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4 days in July

Dublin, Ireland
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4 days in July

We're traveling to DC as part of our honeymoon from Ireland. We'll have 4 days to explore the city. We want to see the Smithsonian(s) and also the Memorials/Monuments. Just wondering how long we should give each. So Day 1 & 2 the museums, and day 3 the monuments? Or will they take longer/shorter. Also anything else that you could recommend? Thanks

Washington DC...
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1. Re: 4 days in July

How long anyone spends at a site is so dependent on that person's interests. I know people who could happily spend 3 days just at the Air & Space Museum.

If you want some ideas about how others spent their time, I would suggest you read some of the excellent trip reports right on this forum. You can learn a lot that way. And you will certainly find other things you might want to do.

Washington DC...
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2. Re: 4 days in July

The monuments are spectacular at sundown and during the night hours and certainly don't require a full day. Besides, the daytime crowds and scorching July heat make the monuments much more enjoyable at night.

Suggested itinerary:

Day 1: Museums Abound!

10am: Start at the Museum of Natural History at opening

12pm: Visit the National Gallery, but watch your time. The museum is enormous and you could spend days here if you're not careful.

2pm: Visit the Museum of the American Indian and enjoy a late lunch in the phenomenal cafeteria which offers a myriad of authentic native american fare

3pm: If interested, visit the Air & Space Museum, if not skip it and go to the Hirshorn.

*****Museums close at 5pm*****

5pm: Head over the the Sculpture Garden for live Jazz. A truly delightful treat and relaxing way to end a day of museum-going.

--8pm: Enjoy dinner at one of DC's finest downtown restaurants. I recommend Oyamel (Mexican) or Zaytinya (Turkish/Lebanese Mezzes) for lively bar scenes and fantastic food.

Day 2: Branch out of the Smithsonian Bubble! Head to Capitol South!

10:30am: Take a public tour of the Library of Congress Jefferson Building. Easily missed but truly spectacular! http://www.loc.gov/visit/

12:00pm: Take a tour of the Capitol Building. Be sure to book well in advanced. http://tours.visitthecapitol.gov/

2:00pm: Hop on the metro and ride one stop to Eastern Market to walk through DC's oldest public market, enjoy a delicious late lunch, and maybe pick up something to remember your honeymoon with from one of many local artisans.

5:00pm: Get back on the metro and head to Farragut West (blue line). Get off here to walk around the White House and take a leisurely stroll around the monuments.

Day 3: DC's Finest

10am: Start your day at the Newseum. One of the only DC museums that requires a fee, it is worth each and every penny.

12pm: Hop on the metro at Archives (green line) and take it to Dupont Circle (red line) transferring at Gallery Place/China Town.

1pm: Dupont is DC's youngest and most lively neighborhood. I would recommend enjoying lunch at bookstore/bar/cafe/live music/fine dining combo, Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe.

2pm: After lunch, head over to The Phillips Collection -a favorite art museum among DC locals. The Phillips is not to be missed and being set in the 19th century collector's historical home makes it a more manageable museum in comparison to the vast Smithsonians. A truly wonderful experience!

4pm: Take a cab to Georgetown and enjoy a mid-afternoon pastry at Baked and Wired on Thomas Jefferson St. off the main drag, M St. A hidden gem and bounds better than Georgetown Cupcake, Baked and Wired's cupcakes and coffees will give you the necessary energy boost.

5pm: Spend the rest of your DC late afternoon strolling along Georgetown's highest profiled shopping area.

If you have any questions or are looking for additional suggestions for sight seeing, activities, or dining, please let me know as I'm happy to help.

Happy planning and enjoy your honeymoon!

Silver Spring...
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3. Re: 4 days in July

That is a ridiculous itinerary. I would ignore it

Arlington, Virginia
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for Washington DC
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4. Re: 4 days in July

VJPB kinda but it bluntly, but yeah, that's a nutty itinerary. You won't get to see anything at any museum rather than stick your head in the door. You can do two museums max per day.

Williamston...
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5. Re: 4 days in July

The monuments can be easily done in a day. The majority are crowded down towards the west end of the Mall. Get up early one day and start your tour on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial before the crowds get thick. The Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and the Capitol are beautifully lit up at night, so save an evening to stroll down the Mall from one end to the other. Four hours should be adequate time for the casual visitor to tour a museum without feeling rushed and without feeling they might've missed something. So pick 4 museums of high interest and spend a couple of days in them. You might also consider a tour of the Capitol and a hop over to Arlington Cemetary to pay your respects at the Kennedy graves. It gets hot in July, so stay hydrated!

Washington DC...
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6. Re: 4 days in July

I'm sorry that you feel that way VJPB but living in DC, I often use this itinerary when visitors come to town. It is a lot to pack in, but a fantastic way to experience the varied culture of DC beyond the usual tourist spots. My visitors are always very surprised by and excited about the opportunity to see so much of our nation's capital in such a short period of time. Fortunately DC is a small and manageable city, so although the suggested itinerary may seem overwhelming, it is very do-able. If you plan ahead and decide what exhibits you are most interested in seeing in each museum, you will be able to allot adequate time to fit your needs and interests without feeling as if you missed something important.

Arlington, Virginia
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7. Re: 4 days in July

"so although the suggested itinerary may seem overwhelming, it is very do-able"

It's not very-doable in any sense of the word. It's nuts. You don't want to go to a museum to see 2 exhibits (or at least I don't) that I already selected to see online. The whole fun of museums is going through and seeing everything, not hand selecting two things that you already saw on the internet...then what's the point in even going? DC museums are not trash with a few good exhibits and they fill up the rest of the space with junk. They are some of the finest in the world and this itinerary does not let you get the most of your trip.

" If you plan ahead and decide what exhibits you are most interested in seeing in each museum, you will be able to allot adequate time to fit your needs and interests without feeling as if you missed something important."

But you will have missed something important. The museum experience. You'll already know what's where and what it's going to look like and what the plaque next to it will say and there's no fun in it whatsoever. I would not want to be your guest on that itinerary (especially in July, unless we were carrying oxygen packs in our backpacks!).

Arlingtonman13

Visalia, CA
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8. Re: 4 days in July

I agree that more than two museums per day is difficult. But one thing to point out though, is that the museums do close later in the summer - can't remember if it is 7:00 or 7:30. Still a tight squeeze, especially if you are trying to fit a nice lunch in the day too. Not to mention that they will be on their honeymoon and may want to relax just a bit (hard to do in D.C., admittedly). With only three days, they will definitely have to pick the things they really want to see.

9. Re: 4 days in July

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