Washington D.C., or “D.C.” as locals call it, was founded in 1791. As the epicenter of American politics, a visit to the nation’s capital isn’t complete without a trip to the White House. This is where America’s presidents have lived and worked for more than two centuries. Next door is the National Mall where you’ll find many of the country’s most revered landmarks. You can’t miss the towering Washington Monument, a 555-foot (169-meter) marble obelisk. Make your way up to the elevated U.S. Capitol Building for a breath-taking view across the Reflecting Pool towards the Lincoln Memorial. It was here that crowds gathered for Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963.
The National Mall showcases tributes to the nation’s patriots and heroes. These include the Korean War Veterans Memorial and Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Jefferson Memorial and World War II Memorial. It’s also home to the U.S. Botanic Garden and the National Gallery of Art. The revered Smithsonian Institute, the world’s largest museum and research complex, has most of its 19 exhibit halls on the mall. These include the National Museum of Natural History and the National Air and Space Museum. Use the wide, tree-lined sidewalks around the mall to explore the sights on foot or by hired bike.
Public transportation in D.C. is fast and easy. The DC Circulator bus stops in a number of districts, including Rosslyn, which is close to the Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon and the Iwo Jima Memorial. In the historic district of Georgetown you’ll find 18th-century architecture and modern-day shops and cafes. For nighttime entertainment, head to the U Street Corridor in the Shaw neighborhood where jazz legend Duke Ellington used to play nightly.
Washington D.C. hosts many lively festivals year round. Join in one the nation’s largest Independence Day celebrations on July 4. Each April film buffs from around the world enjoy the Washington DC International Film Festival. Music lovers gather every June for the DC Jazz Festival. The city also has a thriving theater scene. See a live stage show at The National Theatre, walking distance from the White House. The Shakespeare Theatre Company gives free performances throughout the year at the Sidney Harman Hall in Downtown D.C.
Be prepared for humid weather in summer and snowfall in winter. Visit Washington D.C. in spring and you may be lucky enough to catch one of the city’s most spectacular displays: for just a few days in March or April, some 1,600 cherry trees around the Tidal Basin burst into bloom.
Best time to visit Washington, D.C.Peak Season: From March through June, expect higher rates as tourists flock to the city for the cherry blossoms and Congress finishes up its session.
Value Season: September and December are your best bets for great hotel deals and shorter lines. July and August are also good for travel bargains, but expect humid weather.
Museum, Historical Building and Monument
Explore the home and workplace of the president of the United States. See entertainment areas and state rooms and learn about the history of this famous building.
Centerpiece of the National Mall, America’s tribute to the country’s founding father stirs the soul while offering superb views from the top.
Epic words, exceptional architecture, and an inspirational view combine in this stirring tribute to America’s 16th president.
Sitting on top of Capitol Hill is a Washington landmark that’s been the home of American democracy for more than 200 years.
One of the National Mall’s more austere pieces of architecture, the Jefferson Memorial pays homage to one of America’s greatest presidents and visionaries.
This stark, powerful monument offers a pause for reflection on one of America’s most controversial conflicts.
Named “Washington's Best Tour” by the Washingtonian Magazine, the Old Town Trolley offers the most comprehensive tour of the Nation's Capitol. Sit back while expert tour guides help you discover the beauty and majesty of Washington D.C.
Take a day trip out of the city to soak up the history and architecture of another East Coast metropolis—Washington, D.C. Check out the monuments and memorials of the National Mall, see the White House, and dive into the fascinating exhibits at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.
Your tour begins at the US Navy Memorial and loops around the National Mall, stopping at iconic landmarks and powerful tributes to key moments in American history along the way.
Explore the halls of our nation’s history and see the memorials that pay tribute to early presidents, fallen soldiers, and inspired citizens. Your all-encompassing tour of the capital puts you face-to-face with the documents and buildings that symbolize our patriotic past.
Discover our Nation’s Capital during this exceptionally comprehensive, 3 - hour, personalized, professionally guided tour. To enhance our tour you will view dramatic slides and videos of DC on our Transit's overhead display screen.
Start at the open plaza of the U.S. Navy Memorial and listen as your informative guide tells you about the significance of each feature, like the bronze statue of the Lone Sailor that stands in memory of all naval service personnel.
Discovering the LGBT side of the nation’s capital
Finding meals to go from food trucks in the nation's capital
Exploring the theater options in Washington, D.C.