Even though I am no longer studying abroad in Europe, I have continued to make the most of my time by visiting NYC, D.C., & more! Check out my travel guide below for tips on what to see in Washington DC, New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island!
Disclaimer: This blog post was originally uploaded in winter 2018 and has been updated as of spring 2021 for relevancy.
New Haven, CT
Eating at Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven, CT was one of the first things I did when I got back to Connecticut. The pizza here has been voted the best in America multiple years in a row, so be sure to give it a try if you are in the area!
New York City, NY
Two weekends ago was Siblings Weekend here at Fairfield University so my younger sister, Lindsey, came down to visit me! On Saturday, we took the Metro North into Grand Central and ubered to Greenwich Village. Our first stop was Washington Square Park. This park comes alive in the summertime with its massive fountain and beautiful stone arch. After seeing the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the Arc de Triomf in Barcelona, I felt the need to check out the one in New York as well.
From here we walked the short distance to Dō Cookie Dough Confections, a well-known edible cookie dough shop. Aside from traditional chocolate chip, they have a multitude of unique creations, including sugar cookie and fluffernutter. Although I don’t think it’s worth the hype, I’m glad I tried it!
After getting our sweet tooth fix we made our way to SoHo for some shopping! SoHo is filled with boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, and the most charming cobblestone streets. We spent the afternoon shopping, eating lunch, and getting mini cupcakes from Baked by Melissa… the perfect girls day!
Pro-tip: Public restrooms are hard to find in SoHo, but there’s one on the second floor in Bloomingdales!
This Valentine’s Day, I visited my boyfriend at Bryant University in Rhode Island. We had a delicious dinner at Constantino’s in Federal Hill in Providence. Federal Hill is full of Italian restaurants and is my favorite part of the city, aside from the Providence Place mall of course!
What To See In Washington DC: Day One
This President’s Day weekend I visited my friend Hannah at American University in Washington D.C. I was determined to find the cheapest transportation possible to D.C. from my school in Connecticut. I ended up booking a Peter Pan bus from Port Authority terminal in NYC to Union Station in D.C. for $34 roundtrip… mission complete.
A quick word about the D.C. metro system: Wow. The stations were easily the nicest and cleanest I have ever seen and the trains themselves appeared to be brand new. The metro lines were also super easy to navigate. I was very impressed. This will be of use to you when determining what to see in Washington DC!
What To See In Washington DC: Day Two
The next morning we went to a restaurant called Martin’s Tavern in Georgetown for brunch. I ordered the eggs benedict and Hannah got their banana french toast. So good.
After brunch we walked around historic Georgetown and shopped on M street. This street has every store imaginable!
We eventually came across the original Georgetown Cupcakes! There’s limited seating inside and long lines out front, but it’s worth it! We were able to enjoy our treat while watching cupcakes baking in the kitchen. I used to watch DC Cupcakes, so I recognized the kitchen from the show! Add this to your list of possibilities of what to see in Washington DC!
From here we checked out some antique shops and neighborhoods filled with picturesque row houses. If you’re ever in Georgetown, check out O street and P street!
After exploring Georgetown, we drove to Alexandria, VA. This city is about 40 minutes outside of the city and is a great option to add to your list of what to see in Washington DC. Alexandria has a charming, historic downtown lined with fire-lit lanterns, restaurants, and shops. We checked out the waterfront and rode the free trolley down King Street, the main street in Alexandria.
What To See In Washington DC: Day Three
On Sunday, we made our way downtown to the Capitol building, passing Embassy Row along the way. We didn’t go inside the Capitol, but the outside was very impressive.
We walked through the botanical gardens next. Each room has a different climate with unique plants. The gardens were so tropical I almost forgot it was February!
Next, we made our way down the National Mall. This mile-long strip is lined with museums and government buildings, and is filled with people picnicking. We arrived at the Washington Monument and from there walked to the White House, which sits perpendicular to the mall.
Next, we walked another half mile to the Lincoln Memorial. The monument was bustling with tourists, but we got a great view of the Mall from the top!
From here I walked back up the Mall, passing the World War II monument, and went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. I am a big fan of the Smithsonian museums because they all have free entry and incredible exhibits. There really is something for everyone, including a space museum and a multitude of art museums.
After an overload of science, I walked next door to the National Gallery of Art which was remarkable. This museum is overwhelmingly large, but the people at the information desk are very helpful. I mostly saw European and American paintings and spent about an hour there.
New York City, NY
This past Friday I took the train into the city and met up with my friend Irina at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ever since watching Gossip Girl, a visit here has been on my bucket list. The ticket cost is set at a suggested price, but you can choose how much you want to pay to get in. We spent about two hours here walking around the various art exhibits. This museum really has it all. We saw sculptures, paintings, pottery, and textiles from cultures all around the world.
Once we were finished, we went to TAO Uptown for dinner. This restaurant has delicious Asian cuisine and a mystifying atmosphere; the lights were dimmed and we sat on a balcony overlooking a giant Buddha. After a certain time, this restaurant becomes a lively night club. The food is on the more expensive side, but if you happen to be in the Upper East Side, definitely treat yourself to a meal here.
If you want more ideas about what to do in New York year-round, check out this post about the 15 best things to do in New York!
I may not be studying abroad in Europe anymore, but as you can tell, I have managed to find a way to travel and keep busy! I love exploring new cities and making the most out of my time, and hope to continue this. The past few weeks have been great and I am looking forward to the remainder of my spring semester at Fairfield!
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