Solo Traveler | Noir Guide to Washington D.C.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Washington D.C. has to be the most traveled place in the world. It has to the most intellectually spirited as well. To best describe what D.C. is like, I would say an international hub for where policy and diplomacy mesh. It's a magically a place where you step back into the past and see your future. You will meet people who foster the lives of Americans from around the world.

I remember the first time I came to D.C. I was a seven-teen-year-old high school student who was accepted to Georgetown visitation school for the Presidential Classroom. It was the most amazing experience I had ever had in my entire life. I met people who would mold me all the way into my future. I studied democracy and diplomacy with a caucus (group) of other fellow students.  I wrote briefs, participated in the mock trial, and met politicians.

What really made me fall in love with D.C. was the architecture and the friendly government employees. I also fell in love with the snow, heavy trench coats, business attire, and the visual of magnolia trees or cherry blossoms. I love the food in D.C. although, the prices will kill you. So here are a few things I did for the four days I was there (Yes, I know I should have spent an entire week).

1) Come late at night after 3pm. Go for a drink or go straight to sleep when you get here. I would definitely suggest that for persons coming from the West coast. It's a 5 hour 39-minute flight. The reason for this is, you don't want to spend half a day in D.C. you want to spend an entire day.

2) Flight first, hotel second. I would suggest flying into Ronald Regan airport its only 6 miles out. I flew in Dulles because it was cheaper but it was 27.5 miles away. Dulles is great if you're flying in internationally or if you're a local. I flew in Dulles my first time I came so it was a little bit easier for me because I was familiar. Dulles has to be the hardest airport I have EVER flown into besides JFK in NY. Chicago and Dallas.

Transportation - Dulles, take the 5A bus for $7 into D.C. it was so convenient. Just ask someone where the shuttles/buses pick up on the lower level and you just wait for it. Be sure to have exact change and you're off.

Be cautious of flying in during holidays and events ie. Jazz Festival, D.C. Pride, 4th of July, State of the Union Address, etc. There will be delays. Hotels will be more expensive.

2) PLACE TO STAY: Hotels are extremely expensive within the district. At least $125 per night. I would suggest staying in a nearby city such as Arlington, Adams Morgan, Eckington, or farther out like Bowie and Alexandria (if you want to drive/commute). U -Street is where all the black people are because of Howard University. Yet, I will say that gentrification is now moving a lot of blacks out into other states away from the center which used to be predominately black because most blacks did service jobs for the government/white house. It's sad to see this happening but it is true. If you really want to be around blacks you will have to go to Maryland.

I decided to go with an Airbnb and it was the best decision I made for my entire trip. Being that this was my first time using Airbnb, I will write an entire review on my Airbnb experience in the near future. I also decided to stay in Arlington because the last time I came (12 years ago) I loved VA but never got to stay long. I was hosted by Erin Elizabeth, an interior designer/contractor, at one of D.C.'s oldest firms. The place was so posh I didn't want to leave. Her dog Auggie was the sweetest poodle I have ever encountered. For more tales of her posh interior designed and decorated space check or to stay with Erin check out her link: Designer Condo.

If you want to stay at a hotel I would suggest The W Hotel.

3) GROUPON: lol. I'm serious. I couldn't check into my Airbnb until 3pm and I arrived at 5:45am. I decided that I would need a hop-on-hop-off Tour Bus pass and I snagged a 48-hour pass with night tour from Groupon for $29! (Usually $54). I used a 20% discount code on an already marked down Groupon. The company was called DC Trails and they have multiple buses that take you to every monument possible. Some monuments like Arlington Cemetery only allow shuttles so they have one for that.

What's really cool is that I had my carry-on with me and they allowed me to take my luggage on all the buses no questions. All of the assistants helped me get my luggage on and off the bus. I even had to charge my phone at one point because it died and the driver let me plug in it. How awesome is that!

As for the first tour guide (young black guy - horrible, I hope he was learning) and the second one (the older white guy was amazing, tells about his son being a doctor at Columbia in NY).

