What to do with 24 Hours in Washington D.C.

My husband is a pilot for a commercial airline. While there are many benefits to his job, one of my favorites is being able to travel so that I can meet him in for some of his longer layovers in a few American cities. I love traveling and seeing local sites and I love getting to be with my husband. I have been to Washington DC twice (once on a solo trip and once with Matt), it is a wonderful city to visit for anyone and for any reason.

Granted travel restrictions are continuously changing on a daily basis. Unfortunately, those traveling from Texas (as well as 30 other states) will need to quarantine for 14 days after their arrival. Just know, that this will not last forever, I fully suspect that Washington DC to completely open up soon. However, if you are traveling from Maryland or Virginia you are exempt from the order.


Union Station

Photo Courtesy of Architecture Digest

Granted, Washington DC is best known for being our nations capital. DC has many beautiful site and many beautiful government buildings. However, it would probably surprise most people that one of the prettiest buildings in the city is not a government building at all. Union Station is one of the prettiest buildings in Washington DC. It is open to the public (as opposed to just Amtrak and Metro Passengers) there are quite a few shops and restaurants to try including: Magnolia Bakery, Potbelly, Aloha Poke Co., Blue Bottle Coffee, and more. The best way to get there is to take the Metro subway.

Hiking in Rock Creek Park

Photo Courtesy of the National Parks Conservation Association

Funny story, my discovery of this park was purely accidental. The first time I went to Washington DC was a solo trip. I had some time to kill between checking out of the hostel and arriving at the train station to depart the city. So I rented a car and drove around. At the time, I had no direction and no map, I just decided to take my self on a self-guided driving tour of Washington DC. It was during this driving tour that I stumbled upon this lovely park. This is a great location to get out and enjoy the beauty of nature.

National Mall

It does not matter what you plan on doing, the National Mall is a great place to visit! Of course, if you have never been to the the nation’s capital definitely take advantage of all the free tourist attractions that are there (because there are so many)! If you are traveling with a group of people, this is a great place to do something that will ignite the excitement in every member. For those who love history, you can enjoy any one of the government buildings, monuments, or memorials. The foodie in your group might really enjoy the tons of food trucks and restaurants within walking distance. You could have a picnic on the lawn for the calm, introverted, nature-lover in the group. For the person who wants to dive into culture, there is no better place to go than the Smithsonian Museum.

Stay the Night at Highroad Hostel DC

The Living Room – Photo Courtesy of TripAdvisor

Yes, I realize this is a Hostel and not your typical hotel. However, compared to some of my hotel stays in Washington DC, I enjoyed the Highroad Hostel far more. First off, this hostel is located in a really fun DC neighborhood (Adams Morgan). There are so many fun quirky shops, restaurants, and bars all within a two-block walking distance. Some of these shops and restaurants include: the Amsterdam Falafelshop, Bossa, District of Columbia Arts Center, and Mercedes Bien Vintage Clothing and Decor. Also if you are looking for a cheap ride to drive around Washington DC, there is a Zipcar Parking lot right around the corner (not even a 5 minute walk). Finally, there are several different room options for travelers. For anyone who just wants a cheap place to crash, I would recommend the 14 bed-multi shared dorm. If anyone is traveling with a group or with their children, I highly recommend the 4 bed multi-shared room.

Eat at The Hamilton

Photo Courtesy of TripAdvisor

The Hamilton is a beautiful restaurant and live music venue on the corner of 14th St. and F St. NW. Fortunately, even with the Covid restrictions, The Hamilton is allowed to have live concerts (just at a reduced capacity). In the coming weeks and months patrons will be able to enjoy live music with their dinner. This fall season they have some really fun concert options to the public, including: Della Mae, Kat Edmonson, Cris Jacobs Band, and a few more. Otherwise, if you are just looking for a great place to eat, The Hamilton offers dine-in, take-out, online, and to-go orders. While you are there, be sure to try the Lobster Shephard’s Pie, No Bull Burger (vegan), or Fire Cracker Sushi Roll.

Espionage has always been a topic from some of our favorite movies, novels, TV shows and even conspiracy theories. Some young children dream of eventually becoming International spies. This museum is perfect for any child (and even children at heart) because it provides their visitors with an immersive and semi-hands on experience regarding espionage. During your visit you will get the chance to learn all about the Culper Spy Ring, the Code Breakers of WWII, the Enigma, and more. The International Spy Museum is open Monday through Friday (even during Covid). They also have some fun programs and workshops for their patrons. For families, they have other fun events including the “Covert Couch Challenge” which is a family game night designed to test your family’s skills at tradecraft.


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