JP’s 24 Trips in 12 Months!

Trip No. 2:  Washington D.C./Baltimore, Maryland

Dates:   September 21-24, 2017

Recommendations:

  1. Succotash is a new restaurant in downtown D.C. that combines Southern comfort food with Asian influences.  Check it out for dinner and drinks and you won’t be disappointed!
  2. Download Capital Bikeshare and plan to bike around downtown using the app.  It made everything so much easier!
  3. D.C. is a town full of museums.  Do your research ahead of time and plan a day just for museums.  There’s so much to learn!
  4. If you go to Maryland, make sure you go to a crab feast!

Best tips and lessons learned:

  1. Baltimore and surrounding areas have some great spots, but, unless you have an event or specific destination, I would generally avoid downtown Baltimore.
  2. Do not plan on walking around downtown D.C.  That’s too exhausting.  Use the bikeshare!

My Washington D.C Trip:

The last time I went to Washington, D.C., I was about four years old… so, for my second trip, I was really excited about exploring D.C. and surrounding areas.

(Toubab Krewe at Bele Chere Festival in Asheville, North Carolina -July 2010 Street festival photos by the Asheville event photography company Performance Impressions – © 2010 David Oppenheimer – All Rights Reserved)

The night before the trip, I got passes on Jukely (one of my favorite apps) to see Toubab Krewe in Austin at Empire Control Room.  If you haven’t seen them, they put on a great show!  But, it was another one of those times when I went out late before an early morning flight… never a good idea!   Also, here’s a tip: pack the night before your trip if you’re going to go out the night before!  

The morning of my flight was rough… in fact, I was the latest I have ever been to catch a plane!  Regardless, as always, I tried to get as much work done on the plane as I could and caught a nap.  I have to give props to Southwest Airlines too — I had one of the nicest, most attentive stewardesses ever.

I flew into Baltimore, and the first part of the trip was in the Baltimore area.  The first adventure: Comic Con!  If you haven’t been to a Comic-Con, it’s definitely worth checking out even if you’re not a big comic person.  Where else are you going to meet people like this:

The event was in downtown Baltimore.  While the convention center was nice and we enjoyed drinks and dinner at a nice restaurant across the street, I generally would advise avoiding downtown Baltimore!  

The next day, we started the day with a true Maryland crab feast. If you’re from the South like me, you’re probably pretty familiar with crawfish boils.  I’ll admit it:  Maryland converted me:  I prefer a crab feast.  The seasoning is less spicy (which is better for me) and crabs are a lot more filling than crawfish.  If you have the opportunity, when you visit Maryland, go to a crab feast!

That afternoon, after the crab bake, I took a Lyft into D.C. When I go to a city like D.C., and I don’t have a plan, I like to start off at a coffee shop.  On my ride there, I found a convenient Pete’s Coffeeshop and downloaded the Capital Bikeshare app.  

Trust me:  if you’re going to D.C. to explore a lot, download the Capital Bikeshare app and use the bike system!  A couple of tips with the bikeshare:  (i) make sure you stay on top of your time because you have to check the bikes in every hour or so or you get charged a higher rate, and (ii) be careful in cross-walks because D.C. drivers do not yield to bicyclists with the right of way.  I explored all over the Capital Mall and downtown on my bike taking in a lot of the sights.  I did not plan or have much time for museums or tours, but next time I come, that’s what I want to do.  There are so many amazing museums to explore in D.C.

After exploring the city, I went out for dinner and drinks.  I started at Succotash, a new D.C. restaurant that fuses Southern with Asian influences.  I went to the upstairs bar, and enjoyed an amazing meal of spicy fried chicken and vegetables with flavors I’ve never tasted before, and also really appreciated the friend waitstaff.  

After dinner, I got on my app Hooch to find a nice bar.  Hooch is a really great app for people who travel because, if you’re in one of the cities Hooch is in, you can get great bar recommendations and one free drink.  Check it out!  I went to the Columbia Room, which is a really solid cocktail bar.  I talked about liquors and ingredients with the bartenders and ended up having such a good time trying out their different cocktails that I definitely didn’t stay for just one… Also, I highly recommend their desert menu–the ice cream sandwich is incredible.

The next day I spent in D.C. again and enjoyed coffee shops while I caught up on work and enjoyed the scenery and vibe of the town.  Very low key, just like I needed after a long day of exploring before…  When I had to go back to Austin, my one regret was that I did not pick a museum or two and plan to spend one or two full days just taking it in.  There’s always next time!

D.C. is a must-go destination, and its worth more than one trip.  Thanks for reading about my adventure to Baltimore and D.C., and I encourage you to sign-up and take your next last-minute travel adventure with Tripaly!  

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