One of the best parts of visiting DC is that you get to visit all of the Smithsonian museums and the zoo for FREE. They’re open everyday (except for Christmas). With 17 museums to choose from, you’ll have plenty to see. Unfortunately since we were there for just the weekend, we only got the chance to check out three of these:
National Air and Space Museum – this was more air than space. Don’t expect a lot of airplane/space shuttle replicas. Do expect a lot of history lessons.
National Museum of Natural History – not as big or expansive as NYC’s Museum of Natural History, but the crowds are comparable, especially for this museum’s size. Still worth a look, though.
National Zoological Park – home to 1,800 animals of 300 species, one of them being the giant panda, here you’ll find Bei Bei, the baby panda who was born on 8/22/15. But good luck catching a glimpse because that’s one of the areas you’ll find the majority of the crowds. Tip – if you plan to drive, get there early if you want a parking spot; their lot fills up pretty quickly.
Chinatown – this may not be a museum but it’s another thing you can explore for free in DC. I’m not sure how it was back in the day but today, it seems a bit ghetto – at least at night time. You’ll see a few shady-looking people so just keep an eye out. Other than that, you can grab a bite but definitely do your research beforehand. A lot of the Chinese restaurants seem like tourist traps. Luckily, I got to try one place, China Boy, which was pretty good. Though not as good as NYC.