Washington, D.C. – 27 Things to Do with 5-Day Plan and Podcast

Use this plan to see 27 top sights in Washington, D.C. over the course of five days of visiting world-class attractions. Suggestions for dining and advance planning, as well as ideas for modifying the plan if you have more or less time to spend in Washington, D.C. are included. Click on the audio bar at the end of this post to listen to the accompanying podcast for even more tips for enjoying Washington, D.C.

 Washington-DC-27-Sights

Day 1 Highlights: National Archives, National Gallery of Art, Amphibious Duck Tour, Union Station

1 – National Archives Museum

Visit the Rotunda for Charters of Freedom to see the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the United States Bill of Rights.

2 – National Gallery of Art

The West Building of the National Gallery of Art houses the European Masters’ paintings and sculptures including works by Degas, Van Gogh, Monet, Rembrandt, and da Vinci. It also contains works by American artists painted prior to the 20thcentury.

The National Gallery of Art’s newer, geometrical, modern East Building was designed by architect I. M. Pei. This building contains modern and contemporary art, including works by Picasso, Matisse, Pollock, Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Calder.

Lunch – The Dubliner

Have lunch at the Dubliner for burgers, salads or traditional Irish food.

3 – Amphibious Duck Tour of Washington, DC

Take a Duck Tour in an amphibious World War II vehicle to see famous Washington,  DC monuments from land and then from the Potomac River as the vehicle floats into the river.

4 – Union Station

Step inside Union Station, a restored train station, metro station, as well as a shopping and dining venue.

Dinner – Bistro Bis

Have dinner at Bistro Bis Bar and Restaurant at 15 E Street NW near Union Station.

Day 1 in Detail:

9:30 am – 10:00 am – Make your way to the (1) National Archives Museumon Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW.

10:00 am – 10:15 am– Visit the Rotunda for Charters of Freedom at the National Archives Museum to see the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the United States Bill of Rights. The museum is open daily 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. except Thanksgiving Day and December 25. Admission is free.

Washington-DC-National-Gallery-Art
National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

10:15 – 10:30 am – Walk 0.3 mile to the (2) National Gallery of Art, a Smithsonian Museum. To get there, exit the National Archives Museum onto Pennsylvania Avenue and turn right. Take the first right on 7th Street and the first left on Constitution Avenue. The National Gallery of Art will be on your right before 6th Street.

10:30 – 12:15 pm – Visit the National Gallery of Art. The museum is open Monday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday 11 am – 6 pm. It is closed December 25 and January 1. Admission is free. The West Building houses the European Masters’ paintings and sculptures including works by Degas, Van Gogh, Monet, Rembrandt, and da Vinci. It also contains works by American artists painted prior to the 20thcentury. The newer, geometrical, and much more modern, East Building was designed by architect I. M. Pei. This building contains modern and contemporary art, including works by Picasso, Matisse, Pollock, Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Calder.

Washington-DC-National-Gallery-Art-East-West-Connector
National Gallery of Art, East-West Connector

12:15 pm – 1:45 pm– Walk to the famous Dubliner Pub for lunch for burgers, salads or traditional Irish food. Exit the National Gallery of Art onto Constitution Avenue and turn right (toward the U.S. Capitol). Veer left when the road splits to stay on Constitution Avenue and take the first left after that onto Louisiana Avenue. Turn left at North Capitol Street and left again on F Street. The Dubliner will be just on the left at 4 F Street NW. (It is 0.9 mile to walk from the National Gallery of Art to the Dubliner.) The Dubliner website: https://www.dublinerdc.com

1:45 – 2:00 pm– After lunch, walk five minutes (0.2 mile) to Union Station where you will meet your (3) Duck Tour near Columbus Circle. From The Dubliner, turn right out onto F Street and take a quick left on North Capitol Street and then right (toward the U.S. Capitol). Veer left when the road splits to stay on Constitution Avenue and take the first left after that onto Louisiana Avenue. Turn left at North Capitol Street and left again on E Street. Union Station will be on your left and Columbus Circle will be to your right. Purchase Duck Tour tickets in advance at the official website here: https://www.trustedtours.com/store/dc-ducks.aspx

2:00 – 2:30 pm– Walk inside and check in at the Duck Tour desk just inside Union Station at Booth 254 on the Street Level. Be sure to take a look around (4) Union Station, a restored train station, metro station, as well as a shopping and dining venue. Union Station website: https://www.unionstationdc.com

2:30 – 4:15 pm– Meet your Duck boat, a WWII era amphibious vehicle, in front of Union Station, and take the 90-minute tour of Washington, D.C.

