Explore New York City

New York City Road Trip to Washington D.C.

Take an educational road trip to our nation's capital.

You can drive from New York City to D.C. in under five hours or let Amtrack do the work and relax on a train for only three hours! Either way, getting to the nation's capital couldn't be more accessible from the "City That Never Sleeps." Trade the skyscrapers and subway for monuments, museums and a bevy of restaurants.

Fuel Up

Need to stop and stretch your legs between New York and D.C.? Philadelphia, PA is halfway and an exciting place to stop and explore. Stop by and see the Liberty Bell, explore Reading Terminal Market, or take in one of the incredible art museums. If you have some time to spare, take a spooky tour of the Eastern State Penitentiary. It's said to be one of the most haunted places along the East Coast. 

The Liberty Bell at Night Philadelphia | WhereTraveler
The Liberty Bell at Night (©Dan Mall)

Suppose you need a pick-me-up for the road ahead. In that case, there are plenty of coffee shops to choose from, including Menagerie Coffee, conveniently located near the Museum of the American Revolution. The city's famous sandwich, the Philly cheesesteak, is the perfect meal to keep you filled up before you hit the road again. Check out Pat's King of SteaksThe Franklin Fountain or Geno's Steaks for a truly Philly experience. 

The Franklin Fountain Philadelphia | WhereTraveler
The Franklin Fountain (©Dan Mall)


Washington D.C. has the largest population of Ethiopian immigrants in the United States. Zenebech is just one of the places to try Ethiopia's delightful cuisine. What started as a small, family bakery in the mid-1990s has expanded into a full-scale restaurant with dozens of Ethiopian dishes on the menu. Try the curried goat or the hearty chickpea stew. Don't forget the injera bread, the sour and fermented flatbread with a spongy texture, to sop it all up. Zenebech even offers a gluten-free version of injera.

Old Ebbitt Grill is a D.C. institution. It's the oldest saloon in the city, and today it serves a variety of top-rated oyster specials. If you're in town the Thursday and Friday before Thanksgiving, attend "Oyster Riot," where guests devour oysters and enjoy wines that won medals for how they pair with oysters. 

If you're in the mood for a meatless option, Washington D.C. has some fantastic vegan and vegetarian spots to fit your needs. Check out the bright, airy vibes at Chaia for excellent tacos and enchiladas with delightful plant-based meat substitutes. 

Chaia in Chinatown Washington D.C. | WhereTraveler
Chaia in Chinatown (©Chesley McCarty)

After a long day on the road, settle in for a drink at one of the best cocktail bars in the capital. Service Bar is a laid-back spot for succulent fried chicken and handcrafted cocktails. The fried chicken comes in classic or Nashville hot and is served with mac and cheese, fries, and green beans. The seasonal cocktail menu is divided by spirit, so it's easy to find your favorite drinks. There are even a few zero-alcohol cocktails.


No trip to D.C. would be complete without visiting one of 11 Smithsonian museums and galleries. Soar to new heights at the Air and Space Museum, explore works of art at the American Art Museum or take a deep dive into American history. The zoo is a great place to take the kids to explore the creatures of the world. The National Portrait Gallery is always a winner, and the Smithsonian Gardens are perfect for a meandering stroll. 

American Art Museum Washington D.C. | WhereTraveler
American Art Museum (©Richard Hirajeta)

Most museums are close to the National Mall, so it's easy to see lots in one day. The Washington Monument stands steadfastly over the Reflecting Pool. The Lincoln Memorial is an excellent place for a photo op! Leave the landlubbers behind and paddle out on the Potomac River. Paddle The Potomac offers a variety of tours for all skill levels and durations. It's a fun way to see the city from a new vantage point and get a little exercise in the process.

Lincoln Memorial Washington D.C. | WhereTraveler
Lincoln Memorial (©Casey Horner)


Washington D.C. has hotels for every type of traveler. From budget stays to luxurious suites, you'll definitely find the perfect accommodations to fit your needs in just about any location you want. 

Motto by Hilton

627 H St., NW, Washington D.C., 202.827.4444

The Line Hotel

1770 Euclid St., NW, Washington, D.C., 202.588.0525

The Rosewood

1050 31st St., NW, Washington D.C., 202.617.2400

The Line Hotel Washington D.C. | WhereTraveler
The Line Hotel (©Chesley McCarty)