It’s a mistake to think of Washington DC as a city that deserves just a short visiting from New York. It’s time to leave behind this idea that the city doesn’t offer many activities, or that it can be seen in just a few hours. Extend your travel days and seriously consider making it your top destination on your next vacation. Get ready to fall in love and learn about great things to do in Washington DC.
Museums, monuments, memorials, squares, parks… Everything reminds us of the Americans’ history. It may seem a bit exaggerated, but it is an excellent opportunity to understand how the country became the great power it is today. And since our country’s history often coincides with world history, the class is valid for everyone.
Washington has a typical characteristic of cities with well-defined seasons. Each one of them offers different experiences, so, before traveling, make sure you think about which one fits best in your plans.
Among all seasons, the most awaited is spring. The cherry blossoms make Washington even more beautiful and checking them out is one of the best things to do in Washington DC. The Cherry Blosson Festival draws crowds to the edge of the Tidal Basin, the man-made inlet adjacent to the National Mall. Surrounded by cherry trees, West Potomac Park thrills tourists who walk among the memorials that are there.
Summer is the season that attracts the greatest number of families, as it coincides with the Americans’ school holidays. The city gains several attractions and outdoor festivals. It’s common to come across musical performances, such as Jazz on the Garden, at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. In Georgetown, in Waterfront Park, it is even possible to practice stand up paddle and canoeing. And as the heat is great, the tour becomes one of the most pleasant. For baseball fans, it’s worth keeping an eye on the schedule of the finals, which usually take place in September.
Autumn is the most peaceful and romantic season. The pleasant climate invites long walks outdoors. It’s time to take a picnic and venture among the trails of Rock Creek Park. If you are a sports fan and looking for things to do in Washignton DC, September marks the beginning of the football season and you can enjoy a game of the home team, the Redskins.
In winter, despite the low temperatures, the snow brings beautiful landscapes to the city. The bare feet that cool off in the fountain in the Sculpture Garden, a common habit in summer, give way to the feet that twirl on the skating rinks. The capital is all lit up and the Christmas tree at Casa Branca becomes an attraction on its own. Winter sports fans can also venture to the ski slopes near the city, as well as watch the football finals games.
The truth is, Washington offers activities in all seasons of the year, and each one is special. The city’s biggest advantage, however, is that the main attractions can be visited throughout the year, which makes WDC even more attractive.
Get to know the city
The starting point for travelers arriving in Washington is the National Mall. The large terrace concentrates most of the city’s sights. Exactly for this reason, those who visit the capital in just one day have the feeling of knowing it intimately. Perhaps a week is not enough to visit the main attractions of the city.
The long avenues and tree-lined streets invite you to take long walks. Put away some comfortable shoes and face the delicious paths of WDC. This is the best way to get to know the capital. To get a general idea of the city you can also choose a luxury car service with a chauffeur who will take you to the main tourist spots and help those who prefer more comfortable means of transport or those who don’t have a lot of travel time.
Around the National Mall’s long garden are located the main museums that make up the Smithsonian Institute. And here’s one of the biggest perks for tourists visiting Washington: Everyone gets free visits. In addition to them, you can also check out the National Gallery of Art, the only museum on the National Mall not part of the Smithsonian complex.
In addition to conventional museums, other buildings on the National Mall offer excellent sightseeing opportunities. How can you imagine visiting Washington without entering the Capitol? The guided tour is amazing and the building even offers an underground link to the National Library. The library has the largest collection in the world and the interior architecture is breathtaking. This is definitely on the list of things to do in Washington DC.
The White House
Just a few minutes’ walk from the National Mall you will find the White House, also a must-see in the city. Visiting the interior is a difficult task, but it is possible to see the official home of the American president up close. An on-site visitor center offers an exhibit where you can learn a little more about the history of the White House. Another presidential residence can also be visited, in the city of Mount Vernon visitors can visit the house where George Washington lived.
A tour of the National Mall would not be complete without a visit to the monuments and memorials that take over the gardens in the center of the city. The list is extensive, and traversing all of them on foot requires willingness. It will take at least half a day to visit the most important points. To facilitate the movement, how about following the route by bike? The path is beautiful and the walk is most pleasant, especially when the cherry trees are in bloom on the edge of the Tidal Basin. If you have time, be sure to repeat the entire tour during the night. Spaces are even more beautiful with the lights.
Getting out of the National Mall is not easy, however, Washington offers attractions that are not located there. Venturing to other places in the city will depend on how long you will be there. A good way to get to know the life of the capital, off the tourist trail, is to walk through neighborhoods such as: Chinatown and Downtown, full of shopping options; Capitol Hill, historic district where the Eastern Market is located; Dupont Circle and lively nightlife; Penn Quarter with its many good restaurants; U. Street and the culture of black music; and Upper Northwest, the charming neighborhood where the National Zoo and National Cathedral are located.
Among all the neighborhoods, the most famous, sought after and visited is Georgetown. With beautiful parks, flowery streets, good shopping and restaurants, the place attracts tourists who can enjoy a whole day of activities there. Following the same profile, you can visit Old Town Alexandria. The historic town on the Potomac River is enchanting. Like Georgetown, it offers great options for those looking for delicious meals and different shops, all in a very cozy atmosphere.