Washington D.C., at the heart of a political and cultural America

Trip description

The American capital is an essential destination for those interested in art, especially American art. Many high-level museums are gathered on these streets, such as the National Museum of Women in the Arts or the Phillips Collection. It is a very cultural week that awaits you.

Day 1 : Trolley and National Mall

Start by getting to know the city by getting in a trolley. They regularly go next to the South Station (subway of the same name, red line), tickets are purchased at 50 Massachusetts Avenue. On bord this old-fashioned bus, you will discover the different neighborhoods in Washington. In the afternoon, stroll along the National Mall, the place most frequented by all those who come to Washington for the first time. Then, go to the new major information centre at the Capitol, to take brochures, maps, etc. Jazz lovers will surely find the Blues Alley very pleasant to spend the evening. Otherwise, dine at Adams Morgan (at 2 Amys for example) and have a drink at Madam's Organ (this neighborhood is liveliest on weekends)!

Day 2 : Memorials and National Gallery of Art

There are so many museums in Washington (and almost all free) that you need to target those who are interested before you start the visits. To begin with a breath of fresh air, you are advised to spend the morning at the Mall, to discover the many war memorials of the last century and those in homage to the presidents, such as Jefferson and Lincoln (this is the same, there are many, so select a few beforehand). Then, before you attack the National Gallery of Art, have lunch in the cafeteria (there are no good restaurants around the Mall). The West Building is longer than the East, but the two are worth seeing, so it's up to you to judge.

Day 3 : Georgetown

The Europeans who went to Washington often evoke the name of this pleasant neighbourhood. Here are the main places to see during the day: Georgetown University, the Old Stone House (in M Street), the fabulous Dumbarton Oaks gardens (and the small Pre-Columbian art museum), the clothing shops on Wisconsin Avenue and M Street, or the antique shops of Wisconsin Avenue. In the evening, dine at Bistro Français and have a drink at Blue Ridge.

Day 4 : National Museum of the American Indian

The National Museum of the American Indian is one of the must-visit museums in the city. It highlights the art and current life of American Indians who live mostly on reserves. It is generally well done and didactic, but politically correct... (there is never any question of their extermination by European settlers). You may think that this is a form of recognition by the US Government of past acts. In the afternoon, we recommend the International Spy Museum or the Museum of Air and Space.

Day 5 : Washington National Cathedral and U Street

Start the day by visiting the cathedral of Washington, the sixth largest in the world. Admission is free. For lunch, the pizzeria 2 Amys is strongly advised. The location is full of premises and the pizzas are delicious. In the afternoon, you are invited to discover U Street, a black American area uergoing rehabilitation (jazz bars, restaurants...). The African American Civil War Museum, located in the True Reformer Building (Duke Ellington and a piano are painted at the top of the building), traces the history of the black community during the American civil war, with photos, archival documents and paintings. Almost in front of this building, Ben's Chili Bowl (one of Bill Cosby's favourite fast foods), whose storefront bore the inscription "Soul Brother" during the segregation, remains an institution of the neighbourhood to be discovered. Next to the Lincoln Theater is the completely restored Lincoln Theater. At the corner of U Street and the 12th Street, the famous Bohemian Caverns, which can be seen on the saxophone at the entrance. Turn right onto 12th Street and U Street, and discover the houses built between 1890 and 1920. Almost at the end of the street, on the right sidewalk, stop for a moment in front of the building on the door of which you can read: "Thursood Marshall Center for Service and Heritage". This building is a former YMCA (Young Mens Christian Association) or a sports centre for the people in the neighbourhood. At the end of the street, turn right onto S Street. On the left sidewalk, Garrison Elementary School bears the name of one of the most important figures in the history of abolitionism in the United States. Before turning right onto 13th Street, admire the French style houses Second Empire located on the left sidewalk after the crossing of S Street and 13th Street. On 13th Street, at number 1805, there is the residence where Duke Ellington (Edward Kennedy Ellington of his real name) lived before leaving for New York. A little further, at number 1829, the Whitelaw building was a hotel, opened in 1919, where many black personalities passing through Washington were located. The hotel has been converted into a building for low-income families. Turn right onto T Street and 13th Street, then turn left onto Vermont street. You will come across the African-American Civil War Memorial with, beside the monument, the names of all soldiers who fought during this war. For dinner, we recommend Ben's Chili Bowl, an institution in Washington since 1958, and a jazz club then, Utopia or Bohemian Caverns. Finally, those who want to listen to a concert can watch the programming of 9:30 Club.