4:15 pm – 4:30 pm– After your Duck tour, for a nice option for drinks or dinner nearby, walk five minutes from Union Station to Bistro Bis Bar and Restaurantat 15 E Street NW. Bistro Bis offers French cuisine with a menu featuring steak, seafood, and chicken dishes. To get there after the Duck Tour, facing away from Union Station and toward the Capitol, veer right on E Street. The restaurant will be on your right after you cross North Capitol Street NW. (Total walk is 0.2 mile from Union Station to Bistro Bis.) Bistro Bis website: http://bistrobis.com

Day 2 Highlights: The White House, National Museum of American History, National Museum of African American History

Breakfast – Old Ebbitt Grill

Have breakfast at the Old Ebbitt Grill at 675 15thStreet NW across from the White House.

5 – The White House

Take a pre-arranged tour of the White House. Even if you do not take a tour of the White House, be sure to visit the White House Visitor Center.

Lunch – POV Restaurant at W Washington, D.C. Hotel

Have lunch at the POV restaurant at the top of the W Washington Hotel overlooking the White House. Menus include salads, burgers, sandwiches, and pizza.

6 – National Museum of American History

Visit the National Museum of American History, a Smithsonian Museum. The museum houses the First Ladies Gowns, the original Star Spangled Banner, Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, Thomas Jefferson’s desk, George Washington’s uniform, Edison’s light bulb, and many modern-era artifacts, as well.

Happy Hour – Round Robin Bar at The Willard

Have appetizers or drinks at the famous Round Robin Bar at the Willard, a DC fixture since the days of Abraham Lincoln.

Dinner – Occidental Grill & Seafood

Have dinner around the corner where you began your day at the Old Ebbitt Grill or at the Occidental Grill & Seafood next door to the Willard.

Day 2 in Detail

8:00 am – 9:00 am– On the day that you have arranged your White House tour in advance or when you will visit the White House Visitor Center, have breakfast in your hotel and make your way to the Old Ebbitt Grill to follow these directions. Or, have breakfast at the Old Ebbitt Grill across from the White House at 675 15thStreet NW. Old Ebbitt Grill website: https://www.ebbitt.com

9:00 am – 9:30 am– From the entrance of Old Ebbitt Grill, make your way to the White House, entering from the south side of East Executive Avenue. Exit to your right from Old Ebbitt Grill onto 15th Street NW toward New York Avenue. Take the first left on Pennsylvania Avenue and then the next left on East Executive Avenue NW. The entrance to the White House tours will be on your right. (Total walk is 0.1 mile from Old Ebbitt Grill to the entrance to the White House tour entrance.)

9:30 am – 11:30 am– Visit the (5) White House following the procedure in the “Before You Go” section of the Washington, D.C. of this website. (Click here to go directly to the tab.).

Even if you do not take a tour of the White House, be sure to visit  the White House Visitor Center. Admission is free. The White House Visitor Center located at 1450 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, at the southeast corner of 15th and E Streets. The Center is open seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. (except for January 1st, Thanksgiving, and December 25th) and features many aspects of the White House, including its architecture, furnishings, first families, social events, and relations with the press and world leaders, as well as a 14-minute film, “White House: Reflections from Within.”

Washington-DC-POV-View-White-House
POV Restaurant View of White House

11:30 am – 11:45 am– After visiting the White House, make your way to the POV rooftop restaurant in the W Hotel at 515 15thStreet NW for lunch. To get there from the White House tour entrance, walk back to Pennsylvania Avenue and turn right on 15th Street NW (toward the National Mall). Enter the W Hotel, just on your left after the Old Ebbitt Grill restaurant. Take the elevator to the top floor to the POV restaurant.

