Washington D.C.

48°
44° - January
47° - February
57° - March
67° - April
76° - May
84° - June
88° - July
86° - August
79° - September
68° - October
58° - November
48° - December
Dec avg
$161
Avg Hotel
$309
Est. Airfare

Best Known For

Description

For your next vacation, consider going somewhere where the biggest problem the city encounters is just plain having way too much to do. Washington, DC, a place where your state's senators roam the same streets as street performers, young politicians, millions of tourists, and the president of the United States of America, is the kind of place that has new treasures for you to explore no matter how often you visit. Whether you're a kid or an adult, it's fascinating to see the monuments you've only seen in history books. You can see the White House, home to nearly all of America's past presidents, stand at the foot of a 100 foot high Abraham Lincoln, or feel the intense emotion emblazoned upon the Vietnam Memorial. Cobblestone streets and Victorian townhouses are typical in many of DC's historic neighborhoods. We know you've heard of the Smithsonian Museum, but are you aware that "the museum" is actually 19 different museums and one massive zoo? Smithsonian museums allow you to experience items from pop culture and American history, actual spaceships and airplanes, world-famous art, and real dinosaur bones. Oh and did we mention that everything we've suggested so far is absolutely free? That's right. Once you get to DC, you can absolutely fill your day with once-in-a-lifetime kind of activities without spending a single penny. Of course another world opens up to you if you are willing to open your wallet a bit. A world filled with spy museums, upscale shopping, quirky and diverse food. It's one of America's most lively, inspirational, and influential cities.
Photo Credit: Destination DC
Photo Credit: Jason Hawkes
Photo Credit: Destination DC
Photo Credit: Destination DC
Photo Credit: Destination DC
Photo Credit: Destination DC
Photo Credit: Destination DC
Photo Credit: Destination DC
Photo Credit: Destination DC
Photo Credit: Destination DC
Photo Credit: Destination DC
Photo Credit: Destination DC
Photo Credit: Destination DC
Photo Credit: Destination DC
Photo Credit: Destination DC
Photo Credit: Destination DC
Photo Credit: Destination DC
Photo Credit: Destination DC
Photo Credit: Destination DC
Photo Credit: Destination DC
Photo Credit: Destination DC
  • The Ritz Carlton

    Visit Website
  • Hotel Palomar

    Visit Website
  • Hotel Rouge

    Visit Website

    You're Typical Tourist Will Not Want To Leave.

    09/27/13
    If you’re only in the city for a few days, like I was, the best way to see the city is via bicycle. There are several rental companies around the city and they are very reasonably priced. I rented the bike for two days (paying to keep it overnight meaning I didn’t have to worry about returning it by the company’s closing time) allowing me to explore the entire city in my time. The most enjoyable thing I did in my time in DC was the bike ride to Mount Vernon.
    Mount Vernon itself is the former residence of George Washington. The grand house and accompanying plantation are maintained in their original state and it is really an eye opening visit into the life of the country’s first president. The admission fee was more than I would have liked to have paid, however after cycling for hours to reach it I had little option other than to pay it, plus considering most other attractions in DC are free I didn’t feel too aggrieved. Its beautiful setting and scenery along the cycle route to get there definitely make this a worthwhile venture.
    The bicycle rental company can provide trail maps and advice on the route. I started the morning heading to the Thomas Jefferson and Roosevelt memorials in their tranquil setting on the Tidal Basin. From there I crossed the river and headed south along the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The scenery was beautiful (apart from around the Ronald Reagan Airport), passing through woodland and along this riverside route. Along the way I fell in love with the quaint town of Alexandria, a town I decided I could be very content retiring to when I’m older, where I stopped to grab some lunch. The ride to Mount Vernon took around two hours to get there, however it’s much quicker riding back; partly because its downhill and partly because you actually know where you’re going! Still I’d allow at least half a day to account for the journey there and back, as well as time to explore Mount Vernon.
    For those travellers who love museums and galleries I doubt there is anywhere that can trump DC. The National Mall, the main artery cutting through the city centre, is bordered with no less than thirteen galleries and museums catering for everyone, most of which have no admission charge. Ranging from; American History, Air and Space, Natural History, and Fine Art, there is a museum out there for whatever your interest. It would be easy to spend a full week just taking in the galleries and museums but DC has so much more to offer.
    Staying on the National Mall, there are three iconic structures here you must plan time for. Firstly, the Lincoln Memorial, scene of Martin Luther King’s famous speech is rather humbling. Looking out over the outstretching reflection pool and surrounding grass, you can appreciate how big the crowds actually were that came to listen to that pivotal speech.
    At the opposite end of the mall is the Capitol Building, meeting place of the US congress, situated at the eastern end of the mall. It might not sound interesting to some, however if you get the tour I assure you that the magnificent decor is worth listening to the tour-guide’s ramblings about American politics. The central rotund room under the iconic dome is adorned by huge paintings depicting pivotal scenes from the United States’ history. Rather embarrassingly the tour guide proceeded to ask random members of the tour group what they thought each painting showed, presumably they are all straight-forward tales which American children learn about it school, however when I was asked about one particular painting I crumbled and my lack of American history knowledge was bare for all the group to see (so maybe swot up on the basics if you want to avoid public embarrassment!).
    Tours for the Capitol Building are free of charge, however only operate at certain times of the day and it’s crucial you have a ticket before the tour starts. Queues can be quite large for tickets and with only a limited number tickets often sell-out, so I suggest going first thing to secure your ticket. An underground public tunnel connects this building to the beautiful Library of Congress, which is worth a quick look to appreciate its beautiful interior and exterior, undoubtedly my favourite building in DC, which I stumbled upon completely by chance taking this public tunnel.
    Next up is the Washington Monument; the obelisk is arguably the most recognisable symbol of DC, after perhaps the Whitehouse. Similar to the Capitol building you can also get a limited number of tickets to get the elevator up to the top of the monument, which are released each morning on a first-come, first-served basis. The tickets are free, like most sights in the capital; however even with tickets queues to get in can still be lengthy. From the top it offers unique views over the whole city, however the windows are understandably hard to clean that high up and on my particular visit the photos I captured did not come out too clear.
    For nightlife there was only one place everyone recommended, Georgetown. This district in the north west of the city is sandwiched in between two universities; consequently it’s a hive of activity for socialising students and young professionals (those who have seen the 1980s cult film St. Elmo ’s Fire will appreciate the area). It has some amazing little bistros and plenty of bars catering for every price range.
    Overall, an amazing city which you could spend forever taking in everything it has to offer. If you are only making a fleeting visit its crucial to have an itinerary in mind before your arrival as there is so much to see and do. I did the trip at the end of a three-month trip around the US, consequently my funds were very bleak however there are plentiful cheap backpackers hostels in and around the city and with most things in the capital free admission it’s possible to get the most from this place on a shoe-string budget. From my experience I would even go as far as saying it’s my favourite place I’ve visited in the entire United States.
    Greg

