Podcast Ep.15: Coffee in DC

November 1, 2019 in Podcast

Visiting local coffee shops is a fantastic way to explore a new city. Washington, DC has a robust coffee scene and everyone can find a few shops to enjoy. Rob is joined by Austen Brower to talk about drinking great coffee in Washington, DC.

Austen is founder and host of Drip: A DC Coffee Podcast. His podcast is designed to brew community by being deliberately curious about coffee and coffee culture.

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Podcast Ep.14: Washington DC Sports

October 1, 2019 in Podcast

Professional sports are a big part of every city’s identity and culture. Washington DC has professional teams in almost every major sports league. Rob is joined by Dave Murphy to give our best tips for checking out Washington, DC sports games. We cover the Nationals (MLB), Wizards (NBA), Capitals (NHL), DC United (MLS), Redskins (NFL), Mystics (WNBA) plus a handful of others.

Dave is Dave is an Army veteran, retired DOD geographic analyst, coach of a championship youth football team, contributor at Greater Greater Washington and (for better or worse) a lifelong DC sports fan.

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Podcast Ep.13: Tips for Washington DC Restaurants

September 1, 2019 in Podcast

Every visitor wants to know: what are the very best Washington, DC restaurants? It’s a tough question, not because there aren’t good places to eat, but because there are so many! Even if you ate at a new restaurant every single day, it would take years to sample all of the DC dining options. Rob is joined by Jessica Sidman to talk all about food and restaurants in Washington, DC.

Jessica is the food editor for Washingtonian Magazine. She covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper

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Podcast Ep.12 Everything You Need to Know About Washington, DC Weather

August 1, 2019 in Podcast

Washington, DC is a city with four seasons. Visitors experience very different weather depending on the time of year they come. Don’t let Washington, DC weather catch you off guard! Rob is joined by Jason Samenow for an in-depth weather discussion and advice for DC visitors.

Jason is the Washington Post’s Weather Editor. In 2004 he founded CapitalWeather.com which has grown over the years from a one-man blog to a major operation with a team of writers at the Washington Post. That project is now the venerable Capital Weather Gang.

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Best Evening Things in DC

July 28, 2019 in Blog

There are so many things to see and do when you visit Washington, DC but most of the major sites are daytime activities. The museums, Capitol and National Archives are open daily until around 5:00 or 5:30. However, after that, there is still plenty to do. These are six of our favorite evening things in DC.

1. Monuments and memorials

One of the most popular evening things to do in DC is visit the monuments and memorials. The cool thing about the monuments and memorials is that they are open 24/7. There really there is no bad time to see them, but because they are open all the time, it makes sense to plan your itinerary so that you see the daytime activities when they’re open and save the monuments for the after hours. Our most popular Trip Hacks DC tour is the evening monuments tour.

2. Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum

Most Smithsonian museums are open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. In the summer, a select number of museums on the National Mall do stay open a couple hours later, but only on a limited number of dates. Regardless, every day you can see two museums all the way up until 7pm: the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. There is also the Kogod Courtyard which is a cool place to relax and hang out. Aside from the courtyard, these two museums are actually pretty awesome and underrated. They are not on the National Mall. However, they are only a short walk away.

3. See a game 

For the most part, professional sports are evening things in DC. Baseball, soccer, basketball and hockey usually start around 7 PM and go late into the evening. Football is the one sport where this does not really apply since the games are usually on Sundays during the day. Sports games are great because they are family-friendly activities but you don’t need to have kids to enjoy going. Now of course, it is not free or cheap, but it is still an activity worth considering.   

4. Union Market 

Union Market calls itself the epicenter of culinary creativity in DC. Most people just call it a modern food hall. Regardless, it is a great place for food, drinks, coffee and all other foodie-related stuff. In 2019 Union Market is open 7 days a week 8:00am to 8:00pm Sunday through Wednesday and 8:00am to 9:00pm Thursday to Saturday.

5. Take in a show

If you are into theater, orchestra or opera and you can swing the price of tickets, the Kennedy Center is an awesome place to see a show. It might not be as famous as Broadway in New York City but the performances are top notch. If the Kennedy Center is out of range, then the good news is that DC actually has a thriving theater scene. The website Goldstar is a great place to look for tickets, especially if you are on a budget. You can get a taste of what shows are out there and maybe even get a discount on one if you find something you like.

