One Day: Washington DC from New York

There is no end when it comes to ways to stay busy in NYC. It’s doubtful that you could ever run out of things to do in this amazing town but that shouldn’t stop you from exploring other cities on the East Coast – each one has it’s own wonders to offer! The great thing about New York is that it is centrally located to so many other world-class cities and it offers great transportation that allows you to get to and from them all very easily! Washington DC is a popular excursion from New York because it is easy to get there and explore the city in a day. Here are some tips on how to do it!


Getting back and forth between New York and D.C. is easy! Many people even commute back and forth for work multiple times per week. Try to leave early from NYC – take the 6 or 7am Amtrak Acela express train from New York’s Penn Station. It will get you to Washington D.C. in about 3.5 hours. Try to book your tickets in advance as the rush hour trains can fill up quickly. It’s a fast and comfortable trip and you can use the train time to read up on the attractions you plan to visit!

What to Do

Just like New York City, there are plenty of things to see and do in Washington D.C. You won’t be able to get to it all in a day, so spend some time prioritizing the “must-see” items on your list. Here are some of the most popular places people visit in D.C.

White House

This monument needs no introduction! The beautiful structure is home to the sitting president and their family and you can often arrange to hop on a tour to view select rooms in the historical building. You can combine it with a trip to the Washington Monument, located just behind the White House.

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Lincoln Memorial

A beautiful structure honoring Abraham Lincoln, it’s a striking design of columns with a statue of Honest Abe located within. It’s a great place to visit around sunset when the colorful sky makes a stunning backdrop.

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Capitol Building

A truly magnificent building, the U.S. Capitol is where members of Congress and the House of Representatives work their magic. The hall houses famous paintings, frescoes and sculptures from America’s history. And it’s free of charge to visit!

Capitol Building

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Vietnam Veterans and Korean War Veterans Memorials

The Wall, as it’s commonly referred to, is one of the most visited and most moving war memorials. It’s a long black granite wall with the names of all the soldiers lost etched into the surface. It’s located next to the Korean War Veterans Memorial, which pays tribute to the 1.5 million who served in the war. Both memorials are free to visit and open 24 hours.

National Gallery of Art

Art lovers should definitely make time for a stop here. The museum is huge and has both modern and older works and can definitely take up a few hours of your time. There are also self-guided and audio tours available for free.

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The Smithsonian is a world famous Air and Space Museum with a wonderful collection of celebrated aircraft, including Amelia Earhart’s plane, Orville Wright’s 1903 Wright Flyer and more. Head here in the morning to avoid the huge crowds.

A Bit of Respite

If it’s your first time in D.C., carve out a little time in your day to check out the Tidal Basic, a 2-mile long pond that is one of the city’s most beautiful sites. Depending on the season, you can see beautiful colors of blooming flowers or changing leaves. There are three memorials found along the shores of the basin: the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

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