A Day in DC

Second in series on bucket-list towns where there is so much to see that that it is easy to miss some really good places. The series, begun with A Day in LA, highlights two attractions and includes a foodie stop plus an alternative attraction.

'A Capitol View' taken from the Newseum. Photo by Jodie Jacobs

‘A Capitol View’
taken from the Newseum. Photo by Jodie Jacobs

 

 

If you haven’t been to Washington DC your best introduction to the US capital is with the Hop On Hop Off Old Town Trolley. It will help you become acclimated to where things are. Plus, you can stop to take your selfies at DC landmarks.

But if you have visited DC before or are looking for something special to do after touring the usual places, go over to the Newseum where you can be a broadcaster and the International Spy Museum where you can be a spy.

Neither museum is part of the Smithsonian group so there are admission charges. Best plan is to get tickets in advance for discounts and easy entry.

 

The Newseum

Want a great view of the Capitol? Take the Newseum’s glass elevator. You’ll have to go down to go up. There are other elevators but the best way to experience this museum is to take the glass elevator which is an express from the Concourse Level up to Level 6 then walk down.

At Level 6 step outside to the terrace, look left and pull out the smart phone. The view is the same one used by some TV broadcasts from a studio a level down. Turn right to go back inside to see the current exhibit.

“Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics” will be there on Level 6 beginning Jan. 13, 2017. Coming to the Newesum from Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, it has story boards and images but also John Lennon’s acoustic guitar from his 1969 “Bed-Ins for Peace” with Yoko Ono and the Fender Stratocaster used by Jimi Hendrix when he did “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Woodstock. In addition, there are handwritten lyrics to Bob Dylan’s “The Times They are a Changin’ and Bruce Springsteens, “Born in the USA.”

Opening Feb. 3, 2017  on Level 4 is ‘1967: Civil Rights at 50.” It reviews the militant mood changes during the struggle for racial justice.

But save time for permanent exhibits and highlights.  On Level 2 you can be a TV Reporter and do an interactive video. While at the museum, look for the exhibit on 911, FBI crime cases and the evolution of electronic media.

Become a spy and learn who was a spy at the International Spy Museum. Photo by Jodie Jacobs

Become a spy and learn who was a spy at the International Spy Museum. Photo by Jodie Jacobs

The Newseum is at 6th Street and Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

 

International Spy Museum

Now pull up the trench coat collar and don the sunglasses. The International Spy Museum is within walking distance a couple of blocks west and a few blocks north of Newseum.

Visitors age 12 and older can become a spy for an hour in the interactive ‘Operation Spy’ experience. It is a ticketed, timed experience limited to 15 people.

Go through the museum to find out who was a spy that you’d never guess would take on a mission. Find out about spy techniques and see some of the tools of the trade. If you’ve seen Bond movies you already know about some of them but there also is a separate Bond exhibit.

The International Spy Museum is at  800 F Street, NW  Washington, DC  20004

 

Where to eat

Break up the day with lunch at  Oyamel Cocina Mexicana, a  nice-sual restaurant with a sophisticated urban Mexican flair. Or stop at Hill Country Barbecue Market, a very casual, really good Texan BBQ place. Both restaurants   are about half-way between the two museums.

 

Alternative attraction and lunch spot

The National Gallery of Art is right across Pennsylvania Avenue from the Newseum. Contemporary and modern art is in the East Building which was just renovated. The West Building has art from all periods. Both buildings are worth visiting. Currently, modernist ‘Stuart Davis: In Full Swing’ is featured in the West Building until early March, 2017. Those in the know who want a quiet, contemplative spot make a reservation (four or more guests) to lunch in the Garden Cafe in the West Building near the 6th street entrance.

 

 

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One Response to “A Day in DC”

  • […] it is easy to miss some really good places. The series, begun with A Day in LA and continued with A Day in DC, highlights two attractions and includes a foodie stop plus an alternative […]

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