This year for our Spring Break trip, I thought taking my teenagers to Washington would be a cool departure from our usual beach vacations. This was not entirely selfless. I really am not ready to sport my Lands End tankini just yet, if you catch my drift. The choice was well received by my husband and oldest son and our youngest son was a little “meh” with the whole idea at first. Now I will tell you that we are very last minute traveller’s. This entire trip was thrown together in less than three weeks. We found reasonable airfare (we travelled on a Thursday through Tuesday) and I’m going to let you in on a lodging secret that I learned about from a girlfriend over lunch. VRBO.com (Not a sponsor and not a paid ad) I had never heard of this before. Clearly we have been overpaying for hotel rooms for a loooong time. I found a 2bdrm/2Ba condo for about $200 per night. IT WAS AWESOME! We were in the National Harbor which is about a 15 minute cab ride from the National Mall area. It was a fantastic launching pad for our trip! After a day full of walking around and sightseeing, having a great space for the whole family to spread out was great. There are plenty of restaurants to walk to and it had all the amenities of a resort.Not to mention you are on the Potomac which is beautiful to look at.
The second item that made this trip so fun was contacting our Congressman prior to going to DC. His office made reservations for tours for my family that prevented us from standing in long lines at places like the Kennedy Center, The Capitol and the Holocaust Museum. Not to mention the fact that the Capitol Tour was personalized for our small group. For those of you who may be more of the “plan ahead” type you may also request a tour of the White House if you request it like a year in advance. (They will tell you three weeks but that’s really not the case) So we took the tourist photo outside the South Lawn Fence like everyone else. I hear you spend more time going through security than actually touring the White house anyway..
We went to Arlington Cemetery at the end of the day and if you get there by 4:30, you can see the last changing of the guard ceremony before it closes to the public at 5pm. It is very moving.
My husband worked in DC as an intern back in the 80’s so we also did some “not so touristy ” things like eating lunch at the Fish Market where he was a waiter in Old Town, and having another meal at Old Ebbitt Grill where his grandparents would take him when they visited him in DC. We visited Adams Morgan neighborhood where the National Cathedral and Ford Theater are located as well as Brookland where Lincoln’s summer cottage are located. The best meal we had was at a Ramen place in Adams Morgan called Sakuramen. It was delicious and fun. Be sure and order the pork buns!
I would definitely recommend this trip as a family vacation with teenagers. We all had a great time (Even the youngest really liked it!) It’s a lot of walking so don’t make a fashion statement with your footwear and prepare to be moved.