Thank you to Mazda for loaning us the 2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring for our trip to Washington, D.C.
One of my favorite things to do is travel with my children. We’re getting pretty good at traveling with two kids in tow and we’ve made it a priority to try and get away at least once a month. Somewhere fun. Somewhere we can learn new things. Somewhere we can just be together. Our latest adventure took us on a road trip to Washington, D.C. Despite living only a few hours away, it was my first time visiting the city since I was in elementary school and a first for the rest of my family. Now there is no shortage of things to do in the city and while I wanted to see and do everything, realistically that wasn’t going to happen. Instead, we all sat down and I asked everyone what were some of the things they really wanted to do on this trip. We all gave our choices and I’m sharing some fun ideas for your next trip to Washington D.C.
My husband was easy, he doesn’t care what we do as long as there is a little fishing involved. Lucky for him, with a little research, there was plenty of spots for him to get a little fishing in. Ryan wanted to visit some of the monuments and museums and Evie is still little so she just goes with the flow.
Since we had a 3+ hour ride down from New Jersey, I made sure to pack activity bags for the kids to keep them busy in the Mazda3 Grand Touring, our ride for this adventure, and we were off. We loaded up the trunk with all our bags and fishing equipment and hit the road.
Once we arrived in the city, we checked into our hotel, dropped off our bags and headed out to explore.
VISIT THE MONUMENTS
This is a given in the city. We stayed at the One Washington Circle Hotel during our trip and it was the perfect location for us. It was right by the Metro and within walking distance to many of the monuments and attractions. While we didn’t get them all in, we did venture out to the Lincoln Memorial, which by the way, is gorgeous at night.
We also enjoyed a walk down to The White House and a stop at The Washington Monument on the way back from the Smithsonian Museum.
EXPLORE THE MUSEUMS
Visiting all the museums in the city requires a weekend of its own and we didn’t get to see nearly as many as we wanted to. The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History topped our must-see list, so that’s where we started. The kids loved walking around visiting the different displays and attractions. In fact, they didn’t want to leave. We were there until closing. With so many museums, it’s a good idea to plan out which ones you want to see so you can work them into your schedule.
THE NATIONAL ZOO
A trip to the National Zoo is a must. It’s a fun, family-friendly activity the entire family can enjoy. We learned all kinds of new things about some of our favorite animals and it was Evie’s first time seeing some of these animals live and up close and she was mesmerized. Admission to the zoo is free but you do pay for parking. Parking was $23, which I thought was very reasonable. The parking lots (I think most, if not all) lead directly into the zoo so once we parked we were right in the middle of all the action.
FISHING ON THE POTOMAC
My husband and son LOVE to fish. Practically all year long, you’ll find them fishing throughout New Jersey and lately they’ve been taking their love of fishing on the road with us. It’s cute watching them bond and plot out where to fish in each city we visit. We enjoyed a night of fishing right on the banks of the Potomac. Apparently, it’s a hot spot, since we saw about 7-8 others families out there fishing as well.
Fletcher’s Cove wasn’t even on our original list of things to do but we sort of stumbled upon it while my husband was looking for some fishing spots. It’s known as a fishing and recreation area and it’s absolutely stunning. We had plans to come back and fish but we never got the chance so it’s going on our list for our Spring visit.
Instead, we spent some time just walking around and enjoying the beautiful park. To get to the lake area, you can park in the top parking lot and walk down or you can drive around to it. Driving around takes you through this old tunnel. It was so creepy and cool at the same time.
Once we drove through it and parked, there were trails, streams and so much to explore. It was a great way for the kids to burn off a little energy.
It made me wish I packed a picnic to enjoy while we were there. It was so serene and just beautiful.
Weekend getaways always go by so fast and I only wish we had more time to squeeze in everything else we wanted to see. Since seeing the Cherry Blossoms in the Spring has been a bucket list item for me, we’ll be headed back in a few months hopefully to finish off the rest of our list.
One of the most important parts of any road trip is the vehicle we drove in. For this trip, we had a 2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring. I’ve been a fan of just about every Mazda we’ve driven. You can read all about them HERE, and HERE HERE. I’ll be the first to tell you they’re a quality vehicle and just about every one has been suitable and comfortable for my family of 4.
The 2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring is no different. So what’s new for 2018, you ask? Well, a lot actually.
The Mazda3 is Mazda’s best-selling car in the world, garnering dozens of awards for its design, driving dynamics, efficiency, and quality. The 2018 Mazda3 receives newly standard features that continue to reinforce designing with a focus on how people intuitively use their cars. More safety features at more accessible price points provide occupants with enhanced peace of mind. While passengers will appreciate the class-above interior features, the driver is rewarded by the philosophy of Jinba Ittai—harmony between the car and the driver. Subtle exterior tweaks for 2018 elevate the Mazda3’s head-turning KODO—Soul of Motion design. Available as a sedan or a hatchback, this compact car is designed for active lifestyles, families, and everyone in between.
More safety features at more accessible price points provide owners with enhanced peace of mind. While passengers will appreciate the class-above interior features, the driver is rewarded by the philosophy of Jinba Ittai— which is the harmony between the car and the driver. Subtle exterior tweaks for 2018 elevate the Mazda3’s head-turning KODO—Soul of Motion design. Available as a sedan or a hatchback, this compact car is designed for active lifestyles, families, and everyone in between.
What’s New for 2018
Newly Standard Equipment:
- Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) standard on every Mazda3 model
- All Mazda3 Touring models are now equipped with SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter engine
- All Mazda3 Touring models are equipped with dark silver alloy wheels (new color)
- Overhead console with sunglass holder and illuminated vanity mirrors (driver and passenger)
- Bi-LED headlights with auto-leveling, LEF combination tail lights and LED fog lights standard on top-trim, Mazda3 Grand Touring models
- BOSE®/Moonroof/Satellite Radio Package reconfigured to include BOSE® 9-speaker audio system, SiriusXM satellite radio with 4-month subscription and moonroof (formerly part of Touring Popular Equipment Package)
- Grand Touring Premium Equipment Package reconfigured to include High Beam Control, Lane Departure Warning System, Lane-Keep Assist, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Smart Brake Support and Traffic Sign Recognition (all previously in separate Grand Touring i-ACTIVSENSE Safety Package)
Have you seen the 2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring yet? What did you think?
To learn more about the Mazda3 Grand Touring and the rest of the Mazda lineup, visit MazdaUSA.com.