11:45 am – 12:45 pm– Have lunch at the POV restaurantoverlooking the White House. Menus include salads, burgers, sandwiches, and pizza. Make reservations in advance here: http://povrooftop.com

12:45 pm – 1:15 pm– After lunch at the POV restaurant, walk to the (6) National Museum of American History, a Smithsonian Museumat 14th St and Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001. From the W Hotel, walk left on 15th Street toward the National Mall and turn left on Constitution Avenue. The museum will be on your right just after you cross over 14th Street. (Total walk is 0.6 mile from the W Hotel, POV restaurant.)

1:15 pm – 3:15 pm– Visit the National Museum of American History, a Smithsonian Museum. The museum is open 10 am – 5:30 pm daily, except December 25. Admission is free. If you are not visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture later this afternoon, you may want to stay longer than two hours. While the average visit is about two hours, there is plenty to enjoy at the National Museum of American History. The museum houses the First Ladies Gowns, the original Star Spangled Banner, Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, Thomas Jefferson’s desk, George Washington’s uniform, Edison’s light bulb, and many modern-era artifacts, as well.

3:15 pm – 3:30 pm– After visiting the National Museum of American History, if you are able to get free tickets, walk to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, a Smithsonian Museum, at 1400 Constitution Avenue, NW. From the National Museum of American History and Culture, exit onto Constitution Avenue and walk one block toward the Washington Monument. The National Museum of African American History will be on the National Mall on your left between 14thand 15thStreets. See https://nmaahc.si.edu/visit/passes for ticket information. For much more information and a podcast, see my recent blog on the museum here:

National Museum of African American History and Culture – article and podcast

3:30 pm – 5:30 pm– Visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture, a Smithsonian Museum. The museum is open 10 am – 5:30 pm daily, except December 25. Admission is free with your reserved tickets.

5:30 pm – 5:45 pm– After visiting the museum(s) walk to the Willard InterContinental Hotel at 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue NW and visit the Round Robin Bar. From the National Museum of African American History and Culture or the National American History Museum: Exit on Constitution Avenue and walk north (away from the National Mall) on 14th Street NW. The Willard InterContinental will be on the left corner just after you cross over Pennsylvania Avenue. (Total walk is about 0.5 mile.)

5:45 pm – 6:45 pm– Have drinks at the famous Round Robin Barat the Willard, a DC fixture since the days of Abraham Lincoln. Round Robin Bar website: http://washington.intercontinental.com/food-drink/round-robin-bar/

6:45 pm – 8:30 pm– Have dinner around the corner where you began your day at the Old Ebbitt Grill or at the Occidental Grill & Seafoodnext door to the Willard. Occidental Grill and Seafood website: http://www.occidentaldc.com

Day 3 Highlights: Air and Space Museum, Holocaust Museum, National Mall Monuments and Memorials

7 – Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Begin the day at the Air and Space Museum in DC at 600 Independence Avenue, SW when it opens at 10:00 am to beat the crowds at this popular museum. The museum contains the Wright Brothers’ 1903 Wright Flyer, Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia, and a lunar rock you can touch.

8 – Smithsonian Castle

Visit the Smithsonian Castle to see the original Smithsonian Institution. The castle now houses the Smithsonian Information Center and a café.

Lunch – Castle Café

Have lunch inside the Smithsonian Castle at the Castle Café. The menu offers specialty sandwiches, soups, pastries, salads, coffee, teas, bottled beverages, beer, and wine.

9 – Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC

Visit the Holocaust Museum. The permanent exhibit tells the history of the Holocaust from 1933 to 1945.

10 – 13 – Tidal Basin, Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Make your way to the Tidal Basin and take a Paddle Boat or walk around the basin where you will see the Jefferson Memorial, the FDR Memorial, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. as you circle around the basin. This is the place to see the cherry blossoms in bloom if you are here in early to mid-April.

