Washington DC Big Short Break
Spend six days getting under the skin of the city that is the beating heart of American politics. Walk along the National Mall and marvel at the memorials, delve into centuries of political intrigue and enjoy some of the best art in America.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Visit the key sites with a journalist or historian
- Enjoy a world-class opera or concert at the Kennedy Centre
- Dig into the history of the Space Race at the National Air And Space Museum, part of the Smithsonian family
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When To Travel
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Day 1: International Flight
Head to the airport in London this morning or early afternoon for the eight-and-a-half-hour flight, which will land in the US capital this afternoon or evening.
Once you have cleared customs and collected your luggage, you will be met by one of our team on the ground for a private transfer to your hotel, just a stone's throw from the action on Capitol Hill and in the White House. For dinner tonight, we have booked you a table at Hank's Oyster Bar for some boisterous New England cooking - make sure you try the crab cakes.
Day 2: America’s Front Yard
After breakfast this morning, you can stretch your legs - the best way we know to shake off lingering jetlag - on a walking tour of the capital city of the world's last remaining superpower. Your historian or journalist guide will take you along the two miles of the National Mall, taking in the Jefferson, Lincoln and Washington Memorials, as well as the White House and Capitol building, and explaining the 200-plus years of political intrigue that have swirled around the city.
After lunch, it's time to explore some of the jewels in the crown of the Smithsonian Institute, which has 17 museums and galleries (and a zoo) in DC, making this technically the world's largest museum. First stop, a privately-guided tour of the Air and Space Museum; afterwards, take in a couple more museums according to taste. For a bit of espionage and intrigue, why not try the (non-Smithsonian) International Spy Museum?
Day 3: Get Out of Town
This morning you will pick up a hire car for the day and head out of the city, making for the Blue Ridge Mountains. About an hour-and-a-half outside the city you will find the Shenandoah National Park, where you can hike to some beautiful vistas, waterfalls and lakes.
After a day spent breathing in fresh mountain air you will make your way back to the city in time for dinner and drinks. Our detailed destination Dossier is full of our favourite places to eat and drink, and our local Concierge can also recommend and book somewhere.
Day 4: Art Attack
This morning you will get back to pounding the streets of DC, as you take in more of the city. You will make your way back to the Smithsonian for a privately guided tour of the Museum of American Art and National Portrait Gallery, where you can look at America's history through the prism of the country's art. From here, you will move on to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, whose eclectic collection you can explore independently.
For your final evening in DC head to the Kennedy Centre, where every evening there is a different (and free) performance, from a poetry slam to a concerto by the National Symphony Orchestra. Afterwards, make your way to The Riggsby for a true DC treat dinner and watch America's political movers and shakers as they schmooze and scheme.
Day 5: Leave for Home
The bad news is that this is your last day in DC. The good news is that your flight isn't until this evening so you have a full morning and more to explore anything you've missed to date. Come late afternoon you will be privately transferred to the airport for your overnight flight back to the UK, which takes seven hours.
- Morning kayaking trip on the Potomac River.
Day 6: Land Home
Your flight lands in London early this morning.
Will, George, Abigail and Kate B are our experts for this itinerary and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.