Many visitors to Washington, DC will stick to the National Mall and the area around it. They’ll gaze up at the national monuments, maybe visit one of the Smithsonian museums, peer through the fence at the White House, and, if it’s springtime, soak in the delicate cherry blossoms. But only a quick walk from the National Mall and Tidal Basin is the District Wharf, or Wharf DC as it is also known. A recent revitalization project has put new life into the Washington waterfront. Escape the urban jungle for the Washington, DC wharf!
There’s no surer sign that spring is here than the cherry blossoms! In Japan, the practice of hanami, or the viewing of flowering trees (usually cherry), is a long-standing tradition with hundreds of years of history. And while the arrival of blossoms on flowering trees is always special, in recent years the Japanese enthusiasm for this natural phenomenon has been adopted in the West. The cherry trees that encircle the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC are famous for their fluffy pink blooms. The trees are so famous, in fact, that each year the National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the blossoms’ arrival. Everyone should see these beautiful cherry blossoms at least once. It’s too spectacular to miss!
With the short window of opportunity for cherry blossom viewing, you can expect huge crowds. But I’ve got a few tips for seeing the Washington, DC cherry blossoms while still avoiding the crowds!
The Freer|Sackler, that is the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, is easy to miss along the imposing and impressive National Mall in Washington, DC. The galleries are surrounded by significant museums. Just across the way is the popular Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Castle. The Hirshhorn Museum and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum are also nearby neighbors. It’s easy to not notice the Freer|Sackler given all those “distractions,” not to mention its petite buildings, relatively speaking.
But the Freer|Sackler Galleries are home to an impressive collection of Asian art as well as works from the American aesthetic movement, northern Africa, and the Islamic world. What’s more, there’s never been a better time to visit the museum. The dual museums celebrated a reopening in October 2017 after the Freer Gallery of Art was closed for renovations that lasted nearly two years. I recently visited the galleries and to say that the museums house an extraordinary collection is an understatement.
In many respects, Washington, DC is a traveler’s paradise. The city is full of world-class museums, many of which are free to visit. There’s a large park full of notable monuments to explore. And the architecture and history in the city are difficult to fathom. But traveling to Washington, DC with a dog offers lots of possibilities! Traveling can be difficult but it shouldn’t be because your best friend can’t come along. My husband and I recently took a day trip to DC with George, our mini schnauzer. And all members of the pack had a lot of fun. Here are some ideas for a Washington, DC dog-friendly day trip!
Like any major city, Washington, DC is full of great food options. From high-end to trendy. From French brasserie Le Diplomate (Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr’s DC version of Philly’s Parc, which is Philly’s version of NYC’s Balthazar) to the always happening Momofuku. But if you’re in downtown and have limited time, who wants to spend the day driving (or being Uber-ed) all over the city?
So instead, during my recent day trip to Washington, DC, I stayed in the downtown area. If you venture just a few blocks north of the National Mall, there are plenty of great food options in Washington. Although there are plenty of food trucks down near the attractions, it’s great to sit down and enjoy the city more like a local than as a tourist. Here’s three great eats in downtown Washington, DC that kept my belly full AND happy.
Spending a day in Washington, D.C. is a great idea. Spending a day in Washington, D.C. in August (the first day, actually) can cause a traveler to have a second thought. But there I was with a day in Washington, D.C. The nation’s capital is full of fantastic options of things to see and do. There’s no shortage of great restaurants and shops. And while the city does have plenty of public transit options — from the subway to buses doing circuits of the most popular tourist attractions — the relatively flat landscape makes for fantastic walking. Yeah, a day in Washington, D.C. is full of fun.