14 – 17 – Washington Monument, National World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and Vietnam Veterans Memorial

View the Washington Monument, as you walk toward the National World War II Memorial. Walk alongside the Reflecting Pool to the Lincoln Memorial. Then, walk to the left, with your back to the Lincoln Memorial, and follow the signs to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Dinner – The Prime Rib in Washington, D.C.

Have dinner at The Prime Rib, ranked the #1 steakhouse in DC, by Zagat. They often have live piano music.

Day 3 in Detail

9:45 am – 10:00 am – Make your way to the (7) Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.at 600 Independence Avenue, SW when it opens at 10:00 am to beat the crowds at this popular museum.

10 am – 11:30 am– Visit the Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., a Smithsonian Museum. The museum is open 10 am – 5:30 pm daily, except December 25. Admission is free. The museum contains the Wright Brothers’ 1903 Wright Flyer, Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia, and a lunar rock you can touch.

11:30 am – 12:30 pm– Walk on the National Mall in the direction of the Washington Monument and enter the Smithsonian Castle Information Center. The (8) Smithsonian Castle is the original Smithsonian Museum. Enjoy lunch at the Castle Café. The menu offers specialty sandwiches, soups, pastries, salads, coffee, teas, bottled beverages, beer, and wine. The address of the Smithsonian Castle is 1000 Jefferson Drive, SW. (Walk is 0.4 mile from the National Air and Space Museum.)

12:30 pm – 12:45 pm– Make your way to the Holocaust Museum at 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place SW. From the Smithsonian Castle Information Center, continue walking through the National Mall in the direction of the Washington Monument. Walk about 0.3 mile to 14th Street and turn left. The museum will be just on your right. (Total walk is 0.4 mile from the Smithsonian Castle.)

12:45 pm – 2:15 pm– Visit the (9) Holocaust Museum. The permanent exhibit tells the history of the Holocaust from 1933 to 1945. The museum is open 10 am – 5:00 pm daily, except Yom Kippur and December 25. Admission is free, but tickets are usually required from March 1 to August 31 to visit the Museum’s Permanent Exhibition due to popularity. See “Before You Go” section of the Washington, D.C. tab of this website. (Click here to go directly to the tab.)

Washington-DC-Jefferson-Memorial-Tidal-Basin
View of Jefferson Memorial from the Tidal Basin

2:15 pm – 2:30 pm– Make your way to the Paddle Boats at the Tidal Basin at 1501 Maine Avenue, SW. To get there from the Holocaust Museum, exit onto Raoul Wallenberg Place SW. Take the first slight right onto Maine Avenue. The boats will be slightly to your right on the Tidal Basin. (Total walk is 0.3 mile from the Holocaust Museum.)

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm– Enjoy the Paddle Boats or walk around the (10) Tidal Basin. As you walk around the basin or paddle around the Tidal Basin, you will see the (11) Jefferson Memorial, (12) the FDR Memorial, and the (13) Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorialfrom the water. This is where you will see the cherry blossoms in bloom if you are here in early to mid-April.

Washington-DC-MLK-Memorial-Stone-Hope
MLK Memorial

3:30 pm – 3:45 pm– After exploring the Tidal Basin, walk toward the Washington Monument and the National World War II Memorial.

3:45 pm – 4:15 pm– View the (14) Washington Monument, as you walk toward the (15) National World War II Memorial located at 17thStreet and Independence Avenue. To get there from the paddle boats at the Tidal Basin, walk to your left with the Tidal Basin on your left to 17th Street. Facing the White House, the World War II Memorial is on the left-hand side of 17thStreet, and the Washington Monument is on the right-hand side of 17thStreet. (Total walk is 0.6 mile from the paddle boats.)

4:15 pm – 4:30 pm – Next, walk to the (16) Lincoln Memorial alongside the Reflecting Pool. (Walk is 0.5 mile.)

4:30 pm – 4:45 pm– Pay your respects to the 16thPresident of the United States at the Lincoln Memorial.

4:45 pm – 5:00 pm– Walk to the left, with your back to the Lincoln Memorial, and follow the signs to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial located north of the Lincoln Memorial near the intersection of 22nd St. and Constitution Ave. NW. (Walk is 0.2 mile.)

