24 Hours in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. is brimming with so many things to eat, see and do. If you only have a weekend to explore this historically and culturally rich city it’s important to prioritize what you want to do and see. We got into the city in the afternoon after checking into our AirBnB and eating lunch so we were ready to pack in as much as we could the rest of the day.

Here is our 24 hour guide to D.C. (Which turned out to be more like 26 hours…)


Walk the Monuments (1:00 – 3:00 p.m.)

Some people find monuments boring, and they can be, if you walk to every single one and do all the tours. However, just strolling along the grounds and picking and choosing which ones you’d like to take a closer look at can provide you with a well-rounded, self-guided tour that doesn’t feel exhaustive. People who have never been to D.C. before tend to think all the monuments are a lot closer in proximity than they actually are, so wear comfortable shoes!

Washington Monument 24 Hours in Washington DC - Topaz & Sapphire

Jefferson Memorial DC

Tidal Basin

See the Cherry Blossoms at the Tidal Basin (3:00 – 3:30 p.m.)

The cherry blossoms are pretty much over with by now, but if you’re planning a trip for next spring they aren’t to be missed! Even without the blooms, the grounds at Tidal Basin are beautiful and picturesque and perfect for a picnic or laying your feet to rest.

cherry blossoms in DC 2016 cherry blossoms cassie dowling 24 Hours in Washington DC - Topaz & Sapphire

Snap a Selfie at The White House (3:45-4:00 p.m.)

The White House offers tours, but it’s enough for some people to simply see it from afar and snap a selfie! By this time our feet were pretty tired and we knew we wanted to go back to our AirBnB to freshen up before heading out to dinner, so this quick “stop and wave” at Barack was enough for us.

24 Hours in Washington DC - Topaz & Sapphire 24 Hours in Washington DC - Topaz & Sapphire

Dinner & Dessert in Georgetown (5:30 – 9:00 p.m.)

Two words for Georgetown – ca uteeee. We ate dinner at Il Canale (seriously delicious) and then stopped by Georgetown Cupcakes (which is an easy walk) for a half dozen of those babies. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and good eats in walkable distance. You’ll want to burn off the calories from dinner by peeking into all of the retail shops after your belly is full.




The Holocaust Museum (10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)

You’re either a museum person or you’re not a museum person. But the Holocaust Museum is unlike regular museums and is nothing like staring at a million dollar painting of a single dot. It’s reverent, it’s fascinating, it’s heartbreaking, and it’s insanely moving and educational. We felt like we “rushed” through all the exhibits and it still took us three hours, so make sure to allot a big chunk of time. We suggest getting there when tickets are given out, starting at 9 a.m. before the museum opens. Tickets are free, but there is usually a line.

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Eastern Market (1:30-2:30)

If you can get here earlier – do it. Because Market Lunch stops serving breakfast around 2:00 p.m. on Sundays and will cut off the line. Our menu item picks? The buttermilk pancakes or the french toast, which will be some of the best you’ve ever had. The jalapeño cheese grits are also drool worthy.

The outdoor market features farmers selling fresh produce, and vendors, artists, and craftsmen selling their goods and treasures.

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Stroll around Capitol Hill (2:30 – 3:00 p.m.)

Just around the corner from Eastern Market (literally) is the famous Capitol Hill, lined with quaint row houses. Parking is free on Sundays so make sure you get those parallel parking skills into tip-top shape.

Be sure to hit one of our favorite bloggers‘ most-liked gelato shops. Although a little pricier than your typical Cold Stone Creamery, Cassie said the fresh gelato was worth every penny.

capitol hill capitol hill dc 24 Hours in Washington DC - Topaz & Sapphire pitango gelato capitol hill

What are some of your favorite places to eat, drink or see in our nation’s capitol? Share in the comments!

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