Day 1: Michelle and I landed at Reagan Airport at 4:00 pm. We took an Uber X (free since we got a $20 credit for signing up with a referral link- you can use my link here to get a free ride up to $15 USD/$21 CAD) to our hotel, the Fairfield Inn on H Street (booked with Marriott points). The hotel was in an excellent location near lots of restaurants on 7th, and close to all the sights. Only downside was that the wifi was slow.
We went to Oyamel for dinner. There was a 40 minute wait for a table and they text you when your table is ready so we walked around the area in the meantime. Oyamel was truly amazing, one of the best meals of my life. They serve tapas-style small mexican plates, but not that small. Four plates ($30+tax+tip) were more than enough for both of us to share.
After dinner we walked to the Washington Monument and the World War II memorial, which were very nice at night (and not many people). We took the 80 bus back to the hotel.
Day 2: After breakfast at the hotel (not great but not bad) we took the 80 bus to the Lincoln Memorial. There was a very interesting (and very loud) discussion/fight going on between two recovering addicts who were arguing about their approaches. DC has some interesting characters! From the bus stop we walked to all of the monuments except for Jefferson and Mason. Afterwards we planned on getting lunch from the food trucks on 14th and Constitution, but none of them seemed great. Instead we took the bus to “Oohs and Aahs” on U Street where I had the best short ribs of my life. We took the metro back to the hotel for a break, and at 5:30 we took the DC Circulator bus to Founding Fathers which was highly recommended online and also by our Uber driver. We were told that the wait was 90 minutes so we got back on the Circulator for a very quick trip to Georgetown. We walked around for 30 minutes before taking the bus back. Obviously more time would have been much better as it is a very nice place to walk around, but it was a nice quick introduction and well worth the $2 each for the round trip bus fare. Founding Farmers was another great meal, after which we walked back to the hotel with a quick stop to see the White House at night.
Day 3: Our flight out of Dulles was at 5:15 pm so we had time for a quick morning tour of the museums. We ended up just going to one, Natural History. We got there just before 10:00 am (opening time) so we were among the first few into the museums. For the first 20 minutes it was a great experience to walk around the exhibits all alone and enjoy the peace and quiet before the tour groups arrive. We spent a little under two hours in the museum before walking back home. For lunch we went to Dangerously Delicious Pies on I street a block from our hotel, which was a perfect lunch.
We took the pies to go and ate them in the hotel room. After showering and packing we left for Dulles at 1:45 (we ended up having tons of time to spare, but best to be safe). We took an Uber X to Dulles, which cost $43 (minus $20 referral credit, so $23). Our driver was a PhD student from Harvard and Northeastern who was doing a case study on Obamacare in DC so it made for an interesting discussion during the long drive.
Costs (for both of us combined, including all tax+tips): $23 bus fares + $23 Uber + $137 meals = $183 (or $46 per person per day). Also 60,000 Marriott points for the hotel.
Conclusions: I had been to DC before for short trips when I was younger, which gave me good memories of sights and food. After this trip I am completely in love with the city. There is so much to see and all of it is free and relatively close together. With respect to food this now my favourite place in the world (and I’ve been lucky enough to eat in Tuscany). I don’t usually spend this much on food when I travel (I don’t like to spend more than $10 on a meal) but I am happy I went to the best places this time. At least two of the top ten meals of my life took place on this trip (though all four meals I had were amazing).
Lastly, I highly recommend Uber. I had never used Uber before but my first two experiences were great and the drivers were a pleasure to talk to. If you use someone’s referral link you get a free ride up to $20 (which paid for my ride from DCA and half the ride to IAD). You can use my referral link Here!