Washington DC is one of my favorite U.S. cities. The rich history, the beautiful architecture and inspiring monuments, the incredible museums and collections of art, and of course the beautiful diversity of people, cultures, and even food. When Matthew and I lived outside Baltimore we would take the metro in after work or on weekends for mini adventures. In late November, the weekend before Thanksgiving, Matthew and I met up with a couple friends who have never explored the city before. We stopped at a few of our favorite places including the U.S. Botanic Gardens, the Sculpture Park outside of the National Archives, and the Lincoln memorial.
The most amazing white squirrel I have ever seen (also the only white quarrel I have ever seen…)We did not stop inside this time around, but the National Museum of the American Indian is a gorgeous museum with an important message. Please visit! The delicious and authentic native american dishes make this museum one of the best lunch spots in the city after you take in your fill of history. When we lived near the city we always walked by the Sculpture Garden Pavilion Cafe, yet had never ventured inside. This time around, I finally got my chance! Nice and quiet in the morning hours. There is an ice rink stationed outside for the wintertime. The bistro sells sandwiches, salads, hot drinks, and has a lovely collection of muffins and pastries. A pastry lover’s dream:One orange cranberry muffin, please. Breakfast bliss (and with a view):Our lovely adventure team for the day, Rachel and Garret:To the right of the Capital Building you will find the indoor jungle of your wildest dreams: the U.S. Botanic Garden and Conservatory. One day I need to photograph an engagement here (any takers?). The tall glass ceilings, the incredible collection of exotic plants, the fountain running through, and the cocoa trees. Helpful hint: on a cold day this place is nice and warm. You will feel like you stepped into summer. The desert room:The Reflection Pool at the Lincoln Memorial. Just once I want to yell out “Forest!,” across the water and trudge through to get to my Forest Gump on the other side. I’m not so sure Matthew would be up for it. He may not want to swim out to the middle to embrace me a la Forest Gump style, but we still have our romantic moments by the edge. If you go here, please stand at the top where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s name is inscribed and look out and imagine what he must have seen, standing there all those years ago when the national mall was crowded with thousands of people listening to his speech. Impact. The Korean War Memorial. A lot of veterans were at the site that day. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. monument. The weather was very warm in the beginning of the day, then all of a sudden a high gust of wind took over and the clouds rolled in. The water, which was mostly flat and still moments before, turned into larger and large waves. The gusts made our walk to the Jefferson Memorial an adventure. The Jefferson Memorial is always one of the least crowded of the memorials, except during the Cherry Blossom Festival because the cherry blossom trees line the water here. As cold as it was, the clouds certainly were gorgeous. What is your favorite Memorial? If you have not been, I hope you have the chance one day. I would recommend all of the Smithsonian Museums, but don’t forget the Botanic Garden along the way! The best way to see the city is to highlight your top three experiences before you arrive and check those off your list while leaving room to roam and explore spontaneously in-between.
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