6. Nightlife 

This is really more for the 21 and over crowd. When you think of evening things to do, nightlife is kind of the obvious one. The nightlife epicenter in DC tends to shift every few years. However, at least in 2019, a lot of it is around U Street and 14th Street NW, north of downtown. There is also a nightlife concentrated in the Adams Morgan neighborhood as well as Dupont Circle. You can find nightlife in just about every neighborhood. It might not hopping on a Wednesday night, but maybe that’s what you prefer. DC also has a thriving happy hour scene during the week.

Coming to Washington DC, and want us to show you around?

Trip Hacks DC was founded by Rob, a veteran tour guide in the Nation’s Capital. Trip Hacks DC provides tips, tricks and travel hacks for planning your trip; and guided tours to show you around once you get here. Our tours are family and school group friendly and our guides specialize in the major Washington, DC sites. Click here to check out the upcoming tour options and to book your tour here today! Feel free to contact us if you have any tour questions.

Vietnam Memorial: Tips and Interesting Facts

July 23, 2019 in Blog, Monuments and Memorials

The Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC was dedicated in 1982. It was the first of the national war memorials on the National Mall and it honors the men and women who served during the Vietnam War. The Wall includes the names of over 58,000 Americans who gave their lives.

Vietnam memorial

Vietnam Memorial location

The Vietnam Memorial is located to the northeast of the Lincoln Memorial. It is a short walk over from the steps of Lincoln. The GPS address is 5 Henry Bacon Dr NW.

Getting to the Vietnam Memorial

There are several transportation options to get to the memorial:

  • Metro: Take the orange, blue, or silver line to the Foggy Bottom Metro station and walk southbound down 23rd Street until you reach the National Mall. It is about an eighteen minute walk to the memorial.
  • DC Circulator: Take the National Mall Circulator bus from anywhere on the National Mall. This bus route starts at Union Station and then makes a big loop past the Capitol, museums and monuments and memorials.
  • Capital Bikeshare: Ride a Capital Bikeshare bike from anywhere into the city to the nearby station named “Henry Bacon Dr & Lincoln Memorial Circle NW”.

TIP: The best and easiest way to see the Vietnam Memorial is on a guided tour. Our walking tours cover all of the major monuments and memorials on the National Mall. We use an efficient route that allows you to see all of them in three hours or less.

A few interesting facts 

  • The memorial’s design comes from a nationwide contest. The winning proposal was Maya Ying Lin, a college architecture student from Yale. She beat out more than 1,400 other entrants, including her own professor!
  • The VVMF (Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.) raised money for the memorial. The Memorial was also funded by soldiers, individuals, and corporations.
  • There are three components that make up the memorial: the Wall, the Three Servicemen Statue, and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.

Coming to Washington, DC and want to learn a whole lot more about the Vietnam Memorial?

Trip Hacks DC was founded by Rob, a veteran tour guide in the Nation’s Capital. Trip Hacks DC provides tips, tricks and travel hacks for planning your trip; and guided tours to show you around once you get here. Our tours are family and school group friendly and our guides specialize in the major Washington, DC sites. Click here to check out the upcoming tour options and to book your tour here today! Feel free to contact us if you have any tour questions.

Korean War Memorial: Tips and Interesting Facts

July 22, 2019 in Blog, Monuments and Memorials

The Korean War was a war between North Korea and South Korea from 1950-1953. Unfortunately it is known as the “forgotten war” in U.S. history because few Americans know much about it beyond M*A*S*H. The designers of the Korean War Memorial hoped to change that nickname by drawing attention to those who served. The memorial opened in 1995.

Korean War Memorial location

The Korean War Memorial is located southeast of the Lincoln Memorial and south of the reflecting pool on the National Mall. The GPS address is 900 Ohio Dr SW.

