What to do with 24 Hours in Washington DC

What to do with 24 Hours in Washington DC

What to do with 24 Hours in Washington DCWhen I was 11 years old, my family packed up and moved from Southern California to our new home in Northern Virginia, about 15 miles outside of Washington DC. I was young enough to be up for the move without caring too much about leaving the only home I’d ever known. I ended up falling in love with the city, and the older I grew, the more I came to appreciate the history and all DC has to offer.

After that, I caught the traveling bug and love to take advantage of trips, no matter the length, whenever possible. (Like my latest trip to Cancun, Mexico!)

This past 4th of July, Dj and I decided to do a northern trip. We hit 3 different states in 4 days (DC -> New Jersey -> Maryland -> DC) and so we had to make the most of where we were during the short bit of time we had. He’s visited me + some of our college friends in Virginia before, but he’d never had the “full DC experience” so I decided we needed to make the most out of our 24 hours in the city.

If you’re a lover of travel, I cannot recommend exploring DC enough. And, if you’re on a time crunch, this what to do with 24 hours in Washington DC guide could be helpful. 🙂

June 30th: I flew into Washington DC to meet up with Dj who happened to be there for a work conference earlier that week. It was a late flight, so we went straight to the hotel and crashed at midnight.

July 1st: I woke up bright + early while Dj finished up his last morning of his conference. I hit the hotel gym for a quick cardio session, then ate a power bar and showered. I knew he would be back around noon, so I didn’t want to eat anything too heavy since I was going to take him out to explore for lunch.

Once he came back, we headed over to Georgetown to eat lunch on the waterfront.

What to do with 24 Hours in Washington DC

Georgetown’s waterfront is right in the middle of the shopping center of the city. It’s packed with cute shops, restaurants, bars, and located right on the water so you can kayak, paddle board, and even take your boat out.

There are fountains that kids play in, vendors selling boat tours, and outside bars to grab a drink while hanging out by the water. It’s a definite go-to area, even if you don’t have much time. Georgetown is located about 3-5 miles from the National Mall, which are where all the historical monuments are.

The last time I was in DC, we went to Centro for brunch, which is also in Georgetown, but this time, I wanted to stick closer to the water, so I took him to Farmers Fishers Bakers. They are a fresh farm to table restaurant where everything that they serve is made in house. From their website, “Farmers Fishers Bakers is a full-service, upscale casual restaurant with an in-house bakery, sushi counter, full bar with 24 beer taps, and year-round patio with water views. Our restaurant is owned by the more than 40,000 family farmers of North Dakota Farmers Union (NDFU) and is supplied by hundreds of family farmers everywhere.”

Even though everything there is made fresh and with high-quality ingredients, the prices are extremely reasonable. To start, we ordered their brick oven pretzels that came with 3 homemade sauces: sour cream + onion, pimento cheese, and BBQ mustard.

What to do with 24 Hours in Washington DC Brick oven pretzels – sour cream + onion dip – pimento cheese – BBQ mustard = price $5.00

 To drink, I went with one of their specialty ‘from farm to still’ cocktails, the Farm Daisy.

What to do with 24 Hours in Washington DC

Farm Daisy – made with Founding Farmers gin + green chartreuse + lemon + lemon grass = price $14.00

It was nice and light but packed a very heavy punch. I don’t think I would be able to finish more than one of these, but at $14.00 each, that’s perfect for me.

Dj went with a beer- he’s definitely not one to venture out to the cocktail list, but he likes to sample mine.

For lunch, Dj ordered the crab cake sandwich with pickled vegetable potato salad. He loved it and ate it so quickly that I couldn’t get a picture! But he said it was one of the best crab cakes he’s ever had. I also love that they have unusual sides. I’ve never even thought to add pickled veggies to a potato salad, but they kept it oil based, so it was perfect and light. I definitely want to try and recreate that! For his sandwich, it was $18.00.

I chose their roasted vegetable, avocado, + brie sandwich on homemade apple walnut raisin bread paired with peanut-cider slaw.

