Aside from the obligatory bucket list visits to the White House, Capitol Building, and the Washington Monument, we recommend museum after museum after museum (and drinking).
Take for instance the Smithsonian, which is not one museum but a whole system of museums on the mall, free to the public. Our tip, because this is Jaunted, would be a stop in at the National Air and Space Museum. Aviation geeks rejoice with throwbacks to commercial aircraft and service; peek into an American Airlines DC-7 cabin or a Northwest Airlines Boeing 747 cockpit.
Now, this story can go the way of a museum guide, and that is not the intent. However, a must see is the Holocaust Museum, located just off the mall. The tasteful exhibitions focusing on a terrible chapter in world history should not be overlooked. Interactive and educational, the entire museum takes visitors through 50 years of history, from the beginnings of Nazi Germany to almost present day.
Now, we are not fans of funneling museum-goers through the gift shop on the way out, so be aware that you can pick up the Constitution tchotchkes and Lincoln Memorial snow globes. That wouldn't be a good way to spend your tax refund.
On the food front, DC is home to lively bars and restaurants scattered throughout the mall and museum district. We found José Andrés' authentic tapas restaurant, Jaleo worth a second and third trip, just to sample the entire food and drinks menu.
After calculating deductions and claiming dependents, the best way to de-stress is a vacation. Washington DC is an easy getaway from far and near now that both Dulles and Reagan International have increased routes. Another option near the city is Baltimore/Washington International with a quick train into the city. Just be warned that the majority of central DC is closed after normal business hours...aside from the bars, of course. Someone's got to oil the government's gears.
[Photo: Rayme Gorniak for Jaunted]