Summary: Our final day in Washington DC featured a free walking tour in Georgetown, tour of the National Archives, and down time at the movies. Pack a lunch to-go and an enjoy an entirely cost-free day. This blog post is part of 6-part series related to our time in Washington D.C.
What You Should Bring. We packed sandwiches, a ton of snacks, and lots of water so we wouldn't be caught trying to find a place to eat. The only exception is we had to stop at this cupcake shop in Georgetown (photo below). During our Spring Break/March trip to Washington D.C., the temperatures were still freezing at night with a fairly cold wind during the day. We packed extra layers and scarves to stay warm.
About Georgetown. Founded in 1751, this historic neighborhood is located in northwest Washington D.C. Georgetown is a popular neighborhood for members of the Senate and House, as well as the Executive Branch. Notable past residents include then Senator John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jackie; actress Elizabeth Taylor; and even the famous Alexander Graham Bell. Georgetown has also been featured in a number of films such as the Exorcist, St. Elmo's Fire, and most recently, Wonder Woman.
DC By Foot Walking Tour. We took a tour of Georgetown with DC By Foot. They have "name your own price," tours which are also known as "free walking tours." These tours ask for guides to be paid by tip. Sometimes these are not available and instead, you can book a paid tour. Typically though, they are quite affordable at just $20 per person for a 2-hour tour. We especially love walking tours of neighborhoods where the history is not so obvious on its face. There's so much to learn about the buildings that we would have missed altogether, had we just walked around on our own.
Georgetown Architecture. While much of the DC area has pockets of neighborhoods with historic brick and frame row houses, we especially loved how so much of the Georgetown neighborhood kept its original charm. With some of the estates dating back to the mid-1700s, Georgetown is also the home of some impressive historic mansions.
Georgetown University. This university's main campus is located on the western edge of the Georgetown neighborhood. Healy Hall, pictured below, is the building most people associate with this school. It reminded us of something out of Harry Potter!
National Archives. Our final tour of the trip was of the National Archives. Located on the National Mall between 7th & 9th Streets, the National Archives is the home of the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. Also on display is a 1297 Magna Carta. Currently, time-entry reservations are required due to the pandemic. You can reserve your spot here.
The National Archives is the "nation's record keeper." Approximately 1%-3% of all of the documents, recordings, and the like of the US Government are kept and preserved by the National Archives. The crazy thing is that while 1-3% seems small, that still is over 13 billion pages of documents, 44 million photographs, 1,323 terabytes of electronic data, and so much more.
President Herbert Hoover laid the cornerstone for the National Archives in 1931, a relatively recent date, considering the nation had already been produced historic documents for over a 150 years. This interesting tour is brief but worth a stop while in Washington DC. After all, it's not every day that you get to see the actual US Constitution.
Movies. As we brought our trip to a close, we decided to relax and go see a movie at one of DC's IMAX theatres. Sometimes it's nice to sit back, enjoy a movie, and a big bag of popcorn.