Getting to the Korean War Memorial

There are several transportation options to get to the memorial:

  • Metro: Take the orange, blue, or silver line to the Foggy Bottom station. Walk southbound on 23rd Street until you reach the Lincoln Memorial and continue past it. The walk takes about 20 minutes.
  • DC Circulator: Take the National Mall Circulator bus from anywhere on the National Mall. This bus route starts at Union Station and then makes a big loop past the Capitol, museums and monuments and memorials.
  • Capital Bikeshare: You can ride a Capital Bikeshare bike from anywhere into the city to the nearby “Lincoln Memorial” station.

TIP: The best and easiest way to see the Korean War Memorial is on a guided tour. Our walking tours cover all of the major monuments and memorials on the National Mall. We use an efficient route that allows you to see all of them in three hours or less.

A few interesting facts

  • There are 19 statues of soldiers marching through what looks like a rice field. These are in proportion to the number of U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines who served in the Korean War.
  • The number 38 is important to the design of the memorial because of the 38th parallel and the 38 months of fighting between 1950 and 1953. However, there are only 19 statues, plus a reflective wall that reflects those statues. 19 + 19 = 38.
  • Statues are made of stainless steel because of their reflective properties. This is different from most statues on the National Mall which are made from granite or bronze.

Coming to Washington, DC and want to learn a whole lot more about the Korean War Memorial?

Trip Hacks DC was founded by Rob, a veteran tour guide in the Nation’s Capital. Trip Hacks DC provides tips, tricks and travel hacks for planning your trip; and guided tours to show you around once you get here. Our tours are family and school group friendly and our guides specialize in the major Washington, DC sites. Click here to check out the upcoming tour options and to book your tour here today! Feel free to contact us if you have any tour questions.

Washington Monument: Tips and Interesting Facts

July 21, 2019 in Blog, Monuments and Memorials

The Washington Monument was the first monument constructed on the National Mall in honor of our founding father and first president. Construction lasted for decades before the monument was completed in 1884.

Washington Monument

Washington Monument location

The Washington Monument is located in the center of the National Mall. It is approximately halfway between the Capitol and Lincoln Memorial and almost directly south of the White House. The GPS address is 2 15th St NW.

Getting to the Washington Monument

There are several transportation options to get to the Washington Monument. 

  • Metro: Take the orange, blue, or silver line to the Smithsonian station. Exit via the “National Mall” side and then walk westbound across the National Mall. It is easy to find the Washington Monument because it is visible as soon as you come above ground. The walk takes about nine minutes.
  • DC Circulator: Take the National Mall Circulator bus from anywhere on the National Mall. This bus route starts at Union Station and then makes a big loop past the Capitol, museums and monuments and memorials.
  • Capital Bikeshare: You can ride a Capital Bikeshare bike from anywhere into the city to the closest station which is named “Jefferson Dr & 14th St SW”.

TIP: The best and easiest way to see the Washington Monument is on a guided tour. Our walking tours cover all of the major monuments and memorials on the National Mall. We use an efficient route that allows you to see all of them in three hours or less.

A few interesting facts

  • The Washington Monument stands 555 feet. It is the tallest building in Washington, DC and was the tallest building in the world when it opened (until the Eiffel Tower broke the record a few years later).
  • Because Washington, DC does not have any tall buildings, once you reach the top you can see over 30 miles on a clear day.
  • There is a pyramid made of aluminum at the top of the monument. In 1884 aluminum was a very expensive precious metal, almost the same price as silver!

Coming to Washington, DC and want to learn a whole lot more about the Washington Monument?

Trip Hacks DC was founded by Rob, a veteran tour guide in the Nation’s Capital. Trip Hacks DC provides tips, tricks and travel hacks for planning your trip; and guided tours to show you around once you get here. Our tours are family and school group friendly and our guides specialize in the major Washington, DC sites. Click here to check out the upcoming tour options and to book your tour here today! Feel free to contact us if you have any tour questions.

FDR Memorial: Tips and Interesting Facts

July 17, 2019 in Blog, Monuments and Memorials

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the 32nd president of the United States. As the only president elected more than two times, his memorial is one of the largest of all the presidential monuments, taking visitors through the story of his presidency. The FDR Memorial is located on the Tidal Basin as was dedicated in 1997.

FDR Memorial

FDR Memorial location

The FDR Memorial is located on the National Mall, in between the Jefferson Memorial and MLK Memorial. The GPS address is 1850 West Basin Dr SW. It is adjacent to the southwest side of the Tidal Basin.

