Last updated: 06:00 PM ET, Fri September 09 2016

Opinion Home | Are We There Yet: Tips For Family Trips

  • Janeen Christoff | September 9, 2016 6:00 PM ET

    Cross-Country Road Trip: Family Fun in DC

    Cross-Country Road Trip: Family Fun in DC

    PHOTO: The Washington Monument. (All photos by Janeen Christoff) 

    The thing about a cross-country road trip is that you are restricted by time. Even when you have months, you still always seem to have somewhere to be and an appointed time at which you must reach that destination. We had a date with Disney in Orlando that we couldn't miss, so that left us with just one day in D.C. but we were determined to make the most of it. 

    With a little luck and some research, we ended up having one of our best days of the trip in Washington. Cherry Hill Park is one of the closest campgrounds to the city and they do a wonderful job of hooking up their guests with all of the attractions. They have tours that leave from the park and bus service to the D.C. metro direct from the campground. 

    For our day, we got up early to head into the city, planning to go straight to the spy museum. We stuck to our plans, but we met another couple and their children on the way to the metro. By the time we arrived in downtown D.C., the kids were fast friends – and so were the parents – and we all enjoyed a two-hour stroll through the International Spy Museum together. 

    Making new friends at the International Spy Museum is easy with all of the interactive exhibits.

    The entire experience is one that makes me love driving through and camping around the country. It’s akin to backpacking through Europe where your plans change at a moments notice based on the people you run into on planes, trains in taxis – what have you. It was the perfect way to start the day. 

    Our happy group split up at lunchtime and parted ways. We wanted to find Abe Lincoln’s hat at the National Museum of American History and they were headed to the National Air and Space Museum. We also ended up wandering over to the National Museum of Natural History for the butterfly garden as well. 

    Lincoln's hat was cool, but playing president was even cooler at the National Museum of American History.

    Where we really scored was deciding to do the night bus tour with Gray Line (offered through our campground). It was brutally hot while we were there and every time we entered a museum or restaurant, we breathed a small sigh of relief for the air conditioning. Waiting for nightfall made the temperature in the city totally livable. Also, the national monuments do look stellar in the evening. 

     READ MORE: Cross-Country Road Trip: Driving in NYC  

    Just enough time for a family photo at the White House.

    Overall, our day in D.C. couldn’t have been better and – surprisingly, since it’s a big city – I couldn’t recommend camping in this city more. It was an amazing and educational experience for everyone. 


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.

Janeen Christoff Are We There Yet: Tips For Family Trips

Janeen Christoff Janeen Christoff caught the travel bug while living in London, England. After two years on the road, she settled in Los Angeles and focused her writing on what she loved best — exploring the world. Today, she’s a well-traveled mother of two, an adventurer and a world wanderer who writes about destinations around the world for Want to know where she is headed next? Check out her blog at
Journey on an Avalon River Cruise

Cruise Lines & Cruise Ships