Budget-Friendly Guide to Washington DC
January 7, 2013
Fun that Doesn’t Break the Bank
Looking to avoid your own fiscal cliff this year? Well, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the weekend fun or cancel that vacation! Although rent and hotel prices in DC can be pretty high, believe it or not, DC is one of the best cities to stretch a buck. We got a few ideas for making the most out of your time in the city. Whether you are a local, a weekend traveler, or coming from across the world, these spots are worth checking out. We’ll be checking in over the next few weeks with a new post on things like cheap eats, drinks, experiences, and culture. This week, we’ll be looking at the big stuff in DC. If you are visiting here for the first time, these are some must sees. And if you are a local, be honest, when was the last time you went exploring the amazing city that you live in? So, lets take a look!
The Big Stuff
DC is really unique from other cities where you don’t need to pay $20 to get into this Museum or $30 to take an elevator to the top of this building. Almost every site worth visiting is free! Most people know that all the Smithsonian Museums are free here Washington, but have you checked out the view from the top of the Old Post Office Building (visitor info here). Sure, the Washington Monument is closed for renovations and typically offers a great free view of the city, but we also like the Old Post Office Building because you can see everything from up top and the lines were typically much shorter.
Don’t forget the Capitol Building and its relatively new visitors center complete with Capitol Museum. And right across the street is the incomparable Library of Congress Jefferson Building–one of the most beautiful buildings in the city–as well as the Supreme Court Building (plan your visit here). Just down Pennsylvania Avenue is the National Archives, home to the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution along with a host of other famous historical documents and a series of rotating exhibits. Did you know you can research your family’s genealogy for free there? No need for Ancestry.com!
Lastly, there are the breathtaking memorials. You probably know about the Lincoln, the Jefferson, the World War II Memorial and all the most famous ones around the National Mall. But have you hunted down the Teddy Roosevelt Memorial on Roosevelt Island? Just a short walk from the Rosslyn Metro Station, it makes a great day hike and is rarely crowded. What about the relatively new 9/11 Memorial or Air Force Memorial near the Pentagon. The Air Force Memorial has some amazing views of the city and the Pentagon while the 9/11 Memorials rivals anything on the National Mall for stunning imagery at night. You can get to them via the Metro at the Pentagon Station Finally, when was the last time you walked around Arlington Cemetery. One of our true National Treasures is a short walk from the Lincoln Memorial or right off the Arlington Cemetery Metro Station.