Washington, D.C. Journals

Insider's Washington, D.C.

Best of IgoUgo

A November 1997 trip to Washington, D.C. by Wasatch

Quote: Any guidebook gets you to the famous sights, but there are lesser-known gems of the capital city.

Insider's Washington, D.C.

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Quote:
We lived in DC for 25 years. These are some of our favorite places that are off the beaten path.Renoir’s Luncheon Of the Boating Party, the Philips Gallery, the painting that will make you forget every other art museum you have seen. Forget the famous cherry blossoms. DC’s best flower displays are azaleas, especially Brighton Dam and McCrillis Gardens, both in Montgomery County, MD.The best cherry-blossom view is from the restaurant on the top floor of the of the East Wing, NationalGallery of Art, where your table looks down on a garden of cherry trees from above the flowering canopy. Bonsai Garden, the National Arboretum.The...Read More

Cafeteria

Restaurant | "Cafeteria, Hubert H Humphry Building"

Quote:
The “best buy” for lunch is at any of the cafeterias in government office buildings. All arewelcome, but increased security may make it difficult to get into the building. I suggest mailingyour Congress person for advice or help before you leave home. With the exceptions of lowercost Rayburn Building Cafeteria, the HHH Building is the place to eat because of the location ofthe cafeteria on the top floor of the building.The cafeteria is located at the corner of the HHH Building closest to the US Capitol, and twosides of the building are flanked by balconies with unprecedented views of the Mall and Capitol. The other two buildings with viewing decks up in...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 1, 2005

Cafeteria
Hubert H. Humphrey Building
Washington, D.C., United States 20201
(202) 619-0257

Rayburn Cafe at Rayburn House Office Building

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "The Rayburn Office Building Cafeteria."

Quote:
Not content with their $150,000 annual salary and $3,000,000 a year for “office expenses”,Congress also uses our tax dollars to provide subsidized, tax free food for their lunch. No doubtfeeling a little guilty about another taxpayer rip off, Congress does make it possible for theAverage Joe to partake of the bounty, with conditions. The “best buy” for lunch is at any of thecafeterias in government office buildings, and the best of these is the cafeteria in the HouseRayburn Office Building.. All are welcome, but increased security may make it difficult to getinto the building. I suggest mailing your Congress person for advice or help before you leavehome. The...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 1, 2005

Rayburn Cafe at Rayburn House Office Building
Southwest of the Capitol
Washington, D.C.

Senate Dining Room

Restaurant | "The Senate Dining Room"

Quote:
Not content with their $150,000 annual salary and $3,000,000 a year for “office expenses”,Congress also uses our tax dollars to provide subsidized, tax free food for their lunch. No doubtfeeling a little guilty about another taxpayer rip off, Congress does make it possible for theAverage Joe to partake of the bounty, with conditions. Your Senator’s office will give you a passinto the Senate Dining Room, good before 12:00 pm and after 1:00 pm, where you can chowdown on the same sales tax free, taxpayer subsidized food that Congress eats.Senate Bean Soup is the most famous–-make that the only famous dish on the menu–-and I find itrather tiresome, being basic...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 1, 2005

Senate Dining Room
U.S. Capitol
Washington, United States

Phillips Flagship Restaurant

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Phillips Flagship Restaurant"

Quote:
You can find a number of very negative reviews of Phillips Flagship Restaurant on the Internet, but why not? These disappointed diners went for a buffet. You do not go to Phillips for a buffet. You go to Phillips for what made them a famous small chain of restaurants around the Chesapeake Bay– fresh seafood from the Bay. That means you go to Phillips for Blue Crab, oysters, clams, scallops, flounder, and Rockfish. Mostly, you go to Phillips Flagship Restaurant for crab, and for crab, you must eat Phillips’ crab cakes. Crab cakes come in two ways. Crab Cake diner is two crab cakes served with veggies, salad, bread, and all that stuff. It’s easier on the budget and not as filling to opt for the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 22, 2007

Phillips Flagship Restaurant
900 Water St. SW
Washington, D.C., United States 20024
(202) 488-8515

Smithsonian Institution

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
The Smithsonian In One Day.We lived in Washington, D.C. for 25 years, and never managed to see all the Smithsonian, even though we spent more than 300 days there. It takes a week just to scratch the surface. Seeing the Smithsonian in one day is a joke, but if that’s all your schedule allows, here is how to see the high points in one day. This is a circle tour, so you can start anywhere on the route and go either direction. There is no chance of finishing the tour in one day if you wander around the museums until you stumble across the sights. You must either locate the route on the floor map when you enter, or ask a guard for directions.Starting at the Air and Space Museum,...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 8, 2007

