A couple of weeks ago I got the chance to go back to Washington DC for the third time, with a couple of my sisters. We had such a good week, despite the weather being hot and humid, exploring the city, navigating DC transportation, eating good food, and seeing some amazing museums. I thought I would share some photos from the trip with you, in case you’re going soon and need some suggestions of things to see. Make sure to read until the end for my food recommendations!
National Museum of African American History and Culture
This museum just opened in the last year and it is a very popular attraction. You can get tickets online the day before or you can stand in line each day and wait to see if they have tickets available. We waited in line for about an hour and were able to get in that afternoon. This museum was so worth the wait in line because of all the history inside. We went through about 4 floors of African American history that began in the 1400s and ended in current day. The entrance to this museum is free and you should plan to be there at least a few hours.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The Holocaust Museum was incredible but it was also one of the most weighty “tours” that I’ve been through. We spent quite a bit of time at this museum the week we were there and it was evident by all the staff who worked there that this museum was sacred. The history of before, during, and after the holocaust was shocking, because I never realized how long the holocaust had been happening before if “officially” began. It was also very humbling to hear the taped stories from survivors and what their families went through. I can’t even imagine living during that time because no one could be trusted. There was a Hall of Remembrance, at the end of the exhibit, that had candles by every concentration camp and visitors were able to light one of the candles if they wanted. Visiting this museum made me want to learn even more about world history and the things that no one talks about. While there are exhibits specifically for children to go through, I almost wouldn’t recommend taking small children to this museum. Entrance is free and plan to also spend a few hours there.
Folger Shakespeare Library
The night we got into the city, there was a screening of Antony and Cleopatra at the Folger Shakespeare Library and it was a taped, live performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company. We did have to purchase tickets to see this screening, but it was a fun performance to watch.
Smithsonian National Gallery of Art
Free art museums! Yay! I’ve been to this museum before but it was nice to go back through and at a different pace. There are several art exhibits consistently on display and plan to spend a few hours there.
Other Smithsonian Museums we visited:
-National Air and Space Museum–We actually watched one of the premiering showtimes of Dunkirk in the IMAX at the museum. The movie was incredible and had such a different focus/tone from other World War 2 movies. It follows 3 different stories from land, sea, and air and over 3 different time spans. While there were loud noises and explosions, there was no blood or gore in this film. I highly recommend the movie!
-National Museum of Natural History–The Hope Diamond is housed in this museum.
-National Museum of American History–Julia Child’s kitchen is in this museum!
-National Zoological Park–go when it’s cooler and you have an entire day.
Library of Congress
The architecture of this building is just amazing!! We didn’t stay there long but we mainly just walked around, looking up. Entrance is also free at the Library of Congress.
If you want to see the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and other documents, go check out the National Archives! Entrance is free but you will have to stand in line to see the documents. And just take this little bit of advice, do not pull out a water bottle or drink from a water bottle while in the building. You will get yelled at. No, it wasn’t me but it was a loud and tense conversation to witness.
United States Capitol
Washington Monument and The Reflecting Pool on the National Mall
The White House
Pitango was SO good! There were many Boomarangs made here because of how happy/excited we were to be eating such yummy gelato! We kept seeing this place recommended online and decided to give it a try one night. You should definitely try their gelato next time you go to DC. The first photo is Sicilian Almond and Chocolate, the second is Mojito and Crema, and then the third is an Affogato of espresso and Vanilla. So good!!
Founding Farmers is an absolute must place to visit if you’re in DC. The food is locally sourced, fresh, and the wait staff is knowledgeable of gluten free options. I’ve been here once before and really wanted to take my sisters to experience brunch. We ordered traditional breakfast food and it was just what we needed for a long day of exploring. I have had their coffee in the past, also, and it’s delicious!
What do you do when you have 2 sisters with Celiac Disease, a completely gluten-free bakery in DC, and a bunch of Lyft coupons—um you go 3 of the 5 mornings that you’re in the city. Even though the bakery was half way across the city, I can’t even tell you how worth it it was to go as many times as we did. This bakery has gluten free everything–bagels, croissants, eclairs, bread, muffins, cake, cinnamon rolls, brownies, sandwiches, cold brew coffee, etc. If you have Celiac Disease, or eating gluten free is just a personal preference, you HAVE to visit Rise Bakery and eat one of everything. I wonder if they ship to Oklahoma?
I hope you are inspired to go visit DC and that I’ve given you plenty of things to see and eat while you’re there!