Start at the Capital and walk the mall towards the Lincoln memorial. You will be flanked on both sides by the smithsonian and pass by the Civil War Memorial, WWII Memorial, and Washnington Monument. Hang a right at the lincoln memorial and check out the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Keep walking till you get to NW Constitution Ave and make a left on 17th or 15th and you will see the Whitehouse. Make a right on NW F St and find one of the plethora of great bars in the blocks around the Verizon Center. Fords Theater is along the way on 10th.
Thats about it. DC is a town you can “see” in 3 hours, but get drunk in for a week.
With cold weather out, walking the National Mall is going to be painful. Probably best to visit the museums. The Air and Space Museum is a must. I also like the Museum of American History. All the museums on the mall are free.
The WWII Memorial and the Vietnam memorial are nice, as are the standard Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. I always liked the Jefferson Memorial, but it’s a pain to get to if you don’t have your own car.
Sorry about Crystal City. One of the most boring places you can possibly be in. But they have hotels there.
Georgetown along M street is a nice place to hang for bars and restaurants. Adam’s Morgan is also interesting, but the longer the time between today and your college graduation, the more you feel out of place.
There are good Ethiopian restaurants in Adams Morgan. If you haven’t had Ethiopian food, you should try it, but you kinda need to go with a group.
National Cathedral is also nice, but, again, hard to get to without a car.
Walking along the National Mall is great to do, just don’t do it in 10 degree weather.
I don’t know what kind of Indian food you’ve had. My buddy from Lubbock and I went to Rasika last night and it was superb. He said he couldn’t find any good Indian food around him and wanted to check it out. I did the 6 course tasting menu and it was legit.
^Founding Farmers is not good. Fogo de Chao is good but you can get that in any of the major cities, it’s not a DC specific thing. Go to El Chalan, a great Peruvian restaurant, 1924 I St NW, Washington, DC 20006. Order a pisco sour for your cocktail, papa a la huancaina for your appetizer, lomo saltado as your main dish, and helado de lucuma or arroz con leche as your dessert. You’re welcome.
When I visited Washington DC for the first time while I was in college, I stayed at the sketchiest hostel possible. It was basically four or five people crammed into the attic of some house opposite a 7-Eleven. The owner was some middle aged lady who went out partying all night. Also, I basically survived on 7-Eleven hot dogs every day that I was there.