Explore Travel

Washington DC Trolley Tour

This last spring the girls finally learned more about our government and the revolutionary war. We decided that this would be the summer to visit Washington DC, Williamsburg and Jamestown. When we travel we have some rules: 

  1. Everyone gets to choose something special that you want to do/see
  2. Everyone gets a grumpy day
  3. Everyone gets to choose a good souvenir to remember the trip by

Exploring Downtown

When I traveled as a young girl, my Dad would find a good cabbie and say “I’ll give you $50 to show us your town” and we would see some beautiful sights and get a local aspect of the places we visited. For the first day in DC I booked us tickets to ride the Old Town Trolley Tours so we could get familiar with downtown and all the sites. The neat thing about the Trolley Tour is that you can hop on and off the entire day. Here are the stops on their route:

  • Fords Theater
  • The White House
  • National Archives
  • Union Station
  • U.S. Capitol
  • Smithsonian Museums
  • The Wharf
  • International Spy Museum
  • Washington Monument
  • Jefferson Memorial
  • FDR/MLK Memorial
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • National Museum of American History
  • Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
  • Newseum
  • African Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery
Old Town Trolley Tour
Books on Abraham Lincoln

Arlington National Cemetary

Arlington National Cemetery
Tomb of the Unknown Solider
Old Guard Caisson Platoon

In the afternoon we put the add-on activity of going over to Arlington National Cemetery.  It was nice to take a nice break and see this beautiful site. The quiet and reflection was so peaceful. The girls were fascinated with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and sat there for over thirty minutes watching the solider guarding the tomb. The fact that they were able to identify one of the unknown soldiers through DNA testing and lay him to rest really intrigued the girls. 

I was a little bummed that the Iwo Jima Memorial was being renovated. I wanted the girls to see this memorial bc of the significance with my father serving in WWII. On our way back to the welcome center we got to see a caisson platoon perform procession for burial. It reminded us that this wasn’t just an outdoor museum but an active cemetery.

The stops on the Arlington Trolley Tour are:

  • Arlington National Cemetery Welcome Center
  • JFK Gravesite
  • Coast Guard Memorial
  • Pershing Gravesite
  • Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
  •  Arlington House
  • Iwo Jima Memorial

Our first day in Washington was super fun. We saw most of the major sites from the comfort of a trolley car without having to deal with driving, parking and navigation (or walking our feet to stubs.) It made the rest of our time in DC easy to navigate bc we knew where we were going. I highly recommend taking this tour to see all of the major sites in DC. We even discovered an awesome pizza place for lunch thanks to our tour guide!

& Pizza

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