Road Trip Series, Part 1: Washington DC (Day)

A road trip across the US, from New York to Los Angeles, can be completed in as little as 3 days, or at a more snail like pace if time is on your side. I opted for somewhere in between and devised a plan that spanned 10 days of driving and sightseeing. In hindsight, this resembled the European-city-sampler cruise ship itinerary my husband and I experienced last year. Trust me – you cannot see Rome in a day. Same goes for Washington DC, Charleston, New Orleans…

Nevertheless, a cross country trip is a journey I would recommend to you, readers, despite its inherent double edged sword. The cities leave a lasting impression – they inspire you long after you’ve left, but you will yearn to return and explore them some more.

I’m so grateful for what I’ve seen, and would like to share some thoughts, scenes, and experiences with you. I hope you’ll enjoy.

On the road

On the road


Cloaked in vibrant autumnal colours underneath an overcast sky, the moodiness and architectural beauty imparted by the US capital on this particular day felt very Parisian;  it looked as if Washington DC had fashioned itself on the City of Light. Walking through the grounds of its vast Mall, lined on either side with elms shaded yellow by the season, I was reminded of the Place de la Concorde but without the car traffic. Here, in place of Paris’ Obelisk, the Washington Monument dominates the landscape.

DSC_0998PSThese grounds served the military during the Civil War. Today, The Mall is anchored by the Lincoln Memorial at one end, and The Capitol Building at the other. The Smithsonian museums, galleries, and memorials – along with tourists – are scattered in between.

The images below focus on the Western end The Mall, where we spent a number of hours at: The Lincoln Memorial, The Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

TRAVEL TIP: To save money, stay outside of DC and avoid high hotel and parking costs. We stayed in Arlington, Virginia – I scored a great deal at the Hyatt through Priceline.

It took about 20 minutes to get to the heart of The Mall via subway, including waiting time. The method of buying a Metro ticket seemed nonsensical to us at first, so ask for help to save those precious few minutes if you’re in a rush.


World War II Memorial

From WWII Memorial, looking to Lincoln Memorial

From WWII Memorial, looking to Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial


Looking towards the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Looking towards the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Names inscribed on the wall at Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Names inscribed on the wall at Vietnam Veterans Memorial


Inside the US Holocaust Memorial Museum


US Holocaust Memorial Museum

US Holocaust Memorial Museum



38 thoughts on “Road Trip Series, Part 1: Washington DC (Day)

    • I know – it took us a long time to get there but we made it to DC for a day and night. I’ll post more words and photos from Georgetown soon! What a great experience to have lived there! Thanks Steph!

    • That’s such a compliment, especially since you’re a former resident – thank you Alicia. I can’t wait to return to DC to explore and uncover more of it. I have some more images coming in a post to follow 🙂

  1. Marina, I have so much to catch up on with your road trip series! (We’ve been busy unpacking these past weeks, in Germany.) Love your black & white imagery (especially the Lincoln Memorial shot), and look forward to sharing in more of your adventures soon.

    • Tricia! How are you? You must be happy to be back at your home base, in Germany. Thank you so much for taking a look at the post – I thought the black and white suited this image and I am glad you agree! Keep me posted on your plans and how you’re doing!

    • Thank you! Next April would be Cherry Blossom season? Not a bad time to go I am sure 🙂 Thanks for the well wishes – I love LA and am really happy to wake up every morning on this beautiful West Coast.

  2. Road trips are indeed a great way to see the world. Yes, you lose some in being on the move all the time, but on the other hand you gain some different and profound experiences. I have always loved road trips. Just moving on without necessarily any itinerary. Those pictures from Washington DC are all great, with good colours and catching composition.

    • Thanks Otto – I always feel that it is better to see a little, than nothing at all. It’s all a matter of perspective. I appreciate your words about the photos – I hope these photos tell a kind of story.

    • The timing was beautiful – the trees really brightened up the landscape. The sunset photo was taken between SC and FL – and it looked just like that. Straight off the camera! I was in awe. Thanks so much!

  3. Great photos, Marina! I believe we also stayed in Arlington on one our trips as well.
    Sorry I have not visited your lovely blog for a while. Thanks for your patience as I will still be a less frequent blogger for a bit.

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