The House of Hatrack will be taking off on its annual "Big Trek" next week. Five nights in Washington, DC and a week in Baltimore. We used to go to Washington all the time when we lived in Virginia but now it's a more of a once every few years kind of thing. We've been to Baltimore three times I think.

Does anybody have any secret insider information on things to do? Stuff that doesn't make it into the travel books. In Washington, we've been to almost all of the Smithsonian museums, the Spy museum and the Crime museum as well as the National Gallery. And, of course, the zoo. In Baltimore, we've done the aquarium and the zoo and not much else since those trips were generally much shorter.

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Restaurant recommendations are also most welcome since we live by "Road Rules" when we travel: No chain restaurants (except Five Guys, gotta go to Five Guys, we don't have one where we live). It can be tricky though since you never know if the place you've picked is going to be good or bad and Mrs. Hatrack isn't the bravest member of the tribe when it comes to stepping outside the comfort zone.