As the All Blacks get set for the 1874 Cup clash at FedEx Field, here’s the essential guide to 3 dreamy days in DC to help your planning in 2022.
The All Blacks are set to rock Washington, DC in the 1874 Cup! Here’s hoping we can too, in 2022. See the best of everything Washington, DC has to offer – from the National Mall and free museums to neighbourhood attractions – with this three-day itinerary.
Day 1: The National Mall. The National Mall, home to many of the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, is a great place to start your day. See the magnificent jewels, dinosaurs and mammals on display at the National Museum of Natural History; the airplanes and interactive flight simulators at the National Air and Space Museum; and the stories, arts and crafts at the National Museum of the American Indian. And it’s all free of charge. The museums also offer free tours to groups who reserve in advance.
The Mall is home to a host of other museums, including the National Gallery of Art, where the U.S.’s only Leonardo Da Vinci painting hangs, while the National Archives, which houses the original Constitution and Declaration of Independence, is a must for any American history buff.
Start your evening with dinner at Union Station, where there are a number of sit-down and quick-service restaurants to sample. Plus, the glorious beaux-arts train station is the departure point for tours of the monuments at moonlight offered by Old Town Trolley.
For something a bit quirkier, Bike and Roll, Segs in the City and City Segway Tours (for ages 16 & up) also offer evening tours in season departing from other points in the city. Even if you’ve made the rounds at all the monuments and memorials by day, there’s something extra-special and magical about a night-time tour.
Day 2: Take Your Pick! Head to U Street for breakfast at a DC institution, Ben’s Chili Bowl. Or, if you’re visiting on a weekend, visit the colourful farmers’ markets at Dupont Circle or Eastern Market on Capitol Hill. The blueberry buckwheat pancakes at Eastern Market are a local favourite. After breakfast, tour the Capitol Hill neighbourhood and explore the U.S. Capitol, Library of Congress and Supreme Court.
The neighbourhood is also home to the Folger Shakespeare Library, which houses the largest collection of Shakespeare memorabilia outside of England. For lunch, take the Metro to Chinatown, where you’ll find an array of options on 7th Street, near the Verizon Center. Or feast on fresh noodles and flavourful soups in Chinatown. And don’t forget to snap a photo of the ornate Friendship Arch that looms over H Street.
Go undercover at the International Spy Museum, where you can crack codes, take on covers and even lead a covert operation. Or stop by the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum to see portraits of some of the country’s most famous historical figures. Animal lovers may also wish to pay a visit to the National Zoo, home to our famous giant pandas, cheetahs, tigers and other exotic species.
Discover DC’s theater scene at night. The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage offers free performances many nights, along with a host of ticketed performances from opera to musicals to jazz. Other theaters, such as the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Arena Stage, Warner Theatre and National Theatre, regularly present familiar classics. For something a bit more contemporary, catch a show at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.
Day 3: Explore the Neighbourhoods. Start your morning in one of DC’s prized neighbourhood attractions, like the Anacostia Community Museum, The Phillips Collection, Washington National Cathedral, Tudor Place or Hillwood Museum and Gardens, then head to Georgetown for fantastic shopping and sightseeing in a charming historic setting.
Sports fans can watch the Washington Nationals, Washington Wizards, Washington Mystics, Washington Capitals or D.C. United in action at various venues around town. You can also get in on the action yourself with miles of trails in Rock Creek Park. In addition to trails, the public park has a planetarium, horseback riding and lovely spots for a picnic.
Looking for nightlife? Head to U Street neighbourhood for nightlife hot spots or live jazz music or Adams Morgan to experience DC’s eclectic, international scene. DC’s up-and-coming nightlife area, the H Street NE features a number of funky clubs and restaurants. For something slightly more low-key, DC boasts a number of wine bars to get your vino fix.
Looking for more ideas for your visit to Washington, DC? Explore even more adventures and itineraries here.