Do you have only one day to spend in our Nation’s Capital? Are you overwhelmed and not sure where to start? No problem, follow this One Day Itinerary in Washington DC where we have pinpointed the ‘must see’ attractions in Washington DC in just one day.
Begin Your TourWe recommend taking the “hop on/hop off” bus tour which has a stop just around the corner at The Washington Hilton Hotel. These tours give you an overall look of Washington DC, and cover a much larger area than you can by foot. You can buy the Open Top Sightseeing bus ticket by clicking on the link, at each bus stop or at the American Guest House Bed and Breakfast if you are a guest.
We will have our delicious breakfast ready for you as early as 7:30AM then just walk 3 minutes to the Washington Hilton Hotel to catch the bus promptly at 9:30am. Start your morning with a tour of the National Cathedral which was designated by Congress as the “National House of Prayer” and it is the sixth-largest cathedral in the world and the second-largest in the United States.
Then the historical Georgetown neighborhood where you can stop by Georgetown Cupcake, one of the most famed cupcake shops in the USA probably due to its TV show. Follow up your afternoon treat with a visit to the Old Stone House which is the oldest house in Washington DC.
Afterwards, walk down to the waterfront at the Washington Harbor where you will find great seafood restaurants and bars and also from where you can enjoy a splendid view of the Kennedy Center and the Watergate building . Hop back on the bus to the Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King Jr., delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech.
The Lincoln Memorial is a transfer point for the Open Top Sightseeing’s blue line. This line offers a quick tour of the Arlington National Cemetery where serviceman and their family members are buried. Or you can skip the transfer and walk along the mall and visit all of the memorials. However, we do suggest the moonlight tour but we will tell you more about later.
The Open Top Sightseeing’s red line will take you all around the mall and to the Washington Monument which is another great place to visit, take the elevator to the top and get the best view of the White House and surrounding area. Tickets are required and can be purchased in advance by calling 1-800-967-2283, at the kiosk (limited availability) at the bottom of the hill from the monument (15th St., and Jefferson Dr., or over the Internet at http://www.nps.gov/wamo/planyourvisit/feesandreservations.htm
Your next stop should be the Air & Space Museum the most visited Museum in DC where you can see and touch Right Brothers first aircraft, the moon landing ships, great IMAX movies and much more.
Already Lunch time! Here are a few suggestions in the area: Café Provençal at the National Gallery of Art, a French style bistro, offering a la carte menu and buffet. If you are filling like trying something different walk over to the National Museum of the American Indian located across the street from the Air & Space Museum, and try meals and snacks at The Mitsitam Native Foods Café inside the museum, where they offer meals and snacks inspired by the culinary traditions of Native Americans. This cafeteria is highly rated among our guests. After lunch take the opportunity to explore some of the exhibits.
For budget travelers we suggest the Old Post Office Pavilion food court with lots of casual dining options.
After lunch walk to the US Capitol where tickets are required for a” timed tour” of the Capitol and are given out on a first-come, first-served basis at 9:00 a.m., however you can still visit the Capitol Visitor Center area even without a ticket. Go to the Capitol Guide Service kiosk located southwest of the Capitol (intersection of First Street, S.W., and Independence Avenue). You can also contact your Congressman before hand for a ticket.
Next stop would be the National Gallery of Art where you will find one of the finest art collections in the world from the Middle Ages to present day. Then take a stroll up Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. If you received passes for a tour via your Congressman’s office, you will have an amazing opportunity to tour the most famous house in the world. No ticket. No problem! You can still take great photos from the main gate.
Before 6:30pm hop back on the bus or walk over to Union Stationwhich is one of Washington’sbusiest and best-known places, visited by 32 million people each year…Once you are there, we suggest taking the Moonlight Tour of the Monuments. This tour departs Union Station at 6:30 p.m. daily. The 3 hour fully narrated Moonlight Tour stops at The FDR Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veteran, Korean War Memorials, Iwo Jima Memorial, the White House, and concludes at Union Station.
If you are looking for a historical dining experience fit for a Unites states President, you should visit the Old Ebbitt Grill a historic oyster bar and grill where in the early 1900s President Theodore Roosevelt frequently enjoyed steak dinners. This historical fact has had a major influence on the restaurant to this day. The Beaux-Arts building’s walls are hung with all sorts of varieties of exotic animals, including the head of a walrus said to be shot by President Roosevelt himself. Political insiders, celebrities, journalists and theater-goers alike continue to frequent this local institution, located steps away from the White House.
If you are completely exhausted, take a detour to the Hotel Washington and hit the Lounge/Bar the P.O.V, to enjoy a sendoff cocktail while enjoying one of the most beautiful panoramic views of Washington DC!