From museums to monuments to the White House, become the ultimate insider for three amazing days exploring the wonders of DC.
The White House – Washington DC, United States
Fancy humming “Hail to the Chief” and exploring our nation’s capital? They don’t call Washington, DC the seat of power for nothing. This is where the change makers and power brokers, the doers and traders, the think tanks and the K Street lobbyists gather and cavort, arguing and gossip and doing backroom deals that belie their dazzling white smiles in the glow of the lights. It’s DC – a city steeped in history, ever-changing yet staying the same, a district but not a state, a place of change or a veritable swamp – it all depends on your perspective. Whether you choose red or blue, immerse yourself in the spirit of red, white and blue and spend some time exploring the sights and sounds of DC.
Three days to be exact. We’ve put together a 3-day itinerary for an exhilarating trip from the White House and the National Mall to a power lunch at a restaurant called (what else?) The Reliable Source.
Day One: Take a tour of the White House
Travelers should start their visit at the “House of the People”. A tour of the White House is a truly immersive experience. Guests will be delighted to visit the East Wing, which includes the Blue Room, Red Room, and Green Room, as well as the State Dining Room and China Room. As if that wasn’t enough, people can enjoy a beautiful view of the famous rose garden. Secret Service members are stationed in each room and are available to answer questions — and keep guests on their best behavior. To ensure a successful visit, people must submit their requests at least three weeks before their date.
Here are all the details on the White House visit:
- Requests for a public tour must be made through your member of Congress.
- Flash photography and video recording devices are not permitted inside the White House. Smartphones and compact cameras with a lens no longer than 3 inches are allowed.
- The tour of the White House is free. And remember that there are no public toilets!
Day Two: Explore the National Mall
No visit to DC would be complete without seeing America’s most visited national park. Over 2 miles long and centrally located in DC, there are more than 100 monuments and memorials to see. Among the must-see attractions is the Washington Monument, an incredible obelisk erected in honor of America’s first President George Washington. Visitors should also see the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, which was only built in 2011 and is a powerful symbol honoring the civil rights leader. There is also the Jefferson Memorial with its stunning architecture designed as a smaller version of the Roman Pantheon. There are so many famous monuments and memorials to visit here, so pack your walking shoes and be inspired by our nation’s history.
As you explore the National Mall, keep the following in mind:
- Visitors who are able to plan their visit in spring will be rewarded with the beautiful and ethereal National Cherry Blossom Festival.
- Instead of walking, hop on a bike through Capital Bikeshare, which has several docks on the National Mall.
- There are so many stunning sights to see, but guests often cite the breathtaking Vietnam Veterans Memorial as a truly moving experience. Additionally, the Lincoln Memorial at the west end of the National Mall features a 19-foot statue of Abraham Lincoln, lost in thought, overlooking the Reflecting Pool and the Washington Monument. It was at this poignant location that Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
Day 3: Visit Washington DC’s many museums
By day three in Washington DC, visitors can expect to become students of our nation’s history and, of course, exhausted from all the walking. While there are plenty of excellent restaurants here to recharge your batteries, one should definitely factor in the many exciting museums here when planning your itinerary. There’s the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, which houses the world’s largest collection of aircraft and spacecraft, including missiles and rockets. There’s also the Smithsonian Institution, which features Seinfeld’s iconic “puffy shirt” and Dorothy’s ruby red slippers among its many exhibits of American history and Americana. Visitors will feel truly moved, informed and delighted by the ever-changing American landscape.
- Be sure to check out the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the moving, searing permanent exhibition. At the end of the exhibition, guests can watch video testimonies from Holocaust survivors.
- Another museum worth visiting is the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the world’s largest museum dedicated to African American history and culture.
- Although The Newseum closed in 2019, for those wanting to learn more about the history and importance of journalism, there is no better place than where Watergate was uncovered by two intrepid young Washington Post reporters. The National Geographic Museum is dedicated to exploration and scientific reporting. And while the National Press Building is open to members only, it can still be enjoyed at one of its restaurants, aptly named “The Fourth Estate” or “The Reliable Source.”