The wait for a bus to come back around is 40-65 mins so please keep that in mind. In that time you can sit in one of the many parks, eat your lunch, or walk around and enjoy the fresh air.

4) Transportation: If you have never been to D.C. and you don't have a friend to assist you - don't take the metro. They are constantly making repairs all around the city (small city) and you could wait forever for a train. It's easier to just catch an Uber for $3-7 pool which shows up in 2-5 mins. The advantage of this is meeting people from D.C. and drivers who aren't. I had the best drivers who gave me some of the best information. I mean I basically had tour guides around the city as I travelled from place to place. Their stories will touch in ways you never knew.

5) Food: You're NOT in Los Angeles, car culture does not exist any where else but L.A. Washington D.C. is about sitting and eating. It's about sitting, eating, drink, and talking about politics. It can be politics about the world, our country, sports, culture, or food. You will argue and you will laugh. It's a place where people want to know how and what you think. As for the food, well, you're not going to see a lot of fast food places. You're not going to see a lot of Cheesecake Factory, Olive Garden, or IHOP either. You will find a lot of mom and pops, cafes, bars, landmarks, and Posh restaurants. Yes, tacos will cost you $12! I know.

Few suggestions:

  • Oohhs and Aahhs

  • Ted's Bulletin

  • Ben's Chili Bowl

  • District Taco

  • Duken

6) MONUMENTS: The best places to visit before you leave D.C. are The White House, The Lincoln Memorial, Washington Memorial, MLK Memorial, and  Capitol Hill.

Must see: African American Museum (if you can get a ticket - I couldn't). Library of Congress, National Archives, Botanical Gardens, Smithsonian Zoo (free), Tomb of the Unknown Solider, and the Holocaust Museum.

7) WEATHER: Just because it says it's going to rain in JUNE/JULY doesn't mean it will. The weather forecast for D.C. is never correct. If it says it might rain then, bring light rain attire. For example, it was suppose to rain for four days I was there. It rained one day and it was light enough that all I needed a was jacket and umbrella. It was 84 degrees with humidity the whole time I was there. I was hot! Unlike Long Beach, where if it says its going to rain, it will drench you! I never used my raincoat, scarf, or boots. Now, if it's snowing then, of course you need to dress in layers with a heavy trench coat, boots, and an umbrella. If you'd like to know what I pack for rainy day travels - Click here.

8) DATING + : If you're looking for a good time, use Tinder, OkCupid - best, or Pure. I would suggest going out to the mall (Pentagon City Mall), a bar (Marvin's), festival, local event, or a college sporting event. Those are the best places to meet guys in D.C. Honestly, I saw handsome black men working all kinds of jobs in D.C. if you like one you see just start up a conversation most men are really friendly. It's the black women that are really smug and don't smile back. I would tell any solo traveller, have a contact within a city or state that you're in. I had a few friends who were in the D.C. area who I talked to all the time and they gave me wonderful advice. Those friends also met up with me during the night so I didn't have to go out alone. I did not date while I was in D.C. because that wasn't my agenda but if so, I would of let my Air BNB host know where I was going and what time I would be expected home or I would of let my sister know back home. Never go home with anyone you don't know, D.C. is known for missing minority women due to sex trafficking, and you should just be careful because not all good looking men are good people.

9) Shopping:

Pentagon City Mall you will find everything you can imagine in a regular mall plus so much more.

For luxury shopping City Center or Georgetown.

To all my single solo travelers,

I hope you found my list helpful but please let me know if you have any questions. I have only been to D.C. twice and I learn something new every time I go. I have given you the best I can offer. If you have any questions or would like to hear more of my travels please feel free to contact me or find me via SnapChat @androgynine or IG. I hope you enjoy your travels and be safe! #AndrogynineTRAVEL

youtube facebook | twitter | instagram | tumblr | google+ | bloglovin | pinterest

This blog is NOT geared toward sexual orientation or gender classification.
This blog is based solely on the blog authors experience and research.
This blog is geared toward promoting a mixture of masculine and feminine attire and with an integrated genderless lifestyle.

Would you like to comment?

Get more of ME in your inbox!