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Our three days in Washington, D.C. were truly a whirlwind. Some of the biggest memories of this year were made in 72 hours and I couldn’t have been more thankful for an opportunity to visit our Nation’s Capitol. The trip was full of highlights and I fell in love with DC for many reasons. History, food, and charm set this city high on my list of places to go back to. 

When we arrived we got to see Katalina, my friend who I previously was on a trip with in Nicaragua with her company El Camino Travel. She played tour guide and took us to some amazing spots like Maketto for coffee and lunch, and then to Shaw Tavern for dinner and Dacha Beer garden. Her charming home made for the perfect welcome to Washington, D.C. — thank you Kata!

After, we made our way into downtown DC. We checked into our modern hotel along Thomas circle, the Donovan (Read review here). It was a great place to be located as we could walk to almost everything. We spent the first morning exploring the memorials and monuments in the National Mall and fell in love with the rich history. That night, on behalf of Bon Traveler, my husband and I were invited to a private tour of the West Wing of the White House. We got an in-depth look of the Oval Office, the Press Room, and more—something I will never forget. Afterwards, we grabbed a quick bite and made our way back to the monuments to see the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial at night, which is a must do.

One highlight of the trip was meeting Nastasia from Dame Traveler in person. We became close friends by way of social media about a year ago. We were both invited to the same event at the White House. Finally being able to spend time together in person together was truly surreal. Needless to say, we were inseparable the rest of the trip. 

The final day in DC was the reason why we came to the East Coast. The White House invited me for the first photo-friendly tour alongside 40 other bloggers/photographers. It was an honor and humbling to be there. We toured the East Wing, met the Obama’s dogs Bo & Sunny, and watched President Obama board Marine One and take off from the South Lawn. This invitation was one of most exciting ventures yet. (Read more about the experience here.)

Afterwards, Nastasia and I regrouped at the hotel, grabbed a quick bite at Zentan, and then took off for Georgetown. We walked the gardens of Tudor Place, explored the historic district, and walked the C & O Canal. To cap off an exciting trip, we headed to POV at the W for sunset drinks overlooking the White House. The quiet moment overlooking the city was ever so perfect. Of course one more foodie meal was in order, so we ate at Founding Farmers for a delicious home-style meal.

Washington, D.C. has so much to offer and I already can’t wait to go back. There is so much history to be discovered, and the city beckons at least 3–4 days to truly experience it. 

PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!

These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.

1. Book Your Flights

Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.

2. Book Your Accommodations

Use for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.

3. Book Your Tours & Experiences

Use Viator or Get Your Guide to find the best tours and experiences. They are my favorite tour search engines. I always check both as their inventory varies depending on the destination.

4. Book Your Car

Use Discover Cars or to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.

5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access

Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.

6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.

My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are:


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