WWII Memorial, DC

Saying Goodbye to Washington, DC

With only Monday and half of Tuesday left to explore DC, I had to make the most of my time in the city of free things to do. After starting my morning at Caribou Coffee (which is my new favorite coffee place), I walked down to Pennsylvania Avenue to check out the Renwick Gallery and take a few shots of the White House. After a bit of a ‘miscommunication’ (an amateur move on my part), my plans for the day were slightly foiled. Instead of doing what I initially had planned, I decided to hop on the metro and head up to the National Zoo.

Being that it’s part of the Smithsonian, admission is free just like most every other museum and gallery in DC. While the zoo is big, it’s small enough to walk around comfortably to check out most of the exhibits. The park, like many other spots in DC, is also easily accessible by metro which makes venturing out much less intimidating. Take the red line to Cleveland Park for a downhill walk to the zoo; head to the Adams Morgan metro on your way out.

I spent three or so hours exploring and could have easily spent a bit longer if I wanted to check out a few extra exhibits. I headed back somewhat early though (around 4PM) to hit up Trader Joe’s and to meet some LSE friends for drinks at 21M Lounge. I have to say, happy hour is awesome in DC. Despite being in a cool area, the HH specials at 21M were approachable: $3 – $4 drinks and equally cheap bites. Happy hour is great way to check out new spots if you’re on a budget!

Georgetown Cupcakes -- apparently they're famous!

Tuesday, my last day in DC, began with a jaunt to Georgetown to say goodbye to (arguably) the quaintest part of DC. I hit up Georgetown Cupcake for a few birthday goodies for my hospitable hostess and popped into lots of fun shops on M Street. After, I made my way back to the World War II Memorial and stopped to snap some pictures of the Jefferson Memorial on an incredibly sunny spring day.


Vietnam Memorial Wall.


Shortly after that fun excursion, I had to head back home to pack up my bags and make my way to Dulles. The flight home, with torturously long layovers and delays,  was rather hellish, but it made falling into bed at 4AM that much more welcomed.

I’ve only been back in California for a few days but I’m already missing the East Coast! DC is a city I’ve been scoping out as a potential future home and it’s so comfortable to know how livable it seems while having an incredible set of offerings for locals and visitors.

Love from the West Coast,

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.