Smithsonian Institution
900 Jefferson Dr
Washington, D.C., United States 20013
(202) 633-8700

Rock Creek Cemetery

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "The Statue of ‘Grief’"

Quote:
Daniel Chester French’s brooding statue of seated Lincoln inside the Lincoln Memorial (best at night) may be the most recognized sculpture in Washington, D.C., but the Statue of Grief by Augustus St. Gaudens in Rock Creek Cemetery is by far the greater work. Grief is best reached from the Cemetery’s entrance on North Capitol St. (as North Capitol St. is the dividing street between DC addressees NW and NE, it has no directional suffix). Coming from downtown, just before you reach the cemetery at the top of a hill whose climb starts about where you can see the Shrine Church at Catholic University to the right, is, on the left, the Old Sailors’ Home, built for homeless WWI vets.If there is a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 8, 2007

Rock Creek Cemetery
Rock Creek Rd.
Washington, D.C., United States 20011
(202) 829-0585

Smithsonian Institution

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Smithsonian Museums"

Quote:
The Smithsonian, begun with a gift from Englishman James Smithson whose tomb is in the lobby of “the Castle”, is almost beyond the grasp of the mind. Operating 19 museums with 24 million visitors a year and a collection of more than 135,000,000 objects, no one ever has or ever will see it all. We lived in Washington for 25 years, and never managed to see it all, even though we spent more than 300 days there. This poses a problem for the visitor– you do not “see” the Smithsonian. You see some of it, a very small some of it. Visiting the Smithsonian is always a question of picking and choosing. The main museums line the Mall between the US Capitol and the Washington Monument. They s...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 8, 2007

Smithsonian Institution
900 Jefferson Dr
Washington, D.C., United States 20013
(202) 633-8700

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Museum of Natural History"

Quote:
I found the Museum of Natural History to be the best of the Smithsonian Museums. Enter from the Mall into the Rotunda, where one of the largest known elephants is on display. The top sights include Dinosaur Hall; the Hope Diamond (the world’s largest diamond) and other spectacular jewels; the world’s first living coral reef in an aquarium, and, what with global warming killing all the coral in Nature, soon to be the only place to see a coral reef; and the Blue Whale (in the room behind the coral reef display), a life sized model of the largest animal ever. Dinosaur Hall has a monster Brontosaurus, but you will be amazed by the size of the Blue Whale in comparison.Arrive at the Hope Dia...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 11, 2007

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
10th Street & Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC
(202) 633-1000

U.S Army Medical Museum

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Army Medical Museum "

Quote:
Officially bearing the name The National Medical Museum, the Army Medical Museum at Walter Reed Army Hospital is Washington, D.C. most morbidly fascinating spot, even topping A Lincoln’s bloody death shirt on display in the basement of Ford’s Theater. This place will give you the creepy crawlies, and then it turns out to be the most educational museum we have ever seen. You learn a lot here. Before color photography and color printing, the best way to teach doctors about medical problems was to show them a victim. As victims were not always available in the nearest hospital when needed, the body parts of dead victims were put on display in places like the Walter Reed Museum to enlighte...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 11, 2007

U.S Army Medical Museum
Walter Reed Army Hospital
Washington, D.C., United States

Phillips Collection

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "The Phillips Gallery"

Quote:
We never fully appreciated the Phillip Gallery, a small art gallery lost in the shadow of the National Gallery of Art in its hometown until we moved to Utah. Eight years after leaving Washington, D.C., an exhibition of 50 paintings from the Phillips came to Phoenix. We went and were blown away by how good it was compared the art we had seen over the last eight years in Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Salt Lake City– The Philips is a superb art collection.Actually, we drove 820 miles to Phoenix to see only one of the 50 Phillips paintings on display, Renoir’s ‘The Luncheon of the Boating Party’, the world’s greatest painting. Renoir painted it in 1881. Duncan Phillips bought it in Paris...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 16, 2007

Phillips Collection
1600 21st Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 387-2151

Washington National Cathedral

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "The Washington National Cathedral"

Quote:
From Dupont Circle Metro Station: Take the N2, N3, N4, or N6 bus to the corner of Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues. Walk north (continue outbound, the direction the bus was going) on Wisconsin one-half block to the Cathedral. Driving: it’s ½ block north of the intersection of Mass & Wisc Aves NW on Wisconsin Ave. Plenty of parking on neighborhood streets or in the Cathedral’s underground garage, or take a chance on scoring one of the parkingspaces near the transept door Construction of the Cathedral, perhaps the now the world’s youngest Gothic church, was begun September 29, 1907 and finished September 29, 1990. Washington National Cathedral is the sixth largest church in th...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 26, 2007

