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DC this fall

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Ok, so Washington DC isn't the most exotic place or anything, but I was supposed to go this past winter and had to cancel due to the government shut down. Mainly just doing the Smithsonian. I'm a sucker for musuems. Natural History, American History, African American History, Freer, American Indian History and the Zoo. Also going to do the Library of Congress. Plus an extra day where I might do the Newseum, or anything I missed.

This will be my first ever solo vacation. I'm staying in a hostel, since I actually feel safer not all alone in a hotel room. (Work conferences, I do okay, because I know someone will notice if something happens to me, but here, there's no one to notice me missing). Going to use public transportation and my feet.  I will need to get some new, super comfy walking sneakers, because i would like my feet to be functional at the end of the day. 

Any suggestions for eats or actitivies welcome. Can't promise I'll do it, but I love to hear about what other people have done.


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The carousel on the Mall is actually really cool and fun to ride, even as an adult. Each horse is carved and decorated to represent one of the fifty states. Think it's 50 cents a ride?

 We're not much of a food town, but nearby Arlington has a big Ethiopian community and some of the best Ethiopian restaurants in the country, apparently. The Monocle is pretty cool and a fancier restaurant with a lot of political history. Queen's English and Seven Reasons are the hot new restaurants (totally feel like Stefan from SNL typing that out...) Rooftop bar on top of The Watergate gives you a great view of the city. 

Bring a book or journal and make sure to visit the Reading Room while at the Library of Congress. It really is amazing to just sit there for a while. 

The National Arboretum has been on my list for a while. Sounds cheesy, but the bus tours are actually pretty fun. My friend had her company Christmas party on one and we drove around to all the sites and our bus driver was a real character who knew a lot of history. Washington National Cathedral is beautiful with an awesome gift shop, and has lots of free tours every day. 

I noticed you didn't mention Air and Space, but just a reminder: it is FAR from D.C. proper and you will need to rent a car and drive for nearly an hour to get there. Also, I'd recommend flying into National. Dulles is my favorite airport but is far from D.C. 

The metro is safe and clean and I've never had issues on it; however, it was already slow and recent budget cuts have caused them to cut back on trains and the wait is rarely worth it for a short ride as compared to walking or just taking an Uber. Also, it can be a bit pricey. 

Most residents hate Trump and lean liberal, but plenty of tourists seem to love him, and you will see several eye roll inducing shirts being sold and worn. Arlington is hipster/yuppie/drunk college intern central. Crystal City may have the most misleading name ever, and is basically where bland concrete structures go to die. There will be some sort of protest going on at the Mall no matter what the day of the week or the state of the world. 

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Good to know about the metro. I'll only be taking it from the National airport into the city and then from near my hostel to the zoo, as well as return trips. The hostel is only a mile and a half from the National Mall, so no sense in doing anything but walking, unless the weather decides to hate me, big time.

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