Our love for Washington D.C. began when my wife, Maureen Katz, worked for the U.S. Air Shuttle. It was a perfect weekend with a very short hop via jet to Washington’s National Airport and a very short train ride to the hotel, and just like that, we had a weekend in a city we loved, with lots of museums and monuments to visit, excellent hotels to stay in, and as many restaurants as we could enjoy.
Washington D.C. is dynamic, and we continue to travel to this city endlessly. Our weekend or day trip begins with a 48-minute flight from New York and then a quick Washington Metro ride to either the Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel in Crystal City or the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Pentagon City (often at great rates). This hotel is also connected to the famous Pentagon City Fashion Mall.
From the hotel via the Washington Metro, we usually begin at the National Mall, then walk to the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and Tidal Basin, and even over to Arlington National Cemetery (very personal to me). All of these special places need to be revisited time and time again. Arlington National Cemetery is so interesting; it is divided into sections of United States history and includes the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Every trip to Washington ultimately includes a walk through Georgetown, with its many restaurants, shops, and bars. One of our favorite places for lunch, right out of the Washington Metro, is the restaurant CIRCA at Foggy Bottom (Foggy Bottom is the metro stop for Georgetown). From there, it is about a mile walk to the center of Georgetown.
To complete our day trip, we usually take the Metro to Alexandria, Virginia, and tour the historical Old Town via King Street and the many restaurants and stores, including the Torpedo Factory Mall. We typically conclude our trip with dinner on the Potomac at The Chart House in Alexandria, or any restaurant in National Harbor, minutes away via bus or ferry.
Over the years, we have visited so many of the museums and monuments in Washington D.C., including the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the U.S. Holocaust Museum, the Washington Monument, the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima), The FDR Memorial, The Martin Luther King Memorial, The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and many more.
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport is not to be missed, for here is where the aircraft displayed can be seen and touched, including the Space Shuttle Discovery and real moon rocks. f you have time, a quick 30-minute drive from Washington D.C. will take you to the spectacular Great Falls National Park, with an incredible view of many wonderful waterfalls.
Finally, we go to Washington, D.C. each year for the incredible Cherry Blossom Festival. Whereas the weather and seasonal temperatures vary, if you are lucky and visit as close to the estimated peak season for the cherry blossoms, you will be greatly rewarded with a memorable walk around the Tidal Basin.