Challenge: 24 hours in Washington, D.C.
A beautiful city with a mixture of political austerity, southern charm and hospitality. You can pick up on that vibe, as soon as you arrive.
I have wanted to go to the National Museum of African American History and Culture since it opened in 2016. Tickets are hard to come by, so when I had the opportunity to go, I decided to plan a quick trip to D.C.
I didn't have much time but knew it was possible to go down to D.C. for a day trip, if I planned it out accordingly. Turns out it's totally do-able and worth it!
Here’s how I did it!
How to get from NYC to DC:
Traveling from NYC to DC is surprisingly quick and affordable.
I do not drive, but there are many bus options from the city. I opted to use Megabus for this trip. For $50 roundtrip, I was able to sit back and relax on the journey. The cool thing about Megabus is depending on how early you book, the price can vary greatly. You can get a roundtrip ride for $10, if you book early enough! Not bad for a quick getaway.
I looked at the ride as having four hours of uninterrupted "Netflix and chill" time. Download your shows, bring a book and some snacks, wear something comfortable and your are ready to hit the road.
When you do not want to drive, this is definitely a great option. As an alternative, you can also take Amtrak, book a flight or just rent a car.
Where to Eat:
There are great dining options in D.C. For dinner we ate at the pig on 14th St. It was very well-prepared and fresh comfort food. A nice and relaxed ambience to enjoy some pig in all its ways.
We found ourselves dining at Pennsylvania 6 for lunch the next day. This felt like a spot where you can wine and dine in D.C. It is a beautiful restaurant with great menu options. I could not resist the burger! The meat was juicy and flavorful. I'm craving it, as I type!
The culinary scene in D.C. is quite eclectic and you can have an array of cuisines here. Here's a list that I like, with some great spots and quite a variety of options.
Where to Stay:
We stayed at The Hamilton Hotel (image from there website to the left), which was centrally located. We found a last minute deal on a travel booking site and took advantage of the deal. It was a toss up between that or an Airbnb option, but it worked out that the last minute deal was less than Airbnb, this time. The stay at this hotel was very nice. The room was beautiful and the location was perfect for our needs. There are different sections in D.C. You can choose where is best for you based on the activities that you would like to do. Check out this article for more details on places to stay.
Things to Do: Finally, it was time to head to the museum. Along the walk, we strolled around the National Mall and had amazing views of historic monuments. The sight of the White House is always breath taking from the lawn, regardless of who stays there.
Things to do:
There is so much history seeped into the grounds of D.C. You can spend an entire day just walking around, visiting monuments and going museum hopping. We chose to spend our time and focus on The National Museum of African American History and Culture (though there are plenty museums to visit).
The museum itself is certainly worth the trip. We devoted four hours this time, but were still nowhere close to seeing everything. It is a powerful museum that takes you from the beginnings of slavery to today’s current state of affairs. It is worth visiting. It was all very powerful and at times overwhelming, but it is worth seeing and learning more about.
There is so much to do in D.C. that 24-hours does not allow, but it is definitely a great teaser for reasons to come back!
Should you do it?
Yes! A 24 hour trip to DC from NY (or the surrounding states) is totally possible and worth it! You can have a quick escape from your routine to try new culinary adventures, walk new paths and explore classic museums.
Any thoughts on places to visit or have any D.C. tips? Leave a comment below!