Getting to the FDR Memorial

There are several transportation options to get to the FDR Memorial

  • Metro: Take the orange, blue, or silver line to the Smithsonian Station, walk westbound Independence Ave SW and turn left to walk southbound on West Basin Dr SW.  It is about an twenty-four minute walk.
  • DC Circulator: Take the National Mall Circulator bus from anywhere on the National Mall. This bus route starts at Union Station and then makes a big loop past the Capitol, museums and monuments and memorials.
  • Capital Bikeshare: You can ride a Capital Bikeshare bike from anywhere into the city to one of the two nearby stations: “Ohio Dr & West Basin Dr SW” or “MLK & FDR Memorials”.

TIP: The best and easiest way to see the FDR Memorial is on a guided tour. Our walking tours cover all of the major monuments and memorials on the National Mall. We use an efficient route that allows you to see all of them in three hours or less.

A few interesting facts

  • The FDR Memorial is the only memorial to include a statue for a first lady. Visitors can see America’s first United Nations Delegate and former first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. This is also the only memorial to feature a presidential pet, FDR’s dog, Fala.
  • Unlike many memorials which are made from white granite, the FDR Memorial was created from red granite. The designers had to ship in granite all the way from the Dakotas to make a memorial in this color.
  • The Memorial has over twenty quotes by FDR inscribed inside on the walls, including his famous “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”.

Coming to Washington, DC and want to learn a whole lot more about the FDR Memorial?

Trip Hacks DC was founded by Rob, a veteran tour guide in the Nation’s Capital. Trip Hacks DC provides tips, tricks and travel hacks for planning your trip; and guided tours to show you around once you get here. Our tours are family and school group friendly and our guides specialize in the major Washington, DC sites. Click here to check out the upcoming tour options and to book your tour here today! Feel free to contact us if you have any tour questions.

MLK memorial: Tips and Interesting Facts

July 15, 2019 in Blog, Monuments and Memorials

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is the only major memorial on the National Mall not dedicated to a former president (there are a few smaller memorials dedicated to other non-presidents). Dr. King was a minister, activist and civil rights leader during the 1950s and 1960s.

MLK Memorial

MLK Memorial location

The MLK Memorial is located on the Tidal Basin, across the water from the Jefferson Memorial. The address of the memorial is 1964 Independence Avenue SW. Interestingly enough, this references the year the Civil Rights Act Of 1964 became law.

Getting to the MLK Memorial

There are several transportation options to get to the memorial:

  • Metro: Take the orange, blue, or silver line to the Smithsonian Metro and walk eastbound along Independence Avenue SW until you reach the memorial.  It is about an eighteen minute walk.  
  • DC Circulator: Take the National Mall Circulator bus from anywhere on the National Mall. This bus route starts at Union Station and then makes a big loop past the Capitol, museums and monuments and memorials.
  • Capital Bikeshare: You can ride a Capital Bikeshare bike from anywhere into the city to the nearby “Ohio Dr & West Basin Dr SW / MLK & FDR Memorials” station.

TIP: The best and easiest way to see the MLK Memorial is on a guided tour. Our walking tours cover all of the major monuments and memorials on the National Mall. We use an efficient route that allows you to see all of them in three hours or less.

A few interesting facts 

  • The memorial is based on a single quote from Martin Luther King: “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” This quote is carved on the side of the statue of Dr. King.
  • The designers chose quotes on the walls of the memorial from speeches other than I have a Dream to help visitors appreciate the different speeches that Martin Luther King delivered during his lifetime.
  • The MLK Memorial falls directly in line with the Jefferson Memorial and Lincoln Memorial. These three men form a “line of leadership” that honors Americans who shaped what the country is today.

Coming to Washington, DC and want to learn a whole lot more about the MLK Memorial?

Trip Hacks DC was founded by Rob, a veteran tour guide in the Nation’s Capital. Trip Hacks DC provides tips, tricks and travel hacks for planning your trip; and guided tours to show you around once you get here. Our tours are family and school group friendly and our guides specialize in the major Washington, DC sites. Click here to check out the upcoming tour options and to book your tour here today! Feel free to contact us if you have any tour questions.