Oh, I'm so jealous! I love, love, love D.C.! There's so much to see - it's very hard to figure out what to squeeze in. I'm sure you'll run into some hot Dems.
Arlington will be a great location. I've stayed there twice and was able to take the Metro to almost everything I wanted to see.
I totally agree that Lincoln Memorial is worth seeing, particularly at night. It was so incredible to stand right where MLK Jr. stood. There's a stone there that designates the spot. It gave me chills - thinking about what a feeling that must have been to look over the sea of people who where there when he spoke.
The Vietnam Memorial Wall is also a must-see. I had seen a minature, traveling version as a child with my mother, but the "real" one is so moving. The Korean War Memorial is also nearby.
As someone else said, the Smithsonian is actually more than one building. It would take forever to go through it all. I hope to do that someday.
I really enjoyed walking through the National Archives, but I'm also a big history nerd.
The White House was neat from the outside. I got to see the Press Pool standing outside, reporting, which was really cool.
The view from the top of the Washington Monument is awesome! You can see all of the surrounding areas. Totally worthwhile. Just make sure you get your free tickets in advance (same day). There's a ticket booth near the base.
I really want to see the new WWII memorial the next time I go. Last time I was there it was not quite complete.
The Jefferson Memorial is neat, but a bit out of the way if you don't have your own transportation. Not as much to see there either.
The FDR Memorial was really nice. I went at night and it was beautiful.
Same with the Iwo Jima statue. I had no idea how huge it was until I saw it in person. I was under the impression that it was life-size. Boy was I wrong!
You won't be able to fit it in on this trip, but if you get to go back, Mt. Vernon (Washington's residence) is a breathtaking location. It's right on the Potomac.
On my next trip I want to go to the Holocaust Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian (part of the Smithsonian). And about 12 million other stops.
Here's a small
collection of my 100+ photos from my first trip in 2003.Link to Shutterfly photos
(Choose the link at the top of the second page "view as slideshow" for easier viewing.)