Oct 1, 2023
Worth the Trip

Make your own history during a trip to Washington, D.C.


Regardless of your political affiliation, a trip to the nation’s capital is inspiring. With countless historical sites, Washington is quite simply a place for everyone. And it’s not just for those born on American soil, which is evident by the vast number of international visitors any time of the year.

It’s incredibly easy to make a visit with a tentative or even no itinerary. No matter where you stay in or near the city, D.C.’s Metro system – comprised of trains and buses – is easy to navigate and will often stop in close proximity to a number of attractions providing countless options during your visit.

Are monuments your thing?

The popular National Mall is a tried-and-true spot to take in majestic structures including the U.S. Capitol Building, the Lincoln Memorial and precisely positioned in between, the Washington Monument obelisk, which can be seen rising above the treeline or skyline from any number of spots throughout the city.

Luscious lawns stretching for nearly two miles are host to incredible outdoor adventures and photo opportunities. Or perhaps bring a picnic or grab a nosh at an armada of food trucks parked throughout the area.

Another notable point of interest, or rather points, is the Smithsonian Institution, which is the world’s largest collective of museums and educational complexes. Visitors are hard pressed not to find something of interest, as headliners include the National Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of American History, arguably two of the most robust in their exhibition selection. In fact, it has been estimated that if a visitor were to spend only one minute at each of the Smithsonian’s exhibits, it would take over 258 years.

TOP: The rotunda of the Museum of Natural History is a focal point from all levels of the museum. BOTTOM: Exhibits of the Museum of Natural History are often colorful and engaging, much like the visitors themselves. TOP RIGHT: Positioned directly on the Anacostia River, the Navy Yard District features trendy hot spots for dining and shopping. MIDDLE RIGHT: The National Museum of American History features timeless treasures like Dorothy’s ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz.” BOTTOM RIGHT: The Hope Diamond, the largest blue diamond in the world, is estimated to be worth $250 million. OPPOSITE: The DC Metro system is easily accessible from most tourist attractions and is a great way to avoid traffic and parking issues in the city.

Some of the most significant historic items reside in the neighboring buildings, including the famed Ruby Slippers from the motion picture The Wizard of Oz and a majestic 52-foot replica of a Carcharocles megalodon shark. Anything pertaining to natural or American history that the mind can conjure will most likely be found at these museums, and the best part is, admission is completely free.

As previously mentioned, the Metro system is an efficient and cost-effective way to get around town while providing a true metropolitan experience. A 20-minute Metro train ride from the Mall will take you to fascinating areas of D.C., including the revitalized (and revitalizing) Washington Navy Yard Neighborhood, which is considered Washington’s fastest-growing neighborhood. It is home to chic and environmentally green hotels, residences, retail and office spaces.

The crown jewel of the Navy Yard is the Washington Nationals baseball stadium. The team, which was formerly the Montreal Expos, made Washington its home in 2005 and certainly makes a lively addition to the Anacostia Riverfront just south of the heart of the city.

It’s safe to assume there will be something for everyone in Washington, D.C., from those making new memories to repeat visitor history buffs. Experiencing big city sights and sounds while surrounded by history is unique and memorable. Pensacola International Airport offers direct flights to Reagan National Airport (DCA), so maybe it’s time to make some history of your own.