Travel · Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. | A One Day Itinerary Guide

Danville va amtrak train

A Day in Washington DC:

Welcome to me One Day Washington D.C. Itinerary! There is so much to see and do in Washington DC; But I have put together an action packed plan for A Day in Washington DC! This can be used in two different ways. We spent one night in DC in order to be able to do more and stay out later. However, this One Day Itinerary can be used for those who are not spending the night as well!

Getting There:

I live in a middle of nowhere town in southern, VA. However, one perk is that it is one of the stops on the Crescent Amtrak Train Line that travels from New Orleans to New York. This made traveling extremely easy for us. We got on the train in our hometown and traveled by train directly to DC. Though, of course, if you are not in a city that is easily accessible by train, flying to driving works just fine!

union stationOutfit Deets | Coat (on sale!): London Fog or Vince Camuto | Jeans: 1822 Denim | Backpack: Sakroots | Tote: Urban Originals | Boots (on sale!): Marc Fisher | Tank: Free People | Cardigan: StitchFix |

My personal Review of using the Amtrak Train:

This was my first time riding the train and I recommend it to anyone, especially for somewhat short distances (We rode for 5 hours). The scenery is beautiful, especially at sunrise and sunset! You have double to amount of leg room, chairs recliner almost all the way back, feet rest, and a retractable leg rest. Plus, no waiting hours in security lines.

train viewstrain views

One Day Washington D.C. Itinerary:

1. Union Station:

This itinerary starts at Union Station. I highly recommend going to Union Station, even if you do not ride the train. Anyone can walk in and look around. There are numerous shops and restaurants inside, plus the architecture of the original building is gorgeous!

union stationunion stationunion stationOutfit Deets | Jeans: 1822 Denim | Boots (on sale!): Marc Fisher | Tank: Free People | Cardigan: StitchFix |


union station veiw


When you walk out of Union Station, you can see the Capitol Building!

2. Breakfast or Brunch:

There are many food options inside of Union Station. However, we chose to walk a block over to the Corner Bakery Cafe. We had a late breakfast, because of the time of our arrival. The food was large in portions and very delicious!

img_1566.jpgcorner bakery cafe Washington DC

3. Hotel Check-in:

After breakfast, we. checked in to our hotel. We stayed at the Holiday Inn – Capitol. This hotel was very reasonably priced, but still extremely nice and very centrally located. It has a delicious restaurant that I will mention more about later and is located right beside a Starbucks.

img_1647Washington DCNational Post Office Museum Washington DC

4. Visit a Museum:

Washington D.C. is full of museums and history! I recommend doing at least one museum. There are many to choose from The Museum of the Bible, The U.S. Postal Museum, The National Air and Space Museum, The United States Holocaust Museum, The International Spy Museum, and many many more!

The Museum of the Bible:

We chose to do the Museum of the Bible. This museum is extremely new and very modern in terms of technology and experiences. They have a huge amount of Bibles, Religious texts, and historical documents dating back to B.C. times, including the original Dead Sea Scrolls (pictured below, last picture). Also, they have numerous exhibits on how the Bible influenced modern topics like music, fashion, science, and tons more.

museum of the Bibleimg_1640.jpgimg_1642.jpgDead Sea scrolls museum of the Bible

The museum is very large and has much to see, which is why we only visited one museum on this trip. The Museum of the Bible costs nothing to attend; However, donations are strongly encouraged ($15 pp). If you don’t plan on spending over an hour or two at the museum, I recommend definitely doing the Hebrew Bible Experience. This is a walk through, automated experience that takes you through the Old Testament.


5. Lunch at the 21st Amendment Bar and Grill:

Since we were leaving the Museum of the Bible, which is located right beside our Hotel, we chose to have lunch at the 21st Amendment Bar and Grill (located at the bottom of The Holiday Inn that we were staying in). It is accessible from the street, so anyone can eat here. I HIGHLY recommend having a bite to eat here, specifically, the beef tacos. They were absolutely phenomenal!

21st amendment bar and grill Washington DC

6. Sight Seeing at the National Mall:

If you don’t already know this, the National Mall is not an actually a Mall. It is the central grassy area of D.C. that is located in the middle of the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol. Many of the museums are located along this strip as well.

