Sorry I haven't been able to post as frequently as before, things have been a little hectic. However I did want to tell you about one of my favorite things I've done here in DC and it is definitely a must for everyone who comes here, the monuments at night tour.
|Washington Monument at Sunset|
I did my tour with Bike and Roll which does bike and segway tours as well as bike rentals in DC and other big cities around the country. I did my tour with them mainly because I like to bike but there are also other companies that do monument tours and other DC sites if that is what you prefer. Or you may not even want to pay for a tour if you just want to see and take pictures of the monuments and if that is the case you can just walk (or bike) around on your own.
Personally, I am a trivia and history junky so I (usually) like guided tours to learn interesting facts, some of which I will share with you on my blog and, although there are lots of people at the monuments and security, I thought it would be safer to go with a group of people. However, you may think this is a waste of money for something you can find on wikipedia and I would still encourage you to at least see all the monuments at night sans the tour group.
|Lincoln Memorial and the WWII Memorial at Sunset|
If you are worried about the bike ride being too long, especially if you do not bike frequently, I would not worry about it too much. They have arranged the tour in a very "rider friendly" way. You bike to each of the sites, stop and listen to the tour guide give facts and other info about the monument, take pictures for a few minutes, and then finally ride to the next site. It is also a very easy riding pace.
A few tips for your tour:
1. When booking ask for a discount. Most tour companies give a $5-$10 discount if you say you saw their brochure or their ad in the DC visitor's guide, both of which are available at hotels. Even if you aren't staying at a local hotel you can go in and browse their brochures. Also, if it is a bike tour you can get a discount for bringing your own bike. Unfortunately they would not let me use both the bike discount and the visitor's guide discount.
|Me and my bike at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial|
2. Make sure your camera battery is charged. I thought that mine was charged from the weekend before but my camera, even if turned off, loses charge when it isn't being used. I did get some shots on it but not as many as I would have liked. Thankfully, iPhone cameras aren't half bad. Not great, but not bad either.
|One of the last photos I took before my camera completely died|
3. Check your tour time and how long the tour is and if necessary make sure you eat dinner before hand. My tour was about three hours and because I am typically a late dinner eater and therefore did not eat dinner beforehand my stomach was growling so loudly by the time we got to Thomas Jefferson that even he felt bad for me.
Below is a map of the sites we visited (the map is from google images and then I edited it with the Skitch app for iPad/iPhone which is really awesome!).
We started at Bike and Roll at the Old Post Office Pavilion right by the Federal Triangle Metro station. From there we biked on the National Mall to the following:
1. The Washington Monument
2. The White House
4. Vietnam Memorial (the wall and the names on the wall are kind of hard to photo at night/didn't show up at all)
6. Korean War Memorial
7. Martin Luther King, JR Memorial
8. Franklin Roosevelt Memorial
9. Thomas Jefferson Memorial
After this we rode back to Bike and Roll via the Mall and saw the Capitol Building.
Here are some more of my favorite photos from the night. I plan on writing more later about each of the monuments but that's all for now!
|WWII Memorial and Washington Monument|
|Korean War Memorial|