Bring comfortable shoes, unless you are mega-rich (or just too cheap) you will probably be walking or metro-ing everywhere. It is easier and cheaper than trying to cab.
Plan out what you want to see, even though the majority of the museums are free, sometimes during busy tourist seasons, you won't be able to actually get into the museums unless you have tickets (Example: Holocaust Museum).
Jason and I rented bikes and rode around, which turned out to be a way faster way to see the sights! There are a lot of bike stations around D.C.!
Now to the sights! I'm going to put a list of things that I think are important. This is by no means all-inclusive, but these are the things that I think should not be missed when you go!
- White House - if you want to do a tour, make sure you plan ahead. For all U.S. citizens, you have to request a tour at least 3 months in advance from your congressman, for all out of country travelers, you must request a tour through your embassy. All tours are free, they just require planning!
- Lincoln Memorial and the Reflecting Pool
- Vietnam War Memorial
- Korea War Memorial
- Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
- FDR Memorial - my favorite memorial. It is all outside with statues and quotes from not only FDR but Eleanor too.
- Thomas Jefferson Memorial
- Holocaust Museum-Get here early, like when it opens or earlier and stand in line for tickets. They are free, but they "sell-out" quickly. This is one of the best museums I've ever been to. I highly highly recommend it.
- World War II Memorial
- Washington Monument
- Captial Hill/Library of Congress/Supreme CourtCapitalCapitalLibrary of Congress (above) Supreme Court (below)
- National Archives
- American History Museum
- Natural History Museum
- Air and Space Museum
- American Indian Museum
- Spy Museum
- Theodore Roosevelt Island
- LBJ Memorial
- Arlington Cemetary
- JFK's grave
- Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
- Marine Corps War Memorial
There are so so many more places that I could include/should include. But if you are going to go for a weekend trip. These are the things I feel you must hit!
If you have any questions/comments/concerns let me know!
happy traveling! :)