Day 6 : Phillips Collection and Dupont Circle neighbourhood

This very famous museum houses the first private collection of modern art in the United States. Spend the morning strolling through the renovated house of its former owner, the collector Duncan Phillips. Over several floors, you will discover the paintings of the permanent collection (the Degas are superb). Also take a look at the temporary exhibitions, if you feel like it. Then, have lunch at Dupont Circle and go to the Kramerbooks & Afterwords bookstore, open 24 hours a day on certain days of the week. If you want to see some embassies, take Massachusetts Avenue at Scott Circle level and walk north of the city. Or take any bus N (Westound) to Dupont Circle, which will make you discover the "Embassy Row" (where the embassies of Turkey, Brazil, Netherlands, Vatican... are aligned). In the evening, have a drink at the Bravo! Bravo! or at Brickseller.

Day 7 : White House and National Museum of Women in the Arts

Before visiting the White House (from afar, since visits are no longer permitted, unless you are boosted), go to White House Visitor's Center to get brochures describing the various parts of the presidential residence. After getting through security (as at the airport), you can see a permanent exhibition on life in the White House, the American presidents, their wives and their children, with texts and photos in support. Finally, do not leave the city before visiting the National Museum of Women in the Arts, one of the most curious museums in Washington devoted to women painters from the 16th century to the present day. A great tribute!

© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette

United States, United States - East Coast Vacation ideas

Weekend at the heart of American political institutions

United States

There are many monuments related to politics, and for good reason... D.C. was created for this purpose. So, you will have a great deal of work to do by specializing on this topic. To see in particular, among other things, war memorials, the Capitole or the White House. The most curious will go to the Pentagon, in Arlington, to know everything (or almost) about American state secrets... 

Washington Museums, an ode to culture

United States

The least we can say is that the city is full of museums, most of them free of cost. Decide beforehand to choose the most interesting, because you don't have time to see all of them, unless you spend one month there. The famous Smithsonian Institution has 19 museums, including the American Art Museum, which has the largest American art collection in the World. Not to be missed!

Excursion to Maryland from Washington D.C.

United States

After three days of discovery of the American capital, head north of the city, to reach Baltimore and Chesapeake Bay. You will have a good overview of the emblematic sites of the {1}D.C{/1} surrounding area, while enjoying an incursion into the beautiful Chesapeake nature, nestled in the heart of a highly urbanised region.

Washington and the emblematic sites of Virginia and Maryland

United States

In two weeks, you will have time to discover the highlights of the American capital before joining the cities of Virginia, notably Bethesda and Richmond. At the end of the journey, pay a short visit of Maryland to discover the marine Baltimore and the cakes crab of Chesapeake bay.

From the colonial period to the struggle for independence

United States

The Washington region is one of the cradles in the United States. This was the place of the first permanent colony in America (Jamestown) and inhabited by great actor struggle for independence such as George Washington, Patrick Henry or Thomas Jefferson.

On the tracks of the Civil War

United States

The Washington D.C region has many testimonies of this troubled period of the US history. With Washington D.C. as the capital of Unionists and Richmond for the Confederates, you sail in the heart of the Civil War. From Lincoln Memorial in D.C. to the Museum and White House of the Confederacy in Richmond, this foundation period of the country can be discovered and rediscovered.

International Drive, at the heart of American entertainment

United States, United States - Florida

International Drive or I-Drive is Orlando's main avenue. It serves a wide range of attractions, restaurants and shops in the city. Spend a great weekend on I-Drive is the assurance of living with 100% American show! On the program: Universal Studios, Sea World and Orlando Premium Outlet.

