We visited the nation’s capital this summer and it was great to see so many others visitors to DC taking in the sights. The city really had a feeling of a travel destination with so many other families and visitors from all over the world speaking various languages.
I would recommend taking public transportation as the traffic and parking in most areas of the city is not worth the extra stress. We stayed just south of the city and was an easy trip by the Green Line train into the city center, which you can transfer to other lines or onto a bus at reduced price.
The city itself has reduced metro and bus service prices on the weekend, making the choice not to drive even easier. At just $2 per metro ride to anywhere in the city on Saturday and Sunday, that’s about half price the regular fares. You will need to have a metro card, which can be purchased from the machines at the metro stations, or alternatively download the DC Metro app to pay by mobile phone when entering the bus or metro. I really liked that option as no need to purchase a card or have money left over when you are done using it! Simply use a linked form of payment while in DC for the public transportation, then delete the app when your visit is over!
We visited the National Zoo on the weekend, which I would recommend going during the week if you can as lines into each exhibit was very long; especially the Panda area. The tickets are free, but must be booked online in advance, then have the barcode scanned when you enter the Zoo. Maximum of 5 tickets per transaction and each of the barcodes need to be scanned for each ticket. There seemed to be a lot of confusion about this at the entrance with lots of people standing to the side either trying to book tickets last minute or bring them up for the attendant to scan. Overall, I would say plan your trip in advance, by booking the tickets via the National Zoo website and visit during the weekday to possibly have much shorter lines.
We happened to be in DC when the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade. There was a large security presence around the Supreme Court and Capital Building. There was a small army of media cameras and presenters the day the news broke, with an increasing size of protesters near the courthouse.
I spent most of my time in the city around the convention center or south of town in Maryland. The kids enjoyed going to the Natural History Museum and a number of monuments which they have seen on TV or in movies. I liked the circle bus service that was provided from Union Station to pretty much every major attraction in the city. I found the bus drivers helpful and the routes were easy to hop off/on again.
Writing at the Jackson Memorial
We also took a nice roadtrip out of the city to a lighthouse, beach and playground on the Chesapeake Bay, which as a nice way to break up the trip and spend some time out of the city.
is on a decades old journey to experience the world.