If you are heading out on a family friendly Washington D.C. trip, congratulations! You have chosen a fantastic destination full of culture, tons of fun (and free) things to do, and delicious food. My family and I recently spent part a long weekend in the Capitol City and we honestly didn’t want to leave.
Washington D.C. should be on every family’s travel bucket list. It is the cradle of our democracy and it is awe-inducing to be among the monuments of some of the greatest Americans to have ever lived. One of the most important decisions made when planning your trip is where to stay. It is especially important in a city like Washington D.C. which is very spread out and where walking is often the most efficient means of transportation.
We stayed at the Embassy Suites – Chevy Chase and were blown away by their value-added extras, stunning recent renovations, and general good cheer of the staff. With a free, full made-to-order breakfast each morning as well as a complimentary Evening Reception which included beer, wine, mixed drinks, sodas and light snacks, families can really save some money here. This Embassy Suites is located within the Shops at Chevy Chase so there is TONS of shopping without even having to go outside. The metro is also located right in the same building for ultimate convenience.
The hardwood floors and upscale décor in the rooms and hallways really set this hotel apart. Everything seemed so posh, yet so welcoming. The staff was super friendly as well. Even when we checked in after midnight, the front desk attendant greeted me like it was 12 noon. He was bubbly and helpful…even late at night.
For those looking for a hotel from their family friendly Washington D.C. trip, the Embassy Suites – Chevy Chase is the perfect option. Looking for more tips for your visit? Read on.
9 Tips for the Best Family Friendly Washington D.C. Trip Ever
- Be prepared to walk. Prepare yourself and the kids that you will be doing a lot of walking. While the Metro is great, walking is going to be a nicer and probably shorter trip to many D.C. sights. Get a fitbit and see how many steps you can take in one day. In our best day, we walked over 20,000!
- Bring good shoes. Since you will be doing a lot of walking, bring good walking shoes. Flip flops and winter boots are both cute but may not hold up to the miles you will be walking. Gym shoes are going to be your best bet.
Stay close to a metro stop. The hotel where we stayed, the Embassy Suites – Chevy Chase, was located directly above the Friendship Heights Metro Station, which was really helpful. When taking public transportation, the walk to the train is a big deal. You don’t want it to be too far, especially if the weather is bad.
- Think about driving. If the weather is questionable or you will be traveling around D.C. during peak time on the metro (which can drive fees up to over $5 per person per way), driving your car or catching a taxi or Uber might make sense. Just be prepared to have to hunt for parking or pay $20 or more for a public parking lot if you use your car.
- Go to the bathroom when you can. When touring the National Mall and the monuments, there are NOT lots of bathrooms. When you do see one, make everyone “try”. Backtracking a ½ mile to find a bathroom isn’t going to make anyone happy.
- Study with the kids ahead of time. To get the kids excited about a family friendly Washington trip, do some research on the monuments and Washington D.C. history in general before you leave, or even on the way. My kids love asking “Siri” questions during our 10 hour trip from Atlanta. They asked a ton of questions I would not have thought of. Did you know it took 12 years to build the Lincoln Memorial?
Stay at a family friendly hotel. There are tons of hotels in Washington D.C., but many of them serve the men and women who are in D.C. on very important business. To avoid those eye rolls at breakfast or the annoyed sighs in the elevator, stay at a hotel that espouses family friendliness. I have always found this to be the case at any Embassy Suites Hotel I’ve ever visited.
Get to museums early. One of the things that makes Washington D.C. so great for families is that many of the museums are free! You can hop from one to the other and not have to worry about paying. Yay! But that means everyone can do the same. We made a plan to go to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. And so did EVERYONE else. We waited in the cold for nearly an hour and a half to get in. If we had gotten there earlier in the day, we would have just walked in.
- Get the pop tarts at Ted’s Bulletin. A family friendly Washington D.C. trip isn’t complete without getting the homemade pop tarts from Ted’s Bulletin. Some friends of mine told me about this local chain and I’m hooked. Be prepared for several hours wait at the Capitol Hill location if you plan to eat a meal with your pop tarts, though you can call ahead and put your name on the list to lessen your wait time. Or you can just take your pop tarts to go and skip the wait.
Check out another Washington DC Embassy Suites hotel review by Gina Vercesi, Unplugged TravelingMom. Also see the Cherry Blossom Festival Guide by Yvonne Jasinski, Credit Card TravelingMom, for some great tips on one of the best times of the year in Washington DC.