Being a tourist is great, but feeling like a tourist, isn't much fun. If you're like us, you want the inside scoop on where to go and what to see and you want to avoid the long lines and crowds of people with selfie-sticks. D.C is a fantastic place to be a tourist but still feel like a local. Even though there are iconic places every tourist should see (The White House, for one), there's actually a lot going on in this city. Whether it's live music, a new restaurant, or free art shows, D.C. offers more than Museums and monuments. Here are our suggestions for visiting D.C like a local.
Take The TrainThe best way to get around the city is public transportation, or The Metro, as the locals call it. There are four lines and most of them stop the same places so you do not have to wait for a particular color train to come by. This is unless you are trying to go outside of the city in which case you will want to refer to the Metro Trip Planner for more details. If the Metro scares you the second best way to get around is to hop in an Uber. The drivers are very pleasant and the fare is already built in. Some of the drivers also have great knowledge of the city and are happy to point things out along your trip. We went ahead and asked ours for a piece of advice on traveling to D.C. His reply, "the best thing you can do is just go with the flow". Thanks Uber David--we think that's good advice for any occasion! Check out our guide to getting around D.C. for more comprehensive getting around information.
Don't Get Overwhelmed by MuseumsD.C is a mecca for museums, being home to 200 of them. With so many museums to choose from it can get overwhelming to know which ones are worth the visit. Don't worry though, we've done the legwork for you, and although our feet are sore, we've chosen the top 3.
- Newseum: This is hands down the best museum to visit in D.C. Newseum offers 6 floors of moving and informative information on the history of news stories. Don't miss the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo section on the first floor behind the check-in desk - very powerful.
- National Geographic Museum: Explore the pages of the iconic National Geographic magazine with interactive exhibits, a powerful display of iconic magazine covers, and more.
- The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Out of the 19 Smithsonian museums in D.C, this was our favorite. This museum is a must for anyone that loves science and nature. Don't miss the gemstone exhibit with the famous Hope diamond!