Just got back from a 5 night trip to Washington D.C. and wanted to post a quick trip report because I came to this forum for great advice.
We arrived in the late afternoon from Dulles and took the Supershuttle to the State Plaza hotel located two blocks from the mall on the Lincoln Memorial end. We stayed 5 nights at the State Plaza hotel and I highly, highly recommend this hotel. Huge rooms, a kitchenette, free bottled water delivered daily, free newspaper, etc. Found on Booking.com with awesome ratings by travellers and I concur! The only negative is the area does not have any good restaurants, you have to walk about 10 or 15 min. The hotel does have a restaurant and there is a CVS pharmacy and liquor store right next door, where we got our happy hour and breakfast.
I used all my Chase points which made it reasonable cost wise.
We spent much of our time at the Mall and the Circulator was a godsend, especially with my 75 year old mother and the heat, although the weather for the most part was quite pleasant. Still, most days we logged 7 to 8 miles.
Thanks to those on the forum that suggested Mt. Vernon. We loved it. We did use Uber to get there and back, and on the way back we stopped in Alexandria in the Old Town and took the water taxi back to the Wharf in D.C.
We ate at Old Ebbit Grill (near the White House) and Gadsby's Tavern in Alexandria, both suggestions by posters on this forum. Great choices!
We also took the Dupont Circle and Embassy Row tour by DC Design Tours and enjoyed that. Learned a lot!
We toured the National Cathedral too as I had not done that before.
Three trips there and I still have things left I would like to do!