Washington DC is one of the great cities of the world, at least I think it is! I live between 30 and 45 minutes away from the city, in Fairfax, Virginia, and I have lived here for many years. The thing about living close to a great city is that time can fly by and I realize that I haven’t visited the city in months. It’s all so easy to take for granted. It’s “right there” after all.
After the months had slid by, our family decided that we would need to schedule visits to DC. My husband and I schedule a few nights downtown between Christmas and New Year’s Eve every year to stay at a hotel and see the sights that we otherwise might take for granted.
We always make sure to visit the White House grounds. Most people are familiar with the White House Christmas Tree, but there are always trees from every state and territory around the main tree, and they are charming. There is a lottery to attend the tree lighting ceremony, but to visit Presidents’ Park and the lovely decorations, you can simply show up and walk through the winter wonderland.
Washington DC is also a great free museum town. My favorite museum in the city is the Museum of American Art and the National Portrait Gallery which are housed together in the Old Patent Building near Chinatown. The exhibits at the museum are always surprising and inspiring as is the gorgeous indoor atrium where people stop to read, have a snack, or let their children play before continuing their visit to the museum.
Another reason to visit DC is the food. DC is an excellent food destination. The community in DC and the surrounding areas is as diverse as anywhere in the world, so food from nearly any culture, country, and tradition can be found here. Jose Andres, world-renowned chef and humanitarian started his career in DC and owns several amazing restaurants here. With some quick research, you can find a meal to satisfy anyone and everyone you may be traveling within the city.
Living like a DC tourist for a few days each year has allowed us to experience the culture, people, and events in the city without the commute. We look forward to it every year and fall in love with the city a little more each time.