3-Day Itinerary in Washington DC

Just came back from a 3-day trip from Washington DC! It was supposed to be the cherry blossoms’ peak blossom season, but alas, half of them were damaged due to a sudden snowstorm just a few days before I arrived. -____-

Day 1: Alexandria Old Town, Holocaust Museum, Tidal Basin, H street 

  • Arrived at Ronald Reagan Airport
  • Took Uber to Alexandria Old Town, VA which was just about 15 minutes away
  • Shopped and ate along King Street in Alexandria which was touted as a must-visit in many reviews I read online, all waxing lyrical about its lovely cobblestone street and European vibe
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King Street in Alexandria VA. 

  • Took metro train from King Street station to Smithsonian station
  • Visited the Holocaust Museum.Was pleasantly surprised at how interesting the museum was. I was afraid that it would be too educational and boring, but it turned out to be pretty emotional, with great videos of interviews with survivors sharing their personal stories. Very touching and definitely worth visiting.
  • Walked to Tidal Basin to check out the supposedly blossoming cherry blossoms
  • Felt underwhelmed by the lack of flowers and was too lazy to check out the memorials around Tidal Basin, therefore I only looked at Jefferson Memorial from afar haha
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Jefferson Memorial at Tidal Basin.

  • Finally checked into our AirBnb accommodation near Noma metro station, and walked to H Street which was supposed to be a hip street with loads of dining choices
  • Specially went to the famous Maketto which serves Taiwanese and Cambodian cuisine but was deterred by the lack of Asians dining there, and the overall edgy vibe of the place. Left to find the equally famous Toki Underground for ramen. But was once again deterred by the extremely noisy and edgy vibe of the place. All I want is just a hot piping soup of ramen!! Finally settled on this Chipotle-style Asian cuisine fast-casual restaurant called Pow Pow which tasted surprisingly good!

Day 2: Capitol Building, Library of Congress, National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Union Market

  • Woke up bright and early to visit the famous Capitol Building which I had booked a free tour of but unfortunately still reached late and missed the tour -__-

capitolbuilding

  • Toured the exhibitions and thought it was pretty boring. Heng that I missed the tour.
  • Went to the Library of Congress which was connected to the Capitol Building via an underground tunnel
  • Basically a place with good architecture and nice to take pictures of, but still kinda boring in my opinion.
  • Walked to the National Gallery of Art which was a total must-see in my opinion and one of the few attractions that I actually had interest in.
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Even saw an artist copying the Master works in National Gallery of Art.

  • Had a good time checking out the different paintings, including gorgeous vibrant Impressionist works by Monet and Renoir. Loved the museum shop with interesting trinkets and pretty souvenirs.
  • Walked to the nearby Museum of Natural History. The exhibitions will probably interest someone with a curious eye for everything. For me? I just felt kinda bored. To me, the saving grace was the National Geographic Exhibition which displayed award-winning photographs of animals in the wild.
  • Visited the Union Market which was supposedly a must-visit for foodies. Thankfully the market met my expectations and had about 20 stalls of different cuisine. A ramen stall in particular really stuck out cos it just looks kind of out of place there with the owner displaying a lot of Asian seasoning on the shelves. In spite of its nondescript exterior, the ramen was pretty good! It was a tad oily, in fact the broth was covered with a film of oil 0.5 cm thick, but the broth was really tasty and addictive.

Day 3: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Chinatown, Smithsonian Postal Museum, Union Station, U Street

  • By the third day, I already felt quite bored. There is just this many museums I could visit and I’m not that keen in outdoor activities when it is just so unbelievably sunny, with the sun scorching on my sensitive skin.
  • Decided to head to the National Portrait Gallery located at Chinatown metro station. Actually it is a bit boring because not everyone with a portrait there is famous to me. In fact I don’t know a lot of them. To me, the biggest draw were the portraits of all the US Presidents.
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Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Edward Hopper’s work on the left.

  • The American Art section was in another wing and I enjoyed this a lot more than the Portrait Gallery because there is a bigger variation of paintings. I mean it gets old after a while if you just see faces one after another in the entire gallery. After I started taking art classes, I really enjoyed visiting art museums a lot more. My husband said I’m pretentious, but I really hope to learn something out of looking at the brushstrokes and painting styles of the Masters.  I still don’t think I really digested anything, LOL, but one can always hope.
  • Headed to Daikaya another famous ramen shop in the vicinity. I really love ramen! Very comforting food. It was pretty tasty, and the serving was big but somehow I preferred the one I ate in Union Market.
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Some miso ramen from Daikaya.

  • Boarded train to Union Station and visited the lesser known Postal Museum which was right beside the station.
  • The museum is quite quiet but well-curated. In fact I think it is quite miraculous how the curators can put together so much content and artefacts all revolving around the postal service. My favourite part was making my own stamp using the stamp-making booth that allows you to take a selfie and design it. Oooh, there were also free postcards where you can write on it and mail it out at the post office in the basement.

smithosonianpostalmuseum

  • Walked around Union Station. Meh.
  • Boarded metro to U street for the famous Ben’s Chili Bowl that every single DC website recommends. Had the famous half-smoke Chili Dog and it was indeed juicy and flavorful.

Having spent 3 days in DC, I will say it is actually quite a boring vacation destination if you are not someone who is into culture or educational stuff. And I really am not such a person. Most of the attractions are along the National Mall, which means one museum after another. For me, I only selected museums and monuments which I think I will have a higher chance of enjoying, and I think this is the way it should be. It is quite impossible to just cover all the museums within 3 days. I didn’t even visit the White House! Haha. Simply cos I just have no interest and energy to make my way to the White House just to snap a picture in front of it.

Till my next trip then!~

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About Chasing Carefree

I am a Singaporean Chinese who moved to Chicago in 2015. I hope to chronicle my daily life, rants, travels and observations of the American culture on this blog.
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