Did you know that 22 million domestic tourists visited Washington in 2018? If you want some tips for visiting Washington DC, we can help.
In this guide, we’ll go over how to plan a trip to DC.
Want to learn more? Keep reading.
When Will You Visit?
Summer is a popular time to visit Washington. DC weather can be humid and hot. Consider what you’re comfortable with before booking your trip.
If you want a guided tour through Washington, you could have access to air-conditioning for a large part of the tour. Your sightseeing will still be enjoyable even in the hot summer.
Fall and spring are other popular seasons to visit Washington. Enjoy the cherry blossoms in DC.
Winter tends to be quieter, and there aren’t as many visitors. Consider going there if you don’t mind the chillier weather. You’ll see the national Christmas tree and stunning holiday lights.
Plan to Visit the White House
Many visitors will go to see the White House from the street and take a few pictures. If you want a tour, you’ll need to plan.
You’ll need to request a tour from your member of Congress at least three weeks before your trip. If you’re from another country, you’ll have to work with your embassy to get your request approved.
Go on a Guided Tour
If you haven’t gone to Washington before, you might feel overwhelmed. A tour will provide you with a broad overview of the city.
This way, you can explore the spots that interest you after the tour.
If you don’t want a guided tour, consider getting on a hop-on, hop-off bus pass. Pick and choose what you’d like to see.
Check Out the National Mall
If you head to Washington, you’ll want to consider checking out this national park. The mall is a two-mile stretch and has many monuments and museums that line the area.
Give yourself a few hours to browse.
Check Out Free Attractions and Museums
DC is an expensive place to visit. Save money by checking out a ton of free spots. The National Zoo and all the Smithsonian museums are free. You can also check out memorials and monuments for free.
Most of the galleries and art museums are free. Visit the National Gallery, the Freer, the Hirshhorn, and Sackler Galleries.
You can spend hours enjoying the green spaces and parks around the city. Consider packing up a lunch and enjoy the different attractions, parks, and museums.
Enjoy Visiting the Monuments Any Time of the Day
If you love photography and want to avoid crowds, check out the monuments in the evening.
Take stunning shots of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial or the Washington Monument.
Don’t Forget to Bring a Water Bottle
While touring around Washington, you’ll get thirsty fast. If you don’t have a water bottle, you will end up spending three to five dollars on a bottle of water.
Instead, bring your bottle and refill it at various locations around the city. You’ll save money and help reduce plastic pollution.
DC has a program called TapIt. TapIt has partnered with attractions and businesses to provide free water to people.
Get a Metro SmarTrip Card
You can refill your SmarTrip card and use it on almost every transit provider in the DC metro area. You can use the transit lines, bus, light rail, and subway.
Buy a card before your trip. You can add money to it during your stay. An unlimited one-day pass is around 15 dollars. You’ll get to see a ton of different parts of the city.
If you haven’t gone to DC before, you might get overwhelmed by the traffic. It’s a confusing district to drive through as well.
If you drove to Washington for a day trip, you’ll need to figure out parking. Research beforehand so you don’t get stuck looking for a parking place.
Go on a River Cruise
Enjoy the waterfront by going on a Potomac River cruise. You’ll see a completely different side of the city. Ride paddle boats in the Tidal Basin or kayak along the Potomac River.
Check out the stunning harbors in DC. Visit the National Harbor in Maryland and the Washington Harbour in Georgetown.
Stay at Hotels Outside the District
During the week, hotels in the city are super expensive. You can find quality hotels around DC for close to 100 dollars a night. Save money by staying outside the district.
Look online for hotels that are close to a metro station. This way, you can hop on a train and head into the city in 30 minutes or less.
Bring Sturdy Footwear
You can see plenty of sights by walking around the city. You’ll get to explore unique neighborhoods and districts. You’ll still need to walk to and from the attractions with a guided tour.
Don’t bring your most stylish shoes. Instead, bring sturdy footwear. This way, you can see plenty of the city without getting sore feet.
Now You Have Some Tips for Visiting Washington DC
We hope this guide on visiting DC was helpful. Now that you have some tips for visiting Washington DC, start planning your trip today. Don’t forget to pack comfortable footwear and a reusable water bottle.
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