Even though I am no longer studying abroad in Florence and traveling throughout Europe each weekend, I have continued to make the most out of my time by visiting NYC, D.C., & more! Check out my D.C. travel guide below where you can also find tips for New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
New Haven, CT: January 26, 2018
One of the first things that I did after settling back into life at Fairfield was go to Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven, CT. 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 ever in the area!
New York City: February 10, 2018
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, brookie dough (brownie and cookie dough), and fluffernutter. It was delicious and although I don’t think that it is worth all the hype, I am glad I tried it.
SoHo, NY: February 10, 2018
After getting our sweet tooth fix we made our way to SoHo, a beautiful neighborhood filled with boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, and cobblestone streets with pastel-colored buildings adorned with elegant cast-iron railings. We spent the afternoon shopping, eating lunch, and getting mini cupcakes to go from Baked by Melissa. SoHo provided us with the perfect girls day, away from the hustle and bustle of Midtown.
Pro-tip: Public restrooms are hard to find in SoHo, so if you have to go, go to the second floor of Bloomingdales- you’ll find one there.
Fairfield, CT: February 11, 2018
Before my sister left on Sunday, we got our nails done at Posh and went to Organika in Southport, CT. Their avocado toast and açaí bowl was the best I’ve ever had, so if you are ever in the area, give that a try.
Providence, RI: February 14, 2018
For Valentine’s Day, I drove to Rhode Island to visit my boyfriend at Bryant University. For dinner we drove into Providence and ate at a restaurant called Constantino’s in Federal Hill. Federal Hill is a neighborhood in Providence, RI known for its Italian-American community and its Italian restaurants. This neighborhood is my favorite part of the city (aside from the Providence Place mall of course), so if you are ever in Providence and are looking for a good meal, go here.
Washington DC: February 16, 2018
Last weekend was President’s Day weekend and I had no classes on Monday, so I took this time to visit my friend Hannah at American University in Washington D.C. I went to D.C. in 8th grade for a school trip, and although we saw a lot in three very busy days, I didn’t remember much and was excited to visit again. I was determined to find the cheapest transportation possible and after spending 100+ hours on a bus throughout my semester abroad, I first looked into coach buses. 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.
On Friday afternoon, I took the train into Grand Central and then walked less than a mile to Port Authority terminal. I successfully boarded my bus and rode four hours down to D.C., which was nothing compared to some of the overnight bus rides that I’ve been on. Hannah picked me up at the station and we took the metro to Dupont Circle for dinner.
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.
Washington DC: February 17, 2018
The next morning we woke up and went to Georgetown for brunch at a restaurant called Martin’s Tavern. It was warm enough to sit outside (got to love D.C. weather), so we sat on their patio. I ordered the eggs benedict which was to DIE for and Hannah got their banana french toast. So good.
Since we were in downtown historic Georgetown we walked around for awhile after we ate and shopped. We made our way to the main street, M street, which has every store imaginable.
We eventually came across Georgetown Cupcake and waited about ten minutes in line to order. There is a Georgetown Cupcake on Newbury street in Boston that I have been to a few times, but I felt compelled to eat at the original. There is limited seating inside, but after we ordered we were able to sit and enjoy our treat while watching the cupcakes being made in the kitchen. I used to watch DC Cupcakes as a kid and recognized the kitchen from the show which was cool.
From here we walked around some more, checking out some antique shops and side roads filled with picturesque row houses. O street and P street had some of my favorite homes and if you are ever in the area, you should definitely check those out.
Alexandria, VA: February 17, 2018
After exploring Georgetown, we drove to Alexandria, VA. This city is about 40 minutes outside of D.C. and has an adorable, historic downtown lined with fire-lit lanterns, restaurants, and shops. We walked around, making sure to check out the waterfront, and rode the free trolley up and down King Street- the main road in Alexandria. Later that night we returned to Hannah’s apartment for dinner.
Washington DC: February 18, 2018
On Sunday, we got up and made our way downtown to the Capitol building, passing Embassy Row along the way which I LOVED. We didn’t go inside the Capitol, but the outside was very impressive.
Since the botanical gardens were so close we went there next. We walked through the various rooms, all of which have different climates. The gardens have a tropical atmosphere and for a second I forgot it was February.
It was beautiful out so we decided to walk the entirety of the national mall. This mile long strip of grass is lined with museums and government buildings on either side and is filled with people picnicking and kids running around. 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 or so to the Lincoln memorial which sits in front of the reflecting pool and faces the Washington Monument, with the Capitol in the background. This monument was bustling with tourists and locals alike, all enjoying the sunshine. We climbed the stairs to view the monstrous Lincoln statue and were able to get a great view 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. I decided to grab lunch in a cafe in the museum which was a big mistake since the food was insanely overpriced. I spent about an hour or two wandering the Museum of Natural History, checking out the various exhibits on life in the ocean and evolution.
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: February 23, 2018
This weekend has been pretty relaxed since midterms are right around the corner. However, on 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.
I may not be 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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