#TravelBackThursday Washington, DC, NYC, Chincoteague, and Shenandoah National Park

This week we’re sharing a trip from 2016, when Jordan and I headed up to Washington, DC, New York City, Chincoteague Island, and Shenandoah National Park!

Jordan and I decided to take a trip up the east coast, so that we could check off a few bucket list vacation spots, including visiting the wild ponies on Chincoteague Island (did anyone else love Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry as a kid?) and seeing the Belmont.

We flew into Washington, DC on a Friday afternoon, and immediately hopped on the Amtrak to NYC.

On the train

We arrived with enough time to change and go out to dinner.

The next day, we went exploring!

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral
Central Park

The next day was race day! We took the train out to Belmont Park to watch the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the Triple Crown.

Riding the Amtrak to Belmont Park

We spent several hours at the races, and headed out before the crowds got too crazy. It was a long day of watching horses run, and we were tired at the end of it!

The next day we explored more traditional NY landmarks, including the Met, a ferry tour of the Statue of Liberty, and the NY Public Library.

It was our last day in NYC so we made the most of it! We rode the Amtrak back to Washington, DC, where we picked up our rental car so we could get around.

We spent several hours exploring the national monuments around Washington (my favorite is the FDR monument).

We were also very fortunate to have the opportunity to tour the White House. If you’ve never done this, it’s a pretty cool experience. I wrote our congresswoman on her website, and we were able to get tickets to the White House, a personal tour of the Capitol Building, and tickets to the Library of Congress. We had the option to also tour the Pentagon, but we didn’t quite have enough time in DC to make that work.

Marine One flying over the National Mall.

The Library of Congress was probably one of my favorite places. We took a tour and really enjoyed seeing all of the amazing architecture and artwork in this building.

After three days in DC, we took our car out to the shore. Our first stop was the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

You can just make out the ponies WAYYY over there!

If you’re going to make the trek out to see the ponies, beware of the mosquitoes! We did not realize just how terrible the bugs at this sea shore would be, and the moment we left the car we were instantly swarmed. Definitely wear long sleeves and pants, and load up with bug spray. We jumped back in the car and sprayed ourselves down after our first attempt down the trail, and then ended up jogging most of the trail just to keep the bugs off!

The little town near the refuge was cute too. We enjoyed wandering up and down looking at the shops.

After spending the night near Chincoteague, we drove inland to reach Shenandoah National Park, and a branch of the Appalachian Trail.

This ended up being an incredibly exciting trip for us, as we spotted a juvenile black bear super close to the trail!

There was another family of hikers stopped to watch the bear when we came upon them, so we felt pretty safe in taking photos and video fairly close to the little guy. He was mostly rooting around some deadfall looking for food.

Since we didn’t have a lot of camping or hiking gear with us on this trip, we just did a few couple mile hikes that were easily accessible from the road.

We spent our final night near Shenandoah, before heading back to Washington, where our flight would get us home. We had a little extra time the morning before our flight so we were able to check out the National Air and Space Museum before we left.

We always love spending time in DC, as we have a few friends who live near there. We also really enjoy going to New York, so this trip was a pretty fun one for us. And we’re never going to complain about a trip where we get to see bears 🙂

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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