A Walking Tour Of Washington, D.C.
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Politics and Activism

A Walking Tour Of Washington, D.C.

Skip those bus and trolly tours and hit the pavement for free.

A Walking Tour Of Washington, D.C.
National Geographic

One of my favorite cities to visit is Washington, D.C. Although the city is very busy and congested, it is definitely a wonderful place to visit. No matter what you’re looking to get into, Washington, D.C. has something to offer you. One of the things I love about going to D.C., no matter how many times I visit, is going on a tour of downtown and visiting many of the monuments. Personally, I think bus and guided tours in D.C. are outrageously overpriced; thus, after numerous visits to the capital of our country, I decided to develop my own walking tours of the downtown D.C. area. This is a complete walking tour; however, if you’re traveling with friends or family, you won’t realize how far you’ve walked, until you’re done. There are also various Metro stops, taxi, and Uber drivers along the way; so, if you get tired and want to opt-out of some walking, don’t feel bad.

To complete this tour, I highly recommend you wear comfortable walking shoes (or your feet will seriously suffer), download a map and invest in a SmarTrip card; the permanent, rechargeable card used to pay for the Metrorail and bus fares, for convenience, should you decide to skip out on walking or go somewhere else.

First Stop: Union Station

When in D.C. the first stop I usually make is at Union Station because I either drive or take the metro there. If I don't take the metro, and I drive to D.C., I always park in the Union Station parking garage, which charges based on how long you use it for. Union Station is a shopping mall, bus station, and metro stop all in one. They have various retail stores which you would find in your local mall and numerous eateries with a variety of food options. Union Station is a stop for different tour buses like the Greyhound and the MegaBus, as well as a rail station for Amtrak, Marc and VRE. Once I leave Union Station, I will head over to Capitol.

U.S. Capitol Building

The United States Capitol sits across from Union Station (not perfectly, but it does). It is a great place to take picture outside of; however, if you have the time in your day, I recommend going inside and taking a tour. Due to the high volume of guest the capitol experiences, I would recommend scheduling your tour ahead of time because you don't want to be stuck waiting in line, or turned around.

Next stop: National Air and Space Museum

National Air and Space Museum

The National Air and Space Museum is usually one of my next stops. It located about three blocks down from the Capitol building. The Air and Space Museum has various interactive exhibits, as well as movies. This museum is a great spot for any member of the family.

Next stop: The Washington Monument

Washington Monument

I have never been to the top of the Washington Monument; however, I always stop by to take a distant picture on my way to the Lincoln Memorial. If you're interested in going to the top of the monument, I recommend you visit the website ahead of time, and make arrangements to do so weeks before your vacation.

Next stop: Reflecting Pool

Reflecting Pool

Although this is not a major stop on my journey, the Reflecting Pool sits between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. It is a great place to take pictures, as well as take a rest before you climb the stairs at the Lincoln Memorial.

Next stop: Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial is one of my favorite monuments; however, it is one of the busiest ones. I have never been able to take a solid picture inside of the monument because my patience is not good enough for the crowds. It's a great place to visit, but it is a superior challenge to get a decent pictures without stray humans running in front of your camera.

Next stop: The White House

The White House

When visiting The White House, it is important to know, you will not be able to actually walk up to the front door (duh). Something I recommend is visiting both sides (front and back). It is possible to get tours of the house; however, that takes planning months in advance. If interested, visit the White House site for more information.

Last Stop: Union Station

And, We're Back: Union Station

It was our first and it is our last. After visiting the White House, I make my way back to Union Station. After this trip, I usually am way past tired and very hungry. So, once I've arrived at the station, I usually grab a bite to eat and rest a bit before I go tackle the D.C. traffic.

Although this is not the only or ultimate tour of D.C., this is a great route to take which allows you to see various points of interest along the way. It is important to note that I did not include all of the monuments, museums and sites on this route; however, I have included some great ones.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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