I know Rome isn’t in our forecast anytime soon. Despite the fact I still want my daughter to see the treasures of ancient civilizations and true beauty from crafted hands, travel is limited to the US at this point. I traveled the world in my youth and I want nothing less for her.
Now until September The National Gallery will play host to this beautiful example of Roman creation. At about six feet tall and completely to scale she will sit in the West Building rotunda. While there I plan to take Pixie to see the Stone Copy of the Declaration of Independence. When she was little I took her to read it out loud on a visit to DC. I think its time to read it again.
Have you ever been to the Gallery? Its massive and has some of the best exhibits in rotation. I always stop in when doing the Smithsonian crawl. The Sculpture Garden by far is my favorite place to get outside and walk. There are more museums preserving history and worldly artifacts in DC, than most places I have traveled. It is almost exhausting to try to plan a museum crawl but it’s not impossible.
The District offers insight into booking and schedules. I never stay in DC, it will kill your travel budget instantly. You can stay anywhere outside the hill and get cheap room rates and have immediate access to the train. I suggest this over anything else. You don’t want to drive around the Capitol. Its insane. Streets wagon wheel all ways to Tuesday and unless you grew up there you will never understand how everything shifts. Get a hotel close to the train and rail it in. Your pass is good all day and due to the high volumes of persons who commute outside, you will find train schedules run extended hours. Keep in mind between 5-6-7 you are going to have long waits as people want to get home. I stop and get dinner getting back on the train around 8:30.
DC.com also has great places to stop eat and try. With social networking what it is and foursquare checking us all in, you can easily find suggested places to get the best cup of coffee or lunch on a budget while walking around.
Quick Tips –
Bring a backpack. If you have small children a collapsible stroller will save your hips, but keep in mind DC is an old city and cobblestones aren’t always well suited for strollers. If your children are older make them walk. They’ll complain most of the trip anyway it’s what preteens do. Bring ear buds.
Most of the museums do not allow photography, so for those of you with super phones plan on leaving the camera at the hotel. There is not a place to store stash or locker any personal devices in most locations. Some offer this service for a small fee most can’t. Plan ahead call ask or just take your phone.
Have at least one bottle of water in your backpack, some wet wipes, a few snacks, Tylenol and any emergency needs. It’s dangerous to carry a purse. Not going to lie. Packs are easy to lock secure and of course wont wear out your shoulders.
Good walking shoes. No really, its important. I went in flip flops once and hated myself for two weeks after. I walk and hike at a steady clip and my muscles are used to this. If your activity level is not like that, plan on having some muscle relief back at the hotel when you return. Bengay IceyHot or something to soothe those muscles that just sprinted around our Nation’s Capitol.
Tourism boards will mail you bus schedules and routes, and even DC city maps with points of interests like the museums. This makes it easy to map out where you want to go, when and stopping points for breaks. I’ll see you there this summer !