Washington Dc Travel Guide From an Insider

by grace ashi
washington dc travel guide

Ultimate Washington DC Travel guide by a local

Washington DC is one of the most popular travel destinations in the United States. There are many different things to see and do in the city, so it is important to plan your trip in advance. This travel guide will help you plan the perfect trip to Washington DC, including the best things to see and do, where to stay, and how to get around the city.

Visiting Washington DC

If you’re looking to travel to Washington D.C., there are a few things you should keep in mind when planning your trip. First, be sure to check the weather forecast and dress appropriately for the season. Second, familiarize yourself with the city’s layout before you go – this will make getting around a lot easier. Third, research the city’s attractions and create a list of places you want to see. And finally, don’t forget to pack your camera – there are plenty of photo ops in D.C.! By following these simple tips, you’re sure to have a great time on your trip to the nation’s capital.

How to get to Washington DC

There are many ways to get to Washington DC, but the most common and convenient way is by plane. The three major airports serving Washington DC are Reagan National Airport, Dulles International Airport, and Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Reagan National Airport is located in Arlington, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington DC, while Dulles International Airport is located in Dulles, Virginia, about 26 miles west of the city. Baltimore-Washington International Airport is located in Maryland, about 40 miles northeast of Washington DC.

Given how central of a hub the city is, there are several ways to get into Washington DC. There are three massive airports, along with the train and bus also being an option. Of course, you can always drive there as well. However, you will find it incredibly exhausting and aggravating driving in this city, so be forewarned!

There are four main ways to get around the city: cars, taxis, buses, and the metro. Given just how congested DC is and how difficult (and expensive) it is to find parking, your best best to get somewhere fast is the metro. It’s a clean and safe way to get around that’s quite affordable as well. What’s also great about the Metro is that it’s open until 3 AM. Again, trust me when I say this city’s streets are packed. Nix the rental car and take the Metro like the locals!

The best times to visit Washington DC are March and early June.

September and November are also great! DC in the summer gets hot…really hot. We are talking hot like the South. The springtime has a surprise for you when you visit: The Cherry Blossom Festival.This beautiful festival sometime in March or April turns the city into glorious shades of pastel pink and white. Take it from a local: this is when Washington DC is at its prettiest.

Things to Do in Washington DC

Now that you know the best times to visit DC and how to get there, let’s get right into some of the great things to do in Washington DC. There are plenty of attractions and experiences you can have in this vibrant city.

Take a Cruise on the River

A cruise on the mighty Potomac River is an extraordinary way to see Washington DC like few ever see it. Several cruise-style boats offer to take you around the city while you are served lunch or dinner. You are bound to have lots of fun just as you would anytime you go on a daytime cruise.

See Iconic Landmarks at Night

Getting to see the most famous landmarks in Washington DC like the Washington Monument is something many cross off their to-do list soon after they get to the city. However, seeing Washington DC’s iconic landmarks at night offers a radically different experience.

All the city’s most famous landmarks are lit up with a dazzling array of lights that make them glow. Here are some of the best lit-up monuments to check out at night:

What Should You Not Miss in Washington Dc?

Besides getting incredible photos of these lit up landmarks, you beat the crowds of tourists coming to see them during the day time. The National Park is worth going to during the daytime though. You can compare it to Central Park in New York City, where people are lounging around, taking part in recreational activities, and simply just having lunch.

Must see Washington DC attractions.

The White House

The White House is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Washington D.C. and is a must-see for anyone visiting the city. The President of the United States resides in the White House, and it is also the site of many important events and ceremonies. Visitors can take a tour of the White House to see the iconic building and learn about its history. 

The National Mall

The National Mall is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Washington D.C. and for good reason. This two-mile long park is home to some of the most iconic monuments and buildings in the city. Here are 10 must-see attractions on the National Mall

The Capitol Building
 

This beautiful building is the home of the United States Congress and is a symbol of our democracy. Visitors can take a tour of the Capitol, see the historic Rotunda, and view the impressive art and architecture throughout the building. The Capitol is a must-see for anyone visiting our nation’s capital.

The Lincoln Memorial

The memorial is situated on the National Mall and is a beautiful tribute to the 16th President of the United States. Visitors can explore the memorial and learn about the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln Memorial is an iconic symbol of freedom and democracy and is an essential part of any trip to Washington D.C.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
 

The memorial honors the more than 58,000 American soldiers who lost their lives in the Vietnam War. The simple, yet moving, design of the memorial walls engraved with the names of the fallen is incredibly moving. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made by our brave soldiers.

The Washington Monument
 

Located on the National Mall, the monument is an obelisk that stands over 550 feet tall. Visitors can take an elevator to the top of the monument for panoramic views of the city.

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial

The Jefferson Memorial is a beautiful marble structure that was completed in 1943, and features a 19-foot statue of the former President. Visitors can tour the memorial and learn about Jefferson’s life and legacy, and enjoy the stunning views of the Potomac River from the steps of the memorial.

The National Zoo
 

With over 2,000 animals from more than 400 species, the National Zoo is a must-see for animal lovers of all ages. Some of the most popular animals at the National Zoo include the giant pandas, lions, tigers, and bears. But the National Zoo is more than just a place to see animals. 

The Kennedy Center

 The center is home to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which hosts a variety of events and performances throughout the year. The Kennedy Center is also home to the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington National Opera, and the Washington Ballet. Visitors can take a tour of the center, or enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants on site. 

