I’ll start off by saying this: four hours is not enough, and I’d recommend at least four days to make this trip feel like you did it all. However, the time we went was fantastic. In the first week of March, most spring breaks haven’t started, families are still in school and parents are working. My only caution is the weather. We were blessed with a 70 degree day, which is unusual for March. But if you’re willing to take the risk it’s a wonderful time to go because it isn’t crowded.
I’ll continue by explaining why I only spent 4 hours in Washington D.C. I spent a few days in Maryland, and my return flight was out of Reagan National Airport. My friend and I decided we might as well use the last day of our vacation in Washington D.C. The idea of completely skipping over our capitol seemed ludicrous.
Traveling from Annapolis to Washington D.C.
I was surprised by the lack of transportation around Annapolis. My recommendation is that you have your own car. That would be the easiest way to get around Annapolis. However, if you are under 25 (or sometimes 21) and you flew, you probably won’t be able to rent a car. The best form of transportation is Lyft or Uber. It my most-used transportation service on the trip.
We originally planned on taking a Grey Hound bus, but realized that there are very few that stop in Annapolis. Most are headed to Baltimore or New York City. The only option for our last day was late in the evening, so it was not going to work. Instead, I was able to take an Uber from my Air BNB to Union Station for about $45. Split between the two of us, it was the cheapest way.
A great secret to getting around with your luggage is finding places to store it. At Union Station you can rent a locker for an hourly rate. It was cheapest for KateLin and I to store our luggage together, at $11 an hour for both our suitcases. A great tip, if you aren’t sure how long to store it, is to pay up-front for less time. Save your time ticket, and when you pick up your suitcases, if you’ve gone over you can pay for the difference. We were debating if we should hold it for 3 or 4 hours. We paid for three, and ended up needed the extra hour, and were able to pay when we returned. This is a great way to go about it because then you won’t waste any money.
What To Do In 4 Hours
Union Station is right next to the Capitol building, so it’s the perfect place to start. We did not go inside, but instead admired the architecture and the immensity of the building.
From there we took a Lyft to the Washington Monument. It’s currently under construction so we were not able to go up in it, but the view from the ground is breath-taking enough. The monument alone is not entirely stunning, but just before it lies the World War II Memorial, the Reflection Pool, and the Lincoln Memorial. We started at the Washington Monument and walked past everything, going up into the Lincoln Memorial. The view from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial was my favorite part of the trip.
Next we took an Uber to the White House. No trip to Washington D.C. is complete without a view of the beautiful home our presidents have lived in for decades. While the house itself is not overly impressive, the crowds that gather outside were entertaining. The diversity, protests, etc. made the experience worth it.
To end our time, we took an Uber into Georgetown. Deemed one of the most beautiful neighborhoods, and home to Georgetown Cupcakes, we had to go. Even though the line was out the door, it moved quickly and our cupcakes were incredible. I tried a tulip cupcake, which was vanilla with a light pink frosting, and I was pleasantly surprised. It was light and fluffy and a sweet end to our trip.
And that’s it! Four hours in D.C. and about $15 per person in transportation fees. Now that I’ve seen the capitol, I need to return so I can go into the museums and go up into the Washington Monument. However, this little day trip was worth it. If you get the chance to see D.C. don’t pass it up!
All my best,