Where we stayed: JW Marriott at the Metro center | rate it 3/5 | +v's: good location, friendly staff, cheap | -v's internet not included, dated interiors
How long: 3 nights, 2.5 days
How we got there: 3 hours plane from New Orleans
How we left: 50 minute plane to Boston
City highlight: Arlington Cemetery
Washington DC is the most manicured of cities. It's immaculately presented parks, historic buildings and tree lined streets give me warm fuzzys as I reflect on the three nights we spent there.
There is a lot to see, and we had only two full days, so we powered around as many of the museums and sites as possible.
Arlington Cemetery is pristine, peaceful and quiet. So rich in American patriotism, especially at the tomb of the Unknown solider, who lies guarded 24 hours a day by military soldiers. The changing of the guard every hour is a heartwarming ceremony, and the view over Arlington and Washington is spectacular.
On the historic city side of the Potomac River spread around the Reflection pool is the Washington Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, World War II Memorial, and the Vietnam and Korean Memorials.
For the museums we chose to visit the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, National Gallery of Art and National Museum of Natural History. All held amazing pieces of history, including Columbia, the Command Module, from the Apollo mission and Armstrong and Aldrin's space suits in the space museum.
The art gallery's collection of fine art is expansive; we saw Di Vinci, Reuben, Michelangelo, Vermeer, Church ('Niagra' below), Constable, Raphael, Bellini, Degas and Pollock's 'Lavender Mist' to name a few.
At the Natural History museum, the displays of animal species, human evolution and minerals and gems caught my eye. The $250 million Hope Diamond is on display, along with incredible jewels and gem stones.
There are a heap of historic buildings you can explore; we chose Library of Congress, The Capitol building, and of course, The Whitehouse. The Library is a stunning building, built in the late 1800's and lined with vast slabs of Italian marble - a definite favourite of mine. The Capitol Building's free guided tours are excellent, giving a good background on US parliament and the history behind the former home of the US Supreme Court (which is now across the road in another gorgeous building). The Whitehouse is fiercely protected, so it's very hard to get a good look at it. The Secret Service swarms around its boundaries at all times. And no, we didn't see Barrack or Michelle, even though they were outside hosting trick or treaters for Halloween while we were there!
Georgetown is a quaint suburb, 15 minutes from the historic area. We loved it there, strolling the little streets on Halloween night. We ate at Clyde's of Georgetown, which was cheap and provided us a hearty meal of lobster and shrimp.
We couldn't resist Johnny Rockets again (it is so dam good!) and tried Shake Shack for the first time to ramp up the American Burger Stakes (SS was terrible in my opinion; greasy and bland).
We also visited the small Eastern Market on Saturday morning. It's tiny, and like your typical craft and produce market, so I wouldn't worry if you missed it.