What to do with 24 Hours in Washington DC

Roasted vegetable, avocado, + brie sandwich on homemade apple walnut raisin bread – peanut-cider slaw = $12.00

I cannot say enough good things about this sandwich. For one, though, it was HUGE. After the drink + pretzels, I could only finish less than half of this, but Dj loved that since he is a machine when it comes to finishing food. 😉

The bread was perfect- I would love to buy a loaf and eat it in the mornings! The peanut-cider slaw was very light and reminded me of thai flavors. I would order this meal over and over if I lived closer!

What to do with 24 Hours in Washington DC

Serious perfection over here.

Overall, I would rate this restaurant a 10/10. The service was impeccable, the atmosphere was awesome, and their restaurant was just so adorable. I love that everything is fresh and they support small farmers, plus, they have a lot of variety to their menu! If you want to check the menu out in it’s entirety, you can do so here.

 After lunch and walking along the waterfront + exploring some of the shops, we headed over to my best friend Amanda’s house in Arlington to meet up.

Typically, since we’re so close to the monuments, we’ll just Uber down there, but since we only had about an hour + a half to spend exploring the historic monuments, we chose to drive so that we could walk some, then drive by the others (like the capital building). If you don’t have much time to spend, pick and choose which monuments you want to see the most and make sure they’re close to one another. You need at least 4 hours to do the whole thing- and more if you want to add in Arlington National Cemetery, the Capital, ect.

What to do with 24 Hours in Washington DC

 Up first, my guy Abe at the Lincoln Memorial.

What to do with 24 Hours in Washington DC

When you go to the Lincoln Memorial, make sure you actually spend time looking up at the ceiling + all the engravings on the walls. The building itself is HUGE. The steps are also iconic, which I’m sure you’ve seen in movies, like Forest Gump.

Directly in front of Abraham Lincoln, the building is cut out so that you face the Washington Monument. Dj was really surprised at how far it actually is from the Lincoln Memorial, since it’s so big, it appears to be much closer.

What to do with 24 Hours in Washington DC

View from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial- you can peek the Capital building directly behind it! The sky was really dark- which actually scared away the crowds- but it didn’t rain on us, thankfully.

What to do with 24 Hours in Washington DC

What to do with 24 Hours in Washington DC

Next, we headed to the Korean War Monument, which is directly to the right + some steps from the Lincoln Memorial and the reflecting pool.

What-to-do-with 24-Hours-in-Washington-DC

Freedom is not free

What to do with 24 Hours in Washington DC

The next monument we walked around is my favorite one, the World War II memorial. Right behind it, you can see the Lincoln monument and the Washington monument on the other side. The sun was beginning to go down, so it was amazingly beautiful!

What to do with 24 Hours in Washington DC

On the way back to the car, we stopped by the Martian Luther King Jr. monument, which overlooks the water and the Jefferson Memorial. We drove by the Jefferson, but since some of the monuments are spread out, we had to pick and choose which to get close to.

What to do with 24 Hours in Washington DC

Martin Luther King Jr Memorial

What to do with 24 Hours in Washington DC
View of the Washington Monument from the Martin Luther King Jr memorial. Along the wall are his quotes!

What to do with 24 Hours in Washington DC

The final step to our monument tour was the White House. Or, as Dj liked to refer to it, his future house. 😉

Unfortunately, we did not see President Obama, but Amanda told me a funny story about her friend’s dad who looks similar to the president shook hands and pretended to be him, only to be approached by Secret Service asking him to stop doing that and let him know they’ve been watching him. Oops!

To finish off the evening, we headed out to a beer garden, Courthaus Social, which is located in Arlington. It’s an outside establishment where there are tons of tables and bars that you can order drinks, food, and just hangout.

We met up with a ton of friends and I chose to keep my phone + camera put away, but I definitely recommend trying the place out! 🙂

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Questions for you:

  • What did you do for 4th of July weekend?
  • Have you ever been to Washington DC before?
  • Where did you grow up?

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