Washington DC

DC: Botanical Gardens & the Capitol Building

I’m currently sitting at Caribou Coffee in DC trying to sufficiently caffeinate for the weekend ahead. I managed to pack everything I need for a weekend in New York in one small carry-on (which is quite a feat, let me tell you). In a few short hours, we are going to jump on a bus and make our way to the city for a Gossip Girl-style escapade in New York.

While I’m waiting to head out, I thought I’d share some photos from yesterday afternoon. After visiting Arlington, the Lincoln Memorial and the White House, I made my way from the Washington Monument down to the Capitol building. I would guess that the walk is about 1-1/2 to 2 miles but it’s dotted with a ton of amazing spots to make the walk a thousand times more interesting. A number of the Smithsonian museums line the strip and the US Botanic Garden sits at the end near the Capitol. While I hadn’t planned on stopping in, I decided to check it out since I was passing through.

Botanic Garden

The gardens are absolutely amazing. The whole time I was walking through I wished that I had brought my grandma along for the ride. The plants are gorgeous and the way that it’s laid out makes it a really cool experience (walking from the ‘jungle’ through the ‘desert’ to ‘Hawaii’, etc.). It has an insanely peaceful quality, too… it’s like a mini oasis sitting in the midst of throngs of people.

The 'Jungle'.

After checking out the gardens, I made my way to the Capitol to snap some shots. I didn’t get to do a tour (I thought my feet were going to fall off at this point), but I may do one next week if I have time!


Definitely a nice place to hang out.

As you can probably tell by the pictures, the weather has been exceedingly wonderful the past few days. I had half expected to be lugging around an umbrella and layering on cardigans and sweaters, but I’ve actually been hot. Very unexpected. Spring has definitely sprung! Also, for any budget travelers out there taking note: I spent $0 during my entire day of sightseeing (including all of the sights, food and transport). I had money left on my metro card (otherwise it would have been $2.20) and walked everywhere else! Plus, by a stroke of luck, I ended up getting a free lunch (totally lucked out). I love DC.

Now, off to New York!


More about Shannon Kircher

Shannon Kircher is the founder and editor of The Wanderlust Effect. Founded in 2009, she has continued to document her international escapes as an expat in Europe and the Caribbean. Additionally, Shannon is the founder of Compass & Vine, a luxury boutique travel design firm, and is the Director of Marketing for the Frangipani Beach Resort. Shannon holds an MSc in Social Policy and Development from the London School of Economics and is a current candidate for WSET Level 3 in Wines & Spirits.