    Lots to See at the Nation's Capital

    09/21/13
    The city has so much history, it is a must see. You could spend a week at the Smithsonian alone, although if you are in a crunch for time I must say the Aero Space museum was a favorite of mine and will probably be the best place to take the kids. All of the monuments at the National Mall were inspiring, and instill a great sense of pride if you are American. Even if you aren't you will still enjoy many of the quotes from great people in history.

    *** Pro Tip ***

    It is very ill advised to do a lot of driving in this city, and the walking can take it out of you especially during the summer. I suggest you rent one of the bikes that are scattered throughout the city, they aren't very expensive and there are many places to drop them off. Your legs will thank me later.
    Matt
    I went to Washington D.C. over my 14th birthday, and I thought that it was fantastic. My favorite part was touring the National Mall. It was amazing to see all of the Smithsonians. Also, not to far away from the National Mall, is the Holocaust museum, which is really cool. We didn't even have to rent a car because we could just walk or take the metro. The only attraction that we had to use a car for was to go see George Washington's house and property. The food there is a lot like I have back at home, but it is located near the attractions, so I never had to worry about finding it. I wish I would have known about the other air museum outside of town; that would have been fun to go to. All in all I loved going to D.C., and I think that it is a great place to take a family. Sadly no matter how long you stay, there is not enough time to see everything Washington D.C. has to offer.
    Jessica
    This place is so beautiflul to visit in the spring time,when the chery blossoms are out. We had a wonderful time . I visited this place 3 time's when the children went on patrol trips. Nis friendly dining. Nice places to see .Alot of history to see.
    Susan
    Washington DC is an amazing place. The Smithsonian is still free, even after all these years. the monuments are incredible. A full day should be devoted to Arlington National Cemetary, with a visit to the The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The guards there are an inspiration, especially one former Guard, Jeff Hojnacke, the guard with the most walks. His uniform is on display in the museum, and should not be missed. Beyond that, if you can schedule your trip during the Cherry Blossom Festival, I highly recommend it!!
    Melissa
    Bring your best walking shoes and explore the monuments and museums. Great place to bring the family. If you have a car, stay in Northern Virginia hotels. There are always things to see and do in DC.
    Jade
    Take the Metro to the city.
    Do a bus tour first day and then you'll know what you want to go back to.
    Get tickets to the Holocaust Museum online before you go.
    Some of the best diversified restaurants around
    kathi
    Great place for kids. So many museums and activities for the entire family. A must-see if you've never been.
    April
    DC is a great city to go with kids, although avoid school vacation weeks if possible. So many incredible museums and activities. Also, we easy to get around because of the Metro.
    Pam
    Washington DC is truly one of the most inspiring place that my family has ever visited. There is plenty to see for adults and kids alike. The Smithsonian and monuments well worth taking the time to see.
    Liz

    National Mall

    Washington Monument, Capitol, Smithsonian and more
    Cost: Most are Free
    Visit Website

    Arlington National Cemetery

    Commemorates the dead of WWI, WWII, Korean,Vietnam, and Persian Gulf wars with seemingly endless rows of white headstones. A solitary soldier guards the cemetery, with changing of the guard every hour. Visitors may walk or take a guided tour.
    Cost: Guided tour $3 Adults, $1.50 Children
    Visit Website

    National Aquarium

    The oldest public aquarium in the US, includes a touch tank with hermit crabs and sea urchins, more than 1200 fish and other creatures, plus shark feedings.
    Cost: Adult $9.95, Child $4.96
    Visit Website

    Smithsonian National Zoological Park

    The United States National Zoo houses over 2,000 individual animals of 400 different species including the famous Giant Pandas. Admission is free.
    Cost: Free

    Language

    English

    Currency

    [USD] American Dollars

    Airports

    Ronald Reagan National Airport [DCA]
    Dulles International Airport [IAD]
    Balt./Wash. International Airport [BWI]