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  • Kirstie Myvett

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

My family and I recently returned from a trip to D.C. and Maryland. We had a wonderful time touring the museums and monuments. If you've never been, be sure to add it to your "To Visit" list. The best part is so many of the museums are FREE! What's better than free enrichment? Nothing!

National African American museum in background

Washington monument in background

Our first stop was the monuments. I had to see Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Lincoln's monuments. Both monuments are majestic and meaningful in their own way as are the men they depict. There are dozens of quotes from Dr. King's life on the walls surrounding his monument. The entire setting is serene, with a lake bordering the site.

Martin Luther King, Jr. statue in D.C.

Abraham Lincoln monument in D.C.

museum underneath Lincoln monument

museum underneath Lincoln monument

Lincoln's monument is a grandiose and a fitting tribute to a fearless leader. Underneath the monument, on the first floor, is a small museum type of place with quotes, photos, and the history of the monument.

The following day, we returned to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture. It's recommended that you book tickets online for this museum to ensure you gain admission. I did, but when we arrived, we were let in without having to confirm our tickets. We spent over two hours in this museum and STILL hadn't seen all it had to offer. This is a phenomenal museum with so much to see. My favorite exhibits were United States Colored Troops in the Civil War, which ties into a middle-grade story I have on submission. There was a small exhibition on the African American Watermen of the Chesapeake Bay - another story I'm working on (off and on). Foodways - Culture and Cuisine told of African American food vendors which, of course, reminded me of the Praline Lady, a true Food Huckster. We could easily have spent the entire day here!

National African American museum food hucksters

National African American museum

National African American museum

National African American museum

We returned once again to see the Natural History Museum, which my youngest enjoyed the most. The dinosaurs, fossils, and wildlife are a sure winner with young and old.

If you have any mobility issues, you'll want to pace yourself because there is LOTS of walking getting to and from these museums and monuments. Luckily, a bus called the Circulator makes rounds, so could hop on and off to save some time. My FitBit clocked over 10,000 steps per day, so I consider that a win.

The best part of this trip, though, was having my family all together again. Thank you D.C. for a great vacation!


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