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Last Updated on March 1, 2020

A review of a day trip to Washington DC from NYC

When we were organising our holiday to New York our eyes strayed to a day trip to Washington DC.  As we had plenty of time in New York we decided to book the trip and experience a second US city on our holiday. If you are thinking of booking a day trip to Washington DC read on to find out about our day and decide if it is something you want to add to your own itinerary.

We booked our trip with Viator but there are other companies who offer this tour.


It was an early start from out hotel on Times Square but luckily the meeting point to catch the bus was literally on the next avenue. After only a 2 minute walk we arrived at the rendezvous point to wait to be shown our bus. There were trips going all over the place – Philadelphia, Boston and Niagara Falls as well as our trip to Washington DC. How exciting!

If visiting Washington DC is a must for you like it was for us it is worth noting that the coach trip takes 4 hours there and 4 hours back (obvious I know but thought I would point that out). You do stop off at a service station on the way for breakfast and on the way back for a loo break which breaks up the journey a little. Though for us this all added to the adventure!

We saw Philadelphia on the horizon and drove quite close to Baltimore on our way and passed through 5 US states: NY state, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and finally Virginia!


Baltimore – apparently the most dangerous city in USA. We didn’t stop.



Well from a coach. And from a distance! Excuse the picture but it was taken from a fast moving coach!

The Pentagon


This memorial honours all the men and women who served in the Vietnam war. The memorial lists in chronological order the names of all 58,000 Americans who died during this conflict.

The Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC - visiting Washington DC


The Korean War memorial was dedicated in 1995 and commemorates the sacrifices of the millions of Americans and allies who fought during the Korean war.

The Korean War memorial in Washington DC


A pretty iconic structure isn’t it….I was really looking forward to seeing it and it doesn’t disappoint! It is an impressive monument (its huge) and the marble sculpture of the 16th President of the USA sits surveys the National Mall.

Lincoln Memorial statue in Washington DC

Lincoln memorial in Washington DC

It is also the site of Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech which he delivered here on 28th August 1963.

I have a DREAM the place of Martin Luther King's famous speech


The Washington Monument  is a memorial to….you guessed it…George Washington. It is an obelisk on the National Mall and was completed in 1884 and is 555 foot high. Apparently no building in Washington DC can be higher then the monument. I think that adds to Washington’s charm and is in sharp contrast to NYC!

The Washington Monument

The Washington Monument

Washington DC


This memorial is dedicated to Thomas Jefferson who was involved in the drawing up of the Declaration of Independence was also the third President of the United States.

Jefferson Memorial


(1600 Pennsylvania Ave and the official residence of the President of the United States – President Obama was home when we visited – he didn’t pop out to say ‘Hi’ though!!

The White House in Washington DC
My daughter and me prepared to meet President Obama

The White House


Recognisable by the normally impressive building below…scaffolding not Capitol Hill and the home of the US Congress.

Capitol Hill in Washington DC


For some reason I took no pictures inside! I am a wee bit scared of flying so it probably wasn’t the best place for me to spend a few hours! But this is what is looks like from outside!

The Smithsonian - day trip to Washington DC


All in all it was a busy day but one both myself and my daughter thoroughly enjoyed. Our guide was vey knowledgeable and fluent in a number of languages (she had an English speaking and a French speaking group). The weather was a very welcome 22 degrees – a lot warmer than New York(it was the first week of April) and we enjoyed the sunshine and the site of some early cherry blossoms.

If you get the chance – even for a one day whistle-stop tour visiting Washington DC I would highly recommend it!

If this something you would like to do check out my page of especially selected tours in the USA including the day trip we took from NYC to Washington DC!

Check out and book some great tours – HERE!







You may be interested in reading

My all time top 10 New York sights

What to do in 3 days in Vancouver Canada

Catching the Coast Starlight from Seattle to LA

This post may contain compensated links. Please read our disclosure for additional information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

13 thoughts on “Washington DC – what you can do on a daytrip from New York!

  1. Allison says:

    I’m from the west coast of the US and it’s always so surprising to think how close the east coast states are to each other. It takes four hours just to cross one side of my home state to another. I haven’t been to DC yet but my husband is from there and we both have sisters who live there so we will get there before too long. #citytripping

    • Tracy Collins says:

      It’s a beautiful city and we really enjoyed our visit. I was also amazed at how many states we passed through. Later in the year we travelled the west coast and it took a lot longer – admittedly we did go via the Coast Starlight (train).

  2. Cathy (MummyTravels) says:

    I would love to visit Washington DC one day – there are a few quirky museums I have my eye on too, as well as some of the highlights that you saw. An eight hour round trip is probably a bit beyond my daughter for now, although I did take a fun train journey from Philadelphia to Boston, so would be interesting to go the other way. I love the idea of grabbing the opportunity when it’s there though – you never know, after all. #citytripping

    • Tracy Collins says:

      We really enjoyed it. In fact my daughter said it was the highlight of her trip (should have saved some cash and just taken her there for her birthday lol!!)It was a great day and well worth doing if you can fit into a schedule (when your daughter is a little older perhaps). Love travelling by train in the US too – always a lot of fun.

  3. Lolo says:

    It always makes me sad to think that I’ve been inside the German Reichstag twice but haven’t even made it to the capital of my own country yet! There’s so much history there I want to explore! Hope to take my German husband there one day! #CityTripping

  4. Alex says:

    Amazing – I’d never even considered it a day trip from New York! My hubby has been and he loved it, but then he is obsessed with American history. A real whistle-stop tour but it looks like you got to see the most of it! #citytripping

  5. Pingback: My all time top ten New York sights

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