So, you only have 3 days in DC, but you want to relax. Usually a 3-day getaway is packed with action and that is easy to do in a big city. But, take it at an easy pace, don't cram in every museum and you'll remember more and arrive home revived, not exhausted.
First of all, on a relaxed vacation choose a really nice hotel and make use of it. My daughter, Lindsey, flew in from New Orleans to visit me in DC and said she needed "down time" from her hectic life so I laid out the brochures and showed her a gazillion things to do, immediately overwhelming her. We chose two hotels that were very different from each other: The first night we stayed at the swanky St. Regis in DC and the second night we stayed at the sprawling Gaylord National at the National Harbor.
We took up residence for our one night splurge at the St. Regis Hotel immediately impressed by its opulent lobby of Italian Renaissance Louis XVI chandeliers, marble floors, Palladian windows along with contemporary touches. Needless to say, we felt like the royalty and presidents who have stayed here. Our room was quite standard decorated in shades of brown, copper and cinnamon lit by a small chandelier--not nearly as impressive as their other rooms or suites decorated in bold primary colors of red, purple or federal blue. However, the electronics were state- of- the art including a discovery my daughter made. On the bathroom counter was a remote control. Thinking it was misplaced, she clicked the on button and a TV monitor emerged on the bathroom mirror like a hologram. It was very sci-fi, futuristic, but we discovered incredibly impractical. You had to stand at the sink to watch it because you couldn't see it from the shower or the commode. And if the mirror fogged, you couldn't see it either. But it was cool. We spent a good part of the day napping, showering, and enjoying the hotel.
Since we were only 2 blocks from the White House, she had to see it and we took the obligatory photos and I pointed out icons along the way. At Union Station, we did a little shopping, lunched, and rode on the amphibious Duck Tour which is always fun. It was a very hot day, so we cocooned ourselves back at the St. Regis.
The next day, we moved on to the Gaylord National Hotel which is more like a resort under glass. Our room was spacious with a balcony overlooking the harbor and the shopping area of the hotel (under glass). Since the weather was we hot, we appreciated being under the glass dome where it was air-conditioned and we could feel like we were outside, but we weren't. The Gaylord has one of the best pools in DC; it's huge. They also have an arcade and a pool table. We tried out the Italian restaurant buffet and the sports bar for burgers--all were good. We ventured out to the harbor because I had to show her the spectacular "Awakening". Unfortunately, it had been transferred from Hains Point where it was spooky cool, to the harbor where it is just used as a playground. All in all, the Gaylord had a lot to offer on a hot day without leaving the premises.
We dined at two iconic restaurants for dinners: The Chop House and Clydes. the Chop House is lined with booths and has an classy pub ambiance where the waiters wear long white aprons over black outfits and serve excellent victuals. Everyone knows Clydes, several stories high transporting the diner to a 1920's exclusive club fanned with potted palms and a dark paneled bar. The food is always top-notch and delivers old favorites with a twist of creativity.
So, we could have biked the C&O, explored a myriad of museums, watched a Nationals game, discovered the neighborhoods, or gawked at the memorials. But there's plenty of time for more. For this trip, Lindsey left rejuvenated and we spent wonderful mother-daughter time catching up on our separate lives.