Washington D.C. In A Day

What do New Yorkers do on their days off? Leave New York. At least, that’s what Freddy and I tried to do as much as possible this summer. Since our work schedules don’t really align that frequently, we had to plot our escape in day sized portions. Here’s how we spent exactly one beautiful day exploring Washington D.C.

6:00 AM

We only paid $50 round trip for our combined bus fare. However, I wouldn’t recommend ever taking the same Megabus. Our 5 a.m. bus was over an hour late. If we ever take a trip to D.C. again,  I’ll definitely be renting a car. It’s around the same price, and you won’t have to stand on the streets of New York for an hour in the wee hours of the morning.


10:30 AM

We arrived at Union Station in D.C. at 10:30 a.m. After a quick bathroom break, we took a short walk through the Lower Senate Park to the Capitol. Maybe it was the squirrels or the close proximity of so many libraries, but I instantly felt like I was on a college campus again.

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11:00 AM

At this point in our journey Freddy and I started to get hangry. I was deadset on having breakfast even though it was late in the morning, so we headed over to Pete’s Diner. I cannot even begin to express how much I love this place. Our food arrived so quickly I’m still not sure it was physically possible for them to cook it that fast. Even if you only visit Pete’s Diner, a day trip to D.C. is worth it. For now this photo of my veggie omelette will have to suffice.

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12:00 PM

By noon Freddy and I found heaven on earth, better known by its formal name,  the United States Botanic Garden. I could have spent an entire day just breathing the clean air, trying to clean out my lungs from New York City smog, but we were on a schedule.

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12:30 PM

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is only a short walk from the Botanic Gardens; however, Freddy and I basically jogged there. At this point in our trip, we were so excited and pumped up on caffeine we were taking the city at record breaking speeds. It was a great museum, and we probably should have spent more time looking around than we did.


1:00 PM

The Hirshhorn Museum wasn’t on our scheduled itinerary, but we did pop in to take a look around for a few minutes. I wrote a love note to my mom and stuck it on the wall.


1:30 PM

Initially all I wanted to see in the Museum of Natural History was the butterfly exhibit. Apparently, that part is not free. It was still a decent museum to walk around for a while. Definitely put it on your list of places to peek into.


2:00 PM

All of our rushing around finally caught up to us. We stopped for a very expensive lemonade and laid in the grass at The National Mall. Again, it really felt like something I would do in college. Am I the only one that thinks this city feels like this?


3:00 PM

It took us roughly an hour to walk from The Mall to The White House. Have to say it would have been so much cooler to see it when the Obamas lived inside.


3:15 PM

Truth be told, we only wandered into The Renwick Gallery to pee and charge our phones. If you need a break, this is the perfect pit stop. Don’t tell them we said that though.


5:00 PM

After we charged our phones back up, we wandered through The Constitution Gardens until we made it to the Lincoln Memorial. It was the perfect place to people watch and daydream about moving to D.C.


8:00 PM

Our trek back to Union Station took us about three times as long as it should have. We stopped plenty of times along the way, until we finally made it back to the Capitol around 8 o’clock. I have no clue why there was a choir performing, but it was the perfect place to sit, listen, and watch the sun go down.


9:00 PM

Our bus was scheduled to leave at 10 p.m. that night, but we finessed our way onto the 9 p.m. bus. That, my friends, is how you properly end one beautiful day in Washington D.C.

Written by Kassie Shanafelt

TravelKassie Shanafelt