The other day, I was hanging out with my high school friends Haley and Violet. When, Haley stated “let’s all go into DC one of these days and play tourist!” Well, on my Instagram (follow me @_thepinkchickadee!), then you probably already know that I live in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. Well, just a week before Haley and Violet and I hung out, my best friend Amanda who lives in New Jersey came to town and we did just that: play tourist in my own city!

Life can get crazy and make us want to simply just rest close to home, but sometimes a breath of fresh air can make it all worth it. Especially when that breath of fresh air is close to home, we can really truly feel refreshed. Ever since I moved to the Washington, DC area right after graduating from college in North Carolina, I have loved being able to have a plethora of new, exciting, and fun things to do in my own backyard. As compared to North Carolina, Washington, DC has several more things to do on the weekends and every weekend at that, as compared to once in a blue moon back in North Carolina. Living here in the Washington, DC as a whole has been a breath of fresh air for me! I have friends from North Carolina, New Jersey, and beyond visiting me from time to time. And, each time a new friend comes, we usually go visit the typical touristy areas of Washington, DC, which ALWAYS gives me new light and more and more love for the city that I live in.

Each and every single time I come to the Washington, DC area and play tourist, I start at The National Mall. The National Mall is home to the Smithsonian Museums and gardens, including the Smithsonian Castle, Smithsonian Gardens, the National Gallery of Art, the National Archives, the Museum of Natural History, the Air and Space Museum, and many many many more. At the same time, the National Mall has lines of fields perfect for picnics and admiring the United States Capitol (with the Supreme Court Building and Library of Congress behind it) on one side and the National Monument (with the Lincoln Memorial, World War 11 Memorial, and Korean War Memorial behind it) on the other. Food trucks also line the National Mall with a plethora of types of cuisines to choose from, whether it be your typical hot dogs and soft pretzels, to ice cream, Boba tea, and even Mexican, Mediterranean, and Asian delights. So, that being said, it is EASY to spend a full day including lunch and dinner on the National Mall. And, I usually do to some extent when friends come to town!!

And, perhaps, when you play tourist in your own city, you’ll find something new to you, too! Every time I play tourist in Washington, DC, I see it all again from a new perspective. Whether with a fellow Washingtonian or not, I always strive to keep a bright, open-minded mindset, as I see the same exact sights for the 100th+ time (luckily for me, it doesn’t get old, though!!!). For example, when Amanda was in town a few weeks back, we tried a new-to-me and her restaurant that I have always wanted to try: The Hamilton. The Hamilton is a well-known restaurant in Washington, DC apart of Clyde’s Restaurant Group (which also houses the iconic and historic Old Ebbitt Grill, too!) and has sweet Americana charm and cuisine. People from ALL over the world eat at The Hamilton and all of the other Clyde’s Restaurant Group restaurants when they visit the nation’s capital. Amanda and I were BLOWN AWAY by The Hamilton in Washington, DC. The food (she ordered gnocchi and I ordered a crab cake sandwich and we each got a charcuterie board to start!!), drinks (she ordered a boozy milkshake and I ordered my typical drink order – a glass of Cabernet), and the service was all to die for! Not to mention, the environment was charming, yet timeless Americana. It was such a great experience to be able to visit The Hamilton and add another place been to off of my Washington, DC things that I did mental list!

Amanda and I had a GREAT time while she visited Washington, DC. Obviously, we visited the National Mall (!!!!) amongst a few other sites and ate at The Hamilton. I cannot wait to see her again and explore Washington, DC as a tourist in my own city with Haley and Violet, too!

XOXO – Katie <3

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