Our second day in D.C. was one of our craziest as far as our itinerary goes.
Easter at the Washington National Cathedral
Since it was Easter Sunday and we had the Washington National Cathedral on our wish list of places to visit, I thought why not just attend their Easter service?! And, I am so glad that we did!! It was a beautiful and memorable, and I now see how similar the Episcopalian and Catholic services really are.
We arrived early enough to grab some seats and then take turns taking the boys around to explore a little.
If you would like to attend Easter service at the National Cathedral, note that you do need to request a ticket in advance. This is free, with a nominal service charge to mail it. Keep an eye on their Facebook Page to see when they will be released. This year they were released on Feb 20 for an April 1 Easter date at 10:00 AM. We also loved our cab ride out here because we went past so many Embassy buildings! There are, of course, options for actual tours but since we wanted to see this church and wanted to attend an Easter service, this was a great way for us to do both.
Jazz Brunch at Georgia Brown’s
After lunch we had just enough time to change the boys shoes and we were off to Georgia Brown’s for their Easter Jazz Brunch. The food and entertainment were both good. This wasn’t my favorite place in DC overall, but it was still a great choice, especially for Easter.
The boys had never seen a chocolate fountain so this, not surprisingly, was the hit of the meal.
If you go:
- Reservations are on Open Table 90 days in advance and I highly recommend making one.
- They let you choose an entree to go for each adult buffet purchased. This was lovely, but we had nowhere to store an entree. If you go and you are taking the other meal home, I think that makes this meal a pretty good value! We thought about taking them and handing them to someone that might need them but we didn’t know the city well enough to really feel comfortable doing that so we just passed.
American History Museum
After a quick stop at the hotel to change into more comfortable clothes, we were off to the American History Museum. I think I mentioned that we each chose a museum to visit. Well, this was my pick and I absolutely LOVED every minute of it! We arrived around 12:30 PM in order to catch the 1:00 PM highlight tour. I already had a list of key things I wanted to see and the tour hit on almost all of them.
My very favorite of all, and no photos were allowed, was seeing the Star Spangled Banner. I wasn’t expecting this! I had no idea just how big it really is and felt such a surge of patriotic pride looking at it and learning about its history and path to the Smithsonian. I know this country has its problems, but we are SO lucky to be Americans. That fact was just driven home time and again every day of this trip.
Other favorites were Washington’s suit and Lincoln’s hat. Seeing these things makes our founding father’s so much more real. I just kept thinking… they wore these things! In fact, we saw a portrait of Washington in this very suit when we visited Mount Vernon a few days later. Oh, and Jefferson’s desk also was so fascinating to learn about. It was of his own design and I was moved by the fact that this relatively small, overall kind of unimpressive desk is where our Declaration of Independence was first drafted.
I’m certainly not going to drag on about everything I loved, but a few other favorites were Julia Child’s kitchen and, of course, the First Ladies exhibit. Did you know that two First Ladies in our history have worn a one-strap dress to the Inauguration? And just one has worn a no-strap dress. :-) Both Melania and Michelle’s dresses were beautiful. The other one I really loved belonged to Mary Todd Lincoln and they had the day and evening bodice parts on display.
Natural History Museum
Our final big activity of the day was the Natural History Museum! We didn’t make a highlight tour, but Honey and the boys had comprised a list of things they definitely wanted to see so that helped.
The boys in the family were all completely enamored with skeletons and mummies…
And, while all of that was incredibly fascinating, I felt much more comfortable with the diamonds.
If you go (this goes for all of the Smithsonian museums)…
- The museum is open 10 AM – 5:30 PM seven days a week.
- There are no tickets to purchase ahead of time and admission is free. They do ask for a donation for a guide map.
- Take only a small bag with you (this goes for everywhere we visited in DC) and only carry essentials. Most places had guests toss everything edible from their bags – sealed chip bags, bars, water bottles, packages of gum, cough drops, etc. You could pour the water out of a bottle and then refill it inside.
- My number ONE tip is to try your very best to schedule your arrival at the museums around the free docent led highlight tours. You can find the schedules on each museum website. Each of the 3 Smithsonian museums we visited had posted tour times starting around 10 AM and 1 PM (do check because they vary by 15 minutes). You will want to arrive at least 30 minutes prior in order to make it through security. Maybe even earlier! Ask where the tour is meeting at the information desk once inside. These are free and are absolutely, positively fantastic!!! Every one we did had a very small group of maybe 12 or so people. All of us were so much more engaged having someone tell us what we were looking at, rather than reading plaques on the wall. The tours all lasted about 1 hour and 15 minutes, which was the perfect length, in my opinion.
Round Robin Bar
Back at the hotel, we settled the boys in with their devices and Honey and I took the opportunity to unwind at the Willard’s iconic Round Robin Bar. Honey’s favorite cocktail is the Mint Julep so he was pleased to learn that the drink was first introduced to Washington at this very bar by a Kentucky senator.
Old Ebbitt Grill
We had a rather late and quite enjoyable dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill. The oysters and crab cakes were everything they were cracked up to be. Reservations are available on Open Table 60 days in advance, and I definitely recommend having one if you want to dine during peak dinner hours.
As for the rest of our trip, I’d love for you to follow along or catch up here!
Part 2: Washington D.C.
- Day 1 – National Archives, Arlington, Le Diplomate Dinner
- Day 2 – Easter at National Cathedral, Georgia Brown’s Jazz Brunch, American History Museum, Natural History Museum, Round Robin Bar, Old Ebbitt Grill
- Day 3 – Ford’s Theater, Spy Museum, Holocaust Museum, Ted’s Bulletin
- Day 4 – Capitol Tour, Georgetown, Founding Farmers
- Day 5 – White House Tour, Cherry Blossom Festival, Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, Air & Space Museum, Nighttime Monuments Bike Tour, The Hamilton Dinner
- The Historic Willard Intercontinental Hotel
Part 4: Historic Triangle
I’ll update the links in our itinerary as I take y’all along on our trip.
As a Virtuoso affiliated travel adviser, I have global connections with the best hotels, cruise lines, airlines and tour companies, and I secure exclusive amenities for my luxury clients at destinations like the Williard Continental in D.C. and Williamsburg Inn in Colonial Williamsburg. Contact me to learn more and start designing your dream vacation today!
DIXIE DELIGHTS DELIVERED