Cherry Blossom Weekend: Touring DC

As I mentioned in my recap of the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run, the actual race may have taken a bit of a backseat to all of the touring plans I had for my weekend in DC!

When I was last in DC for the Marine Corps Marathon in October I didn’t really do much since I was concerned about not tiring out my legs for the race.  Well, I’m pretty sure I more than made up for it with everything I got to see and do on this trip!  (Although my legs were not happy about having to run 10 miles on top of it all…)

There are so many great races down in the DC area, so I wanted to quickly share some of the things we did in case any of you should ever find yourself planning a trip to Washington and looking for some things to do!

After Daniel and I checked into our hotel Friday afternoon we headed right down to the National Museum of American History.  We only had about two and a half hours until it closed so we made our way through most of the exhibits fairly quickly, but definitely got to see quite a lot!

Museum of American History

Saturday morning I headed to a yoga class being held on the National Mall while Dan and Pat went to the zoo.

I love doing yoga outdoors and always jump at the chance to attend classes being held in unique places (like the class I went to in Times Square last year!).  I was also excited because I was planning on meeting up with a few fellow runner/ blogger friends at yoga!

It was a gorgeous day and such an amazing place to be practicing!

Yoga on the Mall Collage

Top Right: Me, Bottom Right: Nicole

After the class Nicole and I found Cyanne, Christine and her friend Jamie.

Bloggers at Yoga

Left to Right: Christine, Nicole, Me, Cyanne & Jamie

We grabbed a quick bite to eat and then I headed to The Capitol to meet Dan & Pat for our scheduled tour of The Capitol.  (*Tours of The Capitol need to be scheduled in advance, you can learn more about how to scheduled a tour HERE.)

The Capitol

After the tour we stopped back at the room to shower and then had an amazing dinner at a restaurant called Founding Farmers (can’t recommend it enough!) before our next tour – a walk through the night of Lincoln’s Assassination!

This tour was through a company called Free Tours by Foot and basically how it works is all of the tour guides work for tips and you are encouraged to tip what you felt the tour was worth!

Our guide’s name was Chris and honestly he was fabulous!  From the moment he began talking until the moment President Lincoln was pronounced dead at the house across the street from Ford’s Theatre I was completely captivated.  Chris was part storyteller and part historian and had no problem holding the attention of the group as we walked through DC following in the footsteps of Lincoln’s last night.  If you ever have a night in Washington and are looking for something interesting to do I highly recommend this tour!
Lincoln Assassination Tour

Sunday after the race Dan, Pat and I had brunch and then headed to meet our guides for a 3 hour DC Bike Tour.  We also scheduled this tour through Free Tours by Foot (although I guess in this case it was by bike…) and were lucky enough to basically have a private tour since we were the only 3 signed up!

DC by Bike

We spent almost three and a half hours biking around DC and getting to see and learn about all the monuments, I have to say I absolutely loved it and think biking around Washington is a great way to see the city!

Bike Tour Collage

Top left to right: The Capitol, The White House & MLK Jr. Memorial

Middle left to right: FDR Memorial, cherry blossoms, Jefferson Memorial 

Bottom left to right: Korean War Memorial, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial 

Unfortunately after our bike tour it was time to pack up and get on the road to head home.  I’d have to say for being in DC for just over 48 hours we really did get to see and do a lot!  (And I have to give Dan and Pat credit for putting up with my commando touring plans!)

Do you plan before you go on a trip or just wing it?

Any tips to balancing sightseeing & rest on a race trip?

**P.S. – I’m more than happy to answer any questions about our plans and the tours we did if you have any!**


21 thoughts on “Cherry Blossom Weekend: Touring DC

  1. Your trip looks amazing and like so much fun! I actually really enjoy DC but have only been there a couple of times and its been YEARS. Doug never wants to go because he goes every year with his school. I’m so jealous! And the bike tour looks amazing! I love all things with a bicycle (I rode a bike down a volcano in Maui…AWESOME!).

    And I am such a planner with my trips! I plan almost everything. I think it’s mostly because I just get so excited about the trip itself that I just can’t help it! I even plan when we’re going to “wing” something. I have issues.

  2. I’m bummed since I didn’t get to do much the last time I was in DC. I’d love a full day in the American History museum. I know a whole lot more now than when I was last in the museum (early elementary school I think).

    Going commando touring is sometimes the best way to do it. My mom’s motto is “you can sleep any time”.

  3. Looks like you had a great time! I love DC too! As for me, I always book a few days after the race for my sightseeing. I’ve made the mistake twice (once at Disney, once at New Orleans) of sightseeing before the race. Big mistake! My legs were already tired from all the walking.

    • Yeah, I usually try to do my touring after the race too, but with the race on Sunday and everyone having to get back to work/ school/ real life we weren’t able to this trip : ( Fortunately it was a 10 mile run and not a half or full! (P.S. we agreed our next race trip should be New Orleans!)

      • Awwww yeah! Let me know which New Orleans race you’re looking at. I saw there’s a half marathon in the fall. I’m always looking for excuses to go back to that city!!!

  4. This is AWESOME! I love that you were able to get in some yoga at the National Mall — that must have been amazing. I felt like we hardly got to see anything when we were in DC for the RnR full — just the American History museum alone took an entire afternoon! And, of course, we were definitely trying to save at least a little bit of energy for the marathon, haha. We’ve already decided that we’re going back sooner rather than later to do some more sightseeing, and I had no idea you could arrange for bike tours — what an awesome idea! I am TOTALLY doing that next time. Thanks for the great tips, I will definitely be using them for our next visit! 🙂

    • Yes, we had SUCH a great time! If you do end up planning a trip let me know, I have a few suggestions regarding the bike tour, but the Lincoln Assassination tour was really awesome, I’d try to fit that in too if you can!

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  6. You guys did a ton!!! I’ve only been to DC once but I really want to go back. I used to be an uber-planner and have everything scheduled out but now I am more of a loose planner – I still like things planned but I usually try to have one or two “must do” things per day and play the rest by ear.

    • Yeah, I’m usually not super commando tourist either, but there is SO much to see in DC and we only had the 2 days so I really wanted to get in as much as we could. If we had more time I probably I probably would have been more relaxed about it.

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