Las Vegas and the major parks

United States, United States - West Coast

It's a pretty intense journey, but it's a great way to see the must-visits in Las Vegas, its surrounding areas and neighbouring great parks. Two full days and four nights are planned in Las Vegas. Count between 1 500 and 1 800 km of road to travel, from Las Vegas to the Death Valley, through Valley of Fire, Zion NP, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon and Red Rock Canyon. It is better to prefer the offseason for this stay, it is very hot in this area in the summer and the ballades may be compromised.

From Orlando to Miami, a concentrate in Florida

United States, United States - Florida

This is an intense stay, allowing you to discover all the facets of Florida. Besides the exciting Miami and Orlando, you will discover the Everglades, Keys, as well as some amusement parks and the Kennedy Space Centre. What is needed to make you want to come back and go further into the question! 

From Las Vegas to the Death Valley, passing through Monument Valley

United States, United States - West Coast

If you have 15 days and enjoy driving, so do not hesitate and go to the east of Las Vegas, beyond Bryce Canyon, towards Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument. Attention: you will have to get up very early every day and drive a lot to see everything! If the pace seems too fast, lift the foot and remove a few steps to further savour the place where you are. You will surely come back to visit this beautiful part of the West! From the 1st to the 15th day, 2 700 to 3 000 km to travel, without the detours due to visits. Summer is a season to be banned for this stay, because it is really too hot to hike in the parks.

From Miami to Fort Lauderdale, via the Keys

United States, United States - Florida

This two-week stay allows pursue the discovery till Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, in addition to the visits of Miami, Everglades and Keys. On the programme: architecture and seaside relaxation. All of that occurs under a bright blue sky. Here you are in the heart of the Floridian dream!

Texas, between cowboy tradition and alternative spirit

United States, United States - West Coast

In ten days, you will have the opportunity to discover several facets of this great state, from the first-rank museums in Houston to the ranches of Fort Worth, passing through the very trendy Austin. The stay is varied and rich in surprises. Note that it is better to avoid visiting the state in summer because temperatures easily reach 40°C during the day. Howdy Texas!

Route 66, Grand Canyon and Las Vegas

United States, United States - West Coast

This course is an extension of the Route 66 with 2 additional days dedicated to the visit of the Grand Canyon (south shore) and Las Vegas. An entire day is planned to visit Chicago, and two more days are reserved to discover Los Angeles and its region (Pasadena, Santa Monica and Downtown Los Angeles).

The Route 66 from New Mexico to California

United States

If you hesitate to travel the entire Route 66, remember that there are airports at different points of your trip. To get the most of your journey, it is advisable to focus on the western part of the itinerary. Albuquerque which has an international airport and many car and motorbike rentals, is a good starting point.

The "classic" Road 66

United States

Here is a golf course exclusively dedicated to the Road 66, where a complete first day was planned to visit Chicago and the two other days are dedicated to discovering Los Angeles and its (Pasadena, Santa Monica and Downtown Los Angeles) region. Rent a car at the departure of Chicago.

International Drive, at the heart of American entertainment

United States, United States - Florida

International Drive or I-Drive is Orlando's main avenue. It serves a wide range of attractions, restaurants and shops in the city. Spend a great weekend on I-Drive is the assurance of living with 100% American show! On the program: Universal Studios, Sea World and Orlando Premium Outlet.

Las Vegas, between casinos and amusement parks

United States

Surrounded by desert, Las Vegas is undoubtedly one of the greatest cities in the United States. In a week, you will have to make choices because there are many attractions. A good physical shape will be required to alternate daytime visits and evening outings. Here are some ways to take full advantage of this intense stay. Avoid summer to discover the city, the heat is almost unbearable.

