I had so much fun on my recent trip to Washington DC. Seriously it was a blast! There was so much to see and do, and I still feel like I could go back and do so much more! I am super spoiled with the ability to travel and my parents aim to take a family vacation every year. The last two years or so hasn’t exactly been my whole family as myself or my sister either can’t get off of work or have other commitments. (You can see last years vacation here) So this year it ended up just being my parents and myself.
Originally we were flying into Philly staying there and then heading to DC before I left and my parents were going to New York. As the plans came together though I chose to change my flight and arrive earlier than them to spend The Fourth of July in DC, and then meet them in Philadelphia. They also changed their last leg of the trip from New York to this adorable coastal town of Rockhall, Maryland. There is just so much to see and do in DC and Philadelphia that we definitely didn’t see it all, but we packed a ton in! Keep reading to see all I did, and you can watch the little vlog from our trip as well!
Flying into DC early was by no means inexpensive, but absolutely worth it! I left incredibly early in the morning (we’re talking like middle of the night early) only to land in DC around 4 in the afternoon. I took a bus and the metro into the city, dropped my bags at the hotel, got dinner, and headed to the National Mall. While leaving so early was miserable I landed with plenty of time and everything went so smoothly! The National Mall wasn’t as busy as I thought it would be so finding a spot was super simple and I had a great view of the show.
Leading up to the trip I was really nervous about having enough time to get a spot to watch the fireworks. I had talked to a few other blogger friends who live in DC and everyone suggested watching it from a roof top, and some had never even gone to the National Mall to see them. Roof tops seemed like the most popular option. The hotel I stayed at did offer a roof top view, but honestly I really wanted to see the fireworks over the monuments. Overall I’m super happy I trekked it down to the mall! I mean hello awesome pictures!!
My plan for the next day was to get breakfast (we all know I can’t do no food), see the Smithsonian Zoo, and explore Georgetown. I got breakfast at this adorable little cafe, Open City. Do you see that french toast?! Thats lemon and berries! It was so tasty! The zoo may not have been the best choice for my time, but it was still fun. The weather was hot and humid and not many of the animals were out.
After I had enough wandering through the zoo I headed near the waterfront in Georgetown and explored that part of DC. I had seen so many cute photos of Georgetown when researching and knew it would be something I’d love! Georgetown reminded me so much of Brooklyn or the Upper East side brownstones. It was so cute and the shops were all fancy. I took the time to just stroll through and take pictures. It honestly was so lovely!
Of course I couldn’t miss getting cupcakes either. While Georgetown cupcakes, I know is super popular I also had read about Baked and Wired which is where I ended up. Their cupcakes were so good I even went back days later for another!
I also have to tell you guys about this sign. This is such a blogger moment for me. I saw an instagram post from someone else with this sign in the background and I wanted to hunt it down and take my own picture with it. However, it was not as easy to find as you would have thought. It wasn’t on the main street with all the shops like I would have thought. So of course I took to google and literally began searching “Georgetown neon sign.” I mean what else was I gonna do? I learned all these facts about the building like how it was an old movie theater that was sold and the sign was taken down only to later be refurbished and put up again. Now the sign is there but the building is an apartment complex. While the facts were an easier google answer finding it’s location was a bit harder, but eventually I was able to track down the two cross streets and TA DA here we are! The cross streets are Wisconsin Ave. NW, O St. NW, and Dumbarton St. NW just in case ya wanna hunt it down and take your own pics 😉 I got you!
The next leg on my trip was to meet up with my parents in Philadelphia. We spent one full day in the city and tried to see most of the big ticket items. We saw the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, The US Mint, Ben Franklin’s house and post office, Elfreth’s Alley, and my personal favorite The Museum of the American Revolution. This museum is fairly new, but from everything I read a must see and I totally agree. The facts were so cool and it’s small enough that it doesn’t take more than like 2 hours.
And of course you can’t come to Philly without having a Philly Cheese steak! We planned on going to the two that are most famous, Geno’s Steaks and Pat’s King of Steaks, but it was a little too far of walking distance for us. We ended up asking one of the security guards for a suggestion and thats how we made it to Campo’s. It was so delicious and family owned. I loved it!
*Side Note* Traveling tip…ask the workers around you for suggestions. They live there and usually have off the main track suggestions that are amazing!
We took our time the next day driving from Philadelphia back to Washington DC. Now it was my parents turn to see the city, and my turn to do all the touristy things. On our way down we stopped at Valley Forge which was such a cool location to see. The park is huge, and its crazy to think of George Washington and other soldiers who were so important to our nation staying there. Crazy how much history it holds!
We made it to Washington in the early evening, grabbed dinner, and headed to the monuments. I was so excited to see them since I hadn’t spent any real time walking around the National Mall. I especially wanted to see them at night too. Each monument is so stunning in its own unique way. Getting to visit them is so amazing!
The first full day in DC with my parents was spent figuring out that some buildings close on Sunday. *insert face palm emoji here* For some reason we didn’t even think about the Federal buildings being closed on the weekends since they technically are businesses. So even though we tried to visit the capital this day we would be coming back for a tour the next one. I did get some cool pics in front of it though! lol
After the failed attempt at the capital we went and visited the National Museum of American History which holds the Star Spangled Banner. Then my dad and I went and saw Arlington National Cemetery. We made it there just as the changing of the guard happened.
Our last day in DC we got up early and made it to a capital tour! Successfully this time. The Capital is pretty freaking incredible. For one, it’s huge; two, who knew there was so much stuff up in that dome; and honestly from the outside its more impressive than the White House. You should visit it if ya ever get the chance! After that tour we went and saw the Library of Congress since they are both connected.
My second favorite part of this trip was George Washington’s Mount Vernon. I’m a sucker for an old house or mansion and this one was just amazing! The view from the back porch of the Potomac was incredible! It was also so cool to learn what was still original and think of the important people that came and visited the Washington’s at that very spot.
The trip ended with me leaving my parents in Rockhall, Maryland. It is this tiny little town with barely anything around. We of course had to eat their famous blue crab before I headed out.
Stay tuned for a Washington DC travel guide, but in the mean time watch the vlog below!