The Capitol

If you are planning to walk through the entire National Mall Area, I recommend starting on the Capitol end. We did not walk all the way over to the Capitol; we started a little more towards the middle, but you can still get a good view and get some great pictures.

img_1570One Day Washington D.C. ItineraryOutfit Deets | Coat (on sale!): London Fog or Vince Camuto | Jeans: 1822 Denim | Boots (on sale!): Marc Fisher| Shirt: StitchFix | Bag: Target |

Museums and Buildings in the Middle

Many museums and buildings associated with the Smithsonian are located throughout the outside of the National Mall area.

Washington DCimg_1658Outfit Deets | Coat (on sale!): London Fog or Vince Camuto | Jeans: 1822 Denim | Boots (on sale!): Marc Fisher| Shirt: StitchFix | Bag: Target | Sunglasses: DIFF |


The Washington Monument

I’m not really sure why this monument is so beautiful, but it truly is, and even more up mesmerizing up close. You can see it from the middle, but we walked all the way to it and then passed it going to the Lincoln Memorial.

The Washington Monument DCOne Day Washington D.C. ItineraryOne day in Washington DCOutfit Deets| Jeans: 1822 Denim | Boots (on sale!): Marc Fisher| Shirt: StitchFix |Sunglasses: DIFF |

The Washington Monument DC

The Lincoln Memorial

Although everything about the historical buildings and monuments in DC is absolutely stunning and humbling, the Lincoln Memorial took the prize. I’m not sure if it’s because you can get much closer to his statue than some of the others or simply his monumental name from History, but this monument is 100% worth the walk past the Washington Monument.

The Lincoln Monument Washington DCThe Lincoln Monument Washington DCThe Lincoln Monument Washington DC

The White House

The White House is located approximately a mile away from the Lincoln Memorial. Meaning, you could walk to it if you wanted too. I would recommend taking an Uber or taking a taxi though. We chose not to go to the White House, since all we would do it look at it and take a picture. However, we did end up passing it on the way to our next location and was able to see it from a distance in the car, so that was cool.

The White House

7. Shopping at City Center DC

City Center DC is a high-end outdoor shopping center. We took an Uber from the Lincoln Memorial to here and passed the White House (on the right) on the way! Even if you know you won’t actually buy anything, it is beautiful to walk through and see the streets of the City Center lit up after dark. The main reason that we came here was because my feet were killing me and we were going to be in NYC the next day, so I was looking for some flat walking shoes. I got some cute sneakers from Kate Spade!

city center dcKate spade dcKate spade DCimg_1668-641335593-1518466883673.jpgShop these Shoes: All Kate Spade Sneakers or My Kate Spade Sneakers

8. Dinner | The Capital Grille

Of course, we went back to our hotel and freshened up before dinner. I made dinner reservations for 8:30 pm at The Capital Grille a week in advance. I don’t know that I needed to do them quite so early, but I knew I wanted to eat here, so I wasn’t taking any chances. Disclaimer: this is a high-class restaurant, meaning it is pretty expensive. But if you can manage it, I HIGHLY recommend it.

This was a dining experience like no other. Everything was very personalized. We got a bottle of Malbec and split a 16 oz. Filet with Lobster Mac and cheese and bacon Brussel sprouts.It was plenty of food! When I made the reservations, I told them that we were celebrating James’s birthday. When we sat down at our table they had placed birthday confetti on the table and we received a complimentary dessert. Our waiter’s name was Manuel and he went above and beyond; Ask for him if you ever go! I would return to DC just to eat here again!

img_1691the capital grille Washington DCimg_1696img_1692

Outfit Deets | James’s Shirt: Nordstrom | My Dress (similar, most expensive to least expensive): Kate Spade or Cupcakes and Cashmere or Tommy Hilfiger |

The End

And there you have it! All of the major parts of DC, plus more, in one day! I hope you enjoyed my One Day Washington D.C. Itinerary! Let me know if you have any questions, other recommendations, or future tips of your own!

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This is not a sponsored post – All travel expenses were paid for by myself – All opinions are honestly and organically my own.

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