Las Vegas and the major parks

United States, United States - West Coast

It's a pretty intense journey, but it's a great way to see the must-visits in Las Vegas, its surrounding areas and neighbouring great parks. Two full days and four nights are planned in Las Vegas. Count between 1 500 and 1 800 km of road to travel, from Las Vegas to the Death Valley, through Valley of Fire, Zion NP, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon and Red Rock Canyon. It is better to prefer the offseason for this stay, it is very hot in this area in the summer and the ballades may be compromised.

Route 66, Grand Canyon and Las Vegas

United States, United States - West Coast

This course is an extension of the Route 66 with 2 additional days dedicated to the visit of the Grand Canyon (south shore) and Las Vegas. An entire day is planned to visit Chicago, and two more days are reserved to discover Los Angeles and its region (Pasadena, Santa Monica and Downtown Los Angeles).

The Route 66 from New Mexico to California

United States

If you hesitate to travel the entire Route 66, remember that there are airports at different points of your trip. To get the most of your journey, it is advisable to focus on the western part of the itinerary. Albuquerque which has an international airport and many car and motorbike rentals, is a good starting point.

The "classic" Road 66

United States

Here is a golf course exclusively dedicated to the Road 66, where a complete first day was planned to visit Chicago and the two other days are dedicated to discovering Los Angeles and its (Pasadena, Santa Monica and Downtown Los Angeles) region. Rent a car at the departure of Chicago.

International Drive, at the heart of American entertainment

United States, United States - Florida

International Drive or I-Drive is Orlando's main avenue. It serves a wide range of attractions, restaurants and shops in the city. Spend a great weekend on I-Drive is the assurance of living with 100% American show! On the program: Universal Studios, Sea World and Orlando Premium Outlet.

Las Vegas, between casinos and amusement parks

United States

Surrounded by desert, Las Vegas is undoubtedly one of the greatest cities in the United States. In a week, you will have to make choices because there are many attractions. A good physical shape will be required to alternate daytime visits and evening outings. Here are some ways to take full advantage of this intense stay. Avoid summer to discover the city, the heat is almost unbearable.

Las Vegas and the major parks

United States, United States - West Coast

It's a pretty intense journey, but it's a great way to see the must-visits in Las Vegas, its surrounding areas and neighbouring great parks. Two full days and four nights are planned in Las Vegas. Count between 1 500 and 1 800 km of road to travel, from Las Vegas to the Death Valley, through Valley of Fire, Zion NP, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon and Red Rock Canyon. It is better to prefer the offseason for this stay, it is very hot in this area in the summer and the ballades may be compromised.

Weekend at the heart of American political institutions

United States

There are many monuments related to politics, and for good reason... D.C. was created for this purpose. So, you will have a great deal of work to do by specializing on this topic. To see in particular, among other things, war memorials, the Capitole or the White House. The most curious will go to the Pentagon, in Arlington, to know everything (or almost) about American state secrets... 

Washington Museums, an ode to culture

United States

The least we can say is that the city is full of museums, most of them free of cost. Decide beforehand to choose the most interesting, because you don't have time to see all of them, unless you spend one month there. The famous Smithsonian Institution has 19 museums, including the American Art Museum, which has the largest American art collection in the World. Not to be missed!

Excursion to Maryland from Washington D.C.

United States

After three days of discovery of the American capital, head north of the city, to reach Baltimore and Chesapeake Bay. You will have a good overview of the emblematic sites of the {1}D.C{/1} surrounding area, while enjoying an incursion into the beautiful Chesapeake nature, nestled in the heart of a highly urbanised region.

Washington and the emblematic sites of Virginia and Maryland

United States

In two weeks, you will have time to discover the highlights of the American capital before joining the cities of Virginia, notably Bethesda and Richmond. At the end of the journey, pay a short visit of Maryland to discover the marine Baltimore and the cakes crab of Chesapeake bay.

From the colonial period to the struggle for independence

United States

The Washington region is one of the cradles in the United States. This was the place of the first permanent colony in America (Jamestown) and inhabited by great actor struggle for independence such as George Washington, Patrick Henry or Thomas Jefferson.

