We visited Washington DC for our 1997 Spring Break excitement. We were most fortunate as the Cherry Blossoms were in peak display and we left before the late spring snowstorm hit the area.
We stayed six days and did our best at visiting as many sites as possible. We visited the Capital Building (tour provided by a Harkin staff representative), White House, National Geographic, Air and Space Museum, Museum of Natural History, Museum of American History, Washington Monument, Lincoln Monument, Ford Theatre, Viet Nam Memorial, Arlington National Cemetary, and the Holocaust Museum. We became experts at riding the Metro (we stayed out in Chevy Chase) making a car unnecessary (driving isn't too bad in DC, it is trying to find a place to park).
We all had our favorite locations. We had a wonderful tour of the Capital Building and were given a personal tour by a Harkin staff representative. We walked on the House chamber floor and were impressed by its "small" size - it looks so large during the State of the Union addresses (perhaps I am the only person that watches such events...)
We went on the White House tour. It took two tries to get tickets. They start giving away tickets at 7:30am. We arrived shortly after 7:30am and the line was long and the tickets were all gone. We tried again the next day - woke up earlier (5:00am) and stood in line starting at 6:00am. We were about 80th in line. It should be noted that starting around mid-March "peak" tourist season begins. Prior to this time most of the events do not have lines. The White House tour was quite enjoyable. There is a recent National Geographic tour of the White House (now on video) which makes the tour even more interesting. We did no see Socks, Bill, Hillary, or Chelsea. We did see lots of security people - brought back memories of the recent Presidential visit to Ames and talking to White House communication and security personnel.
The Air and Space Museum is totally cool if you are into planes/space/war. They have the Spirit of St. Louis, Apollo 11, moon rocks, etc., etc.
Our children were nine and twelve years old at the time of the vist. A perfect age to visit! But, beware, that are some lines for tickets during peak season. Almost every facility is no-charge. Food costs were a little high, but tolerable. Find a nice hotel and metro!
Here are a few pictures from our trip:
Washington Monument with Cherry blossums
Viet Nam Veterans's Memorial
Viet Nam Veteran's Memorial
Smithsmonian Air and Space
Museum - Moon Landing
Air and Space Museum
Enola Gay B-29 bomber
ME109 at Air and Space Musuem