I've been set with the task of starting to look for information for a trip from Milwaukee to DC, New York, and anywhere else fun in the region for myself and 2 friends (both guys). We're planning 7-9 days, as thats all our work/school schedules will allow, during the end of May or beginning of June. So far the trip is based around my wanting to see the Smithsonian and one of my friends wanting to go to New York.
I don't even know where to start looking for information on what to see, where to stay or the best cities to visit. We're more interested in monuments, museums, and maybe a little night life (we'll all be 21 by the time of the trip). We haven't set a budget yet (we have no idea how much things are) but need to keep the trip relatively low cost. Any help with suggestions of where to go or what to see or places I can look for more information would be wonderful :)
For DC, if any of you are into aviation I definitely recommend the Udvar-Hazy Museum.
Also an interesting, but less well-known museum is the International Spy Museum. I think they require you to get reservations or buy tickets in advance, but I'm sure there's details on the website.
I don't know how much you want to plan, versus being more spur of the moment, but when I go to DC I use hotels.com or something like that to get a hotel in VA, right outside of DC. I've done this a couple times, and the hotel had a free shuttle service that took us to a metro(subway) station. Then, for a few bucks, we'd take the metro all over DC during the day, and not have to worry about parking(and outrageous parking fees), traffic, etc. It's also nice because you can have a few drinks, and as long you can read a map, you just take the metro right back to where you came from(which is easy as pie).
Just don't make the assumption that the subway runs 24/7, or you might find yourself in a dark, deserted DC at 3am trying to hail a non-existant cab. Ask me how I know. ;) Actually once we found a cab it was a quick trip back to the hotel, but I think the metro is cheaper. Also, don't use large bills in the ticket machines for the subway because you won't get all your change back. Ask me how I know.