Only have a couple of days to honeymoon? Want to take a quick weekend away to celebrate before the wedding? Don’t assume that a city like Washington DC, with its sparkling white marble architecture, abundant green parks (19.4% of the city is parkland, to be exact), and excess of museums and historic sites, is out of reach. Here’s a quick 3-day springtime itinerary for your trip.
Day 1 ) Cherry Blossom Couple
What do weddings and spring time have in common, besides the hustle and bustle and busy buzzing of others? Weddings, like spring, signify a rebirth, a new chapter, new beginnings, and new life. How appropriate would it be for your honeymoon to follow through with that theme? Every year from late March to mid-April the city hosts their National Cherry Blossom Festival. There are approximately 3,750 cherry trees, so during this time, the entire city seems to be blanketed in pink and white. The website lists events, tours, and an “expected peak bloom date” watch, so you won’t be a weekend late. You could meander according to the official map, or paddle a boat on the the Tidal Basin. After the flora, check in to the Hotel Sofitel as your romantic, walkable home base. When the sun goes down, head to the Mall for a quick peek at the monuments, basking in the evening glow (we’ll return for a closer look on Day 3). I like Dr. Granville Moore’s Brickyard (take the Metro to Union Station, or ride the DC Circulator bus for a cool $1) for a casual dinner, which has an extensive selection of Belgian beers to complement their moules frites.
Day 2) Museum, Museums, Museums
According to Washington.org, there are 61 museums in Washington DC. So, where do you start? I have broken down the best of the best and put them into categories according to your tastes. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention my favorite part: almost all of the museums are free!
Museums for the artists, the graphic designers, the writers, the architects and the journalists:
National Gallery of Art
Art Museum of the Americas
National Portrait Gallery
The Textile Museum
National Building Museum
Museums for the history buffs and the culture seekers:
National Museum of African Art
National Museum of American History
National Museum of the American Indian
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The American Indian Museum’s Mitisitam Cafe makes for a great late-afternoon lunch, with its seasonal menu featuring native specialties from across the Americas.
Day 3) Your “Monumental” Last Day
The greatest part about this city is how easy it is to walk and navigate. Once you have found the National Mall you simply cannot get lost. As long as you walk straight you will hit almost every monument and historic site, and the ones that are off the beaten path will be made apparent to you by easy-to-follow signs. The reason for this is because the entire National Mall is under the care of the National Park Service. Take-along maps, guides, signs, and rangers are everywhere for your convenience. I suggest grabbing bikes from the many Capital Bikeshare stands, downloading the National Mall app from the National Park Service website, and traveling the Mall from east to west. In this order, you will start at the U.S Capitol Building and end at the Lincoln Memorial. From the Lincoln Memorial you can follow signs to the White House, which is a quick 10-15 minute walk. The White House can be viewed from outside, but to get in you have to make reservations months in advance. The restaurant Central Michel Richard, on Pennsylvania Ave just one block behind the Museum of Natural History, offers an extensive to-go menu for a picnic directly on the Mall lawn.
My boyfriend and I took a weekend trip to DC last Christmas, and walking the National Mall was hands down our favorite part of the weekend. It is about a 45 minute walk from one end to the other, but the constant sites and beautiful parks along the way make the time fly by.
Questions? Other DC suggestions? Tell us all about it in the comments!