Don’t have plans this weekend?
When you live at Halstead Square, you’re in the prime location for a day trip from Vienna to DC. This isn’t your typical tourist’s journey—we’ve taken the time to research a mix of both popular and under-the-radar spots, so you don’t have to. What are you waiting for? Hop on the Dunn Loring Metro for a worry-free journey into our favorite east coast metro.
Tickets and Transportation
Plan your trip using the Metro Trip Planner tool. It’s just $4.60 and about 30 easy minutes from Vienna, VA to Washington DC. We’re going to shoot for the Farragut West Metro Station as an end point. On the way, soak up the sights of Arlington and The Potomac.
Jumpstart Your Day
To start, you’ll need to get infused with caffeine and yummy food. From Farragut Station, head south on 17th Street NW until you reach G Street NW. Tucked away between 17th/18th Streets, you’ll find M.E. Swing Coffee Roasters, a magical coffee brand that’s been at the core of the DC coffee scene for almost 100 years. When they opened this spot, coffee lovers all over the East Coast rejoiced. Sip your cup and listen to the hum and buzz of a well-loved cafe (this is a good time to stock up on some good beans, by the way) before going on your way.
Relax on the Lawn
Yes, THE Lawn. Stroll down 17th St. NW, make a left on State Pl NW, and keep walking until you reach the White House South Lawn. On a pretty day, you could sit here for hours and people watch or read a NY Best-Seller, but today, you have things to do. We’re going to leave The White House for another day and make a note to take the virtual tour, since in-person tours must be made in advance (and well, it’s far too obvious a choice.)
Explore and Learn
How many of you miss elementary school field trips? Well, as it turns out, adult field trips are far superior. Now’s your opportunity to wander from exhibit to exhibit without being forced to listen to tour guides or following any school-mandated plan.
> First Stop: The Smithsonian National Museum of American History
How often have you overlooked this museum in favor of the National Air and Space Museum? If you haven’t been here before, you’re missing out. They have everything from Dorothy’s iconic ruby slippers to a replica of a 1960s lunch counter in Greensboro, the site of an important civil rights protest. If your favorite subject wasn’t history, it’s about to become a lot more interesting than you remember. (Free, open 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.)
> Second Stop: The Freer|Sackler Art Gallery
Behind that massive castle known as the Smithsonian Institution, you’ll find the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. It’s sure to be quieter and roomier than many larger galleries in the area. But that doesn’t mean it’s not interesting—head straight for the immersive art experience known as The Peacock Room REMIX, a fascinating series of installations based on Whistler’s famous Peacock Room. Read the intriguing background story here. (Free, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.)
Grab a Bite
DC’s full of amazing options to cure a growling stomach (and sophisticated palate)—really, it’s hard to find a bad place close to the Capital. We particularly love The Capital Grille, just a short walk from the galleries you’ve been exploring.
With close to 500 amazing reviews on Yelp, this place definitely has something special going for it. The clam chowder is a winning option, but you could just as easily go for a flawless caesar salad with grilled chicken. Whatever you choose, you should always end your meal with the famed coconut cream pie. It’s the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.
Stroll southeast on Pennsylvania Avenue NW until you reach Peace Circle, and make a right toward the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial. It’s not exactly the best view of the memorial, but it’s definitely a gorgeous view of the Capitol. After you get the perfect Instagrammable shot, head straight for the United States Botanic Garden, which features exotic and rare plants, as well as a butterfly garden. It’s the perfect way to end your relaxing day in DC.
By now, it’s likely late afternoon. Time to head back and relax at home! Walk down 3rd Street to D Street SW, and catch the metro home from the Federal Center Metro Station. You’ll arrive at the Dunn-Loring stop in about 40 minutes.
There you have it! An entirely unfussy, uncomplicated day in DC. And the best part? You live so close, you could have a different adventure every weekend. Want to live in an apartment this close to DC? Get in touch with us today at Halstead Square, and we’ll answer your questions.