5:00 pm – 5:15 pm– Pay respects at the (17) Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall.

5:15 pm – 5:45 pm– After exiting the memorial area, walk north (away from the National Mall) to Constitution Avenue. Walk or take a taxi to The Prime Rib restaurant at 2020 K Street NW. To walk to the Prime Rib from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, keep walking away from the Lincoln Memorial and take the first left out of the park on 21st Street, crossing over Constitution Avenue. Continue on 21st Street for 0.8 mile to K Street. Turn right on K Street. The Prime Rib will be just on your right. (Total walk is 0.9 mile from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to The Prime Rib.)

5:45 pm – 7:45 pm– Enjoy dinner at The Prime Rib, ranked the one of the top steakhouses in Washington, D.C., by Zagat. They often have live piano music. The Prime Rib website: http://theprimerib.com.

Day 4 Highlights: United States Capitol, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Ford’s Theatre

18 – United States Capitol

Begin your day at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, entering from the underpass on First Street NE. Visit the U.S. Capitol.

19 – United States House of Representatives Gallery and/or Senate Gallery

While you are at the United States Capitol visit the House Gallery and/or the Senate Gallery using passes obtained in advance.

20 – Supreme Court of the United States

Exit the Capitol, and look across the street to see the (20) Supreme Court Building,

Lunch – The Monocle

You may see some lawmakers at the famous Monocle restaurant near the United States Capitol. The restaurant serves salads, sandwiches, steaks, and seafood dishes.

21 – Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Visit the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Highlights include the world’s largest emerald, Hope diamond, Star of Asia sapphire, and meteorites; the Hall of Human Origins – human-like apes including Neanderthal; the exhibit of The Last American Dinosaurs on the second floor of the museum; a 1500-gallon aquarium, and a live butterfly pavilion.

Dinner – BLT Prime by David Burke or Elephant and Castle

BLT Prime by David Burke is located in the Trump Hotel inside the old renovated United States Post Office. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. Perhaps have a drink at Benjamin’s Bar and Lounge in the hotel and/or dinner at the BLT Prime by David Burke steakhouse. Or, have dinner nearby the hotel at the Elephant and Castle pub.

22 – Ford’s Theatre

After dinner, see a play or a performance at Ford’s Theatre. Or, visit the theatre earlier in the day to visit the famous theatre where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Lincoln’s box seat is draped off on the right as you face the stage.

Day 4 in Detail

Washington-DC-US-Capitol-Interior
United States Capitol – Interior

8:00 am – 8:30 am – Make your way to the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, entering from the underpass on First Street NE.

8:30 am – 11:45 am – Visit the (18) U.S. Capitol. Admission is free.

Check in at the ticket desk at 8:30 am for your 8:40 am Capitol tour that you booked in advance. See the “Before You Go” section of the Washington, D.C. tab of this website. (Click here to go directly to the tab.) Tours begin at the orientation theater with a 13-minute film, “Out of Many, One,” about the United States’ struggle to establish the world’s first truly representative democracy. On the guided tour, you will see the Crypt of the Capitol, the Rotunda, and National Statuary Hall. All tours begin and end at the Capitol Visitor Center. In the Visitor Center, be sure to the Exhibition Hall. There are also gift shops and a restaurant. After the tour, visit the (19) House of Representatives Gallery and/or the Senate Galleryusing passes obtained in advance.  See the “Before You Go” section of the Washington, D.C. tab of this website. (Click here to go directly to the tab.)

11:45 am – 1:30 pm – Exit the Capitol, look across the street to see the (20) Supreme Court Building. If you would like to visit the interior of the building, check the official website here for visitor information and updates: https://www.supremecourt.gov/visiting/visitorservices.aspx.

Next, walk to The Monocle restaurant for lunch. To get there from the Capitol Visitor’s Center, turn left out of the Capitol Building, walk about 0.3 mile, and turn right on D Street. The Monocle will be on your right at 107 D Street NE. The Monocle website: http://themonocle.com

1:30 pm – 2:00 pm – After lunch, walk to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Walk back toward the National Mall on D Street. Turn left on Louisiana Avenue and then turn right on Constitution Avenue when you reach the National Mall. The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History will be on your left at 10thStreet and Constitution Avenue NW.

