Accommodation & places to visit in Washington D.C.

The capital of the United States, Washington D.C., was founded in 1791 and named in honor of George Washington in what is formally known as the District of Columbia. More commonly known as D.C., Washington or "the District", the US capital is located on the country's east coast along the Potomac River. Home to all three branches of the US federal government, Washington also houses numerous monuments and museums, as well as a great number of professional associations, lobbying groups and nonprofit organizations.

  • When to visit
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    The absolute best times to visit Washington D.C. is during the spring and fall months. Spring, although not a peak season, often attracts many visitors due to the Cherry Blossom Festival that occurs in late March and early April. However, autumn brings with it the changing of the leaves and cool, crisp breezes.
    Even though Washington sees many visitors during the summer months, you'll find that conditions are hot, humid and sticky. However, if you can stand the heat, you'll find that most museums have plenty of good air-conditioning. You'll also find that winter is an off-peak season, mainly due to the city's freezing cold temperatures and common snowstorms.
  • Weather
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    Washington D.C. has four distinct seasons, which is typical for the humid subtropical climate zone that it is in. While spring and fall are temperately warm, summers are hot and humid, while winters bring cold temperatures and snow. Average July daily temperatures of 79.8°F (26.6°C), with high humidity levels, make for hot and muggy summers. While on the other hand, average winter temperatures of 38°F (3.3°C) lasts from December to February, and bringing annual snowfall that averages around 15.5 inches (39 cm).
    Weather patterns can also have a big effect on Washington, as every 4 to 6 years they are also affected by blizzards. On rarer occasions, they are also subject to violent "nor'easter" storms that typically affect large portions of the East Coast. Occasionally, late summer and early fall will also bring hurricanes (or the remnants of one) to the area. The biggest weather pattern effects, however, are caused by a combination of storm surge, high tide and runoff that causes flooding of the Potomac River, which often results in extensive property damage for Georgetown.
  • To Do
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    While there is only 1 zoo, the National Zoological Park, Washington D.C. offers a slew of sights and landmarks, museums, tours and activities, nature and parks, outdoor activities, theatre and concerts, as well as some great food and drink destinations. Some of the top things to do in Washington D.C. include:
    Tours

    • Walk of the Town

    • DC by Foot

    • City Segway Tours of Washington, DC

    Outdoor Activities

    • Bike and Roll DC

    • Washington Photo Safari

    • U.S. National Arboretum

    Theatre & Concerts

    • John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

    • Ford's Theatre

    • U.S. Marine's Sunset Parade

    • Blues Alley

    Food & Drink

    • DC Brew Tours

    • DC Metro Food Tours

    • Carp DC Food Tours

  • To See
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    With a rich history seated in the founding of America, there is an abundance of things to see in Washington DC.
    Sights & Landmarks

    • Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool

    • Library of Congress

    • Korean War Veterans Memorial

    • Vietnam Veterans Memorial

    • Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

    • Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

    • National World War II Memorial

    • Jefferson Memorial

    • Washington National Cathedral

    Museums

    • National Gallery of Art

    • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

    • Newseum

    • Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

    • National Portrait Gallery

    • Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

    • Hillwood Museum & Gardens

    • Smithsonian Institution Building

    • Smithsonian American Art Museum

  • Tips & Recommendations
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    • With so many things to see and do in the DC area, you can easily overdo yourself. Instead, plan on returning in the future and trim your itinerary down the most important activities.

    • Be prepared to do plenty of walking and wait for security checks. Museums alone can cover large chunks of ground, and they also have many airport style security checks.

    • Save money and get around easier by using a SmartTrip card and riding the Metro. Even if you only planning on being in DC for a few days, a seven-day pass can save you more money than you might expect on transportation.

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