Our Washington DC Travel Guide: 6 Local Tips
Some of the best tips from locals that can make your trip to DC a memorable and classic experience.
The Nation’s capital city is a thriving tourist destination. For those looking for a historical and political filled trip by day and a chic and cosmopolitan treat by night, Washington DC is your destination! Here are some guide tips from DC locals that you should abide by so that your trip is an exciting, productive, and eventful one.
Inside of the White House
1. Plan Ahead to Visit the White House!
The White House is the pinnacle of the Washington DC political tourism experience. Tours are offered both inside and outside. If you are planning to visit the inside of the White House for a group tour, please note that tickets must be purchased at least four weeks in advance. There is a strict screening process for those who wish to book a White House tour. Every visitor is required to submit a tour request to their member of Congress, along with a valid ID and other required personal information. For foreign visitors, please your country’s embassy in DC for your tour request procedure. The best thing to do is to plan your White House tour at least two months in advance to ensure that you are granted permission well before your DC arrival date. The White House is an extraordinary and insightful experience that you do not want to miss out on due to lack of preparation.
2. When Visiting The Museums, Pack a Lunch!
The museums and exhibitions, such as the National Archives Museum, Smithsonian Museum, International Spy Museum, and the Library of Congress are must-sees for great political and history lesson on the USA. However when visiting, locals recommend packing your lunch or dining outside of the museums due to absurd food costs. Choosing to eat at the restaurants located inside of DC’s museums can cost you three times the amount of eating outside or packing a lunch. An ideal packed lunch would be something that does not require a microwave or refrigeration: perhaps a sandwich. If you would rather eat outside of the museum rather than packing a lunch or splurging on overpriced cafeteria food, eat before or after your museum entry to avoid having to walk through daunting security checkpoints again.
3. Beware of Unauthorized Taxi Drivers at the International Airports.
Like any large city, one must use street smarts and common sense to ensure their safety. This is no different when departing an airport in the nation’s capital. In DC’s Dulles and Reagan International Airports, there have been many known cases of unauthorized taxi drivers approaching passengers at baggage claim areas offering taxi rides. These drivers often rob and extort tourists. Do not accept rides from these people. Instead, opt to take the metro subway or catch a taxi at the taxi stand. Thankfully, airport authorities have been cracking down on these crimes, and they have not occurred very frequently. However, these crimes still do take place, and it is better to aware and cautious than to take any risks.
Odyssey Cruise Boat
4. Tour DC by Boat!
Washington DC is situated on the Potomac River, giving its best destinations optimal views from the water. To avoid bustling city traffic and noise, cruise in comfort and style on one of DC’s many offered charter boat tours, water taxis, and cruises. Many of the cruises offer lunch, dinner, and even host private functions and parties. The water taxis are a great way to commute from one tourist destination to the next, offering you a scenic and crowd free ride on the river. Traveling by water is not only exciting and exhilarating, but also much more efficient, and quicker that attempting to drive through DC’s heavily crowded streets.
Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel in Midtown
5. For the Best of Both Worlds, Stay in Midtown
Midtown is a neighborhood located in the center of the city. For the best of daytime activities and the best of nightlife, staying in Midtown’s location offers visitors easy access to great events and activities around the clock. Walk to all of DC’s museums and even the White House from your hotel or take a short bus ride to DC’s Penn Quarter; a neighborhood filled with bustling nightlife, restaurants, bars, theaters, and shops. Midtown is an urban and comfortable area that is close to it all, without the overcrowding of party goers. There are plenty of luxury hotels in Midtown as well as contemporary and cheaper options for those who are on a budget.
6. Eat at Komi for an Unforgettable Culinary Experience
If the upmost fine dining and culinary skills of the most renowned chefs in the country suit your preferences, consider a daring culinary experience at Komi, located near Dupont Circle. At Komi, there is no menu. You will not know what is in store until it reaches your table. Each guest pays $150 which includes 12 delectable courses. Add $75 to include an optional wine pairing. If eating here is what you fancy, be sure to make your reservation at least one month in advance. Trust me, the month long wait and the luxury dining price tag is well worth this experience.
Thumbnail courtesy of history.com
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