After a late night out the night before, we had to get up early as we had booked tickets to a Capitol Building tour. We grabbed some Starbucks from our hotel and walked the 45 minutes to the building.
Our scheduled tour was for around 10:15 am but we got there in time for the 9:45 am tour so they let us jump in earlier as there was room. This might be a good tip if you are not sure exactly when you might get there for your tour.
The building itself was breathtaking, with so many intricate details and grand paintings. Our tour guide was very friendly and informative and we learned a lot of US history.
Once our tour finished we walked down to the roadway and waited for the hop on hop off bus. We regularly use hop on hop off buses as it’s a great way to get around town and to see the major sights quickly. However, this was the worst experience we had ever had with a tour bus.
We waited and waited for the bus to come, and it took over an hour when it is meant to come every 20-30 minutes. When it finally arrived we could only get a seat on the bottom, when normally you can almost always get a seat at the top with a view. It was a really warm day as well and the bus either didn’t have air conditioning or it wasn’t working well. On top of that everyone seemed to be in a foul mood and people were pushing and shoving and knocking us with their bags.
Because there were so many people they told us to get on the bus and they would come by in a few stops to get us a ticket. A few stops later we were near the Jefferson memorial and decided to get out while we could. The waiting, heat and pushy people meant we just didn’t want to stay on there. Luckily they hadn’t come around for tickets so we got a sneaky free ride around the block.
We visited the Jefferson Memorial and decided to walk back around the tidal basin to get to the Lincoln Memorial. It ended up being a really lovely walk and we saw plenty on the way including the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial.
The Lincoln Memorial sits at the western end of the reflection pool and National Mall facing over 3.5 km back to the Capitol Building at the eastern end, with the Washington Monument in the centre. It is quite a stunning view to see in real life. There are so many tourists so it is hard to get a photo without lots of other people!
We stopped at a little cafe/gift shop near the Lincoln Memorial for refreshments, and then carried on past the Reflection Pool to the World War II Memorial and then walked back up 15th street to our hotel.
Overall it was about 12km walking in the nice sunshine. For dinner we went to Maddy’s Tap Room where I once again got a family size plate of nachos by accident.
We then made our way to the new Audi Field to watch D.C. United vs Colorado Rapids. Wayne Rooney scored his first goal for D.C. at this game! It was a beautiful warm calm evening and you could see the city buildings in the background.