Best Art Museums in Washington DC

If you’re looking to travel to Washington, D.C., there are a few things you should keep in mind when planning your trip. First, be sure to check the weather forecast and dress appropriately for the season. Second, familiarize yourself with the city’s layout before you go – this will make getting around a lot easier. Third, research the city’s attractions and create a list of places you want to see. And finally, don’t forget to pack your camera – there are plenty of photo ops in D.C.! By following these simple tips, you’re sure to have a great time on your trip to the nation’s capital.

How to get to Washington DC

There are many ways to get to Washington DC, but the most common and convenient way is by plane. The three major airports serving Washington DC are Reagan National Airport, Dulles International Airport, and Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Reagan National Airport is located in Arlington, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington DC, while Dulles International Airport is located in Dulles, Virginia, about 26 miles west of the city. Baltimore-Washington International Airport is located in Maryland, about 40 miles northeast of Washington DC.

Forget about traditional museums that see flocks of tourists invade them. There are some amazing art museums and exhibits that vary from the psychedelic to the futuristic. Here are some of the best places to see the mesmerizing art DC has to offer:

  • DuPont Underground – Formally a subterranean streetcar station in DuPont Circle, this place is now a contemporary performance space that has some great counterculture and alternative art.
  • Artechouse – This art space blends art with next-level futuristic technology. You will immerse yourself in interactive art exhibits that will tantalize your senses and leave you with lasting memories.
  • Newseum – Although it is not one of the twenty-something free Smithsonian museums in DC, this pay-to-enter interactive museum is well worth the price of admission. This new museum is all about paying tribute to the our most fundamental rights of speech, religion, press, assembly, and petition. Get up close and personal with some of the most pivotal moments in modern history.
  • National Gallery of Art – Although this is a more popular art museum, you will definitely want to check out its modern art exhibit. There is even a 41,000-LED light installation called the Multiverse. Talk about being out of this world!
  • National Gallery of Sculpture Art Garden – Nearby the National Mall, this outdoor art sculpture exhibit has some enormous and impressive sculptures such as a thinking rabbit made out of bronze, a tree made entirely out of stainless steel, and a vibrant red horse that looks really abstract. There are also free outdoor jazz concerts on Friday nights when it’s warm and a skating rink when it’s cold.

Best Neighborhoods to Visit in DC

There are some attractive areas and neighborhoods to visit in DC. Some of the best neighborhoods to visit are the following:

  • Georgetown – The oldest, prettiest, and most expensive neighborhood.
  • Foggy Bottom – The closest neighborhood to Georgetown, also having its own charm.
  • Washington Circle & DuPont Circle – This vibrant and historic area boasts plenty of great and affordable hotels. It is also close to the metro and many of the popular sights.

Where to Eat in the Washington DC

There is a wealth of options when it comes to good eats in DC. Locals have their own favorites, which you are sure to love. Here are some of the best places where to eat in DC and get some delicious food in the city:

  • Le Diplomate – Freshly-baked baguettes, delicious signature burgers, and crème brûlée melts in your mouth.
  • Founding Farmers – A must if you want to experience some classic Americana eats (and some modern spins on it), such as bacon lollipops, pimiento-cheese flatbread, and blueberry pancakes.
  • Kapnos Taverna – Enjoy a Mediterranean seafood experience by eating dishes like charred octopus and massive shellfish platters.
  • Fiola Mare – For a classy evening filled with seafood prepared in the Mediterranean and Adriatic style, this is a top choice. The langoustines and branzino are especially great choices.
  • Ted’s Bulletin – Breakfast is hard to beat at this place. If you love big portions, you will enjoy the scrambled eggs and overstuffed breakfast burritos.

At the end of every eventful day, you are going to want to crash somewhere. Luckily, there are a great deal of hotels to choose from. If this is your first time coming to Washington DC and you want to stay in an affordable (by the city’s standards), yet stylish hotel, the following are all great choices:

  • The Embassy Row Hotel – The bold look of this boutique hotel will bedazzle you. Each room looks eclectic and unique, making you feel like you’re staying in a classy AirBnb rather than a hotel. There’s even a rooftop lounge where you can have some drinks in the evening.
  • Kimpton Palomar – This hotel has plenty of personality. The colors and textures in each room, along with the faux fur throws, make this a one-of-a-kind stay. There’s even a heated outdoor pool that’s open during the summer. Have a pet? Let them get pampered here where they get their own bed, food and a water bar.
  • The Normandy – When it’s a no-frills boutique hotel you’re after, the Normandy is a great choice. While light on the amenities, it’s incredibly cozy and charming. There’s 75 rooms that have a Parisian vibe, featuring velvet armchairs and marble bathrooms. There’s even a private garden terrace downstairs where you can enjoy a break from the sometimes-hectic pace of the city.
  • The Dupont Circle Hotel – Are you looking for a hotel that feels like a home? This is the place. Located in the trendy Dupont Circle area, this place has heated floors, bath tubs, and glass balconies. Elegant and contemporary is what you’ll find here.
  • The Melrose Georgetown – If you want to get a Founding Fathers look and feel in a hotel, this is an eclectic way to get it. Featuring massive murals of the US constitution, along with portraits of all the big names in the Founding Fathers era, this places exudes American origins. There’s also a seasonal farm-to-table restaurant on-site featuring local seafood.

Wrapping Up

Washington DC has plenty of unique and fun things to offer you. Far from just being a stuffy city full of politicians, there is culture, character, and class. Now that you have read this Washington DC travel guide and know how to see DC like a local, get over to this vibrant city and experience it for yourself!

For more information on visiting washington DC check out the DC tourism board.

4
Shares

Related Articles

follow us in feedly