July 2, 2009

Take Me There Thursday

*Somehow, this post got lost during preparation for the holiday weekend! It was written - sorry it wasn't posted!*
Washington D.C. – Week 1

In the Take Me Thursday – Washington D.C. series this month my goal is to feature eateries near the main tourist attractions as well as a few upscale, fine dining establishments. This is to give a range of ideas – Washington D.C. can be affordable, enjoyable, of course educational and even a little romantic. It all depends where you look! :)

I had the wonderful opportunity to visit our nation’s capital in high school – it was the Citizenship Washington D.C. Focus trip through 4-H. My parents (came as chaperone's & have visited D.C. twice more since) and I had an amazing time and I would love to go back! I will be sure to include bits I remember from our trip 10 years ago.

~First – maps. Your best friend in D.C. Well… one of many new acquaintances you will make and appreciate on your trip. I found a nice map on PlanetWare that you can reference for this series. But if you plan to visit D.C. – buy a travel book and a couple maps. Study them. Learn them. Treasure them. And a Metro map….. yes, sir.

This week I will provide dining in the museums…

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Independence Ave @ 6th Street
Hours: 10:00 am – 5:30pm. There are extended summer hours thru September 7th.
Admission: FREE!

I was able to walk through most of the Air and Space museum – it is very interesting seeing the history. I particularly enjoyed seeing the plane Amelia Earhart flew across the Atlantic.

Air and Space does have a food court with McDonalds, Boston Market, Donatos Pizza; as well as a café within the building serving pastries and coffee. I remember some Dippin’ Dots there as well….'astronaut ice cream.’ These are perfect if you need a quick, small bite or a break and beverage – but I wouldn’t plan full meals there. {See the American Indian Museum later!}

Smithsonian National Museum of American History

14th Street and Constitution Avenue
Hours: 10:00 am – 5:30. There are extended summer hours thru September 7th.
Admission: FREE!

Not only would I love to see Kermit the Frog… the National Quilt Collection… the Wizard of Oz ruby slippers… but I would love to see this –

Julia Child’s kitchen

Musuem of American History has
two café’s; the Stars and Stripes and the Constitution Café. The recently renovated Stars and Stripes Cafe seats 600. Menu includes all-American barbeques, soups, salad bar, burgers, pizza and desserts. The Constitution Café is open 11:00 am- 3:00pm which makes it suitable for a quick coffee, a light lunch or a mid-afternoon ice cream. According to the website it has, “a large picture window [with] a terrific view of the Museum’s fountain and the street.”

National Museum of Natural History

10th Street and Constitution Avenue
Hours: 10:00 am – 5:30. There are extended summer hours thru September 7th.
Admission: FREE!

I got just a glimpse of the inside of the Natural History museum and loved it. I plan to spend a lot of time in here if I’m able to return! I find it all so fascinating – and I really want to see the Hope Diamond.
Natural History has 3 dining options. The Atrium Café & the Fossil Café offer very similar menu’s of all natural and sustainable foods with a fair variety. Burgers, Pizza, soups and organic fruits are just a few menu items. The Ice Cream and Espresso Bar is perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up.

Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

4th Street and Independence Avenue
Hours: 10:00 am – 5:30.
Admission: FREE!

This museum includes the Mitsitam Native Foods Café. The café has five food stations, each featuring native foods found throughout the Western Hemisphere. Each station is educational as well as filling – they explain the native cooking techniques, ingredients and flavors of each dish.

I have found reviews of the Mitsitam Café and they have all been positive. Personally – when travelling, if given the choice of an over-priced fast food burger or a unique, local meal I can’t find at home for a few more dollars…… I go for the unique and local!

National Gallery of Art

4th Street and Constitution Avenue

Hours: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Admission: FREE!

The Gallery of Art has 4 dining options: Garden Cafe, Pavillion Cafe, Cascade Cafe and an Espress and Gelato Bar. This website is organized very well - you can view the menu's for all four establishments, view the times and their locations within the museum - crucial when planning an entire day in the Gallery.

There are good reviews for the Garden Cafe... & I think a break for coffee and a scoop of gelato would be perfect mid-afternoon!


Next week I will organize the post similar to last month's - restaurants for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks - and local attractions. This was formatted this way because the museum's are such a large - and for good reason - attraction, I wanted to outline dining options revolving that activity.

Please join me next week as we travel through Washington D.C.!

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