So I'm quite sure that most of you know that Washington DC is known for its expansion National Mall, majestic monuments and first class museums. But did you know that the city is also home to some the best art museums in the country? For our fall adventure, we decided to take a long weekend to visit these amazing galleries. It turned out to be more low maintenance and affordable than you might think.
Step 1. Pick where you want to stay. We stayed in Arlington, VA in the Ballston, MU area at the
Westin Arlington Gateway. They had a family get away special going so we got our rooms for about $110/night which was great for a 4 star hotel. I loved the area. We parked our car and really never moved it all weekend. There are plenty of restaurants and stores close by with the metro stop about 3 blocks away.
Step 2. Pick the museums you want to see. We saw the National Gallery, the Renwick Gallery, and the American Art Museum. We also wanted to take some time to walk the mall.
Step 3: How are you going to get around. We used the CityMapper App to get us where we wanted to go. You just put in where you're going and it tells you how to get there - via a bunch of modes of transportation - how long its going to take and how its going to cost. We took the Metro Orange/Silver lines pretty much everywhere. For $2.40 you could get to the gallery quickly and easily. If you've never road the the metro - its super easy. It was clean and I felt safe the whole weekend.
Step 4: Enjoy the gallery or museum to the fullest and don't rush! The National Gallery is made up of two buildings. The West Building houses art up to 1900 where the East continues on with 1900 to the present. It took me a full day to go through it. With that I took several hour long free tours which feature some fascinating information on the more prominent pieces.
Step 5: The practical information. Most galleries are open till 5:00 or 5:30 seven days a week and are free. The American Art Museum is open till 7 which is nice so you can do the Renwick and 10,000-15,000 steps of walking so wear comfortable shoes!!
it in one day. Most galleries feature really nice museum shops which also have online sites. The National Gallery is quite amazing and probably one of my favorites of all time. We tended to eat a big breakfast at the IHOP by the metro station, maybe have a small snack midday and ate dinner back in Arlington. Even with the Metro there was a lot of walking ... like
We only got to see three art venues and there are so many more!!! The Renwick is not to be missed since it houses the Arts & Crafts collection of the nation and for me the most exciting pieces I saw all weekend. I will share what we saw in a later post. What I want to stress is don't just rush through these museums. They have so much to offer - tours, audio tours, short drawing classes, great shopping - even good food. Plus where else can you get up close to a Van Gogh, Di Vinci and a Hopper all in the same day??
So What Have Been Up to Creatively?
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A group of my fiber friends and I took the train down several years ago and did the same thing. Thanks for sharing your trip. It brought back some good memories.
A number of years ago we went to Maryland for hubby to go to a Continuing Medical Education classes, stayed with my sis, and my bro-in-law was our guide to so many of the art museums... we had arrived the night the DC snipers were caught, so the crowds were not bad. (I do not like crowds!) Other than wearing me out it was WONDERFUL to see the paintings up close. Lately I've been watching tutorials on painting on you tube, so got out the child's watercolor paint palate that I'd purchased and have been having fun making cards. Whimsical birds, landscapes, etc
Hi Nina Marie, thanks so much for the practical info about seeing art in Washington. It's on my list, but I know that Washington in the summer is unbearable (at least for a northerner). I'm looking forward to hearing about what you saw.
I would greatly recommend a trip in October~ the weather is pretty mild, the crowds are low...well low for the National Mall. The only weekend to avoid is Columbus Weekend.
When you come back, I highly recommend a visit to the Freer/Sackler Gallery. Small, Whistler and Asian art, and the Peacock room is not to be missed.
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