This past weekend LiVEDNDY decided to get out of NYC and take a trip to Washington DC to do some sightseeing and embrace the last days of hot summer weather.
Choose a destination that is a comfortable car or bus ride away. No more than 2 to 4 hours travel time. You don't to spend the majority of the weekend on the road. If traveling by bus, Mega Bus is a really great option. They travel to several cities and have buses that come and go multiple times a day.
We arrived on Friday night to the District Hotel, located downtown near an endless amount of restaurants, bars and boutiques. Plenty of rooms were available and the price ranged from $80 - $100 a night (Bookit.com).The hotel was located only a 10 minute walk away from U street which was packed with people enjoying the nightlife and filling the sidewalks and streets.
An affordable hotel, or bed and breakfast option is key. The room doesn't have to be extravagant as long as its safe and centrally located. Keep in mind that you're not going to spend much time in the room if you're out exploring the city so don't spend the bulk of your budget on the room.
The U Street neighborhood of Washington DC is one of the city’s most lively historical areas that attracts a very diverse crowd. Back in the 1870s, the U Street neighborhood was the center of Washington DC’s African American community with many black owned businesses, entertainment venues, and institutions. U Street is also near some of the best places to grab a bite to eat.
Ben's Chili Bowl (1213 U St NW) - Sandwiches/Subs, Hot Dogs/Sausages, Burgers
Eatonville- (2121 14th St, NW) -Southern/Soul, Cajun/Creole, Vegetarian
Explore your surroundings! Take advantage of the nightlife! Take note of the neighborhood eateries and give them a try. Stay away from chain establishments and patronize the businesses that give the city character.
We also visited the DC Veg Fest which took place on Saturday.
The festival was free to attend and perfect for attendees of all ages. The event catered to people who are health conscious and curious about vegan and vegetarian lifestyles and diets. There were free food samples, live cooking demonstrations, and over 130 vendors! I am a foodie and love tasting anything fresh and new. One of my favorite exhibitors at the festival was Vegan Treats (http://www.vegantreats.com).
Check to see if there are any special event happening in the area during your visit (concerts, farmers markets, festivals, plays). Festivals are alway nice because they are usually free and have a little something for everyone.
As the temperature increased to 90 degrees, we headed to the "main attraction" to see the White House, Lincoln and Washington Memorials. Luckily in DC they're bus lines and a metro system so getting around is pretty easy but all the attractions are fairly close in walking distance with plenty of sights to see walking from one destination to the next. We stopped and took a ride on a carousel, saw the sculptures in the Korean War Veterans Memorial and walked past the Nation Museum of American History.
Transportation can eat up a pretty big part of your budget if you aren't in a city with sufficient public transportation. Rather you need a car for a portion of your tripod for the entire time, Zip Car is a great rental option. The company is located in several cities and allows hourly and daily rentals.
Experience the main attractions in the area. Chat with locals that live there and inquire about what makes that place special. Be spontaneous! Take a ride on a carousel if you can because you are there to unwind and have fun!
Create your weekend friendly budget and plan a refreshing getaway to some place new. Share with us your photos and getaway experiences on our Facebook page using the #LiVEDNDYtravel.