We just returned from a fabulous trip to Washington DC with our almost 11 year old grandson. We stayed at the Hampton Inn on 1729 H Street NW because of the location, breakfast and pool. It was just a block walk to the metro line which we used often. We were here Fri, Sat and Sun so we each bought the Smart Fare card for $10 ($2 for card and $8 for fares). Check the web site for how to purchase and use the card. Most trips are $1.75 with the card but twice that if you travel during rush hour. We had to buy $8 additional for trips. We arrived at 9:30 am on Friday morning and stored our luggage at the hotel since it was too early for check-in and also parked our car using their valet parking. We headed to the Library of Congress for the 10:30 tour. What a beautiful building. Our grandson really enjoyed the tour and building. We had tickets reserved through our congressman for a 2 pm tour of the Capital so we grabbed a snack from a street vendor and enjoyed a view of the Supreme Court. The tour was just the three of us and the tour guide. We all enjoyed this immensely. After the hour tour, we stayed a little longer to view the statues up close. It was 4 pm so we headed to Union Station for a late lunch. We ate at the food court on the lower level since we all wanted different food (Indian, Cajun, Mexican) but on the 1st level there were some good sit down restaurants, like Roti which serves Turkish. We went through the Postal Museum because it was right across from Union Station and grandson and I liked it but I wouldn't go out of our way to see it. We headed back to the hotel on the metro to check-in, took a swim, rested, walked 2 blocks to see the White House and ate pizza at Custom Fuel which was around the block from the Hampton. Good pizza and wonderful service. Saturday Aug 23rd went to Air and Space Museum at 9:30 am. There were no lines at this time but this wasn't a favorite of grandson. Stopped in at Hirshhorn to view modern sculptures then to our White House Tour. I had requested tickets from our Senator about 4 months prior. The line and security checks take about an hour and the self-guided tour lasts about 20 minutes. We were glad we saw the White House but we wouldn't do it again. We went back to hotel to rest and eat lunch but most of the places around the Hampton were closed on sat and sun. After an hour break we went to the American History Museum, World War II Memorial, Vietnam Memorial Wall and Lincoln Memorial then took a cab back since we were too far from metro and too tired to walk another step. On Sunday we went to the Natural History Museum which was great, especially the mammals, genome project and hope diamond. We enjoyed our lunch in the cafeteria but after seeing the food at American Indian Museum we wish we would have ate there. This museum had interactive activities for younger children but we didn't spend much time here. We hopped on the metro and went to the Spy Museum which was a big favorite of grandson, it's privately run so there's a fee to get in. We went just before 3 pm and we're able to walk right in, we spent about 80 minutes enjoying all the spy displays and activities. We enjoyed our early dinner at District of Pi Pizzeria at
910 F St. NW. The thick crust is their specialty but we had the thin crust which was really good. Back to the hotel for a swim and then we drove to the Washington Monument for our 8 pm tour. Definitely pre-order tickets on line for the Washington Monument. If you wait to get same-day tickets, you'll have to be in line no later than 8am and your choice of times will be limited to what's left. We found parking on the street and the view was incredible at night. We continued our monuments tour in our car parking for Lincoln Memorial a few blocks away then found street parking for Jefferson Memorial and then onto FDR and MLK memorials. The Monuments at Night tour was sold out but driving with a GPS made for a great night. We lucked out on our weather during our 3 days, mostly mid 70's and only one day with showers on and off. Remember to bring comfortable shoes, a poncho or umbrella, have a flexible itinerary and get tickets ahead of time if required for the places you really want to see. I thought 3 days was perfect since you get a little museumed out but what an incredible city.