Trip to capital opens eyes to domestic traveling

Of all of the places I could go in the world, I never thought that one of the coolest cities I could visit would be here – well, not here exactly, but in this country.

This summer I got the opportunity to go to a couple of areas outside of Erie, but one of the coolest places I visited was our nation’s capital: Washington, D.C.

Before this trip, I had only been to D.C. once and I was in the city for less than 24 hours before I had to leave.  So of course while I stayed there, I had to go see all of the basic tourist attractions that most people see in history books and on “National Treasure.”

Although I didn’t plan anything crazy like stealing the Declaration of Independence, I still had a fantastic time sightseeing and visiting different museums. Even though I packed as much as I could into the weekend, I did not get to see everything that was on my list and I definitely want to go back.

Also, I recommend that if anyone ever gets the chance to go to D.C., even if it’s only for a day, to take it.

Visiting the city definitely opened my mind to U.S. history. It’s one thing to read about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, but it’s a completely different experience getting to see them.

Unfortunately, light can damage these old documents, so no one can take pictures. Also, again, since the documents are so old, reading them is pretty fruitless unless you go on a day where other tourists aren’t pushing to the front of the crowd trying to see it – good luck planning that.

Seeing these historical documents, the sky-high monuments and the museums that hold floors upon floors of history just makes everything seem so real – more real than sitting in the most upbeat class.

I have read that D.C. is home to more than 200 museums and have heard that one could easily spend a day in every one of them. Putting that into perspective, if someone went to the city every weekend and spent it seeing two museums – one for each day – it would take them almost two years to see everything.

That’s not to mention that most of the museums have rotating exhibits and I’m leaving out the monuments and the White House – if you want to tour that, you need to reserve it at least six months in advance.

I guess the point of this is to say that the city might not be at the top of your travel destinations, but it definitely should be. I went down there with the intention of visiting some friends and seeing a couple of museums and I ended up trying to see everything.

I would like to go back at least once to try to see some of the things I missed and re-see some of the places with new exhibits every month. Maybe if I ever become the type of person who plans vacations a year in advance I’ll get to see the White House.

Until then, I guess can settle for one of the other 300 sights.




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