Traveling to Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. is a great place to visit, and there’s a lot to see besides the usual sites like the White House and various monuments.

In fact, there’s so much to do in this city, it’s hard to know where to start. How about with the Botanical Gardens? You’ll find them on First Street SW between Maryland Avenue and C Street. With a gorgeous indoor garden featuring thousands of plant species, it’s a treat to wander around, especially during the colder weather of mid-November.

Walking around the gardens works up an appetite, so our next stop is one of the many fascinating and excellent restaurants that D.C. has to offer. My pick for this trip is the original Clyde’s of Georgetown. Get there from the gardens by taking the metro to Rosslyn station, and then taking one of the blue buses (top of the escalator) to Georgetown.

Clyde’s is American dining at its finest with the added fun of a classic saloon decor. Patrons can choose from seafood, pasta, sandwiches and more…and of course that all-American staple–french fries. (Love them!) With free wi-fi and a chef willing to accommodate special dietary needs, you can’t go wrong.

Be sure to try the Pear and Pistachio Cake to finish off your lunch. This special treat is a house-made pear cake frosted with ginger buttercream icing and served with vanilla ice cream. Yum!

Photo by Rachel Cooper, About.com

Now that we’ve stuffed ourselves, it’s time for a leisurely stroll along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal to work off the food. This national park starts in Georgetown and runs along the north bank of the Potomac River for nearly 185 miles. The beautiful recreation area is popular with D.C. dwellers who enjoy outdoor activities such as walking, biking and jogging, as well as fishing, boating and horseback riding.

To finish off our tour before hitting the night life, we get back on the metro and head for 14th Street and Constitution Ave. Since this trip is all about highlighting the US of A, what better way to end our day than the Smithsonian National Museum of American History? As a storyteller, my favorite exhibit is…wait for it…American Stories! Found  on the second floor, east this exhibit has amazing bits and pieces of the American story including a chunk of Plymouth rock and Archie Bunker’s chair from the 1970s show by the same name.

The sun is now setting and it’s time for some relaxation. For everything from hip hop to heavy metal depending on the night, head for Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar. If you’re not in the mood for dancing after walking all day and just want to share some appetizers and beer with friends, then ChurchKey will suit your needs perfectly (over 100 beer choices!). Craving something closer to a full dinner spot plus drinks, then the Blue Duck Tavern is for you.

I hope you enjoyed your trip to Washington D.C. I sure did. I’m heading for Brazil next to scope out the cool stuff to see and do there. If you decide to extend your stay in the US capital, then here are some other great places to visit:

What do you think?