After a stressful day of working remotely from Starbucks, I gleeful dropped my computer off at Ryan’s DC office, and off we went to explore the monuments at night. When my parents visited DC last April, all they did was rave about their experience seeing the monuments at night, so we knew we could not miss out. Since the monuments are very spaced out, we decided to see the sites by bike.
DC has always been on my long list of American cities I wanted to see. So when Ryan mentioned he had a work offsite planned for October in Washington, DC, my mind immediately decided I needed to go. Growing up, my grandparents lived in east Texas and we would go on long American history road trips to New Orleans, Savannah, Charleston, and St. Louis. Since my childhood travels mostly highlighted southern history during the Civil War, I was thrilled at the opportunity to spend sometime in Yankee territory. Also the fact that most museums were free, (because really, who does not love free things) was the icing on the cake.
Must see museums:
1. Smithsonian American Art Museum (aka: National Portrait Gallery)
Other sites you must see:
Embassy Row/Massachusetts Avenue
If you like slowly walking, and lookie looing as much as me, you cannot miss walking down “Embassy Row.” You can start at the Dupont Circle Starbucks (I became very familiar with Starbucks while working remotely in DC), and then meander down Massachusetts Ave aka “Embassy Row.” Sometimes you can stop in, like we did for lunch at the Italian Embassy. There are buses that run down Massachusetts Ave very regularly so if you ever need to turn around you’ll be able to get a ride. The Gandhi statue is along this path as well.
Arlington National Cemetery and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Something about taking photos while at Arlington Cemetery just felt inappropriate but it did not stop me from trying to memorize the grandeur of the site. While at the cemetery, you should observe the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which happens at the top of every hour. The precision of the guards guarding the tomb is flawless.
As I have said throughout the post, see them at night. The Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and FDR Memorials have an awe inspiring affect on all those who observe them.
Bikes, Uber and Metro (and why don’t I just throw in walking and round out all the duh modes of transportation). You can very easily justify the cost of Ubers since most of the museums are free! Aside from traveling in style with Ubers, Ryan and I also rented bikes to see the monuments. The bike rental process was so easy. I think the most challenging part of the bike rental was taking and returning the bikes from their docking station. You had to almost ram the bikes into the docking station to get the system to register the bike had been returned. Aside from that, you pay $7 for the rental for 24 hours and then the first 30mins are free. After the first 30 mins you are charged $2, after an hour you pay $6 and so on. It is completely affordable. Also most of the monuments had bike docking stations, so you could ride your bike to your destination and then drop it off so you can explore. Here is a great map that allows you to easily find the docking stations as well as know how many bikes are currently parked there.