One fantastic way to experience the best of Washington, DC is during a girls weekend trip. I did just that with three of my former roommates one summer weekend and it was the perfect amount of time in our nation’s capital.
This guide for how to spend a girls weekend in DC is for people who have already seen the main sights DC has to offer. If you like your weekends filled with art, delicious food, and a couple museums, this guide is for you!
How to spend a girls weekend in DC
Arriving in DC
As an anxious traveler, the leadup to my journey to DC had me a little panicky. However, as soon as the train left from Penn Station and headed south, my anxious mind settled and I was able to relax and listen to my audiobooks. Luckily, the journey went off without a hitch and I made it to my friend’s apartment around midnight on Friday! Exhausted from our respective journeys, we ate some midnight snacks, savoring our first time all together in over a year, and quickly passed out.
Travel tip: If you’re looking to head to DC from NYC, book your tickets well in advance. Amtrak is the easiest way to get from NYC to DC, but the tickets get more expensive the closer to your departure date you book.
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Saturday in DC
Our Saturday started relatively early, with a delicious breakfast from a local market, followed by a walk to the White House and a trip inside the Renwick Gallery for much-needed AC and looking at cool art.
The Renwick Gallery is located steps from the White House and is home to the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s collection of contemporary craft and decorative arts. The building itself was the first building in the United States to have been designed expressly as an art museum and has kept that same beautiful exterior. Inside, you’ll find a variety of interesting, modern installations. Admission is free and it is well worth 45 minutes-1 hour of your time.
Side note: On our way to the Washington Monument, our next stop, we spotted this funny little gem, which I’m a huge fan of!
Because DC is so incredibly humid and hot outside (literally I haven’t sweated so much since playing lacrosse in Florida), we couldn’t bear it anymore so we made our way past the National Museum of African American History and Culture (which we didn’t have time to properly explore!) and to the National Museum of American History. At this point, you can choose any museum on the mall, but the National Museum of American History is usually the least crowded according to my friend who used to work at the Smithsonian.
We witnessed the unfolding of the life-sized replica of the flag that inspired the national anthem and then we relished in the cool air while looking at the history of voting rights in America, fashions of First Ladies and the actual flag that inspired the national anthem. While not a huge American history buff, I always think it’s important to see how far our country has come (and how far it has to go).
Hungry enough for lunch, we walked over to what I now consider a top restaurant: GCDC — a restaurant specializing in grilled cheese. I chose the Carolina BBQ grilled cheese, complete with mac n’ cheese inside with a side of tots. Go big or go home, amirite? If you like cheese, this restaurant is a must while visiting DC.
After our feast, we Ubered over to Georgetown for cupcakes (but the line was too long) so we walked around talking about life and peering into dream houses. I’ve always wanted to see Georgetown’s campus so we made sure to take a stroll around Georgetown University, pretending we were students and almost crashing a wedding.
Little did we know the storm predicted for later on in the afternoon would come early and with a vengeance! After some fun in a windstorm, the rainstorm hit and we rushed into the nearest store and waited for an uber for the Kennedy Center for a quick tour! Did you know that it’s JFK’s memorial? Looking back it makes total sense, but I had never put the two together until my friend told me.
Later that night, after several games of Quiddler at a board game bar (#nerdlife), we gorged ourselves on way too many chips and tacos at Mission, a delicious Mexican restaurant that I highly recommend!
Sunday in DC
Unfortunately, our girls weekend in DC quickly came to an end the next day, as two of my friends had to head back home. So, after a quick photo-op at the Dupont Circle Farmers Market, we said our goodbyes.
Before we overheated, my remaining friend and I did some grocery shopping (and a lot of sampling) at the Dupont Circle Farmers Market, a luxury I wish I lived close enough to in NYC.
Later on, I was reunited with Nandos for lunch for the first time since I lived in London and convinced my friend to take me around Embassy Row to look at all the embassies and indulge in my love for international affairs. We ended our day visiting Woodrow Wilson’s house before returning home to recover from our weekend before my train right home that night.
Riding on a rather choppy train home (thank god for Dramamine!), I couldn’t help but think how bizarre and special the weekend was. Bizarre because it felt like no time had passed between us. Special because, for 48 hours, I was reunited with some of the people I feel closest to on this planet. Yes, we said practically tearful hellos and goodbyes, but we were back to our normal silly conversations and deep discussions in almost no time.
I can only hope to have many more girls weekends like this one!
Have you gone on a girls trip to DC yet?