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I'm Terri and I love to travel with my kids. We have a goal of visiting all 50 states. Learn more...

D.C. – Presidential Monuments, Memorials, and More

Washington Monument

I saved up my photos and information about Washington, D.C.’s presidential sites for this week, right before Presidents’ Day, so I could honor our country’s presidents, past and present. As you would expect, there are lots of sites in and around Washington, D.C. that honor the chief executive of our country.

Monuments and Memorials

You don’t exactly need to put the Washington Monument on your itinerary. It’s impossible to miss this monument to our first president, George Washington. Here’s a view of it from Arlington National Cemetery.

Here’s how it looks when I zoomed in:

Inside the monument […]

3 Tips for picking a hotel for your Washington, D.C. family vacation

3 Tips for Choosing a Hotel for your Washington, D.C. Vacation


With so many of Washington, D.C.’s attractions being free, most of the expense of a D.C. vacation ends up being lodging.  That might give the average family more room in the budget for a nice hotel.  With over a hundred hotels to choose from, I was ever so overwhelmed with all the options. I spent hours reading guidebooks, online reviews, and travel forums, trying to decide where to stay. I concluded that highly rated hotels that are perfect for business travelers might not be the best option for a family on vacation. Since this is a website devoted […]

DC – Money Factory (a.k.a. Bureau of Engraving and Printing)

Courtesy of Bureau of Printing and Engraving

As we were planning our DC vacation, I read descriptions of various attractions to my family and they rated each attraction on a scale of 1 to 10. My kids’ first impression when I mentioned the Bureau of Printing and Engraving was, “Boring!”  Then, when I read the description and explained that this was the factory where they print money, they were suddenly a lot more interested.

First things first, let’s talk about getting tickets, which are free, by the way. If you want to visit during the non-peak season (September – February), no tickets are required. From March through […]

DC – Library of Congress

Library of Congress 1

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Library of Congress might be the most underrated attraction in Washington, D.C. I looked up several top ten must-see lists for D.C. and didn’t find it on any of them. And you can’t blame most visitors for not putting it on their itinerary. Its stated mission is “to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people.” That doesn’t sound like a fascinating destination, and certainly not a place to take your kids, […]

DC – Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Statue

In 2011, a memorial to honor one of the greatest orators and Civil Rights champions in American history, Martin Luther King, Jr., opened to the public in the National Mall area of Washington, D.C. The memorial is significant because it is only the fourth memorial in the National Mall area to honor a non-President, and the first to honor an African American.

What I love about the design of this memorial is that it is based on the very words of Dr. King. In the picture above, you can see the representation of a mountain to the left behind […]

DC – War Memorials

Freedom is not free

Freedom is not free. This powerful reminder comes from the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Unless you are planning a 2-week trip to D.C., you will have to make some tough choices about which attractions to see and which to save for another trip. We included our children in our decision-making process. I have to admit I was a little surprised, but very pleased, that the memorials on the National Mall were a high priority for my kids. And it wasn’t just the easily recognized presidential memorials they wanted to see; all the war memorials were must-sees.


DC – National Zoo

National Zoo entrance

The Smithsonian National Zoological Park, more commonly known as just the National Zoo, in Washington, D.C. has been in the news recently with excitement of the birth of a panda cub, and subsequently the tragic news of the cub’s death. In fact, when I started writing this article, the cub was alive, so I’ve had to rewrite parts of it. My daughter and I were both very excited about the cub and were distraught to read of her death.

Nevertheless, despite the disappointment of not having a panda cub, the opportunity to view the adult pandas is still an excellent […]