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Visit the (21) Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Highlights include the Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals – world’s largest emerald, Hope diamond, Star of Asia sapphire, and meteorites; the Hall of Human Origins – human-like apes including Neanderthal; the exhibit of The Last American Dinosaurs on the second floor of the museum; the Ocean Hall – whale skeleton, 1500-gallon aquarium, and giant squid; and a live butterfly pavilion.

4:00 pm – 6:45 pm – Walk to the Trump International Hotel and/or to Elephant and Castle pub. From the Museum of Natural History, exit on Constitution Avenue and walk away from the National Mall on 10th Street toward Pennsylvania Avenue. Turn left on Pennsylvania Avenue. The hotel will be on your left at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. (Total walk is 0.3 mile from the Museum of Natural History.) Take a look around the hotel, which is actually the renovated United States Post Office, on the National Register of Historic Places. Perhaps have a drink at Benjamin’s Bar and Lounge in the Trump Hotel and/or dinner at the BLT Prime by David Burke steakhouse. BLT Prime by David Burke website: https://bltrestaurants.com/blt-prime/washington-d-c/

Or, to get to the Elephant and Castle pub, pass the Trump Hotel on your left and look to the right on Pennsylvania Avenue. Elephant and Castle will be about one block on your right. Elephant and Castle website: http://www.elephantcastle.com/dc_penn(Total walk is 0.5 mile from the Museum of Natural History.)

7:00 – 10:15 pm – After dinner, walk about five minutes to the (22) Ford’s Theatre and see a play or a performance, usually at 7:30 pm. To get there, head west on Pennsylvania Ave NW from the Trump Hotel or head west on E Street from Shepherd’s and turn left onto 10th St NW. Ford’s Theatre will be on your right. (It is about 0.2 mile from either the Trump Hotel or Elephant and Castle pub to Ford’s Theatre.) Ford’s Theatre is where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Lincoln’s box seat is draped off on the right as you face the stage. You can visit Ford’s Theatre during the day. Explore exhibits on Lincoln’s presidency, Civil War milestones and the assassination conspiracy led by John Wilkes Booth. It is open daily from 9 am – 4:30 pm. Admission is free, but $3 reservations are required. Book tours or get tickets for performances at the official website of Ford’s Theatre: https://www.fords.org.

Day 5 Highlights: National Air and Space Museum in Virginia, Georgetown Lunch Stop, Arlington National Cemetery, Pentagon 9/11 Memorial, Dinner Cruise

Note: You will need a car to visit most, if not all, of today’s sights.

23 – Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Air and Space Museum in Virginia

Visit the Air and Space Museum in Virginia, a Smithsonian Museum. Its two huge hangars display thousands of aviation and space artifacts, including a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, a Concorde, and the Space Shuttle Discovery.

Lunch in Georgetown – Clyde’s Restaurant

Have lunch at Clyde’s in Georgetown. The menu offers excellent burgers, sandwiches, and salads.

24 – Arlington Cemetery

Visit Arlington Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

25 – Pentagon and Pentagon 9/11 Memorial

Drive to the Pentagon and visit the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial commemorating the sacrifice of those who died in the September 11, 2001, air crash into the Pentagon.

26 – United States Air Force Memorial

While you are at the Pentagon, look in the sky across the expressway at the Air Force Memorial. The three memorial spires range from 201 feet (61 m) to 270 feet (82 m) high and appear to be soaring; its array of stainless steel arcs against the sky evoke the image of “contrails of the Air Force Thunderbirds as they peel back in a precision ‘bomb burst’ maneuver.”

27 – Spirit of Washington Dinner Cruise

Take a 3-hour dinner cruise on the Potomac on the Spirit of Washington as you enjoy views of the Washington Monument, National Harbor and Old Town Alexandria.

Day 5 in Detail

9:30 – 10:30 am– Drive to the (23) Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Air and Space Museum, a Smithsonian Museum, in Virginia located at 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway in Chantilly, Virginia, located south of Washington Dulles International Airport along Route 28, about 1/2 mile north of the intersection of Routes 28 and 50, about 33 miles from Washington DC. Parking is $15 before 4 pm, no charge after 4 pm.