On the tracks of the Civil War

United States

The Washington D.C region has many testimonies of this troubled period of the US history. With Washington D.C. as the capital of Unionists and Richmond for the Confederates, you sail in the heart of the Civil War. From Lincoln Memorial in D.C. to the Museum and White House of the Confederacy in Richmond, this foundation period of the country can be discovered and rediscovered.

Excursion to Maryland from Washington D.C.

United States

After three days of discovery of the American capital, head north of the city, to reach Baltimore and Chesapeake Bay. You will have a good overview of the emblematic sites of the {1}D.C{/1} surrounding area, while enjoying an incursion into the beautiful Chesapeake nature, nestled in the heart of a highly urbanised region.

Washington and the emblematic sites of Virginia and Maryland

United States

In two weeks, you will have time to discover the highlights of the American capital before joining the cities of Virginia, notably Bethesda and Richmond. At the end of the journey, pay a short visit of Maryland to discover the marine Baltimore and the cakes crab of Chesapeake bay.

The must-sees of Seattle

United States

With its contemporary appearance, its marine charm and its cultural effervescence, Seattle deserves that you stay there for several days. From the Space Needle to the Pike Place Market, explore its large streets and meet its emblematic sites. Don't miss its alternative neighbourhoods, which characterize all the inventiveness and Seattleites, and book a day to discover the lord of the places, Mount Rainier.

Family stay, between attractions and hikes

United States

Do you have children and want them to discover Las Vegas, its surroundings and some great parks? This journey is for you... and for them. Four full days and 5 to 6 nights are planned in Las Vegas. Take 1 000 km of road. Avoid summer to discover this region, the heat can be unbearable in the parks.

Orlando Amusement Parks and Kennedy Space Center

United States, United States - Florida

This week highlights American talent for entertainment. From Orlando, you will discover the world's largest amusement parks, including Universal Studios, MGM, Sea World and Island of Adventure. Don't miss the detour by Cape Canaveral to discover the Kennedy Space Center.

Under the Florida sun, one month on the roads

United States, United States - Florida

This is a trip which will surely make you live a complete change of scenery. In a month, you will have time to relax while enjoying the many attractions Sunshine State you can enjoy. Sparkling Miami, fascinating Universal Studios, heavenly Everglades, Keys, qualifiers abound!

A getaway in the Wine Country

United States

Coming from afar and not to discovering the Wine Country would simply be an unforgivable sin. So head to Napa and Sonoma Valleys! On the programme: relaxation, visits, spa and... wine, of course!

Under the Florida sun, one month on the roads

United States, United States - Florida

This is a trip which will surely make you live a complete change of scenery. In a month, you will have time to relax while enjoying the many attractions Sunshine State you can enjoy. Sparkling Miami, fascinating Universal Studios, heavenly Everglades, Keys, qualifiers abound!

Dream beach of Florida's west coast

United States, United States - Florida

Florida is the ideal seaside destination. With its blue sky and its ubiquitous sun, Sunshine State deserves its reputation. Those who love beach and nautical activities will be satisfied. The week will be spent from Miami to St Petersburg, via Naples, Fort Myers, Sarasota and Anna Maria Island.

Miami, between exoticism and modernity

United States, United States - Florida

The largest city in Florida has a recognizable identity. On the one hand, we discover an endless seafront, dotted with palm trees and bordered by buildings with very contemporary architecture. On the other hand, we enjoy the Cuban soul of the city, by visiting Little Havana and Calle Ocho. Miami is full of surprises and a week allows you to enjoy it.

Miami, Everglades and Keys, a condensed of Florida

United States, United States - Florida

This trip should enable you to fully enjoy the southern Florida. You can also do it for two weeks because the range of possibilities at each stage is really wide and you may also want to relax.

Natural splendors of Miami and its surroundings

United States, United States - Florida

Hovercraft in the Everglades, diving along Key West reefs, walking in the Coral Gables Gardens, or simply relaxing on the beaches of South Beach and Key Biscayne, Miami and its region have great surprises for nature lovers. On the program: postcard landscapes and fascinating wetlands.