Maison Blanche

Washington deserves much more than 2 days

Relax in the Potomac river banks, visit a cool museum and wonder if that guy in the corner is actually a spy. Please, follow me! šŸ˜‰

Ā Viviane Vaz

Are you one of those people who think Washington is such a bureaucratic (boring?) city that does not deserve your visit? Are you by any chance planning to spend all your days in New York and only two days in Washington? Or are you even considering to go there just for 24 hours and come back straight away to NYC?

Ā Well, if you think Washington is worth just a selfieĀ in front of the White House, I dare to say you are wrong! šŸ™‚Ā I’ve also been there with these kind of common thoughts…Ā But I changed my mind. There’s so much to do and to seeĀ in the American capital…

Washington’s cherry trees

They were a gift from Tokyo CityĀ dated from 1912 and if you want to see this naturalĀ wonder, take into account you should travelĀ in springtime.

Get there by train

It’s super easy to travel from New York to Washington by train and it gives you a good idea of US geography. God blessed America: you gonna see refreshing rivers and green areas, while NYC skyscrapers get little and little until disappear in the horizon. Beautiful landscape not to miss!

Try a hop on/off bus for one day

For us it was specially useful to avoid too much walking in a scorching day, to give an overall idea of the city. It makes your life easier to visit Thomas Jefferson’s and Abraham Lincoln memorials, and hop in severalĀ interesting museums.

Have fun at the Spy Museum… Ā 

If you enjoy action movies, bring your friends or kids here and understand what it takes to be a spy. You will also learn a lot about historical characters and technology advances. By the way, did you know Washington is known for being home of thousands of international spies? It’s pretty sure you’ll bump into a few while you are visiting the city without even knowing! That’s what I learned during my museum visit! Besides, a new Spy Museum is currently under construction and it’s going to be huge! The opening is scheduled for 2018.

Go kayaking in Potomac river

If you are the sportive type, rent a kayak in one of the points of the river Potomac. Feel like aĀ Native American! šŸ™‚ Imagine how those guys used to go up and down the forest by canoeing. Being there during Summer, this was definitely my favourite thing. So refreshing!

TasteĀ a real American beef burger and… a crab cake!Ā 

If you also think that eating is a (delicious) way to discover aĀ place, you are going to be happy with Washington. The city is full of wonderful restaurants for different kinds of budget and tastes. We can propose you a list of restaurants where burger and crab cake are American gastronomical institutions.Ā 

How to visit the White House and the Capitol?

In order to have a tour inside the White House, be aware that requests should be submitted up to three months in advance and no less than 21 days in advance. If you are not an American citizen, you should contact your country’s embassy in Washington for assistance in submitting a tour request. I didn’t have the time to follow these procedures, so I had to content myself in admiring the building from outside. We’ve seen it so many times on TV news and films that it’s a must-do in Washington. And, of course, if you like self-portraits, that’s the moment to take one!

Painting by William Henry Powell’s exposed inĀ the American Congress Gallery. It represents Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto meeting Native Americans in theĀ Mississippi river.

For the Capitol I have one valuable tip. International visitors may inquire about gallery passes at the appointment desks on the upper level of the Capitol Visitor Center. When the House of Representatives is not in session, the last entry into the Gallery may be earlier than 4.15 p.m. based on demand. Visitors are advised to arrive prior to 4 p.m. for the best opportunity to view the Gallery.Ā 

Last but not least: get lost in Georgetown

This part of the capital is so charming. So many cute traditional houses that makes you dream and travel back in time. Get lost and get found in a nice bookshop, restaurant, bar or go shopping in this cozy-chic-trendy area.

Anyway, I confess I fell in love with Washington. I could stay much more than 5 days there without getting bored at all. So, if you US’ capital, please let us know! We can design exclusive travel programs departing from Europe in several languages. We have, of course, many more top secret travel tips in store for you! šŸ˜‰