Thursday, August 30, 2007

Washington DC

If you are in Washington DC, you have to visit the Smithsonians. The wonderful thing about these museums is that they're free! What makes the area even more interesting is that the Capitol and Washington Monument flank the buildings on either end of the Mall. These are truly world famous structures, shown in movies and pictures everywhere.

The best time to make a visit to Washington DC is Springtime, around April when the Cherry Blossoms are blooming. What a sight to behold, especially around the Tidal Basin. Our favorite museums on the Mall (the long stretch of open space where the museums are situated) are the Air and Space Museum, the newly opened American Indian Museum, the Art Museums, Museum of Natural History, Museum of American History, and the Hirschhorn Garden. There are 19 museums altogether. For younger kids, I would recommend the Air and Space Museum and Museum of American History. You can always get more information from the Smithsonian Castle.

Smithsonian Castle
Smithsonian Castle

American Indian Museum
National Museum of the American Indian

Within walking distance of the Mall are the Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Roosevelt Memorial (which I highly recommend), World War II Memorial, Vietnam Memorial and Jefferson Memorial. These memorials represent a lot of history and are highly worth the visit. A crowd favorite is the Albert Einstein statue outside the National Academy of Sciences building. Unlike virtually all other sculptures and statues, you are encouraged to climb onto Albert and spend some time with him. Take things easy, don't rush, after all time is relative...

Washington Monument
Washington Monument and Cherry Blossoms

Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial

The most enjoyable tour we have taken around DC is with the "DC Ducks". DC Ducks uses amphibious vehicles that provides for a truly enjoyable jaunt around DC, on land, and in the water. They operate out of Union Station, tickets can be purchased at their desk there. We'll be writing about them soon.

Besides the museums and memorial, you can also make a stop at the Washington Zoo. Once again, it's free. The main attraction at the Zoo are the pandas. Currently there are three pandas, Tian Tian, Mei Xiang and their cub, Tai Shan (well, he's no longer a cub, but a hefty 153 pounds).

Panda
Yummy breakfast!

If you stay in the suburbs of Washington DC, you can easily take the train "the Metro" into the city. The city itself is well serviced by the Metro. Additionally, when you are in DC, you can walk everywhere! That's how convenient and friendly the layout of all the attractions are. Of course once you are in the city, you have to try all the many different ethnic restaurants, from Mexican to Thai food. The variety and quality of food in DC is truly astounding.

This was a quick and short tour of DC, we will be writing many more in depth stories on things to do and places to eat in DC soon.

Useful links:
DC Ducks
National Zoo
Smithsonian
DC Metro
Places to eat in DC
-Mrs PEN.DCA.MEL

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