Washington National Cathedral
Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues, NW
Washington, D.C. 20016
(202) 537-6200

National Geographic Society Museum

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Explorer’s Hall Museum"

Quote:
Explorer’s Hall Museum on the ground floor of one of the National Geographic’s several buildings taking up half the block bounded by M&L and 16th & 17th Streets NW, is, as you might expect, superbly done, featuring blow ups of the best National Geographic pictures, films, and artifacts. The smallness of the museum, relative to Washington, D.C. other museums is the problem. We lived in Washington, D.C. for 25 years and never saw all the Smithsonian, so how are you going to do it a week or so and then get the Explorer’s Hall? Also, Explorer’s Hall is a bit off the beaten path, so a visit requires some travel time. You can justify the trip by combining Explorer’s Hall with some ot...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 26, 2007

National Geographic Society Museum
1145 17th Street N.W.
Washington, D.C., United States 20036
(202) 857-7588

Washington, D.C., from the Air

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
It’s not easy to see Washington, D.C., from on high. No building is allowed to be taller than the dome of the Capitol, and no flights are allowed over the city– Congress doesn’t care if a plane falls out of the sky on your house, but it won’t allow it on theirs. Aerial views are not easy to come by, but they can be found. The most famous, and one of the worst, is the view from the top of the Washington, D.C. Monument. The problem with this view, aside from crowds and long waits, is that the widows are very small and the location is poor. Skip the Monument and do some of the better alternatives.If you are flying to Washington, D.C. use National Airport (DCA) which is on the banks of the...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 26, 2007

Some Presidential Places

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
The President lives at the White House and sometimes visits the Capitol, but there are other places in Washington associated with Presidents. Presidential Churches: Across Lafayette Park from the White House stands St John’s Church, claiming every President has attended services here. The Presidential pew is down front, marked with a small brass plaque. Out 16th St. NW from Lafayette Park, a block or two north of the traffic circle, is a Methodist Church where Clinton and Carter regularly attended. Reagan made his one token appearance at church during his eight years in office here. St Mathews Cathedral on Rhode Island Ave. NW near Connecticut Ave. NW is where Pres. Kennedy’s funeral w...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 27, 2007

Sometimes The President Drives By.

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
The visitor to Washington D.C.’s best chance of seeing the President of the United States is when he travels by car to some event in Washington. This is not a common occurrence, but it does happen several times a year. There some chance of seeing the President pass by in the Presidential limousine, but you have to be ready for it because the President drives around town at 40-50 mph and never stops. Once you have seen the traffic in Washington, D.C., you will wonder how that can be, and how that comes about is perhaps the most interesting part of seeing a Presidential drive-by. What I’ll tell you here is how to spot the pending approach of the President or Vice President or a visiting Head of ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 27, 2007

Quote:
The Frenchman Pierre L’Enfant (literally, Peter the Child) designed Washington, D.C.’s street system. Apparently he was drunk at the time. Here is how it works (?). First, there is a directional system with Capitol building as the zero point. The Capitol is directionally centered, facing west (or east, depending which side you think is the front). Anyhow, if you draw four lines at right angles from the Capitol following the four points of the compass, the city is divided into four segments which are named for their compass location in relation to the Capitol– NE, NW, SE, and SW. Most places of interest to tourists are found in NW. With a few exceptions close to the Mall or to the Capitol, stay...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 27, 2007

The Sights at Night

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
Some of Washington, D.C’s finest sightseeing comes after dark, when the major buildings and monuments are illuminated. Night time sightseeing around the Mall has the added benefit of being able to drive, find close parking, and free parking.Three sights should not be missed at night. Indeed, these three are at their best after dark. 1) The Vietnam Memorial. Park on Constitution Ave. at the Memorial. Note the sight lines of the “Wall,” with one side pointing toward the illuminated Washington Monument, the other pointing at the lighted Lincoln Memorial. A truly memorable view.2) The Lincoln Memorial. Walk over from the Vietnam Memorial, climb the steps and gaze on Daniel Chester ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 30, 2007

Quote:
The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts occupies a majestic setting on the banks of the Potomac River between the infamous WaterGate Condo-Hotel and the original Watergate, a river dock at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial. While the site presents a magnificent view when seen from the river, it also makes the Kennedy Center the most difficult of the world’s major performing arts venues to get to. You will suffer trying to go to the Kennedy Center, either for a visit, or even worse, to attend a concert. If you are driving yourself, you will fail to arrive on your first three attempts. Use them as learning experiences, and there is a good chance you will make it on try # 4.If yo...Read More

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
2700 F Street, NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20566
(202) 467-4600