Baltimoreans live in a perfect location to visit the nation’s capital with relative ease. Many take advantage of their close proximity by taking day trips to Washington, D.C. to visit museums, monuments or to take in concerts, baseball games and the area’s myriad festivals. Being just an hour away allows for many a quick visit, but make a weekend getaway of it to truly see everything D.C. has to offer.
From Baltimore, D.C. is an easy one-hour drive down I-95. Another option is a bus ride from the Baltimore Travel Center, 1120 N. Charles St. A relaxing trip by Amtrak train is also available from Penn Station, which connects to the subway routes throughout D.C.
1500 S. Capitol St. Southeast
Washington, D.C. 20003
Price: $10 to $60
Nationals Park, the first green U.S. ballpark, opened in 2008 with a silver status award for green energy and environment-friendly design. It promises 41,546 seats with panoramic views including the riverfront, the Navy Yard and landmarks, such as the Capitol and the Washington Monument. Make a day of it with a game and a game-day tour for an hour-long, up-close lesson on the ballpark’s story and the area’s favorite bits of baseball history. Click here for transportation and parking.
Monuments and Memorials
From the Capitol building to 19-foot tall Abe Lincoln, nowhere in the country boasts this much history. Visit monuments and museums that host Dorothy’s ruby-red slippers, the horrors of the Nazi reign, the original Constitution and the Hope diamond. Explore the city freely, following the easy guide linked above, but remember a few simple tips: reserve Holocaust Museum tickets or you likely won’t get in; plan even further in advance for group tours of the White House; and ask in advance about where cameras are acceptable at any indoor monument, museum or memorial.
Related: Must-See Places in the D.C. Area
750 9th St., Northwest
Washington, D.C. 20001
Famous for countless collections from the Hope diamond to American history in lunch boxes, its 19 facilities promise free admission and memories that’ll last a lifetime. The Smithsonian American Art Museum is home to the first national art collection, running from the colonial era to today. Take the kids for an adventure at the Air and Space Museum, or link arms with your honey and fall in love with any one of its art museum galleries.
Where to Stay
Adams Inn Bed and Breakfast
1746 Lanier Place Northwest
Washington, D.C. 20009
Price: from $99/$20 parking
This Victorian bed and breakfast inn offers 26 rooms, 15 of which have private baths. The rooms span three 100-year old buildings on a quiet residential street. A delicious continental breakfast is served daily. There is also a guest kitchen with refrigerator and microwave as well as guest laundry facilities. Free wireless Internet is available, as are business facilities. Enjoy cable TV, DVD/VCR player and pay telephones in the common areas. All rooms are air conditioned. A garden patio is also available for relaxing after a day of touring. This pet-friendly inn is within walking distance of the metro, museums and other visitor attractions.
International Guest House
1441 Kennedy Street Northwest
Washington, D.C. 20011
Price: from $40
Relax in this clean, friendly and home-like atmosphere. Located in a safe, residential neighborhood away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, it is only minutes from the bus that will connect you to all of the wonders of Washington. Evening tea is served at 9 p.m., giving guests a chance to meet one another. Often accommodating multinational visitors, gatherings here are rarely a dull affair. Amenities include a refrigerator and microwave as well as access to wireless Internet.
Where to Eat
701 9th St. Northwest
Washington, D.C. 20001
This five-star restaurant offers a four-course meal for just $22. Chef Jose Andres’ deep knowledge of Mediterranean foods means the restaurant sees a delicious mixture of Greek, Lebanese and Turkish cuisines. Andres’ continuous awards for outstanding food preparation, and the sleek and modern decor, keeps the Zaytinya ranking among the area’s top restaurants every year.
B.Smith’s at Union Station
50 Massachusetts Ave. Northeast
Washington, D.C. 20002
B. Smith’s grand beaux arts-style dining room boasts an ambiance you just won’t get elsewhere. The menu features Cajun, Creole and Southern cuisine perfect for even the most discriminating foodies. This restaurant serves as a gathering place for many of Washington’s political movers and shakers, so study up before heading out and add a little networking to your mint au jous grilled lamb chops.
Anna Renault is a life-long resident of Baltimore County. After a 31 year career, Renault has re-careered into the world of journalism. She writes a weekly column for The Avenue News, her local paper. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.