multiple location) . Since it is one of the most popular destinations for school field trips, do expect crowds during holidays.

The National Mall is a unique National Park. Rather than dramatic coastline, thunderous waterfalls, windswept cliffs, or magnificent canyons, It is a concrete jungle filled with the most important buildings, monuments, memorials and museums.

Highlights on and off the National Mall: 

Free Public Museums 
The National Gallery of Art, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, Holocaust Museum, National Archives
National air and space museum.
1. See The Declaration of Independence and The Star-Spangled Banner exhibition in National Archives Museum. (a must!)
2. Some are strictly "no-photos" exhibition. So... please, don't make the guards raise their voices.

Monuments and Memorials
The Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial
Jefferson Memorial by @littlemisshappyfeet
Perhaps the most moving Memorial. @littlemisshappyfeet

1. You can paddle boats on the Tidal Basin, where you can take excellent photos of the Jefferson Memorial
2. There is an elevator that takes you to the top of National Monument. Free admission but there's always a line.

Iconic Buildings
The Capitol, White House, Library of Congress
You can visit the White House provided that you've got permission from your Embassy.

City Tips: 

1. Wake up early to jog like a local. It is fun, at the same time healthy.
2. Wear good walking shoes. Washington DC is a walking city.
3. Visit the museums during mid-day to avoid over exposure to sunlight and crowds (tour groups usually arrives after 9.30 a.m.)
4. You can rent a bike from Capital Bikeshare (membership fee $7 per day). There are over 350 bike stations throughout Washington.
5. The National Mall may seems small in the map, but It is actually tiring to walk from one end to another. Plan to focus on one end first and leave another end for the next day.
6. If time is on your side, check out the historic Georgetown too.
7. Best time to visit is during Spring, when cherry blossoms are in full bloom (stunning!).
8. Currently, many buildings and walkways are under renovation, probably not a perfect time to visit.

Thank You for Reading! 
This post is based on my honest opinion and personal experience. 
Feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below!

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