For most Americans, Washington DC is associated with Congressional (mis)adventures, however, the city is home to a number of young families, congressional aides, reporters, working-class people, artists, and more. This city has a varied and rich history as is evident from the mammoth neoclassical monuments, myriad night spots, and Nationals baseball games. There is so much to see and do at Washington DC but most tourists stick to the “famous” tourist attractions, and perhaps, go home with an unbalanced picture of what the capital has to offer. Even if you have done the rounds of the popular tourist places, you really do need to plan more Washington city breaks in order to experience the best of what this illustrious city has to offer. Whether you have just one day at hand or intend to spend a long weekend exploring the capital, here are a few unique experiences that justify why you need to plan Washington city breaks for an unforgettable holiday!
The Smithsonian museums are one of the claims to fame for Washington DC. In 1829, an eccentric Englishman James Smithson bequeathed a sum of $508,318 (a huge amount back then) to the United States for the purpose of “diffusion of knowledge”. Who could have known that this amount would go toward the creation of over 19 huge museums that line up along the Mall? The Smithsonian institution operates a number of museums such as National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of American History, National Museum of Natural History, Freer-Sackler Museums of Asian Art, and more. The admission-free Smithsonian museums are on the itinerary of almost everyone on Washington city breaks. Most people fail to notice the United States Botanical Gardens though. This overlooked pleasure is located behind the Capitol. Founded by the Congress, this instructional garden boasts a green oasis packed with beautiful roses, exotic flowers, medicinal plants, native plants, orchids and endangered flowers, as well as a few carnivorous plants. Pick up horticulture tips at the Bartholdi Park or visit the National Garden, Butterfly Garden, and the First Ladies Water Garden. Take some time off from the fast-paced capital lifestyle and just breathe in the beauty of Nature in all its glory during your Washington city breaks.
When it comes to traditional sightseeing, walking around to see the most important structures in the city is commonplace. By no means does this mean that this is the only way to see Washington’s important monuments! Walk down to the Key Bridge Boathouse and rent a kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or canoe, and see the most important structures in all of America by water! From the beautiful Georgetown Waterfront glide down to the Kennedy Center to reach the Lincoln Memorial. If you find yourself craving for gelato (it happens now and then!), Washington DC’s very first floating food truck Nauti is at your service!
One of the best ways to experience the diversity of culture in Washington DC is to go pub crawling. Sip on a König Hefeweizen (the drink of the Bavarian royalty) at Biergarten Haus before you make your way to the H Street Country Club. This bustling club offers multiple levels of fun space with table games and even a mini-golf course complete with a replica of the Washington Monument. Another popular bar to visit on H Street is the Atlas Room that is a locally-favored bar known for its bourbon and American cooking (think pork shoulder in a spicy peach sauce – yum!) The Pug is another local bar that is worth a visit, especially if you intend to wait for your seat at the Toki Underground restaurant. Unfortunately, Toki does not take reservations, but the joint is known for heavenly Taiwanese food that is well worth the wait.
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