I have lived in many different places and travel a lot. I often travel solo for work, and one of my favorite places to travel for work or for fun is Washington, D.C. I love D.C. because there is a ton of history here, there are so many things to do and see, the food options are fantastic, and it is SO much more accessible than most of the cities I have been to. If you are a wheelchair user looking to travel to D.C., here’s a few things you should know:
Getting to and around D.C. in a wheelchair is pretty easy. D.C. has two airports (and a third nearby), a train station if you prefer to travel by Amtrak, and some affordable parking options if you want to drive into the city. Additionally, getting around is easy because the Metro system is fully accessible! I use my power wheelchair to get around D.C. most of the time because I love being outdoors, but if I need to go more than a mile or two, I hop on the metro and it’s really simple to navigate. There are also wheelchair accessible taxis and ridesharing services. Unsure about traveling with your power wheelchair? Check out these tips.
I absolutely LOVE eating. I have a pretty uncontrollable sweet tooth too. If you’re like me, you will probably love Ice Cream Jubilee which has delicious ice cream in very unique flavors. There are two locations which are both near Metro stops and both are wheelchair accessible (but if they are busy, it can get tight inside). For dinner, I really like Wok and Roll in Chinatown. They do have double doors to get through, but I have never had a problem getting in and the staff are very accommodating. They have wheelchair accessible bathrooms too! I also love Pi Pizzeria in Penn Quarter. I know I should recommend a pizza, but their Tomato 4 Way salad is out of this world! Plus, I love how easy it is to navigate this restaurant in my motorized wheelchair.
Things to Do
I am a nerd and love politics and government, so I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t recommend that you head to Capitol Hill and visit your senators and representative! The Congressional buildings are open to the public, are free, and full of history! You can also ask your member of Congress to have their staff give you a tour of the Capitol (give them a call in advance for this and they will probably hook you up). I also love the Smithsonian museums which are wheelchair accessible and free. The Air and Space Museum might be my favorite, but it is really hard to choose. I also love the national monuments. The FDR monument is really cool because it’s more like a park than a single monument and it has a statue of FDR sitting in a wheelchair, which – as a wheelchair user – I find really empowering! However, my very favorite thing to do in D.C. is roll around the World War II Monument at night. I think it is absolutely beautiful and poignant.
If you’re nervous about traveling as a wheelchair user, D.C. is a great city to start with! With accessible transportation, many accessible monuments and museums, and lots of great wheelchair accessible restaurants – D.C. is guaranteed to be a great time!
About Stephanie Woodward: Stephanie is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab® and works as a disability rights activist. She has received many awards for helping communities become more accessible, as well as for her actions in fighting for the rights of disabled individuals as it relates to Medicaid and other support services. Click here to learn more about Stephanie.