Nobody can see everything in this amazing city, so we had to create a plan and make important choices on what we would do on our trip. Additionally, the city can be hot and crowded in the summer... and the walking distance between monuments can be considerable.
We received some advice from a friend, Brian Smith, that hiring a driver and tour guide to hit all the major memorials was a great way to maximize time (and save on walking). Parking in DC can be challenging (and taxis are expensive) thus hopping to each of the major monuments can be difficult. A driver can drop you while the tour guide would educate you on all the history and trivia. Then you can jump back in the limo and go to next venue.
While I am often reluctant to spend additional money on vacation, this idea stood out as a great way to knock out many of the "must see" buildings, freeing up the rest of our time to tour museums and other important locations.
We hired David Elliot (A licensed professional DC tour guide), and he was FANTASTIC. We scheduled a three hours tour at sunset that brought us to the Jefferson Memorial, MLK Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, World War II Memorial and the White House. In addition to the deep level of information at each stop, David also pointed out several buildings and other points of interest as we drove around town.
If you are coming to Washington DC I cannot stress enough what a great idea it is to hire a guide. I give David Elliott "Five Stars". Both our kids (ages 11 and 16) loved the experience, dubbing it "THE BEST TOUR EVER". Part of that might have been the tour guide, and part of it might be the fact that they loved jumping in and out of a limousine at each location!!!
We also appreciate President Obama for returning to the White House during our tour, as it was fun to see the Marine One helicopter fly past.
You can find more information about David Elliot at www.DavidElliotLeadership.com.
Have A Great Day.
***PS - One more tip.... months before visiting Washington DC reach out to the office of your Congressional Representative or Senator to have their office help you schedule tour times for the Bureau of Engraving and the Capitol Building. It saves you in having to wait in line, and guarantees you times for your tours!!!