Special shout-out to my husband and favourite travel partner who has taken most of our travel photos.

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Pinterest

Follow us on Facebook Instagram and Pinterest.

Things to Do Where To Go In London Barcelona Rome Venice Lisbon Tel Aviv Jerusalem Los Angeles San Francisco Washington Costa Rica

Washington, DC itinerary in 5 days

Hotels

Marriott Courtyard Washington Convention Centre

♥♥♥♥♥

I'm a big fan of Marriott Courtyard hotels. You always know what to expect -their rooms are always clean and modern, with all the amenities that you need (including free wifi). This Courtyard is exceptionally nice as it is located in an old building that has been renovated. The rooms are large and spacious. It is in walking distance to all the sites. F Street is lovely with lots of shops and cafes. Highly recommended.

My mother, cousin and I do an annual trip together. We usually try to find a sunny destination in the winter but this year the winter months got busy. We decided to meet up in Washington, DC for a long weekend in May. Although we missed the cherry blossoms, Washington was lush and green with many flowers and shrubs blooming during this time of the year. It is the quintessential capital city, with manicured lawns and many interesting museums to choose from.

Day 1

 

Afternoon

Arrive in Washington and check into the the Marriott Courtyard Washington Convention Centre. I like this hotel chain as the rooms are always clean and modern, with all the amenities that you need. This Courtyard is exceptionally nice as it is located in an old building that has been renovated. It is in walking distance to all the sites. 

My mother and I took a taxi to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum which is adjacent to the National Mall. This is a very moving exhibit and dedication to the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. We spent a couple of hours walking through it. Highly recommended, although may not be appropriate for young children.

Evening

Due to the down-pouring of rain, we had dinner at a restaurant across from our hotel.

Day 2

 

Morning 

We walked out to the National Mall and on our way we stopped in front of the White House to snap some photos. We then walked along Massachusetts Avenue to Embassy Row to admire the elegant buildings which house many of the embassies.

Afternoon

We took a taxi over to Georgetown and went for a nice stroll along the river. We strolled over to the main street and stopped for a bite to eat at Dean and Deluca, where we ordered some salad and sandwiches at the take-out counter and ate in their patio.

After lunch we continued to walk around, doing some shopping. We stopped at the famous Georgetown Cupcakes to take some back to our hotel for coffee later. There was a line up around the block but we were not going to be deterred. These designer cupcakes are baked fresh daily. There are so many flavours to choose from. Delicious.

We took a taxi back to our hotel and went to the National Portrait Gallery which was very close to our hotel. This Gallery is part of the Smithsonian museums. It is dedicated to the art of portraiture depicting people who have made contributions to politics, history, arts and culture. It was fascinating. I highly recommend it.

Evening

We had reservations at Graffiato Restaurant which is a lively Italian restaurant which serves modern, inventive and delicious comfort food. 

 

Day 3

Morning

This morning we had breakfast at a small diner near our hotel and then went for a tour of Ford's Theatre which is where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. The theatre/museum gives the history of the events leading to Lincoln's assassination and has many artifacts. The tour includes a recreation of the day of the assassination. Highly recommended. The theatre continues to work as a running theatre with performances throughout the year.

Afternoon

This afternoon we headed out to the National Mall. We went to several of the Smithsonian museums along the Mall which are all free. This allowed us to go directly to the exhibits that were of interest to us. 

Evening

We had dinner at The Source which is the fine dining restaurant at the Newseum serving contemporary Asian cuisine. It was young crowd and fun place

Day 4

Morning 

This morning we visited the Newseum - a wonderful museum dedicated to free expression and the changing forms of media. It focuses on news stories from the past and present. It is very educational and creatively laid out and displayed. There are historical items including a piece of the Berlin Wall and metal frames of the World Trade Centre building that came down on 9/11.

Afternoon

We had lunch and walked around a little more.

Evening

We had an early dinner at the fabulous Zaytinya Restaurant which is a modern middle eastern restaurant serving mezze sharing dishes.

We then went on a Monuments by Moonlight Tour. This guided trolley tour visits the iconic monuments around the Washington Mall. In the evening the monuments are lit up and are quite dramatic. The moonlight reflecting off the ponds is magical. Highly recommended.

  

Day 5

Morning

We packed up and checked out of the hotel and headed home.

Guides and Tours
  • Monuments by Moonlight Tour. This is a guided trolley tour of the famous Washington monuments in the evening. It is very dramatic to see the monuments when they are lit up.
    Website: www.trolleytours.com

Noteworthy Restaurants
  • Dean and Deluca. Best known for being an upscale supermarket, Dean and Deluca also have an area with prepared foods to take out. Their location in Georgetown is on the main shopping street and is a good spot to grab lunch. 

  • Graffiato Restaurant. This is an upscale and lively Italian restaurant serving modern Italian fare.

  • The Source. Located in the Newseum, this upscale Asian restaurant prepares contemporary Asian cuisine and is owned by Wolfgang Puck.

  • Zaytinya. This middle-eastern restaurant serves delicious mezza sharing dishes made of fresh ingredients.

Favourite Museums

The U.S. capital is filled with countless world-class museums. Many of them are part of the Smithsonian Institute which is administered by the government of the U.S. and they offer free admissions. 

  • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This is the United States' official memorial to the Holocaust. It is a wonderful and moving museum that focuses on education about the history and atrocities that took place during WW2. 

  • National Portrait Gallery. Part of the Smithsonian museums, this gallery focuses on portraiture depicting people who have made contributions to history, politics, science and the arts. 

  • National Gallery of Art. Part of the Smithsonian Museums. This world-class art gallery houses international art through the ages, from Rennaisance to contemporary art. It also has a beautiful sculpture garden.

  • Hirshhorn Museum of Art and Sculpture. Part of the Smithsonian Museums. This is an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art which used to be the private collection of Joseph Hirshhorn. There is also an interesting sculpture garden.

  • National Museum of American History. Part of the Smithsonian Museums. This large museum has an extensive collection of historical and cultural artifacts as well as pop art. Great for all ages.

  • Newseum. This a dynamic and engaging museum of news - including new media. 

  • Ford's Theatre. This museum and theatre offers an interactive display which recreates the history leading to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

Skip down to: