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Since my boyfriend lives in the suburbs of DC and I’ve been making semi-regular trips out to visit him ever since we started dating, I would say that I have at least a half decent idea of what there is to do in the area. If you’re pressed on time and only have a day to see the sights, then this post is for you.
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How to Get Around
DC’s metro gets a lot of flack, but it is still easily the best way to get around the city. Your best bet is probably going to be to buy a one day fast pass, unless you’re only planning on riding the metro once. I definitely would not suggest trying to drive in the city if you can avoid it.
Start your morning out right with a trip to the National Mall, where you’ll be able to take in all of the iconic sights of our nation’s capitol. From the Smithsonian metro station walk towards the Washington Monument and continue along to the Lincoln Memorial for the perfect quintessential DC experience.
After you’ve gotten your fill of the millions of memorials DC is so famous for, make the short walk to the White House. You’ll likely only spend a few minutes here, as tours are no longer available to the public and you can’t get any closer than the fence allows.
If you got an early start to your day and have some time, make sure to check out one of the many museums dotted along the National Mall. My personal favourites are the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of Natural History, but you can certainly tweak your itinerary to include whichever museum catches your interest.
Escape the city in the afternoon and take the bus out to George Washington’s Mount Vernon, where you can tour the first president’s house and explore the vast grounds that are so lovingly well managed. Be sure to check out the animals that are still kept around!
And there you have it, the perfect day in Washington DC! I tried to keep it down to two major activities, as you really don’t want to overwhelm yourself with too much to do. If you have more time in the city, you can easily spread out your sightseeing for an even less stressful time.