If you happened to get my not-so-subtle hint on the 4th of July, Bobby and I planned a slightly impromptu trip to Washington D.C. over the holiday weekend! D.C. was on both of our travel bucket lists – I’d never been, and Bobby’s last trip was in 8th grade. We figured the 4th of July was an appropriate time to pay a visit to our nation’s capital.
We arrived late in the afternoon on Thursday with just enough time to check into our hotel before heading out for dinner and fireworks. I found a good deal on Hotels.com for the Omni Shoreham, which is three train stops northwest of the Metro Center, near the National Zoo and Woodley Park station. Speaking of which, the escalator ride out of the subway was one of the longest and steepest we’d ever been on. I wasn’t the only one snapping pictures of this craziness.
We ended up being very glad we stayed a little ways out from the busiest parts of D.C. Woodley Park reminded us so much of Lincoln Park in Chicago. It was relatively quiet and full of restaurants. The nearby zoo may have also helped in that comparison.
The Omni Shoreham has been around since 1930 and has played host to presidents, world leaders and inaugural balls, making it a true Washington landmark (according to their website).
It definitely combined old world charm with modern comfort. Just look at the lobby.
Their most basic room was also very nice. We’d definitely recommend staying here!
The Omni Shoreham is right next to Rock Creek Park, which boasts impressive trails complete with exercise stations. It’s not very well lit, so the hotel staff recommended avoiding it at night. But there was still plenty of sunshine left when we headed out across the bridge and down the path toward the Georgetown area. There were so many runners and bikers right there with us!
It didn’t take us too long to realize that it was HOT. Yes, this is coming from the girl who currently lives in 115-degree weather. But anyone who talks about D.C.’s humid summers isn’t joking.
Tackle Box’s claim to fame is that they are the first and only lobster shack in D.C. You can either order at the counter for “fast food” service or head upstairs to be seated. We opted for the latter during happy hour. I’m glad we did – I loved looking at the fishing decor along the walls!
Bobby and I were both craving a cool drink. I decided on a Dos Equis.
You would think I would have ordered a lobster-filled dish for dinner, but something about the grilled tilapia fish tacos was calling my name. I ordered two and was tempted to order two more. These were so good! They were topped with pico de gallo, sour cream and chipotle sauce. Bobby ordered the crab cake sandwich, which was also delicious.
After dinner, we continued heading south to the Francis Scott Key bridge. The flag right next door has 15 stars and 15 red and white stripes, in honor of the number of states in the Union when the Star-Spangled Banner was written in 1814.
We crossed over the Potomac, admiring the boats on the river as we walked.
Once we reached the other side, Virginia gave us a friendly welcome.
After researching the plethora of options for taking in the D.C. fireworks, we decided to try the view at the US Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington. Quite frankly, I wasn’t brave enough to brave the crowds on the National Mall, but I also thought that having a view of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and Capitol building would be pretty nice…and it was.
Bobby agreed! We found a cool spot near a tree that had the best view and staked our claim. After all of that walking, we were ready for a relaxing evening – with hundreds of other people.
We took turns exploring the sights around us while we waited for it to get dark. The best viewing spot of all three D.C. landmarks is near the Netherlands Carillon, a gift from the country to us in 1954 as a thank you for U.S. aid in World War II.
But it was especially exciting to see the Iwo Jima Memorial, based on the iconic photograph of the raising of the second flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal. Its beauty does not disappoint.
It was a perfect opportunity to reflect on everything this holiday signifies as an American.
Soon after arriving back at our viewing spot, the show began. I took a short video for posterity and happened to catch when they shot up the “U-S-A” fireworks. Such a cool moment.
Loved the little girl yelling, “Kaboom! Kaboom!” next to us, too. The fireworks were absolutely amazing, and we felt so lucky that we were able to make it there in time to see the show.
But our D.C. adventure was only beginning! Can’t wait to share more about day two.
What was the highlight of your 4th of July?