10:30 am – 12:30 pm– Visit the Air and Space Museum in Virginia, a Smithsonian Museum. Its two huge hangars display thousands of aviation and space artifacts, including a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, a Concorde, and the Space Shuttle Discovery. The Center also offers the Airbus IMAX® Theater and the observation tower, with a 360-degree bird’s-eye view of Washington Dulles Airport and the surrounding area. Udvar-Hazy Center is also home to the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar where preservation of the National Air and Space Museum’s collections takes place. A glassed-in mezzanine provides a view of restoration projects in progress. Admission is free. Open 10 am – 5:30 pm daily, except December 25.

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm – Drive back toward Washington DC, stopping for lunch at Clyde’s restaurant in Georgetownat 3236 M Street NW (26.2 miles) The menu offers excellent burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Clyde’s website: http://clydes.com

2:00 pm – 2:15 pm – Next, drive to Arlington Cemetery at 1 Memorial Avenue, Fort Myer, Virginia (2.5 miles from Georgetown).

Note: The Blue Metro Line travels to Arlington and to the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial, so if you skip the Air and Space Museum and Clydes, it is still possible to visit Arlington and the 9/11 Memorial without a car. The Yellow Metro Line also travels to the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial.

2:15 – 3:15 pm – Visit (24) Arlington Cemetery. The tomb of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy is located in lot 45, Section 30. You will not be able to drive all the way to the gravesite. Walking is how the majority of visitors reach it. However, the site is one of 3 stops on the trams that ply the cemetery. Tram tickets can be purchased in the Visitor Center.

3:15 pm – 3:30 pm – From Arlington Cemetery, drive 1.7 miles to the Pentagon Memorial at 1 North Rotary Road, Arlington, Virginia.

Washington-DC-Air-Force-Memorial
Air Force Memorial

3:30 – 4:00 pm– Visit the (25) Pentagon 9/11 Memorial commemorating the sacrifice of those who died in the September 11, 2001, air crash into the Pentagon. While you are visiting, listen to the Pentagon Memorial Audio Tour on your phone by calling the phone number (202) 741-1004 at the entrance and the free audio will lead you on a tour to various points of interest throughout the park. While you are at the Pentagon, look in the sky across the expressway at the (26) Air Force Memorial. The three memorial spires range from 201 feet (61 m) to 270 feet (82 m) high and appear to be soaring; its array of stainless steel arcs against the sky evoke the image of “contrails of the Air Force Thunderbirds as they peel back in a precision ‘bomb burst’ maneuver.”

4:00 pm – 4:30 pm– Drive back about 2 miles to Washington, D.C.

6:30 pm – 7:00 pm – Walk, drive or take a taxi to Gangplank Marina at 600 Water Street SW, for a (27) Spirit of Washington 3-hour dinner cruise with views of the Washington Monument, National Harbor and Old Town Alexandria. For more information, check the official website here: https://www.odysseycruises.com/washington-dc/cruises

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See the “Before You Go” section of the Washington, D.C. tab of this website for more advance planning, additional ticket information, and some hotel recommendations. (Click here to be taken directly to the tab.)

If you would like much more information check out my Washington DC 2018 travel guide on Amazon: paperback here ($8.99 USD) or Amazon Kindle/ebook format here ($5.99 USD).

Be sure to check out my other Washington, D.C. posts and podcasts with maps and walking tour guides here:

Washington, D.C. Monuments and Memorials

Washington, D.C. Museums

You may want to visit the new Museum of the Bible only two blocks off the National Mall near the United States Capitol. Check out my detailed post and podcast about that here:

9 Highlights of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC

Finally, I would love to hear from you if you have any comments or questions about this or any of my podcasts. You can reach me at cindy@oneperfectdayin.org.

Until next time, I hope all your travel days are just perfect!

Cindy

Pinterest/Instagram/Twitter @oneperfectdayin

Podcast: One Perfect Day in Travel


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