What to do in Washington, MD

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Washington Attractions

Welcome to the nation’s capital, where you can find history and urban living in equal measure. There is no shortage of things to see in Washington, D.C. From quintessential stops at places like 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to hours spent at small museums and fantastic restaurants, there are loads of ways to use your time in this city. Visit the Jefferson Memorial, stop by Ford’s Theater, and cap off your day at a chic restaurant lounge. There is so much to do in the capital that many visitors take advantage of Washington, D.C. tours.

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What to do in Washington

Free Things to Do in Washington

An escape to Washington doesn't have to break the bank. You can leave your wallet at home if you go to:

Historical Society of Washington D.C. - Wander the halls and marvel at the impressive displays and unique collections at this popular museum.

American Legion Freedom Bell - This is an ideal place to get your culture hit and learn more about the local arts scene.

Bundy Playground - Give the kids a good time or unleash your own inner child — this attraction was made for fun.

Upshur Pool - Swing by for a refreshing paddle and let your inner water lover splash free.

FBI headquarters - Pay a visit to this landmark and take in its distinctive design.

Peterson's Boarding House - If you plan to explore the region's history through its landmarks, stick this one on your must-see list.

Franklin Square - Mingle with the local people and discover the real character and energy of this place.

Turquoise Lake - Find a nice spot to sit and enjoy the calmness that comes with being around water.

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - Introduce yourself to a local and find out why many tourists stop by this place.

Sixth and I Historic Synagogue - Whatever your religious leanings, this place will inspire a sense of reverence in you.

National Mall - You're sure to reconnect with Mother Nature at this magnificent attraction.

McPherson Square - Refresh your mind, body and soul by spending time with Mother Nature.

Areas & Neighborhoods in Washington

Attractions in Washington, D.C. span many neighborhoods, each with its own vibe. Perhaps you want to dive into the arts scene, or maybe you’re in town with one mission: Learn everything you can about American history. It doesn’t matter what you’re hungry for, Washington is serving it in at least one neighborhood.

Arts District — Head to the Arts District for a sampling of the city’s best jazz musicians, as well as iconic local restaurants serving late-night chili and plenty of historic buildings.

Capitol Hill — This neighborhood is, naturally, home to the U.S. Capitol Building. In addition to this important landmark, you will also find other places of interest in the area. The Library of Congress is in Capitol Hill, as well as the Eastern Market. Foodies will be happy to be met with lots of fine dining as well.

Chinatown — Washington, D.C.’s Chinatown is not the largest of its kind in the nation. Still, what it lacks in size it makes up for in atmosphere. This neighborhood is a refreshing blend of culture, cuisine, and event venues.

Penn Quarter — Penn Quarter marries some of the best parts about Washington, D.C. art and culture. For instance, you can watch a major event at the Verizon Center just as easily as you can grab a bite at a small ethnic eatery.

Things to See in Washington, DC

Spend your mornings reflecting in front of the Lincoln Memorial or the Washington Monument. You can take photos of some of the most important sights in the country on just about every corner, so keep your shutter finger ready. Other meaningful things to see in the city include: Jefferson Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Supreme Court building. Visit in the spring, and you can revel in the sight of more than 1,000 cherry blossoms. And year round, your evenings are easy to fill with shows like the Washington Ballet.

Sightseeing in Washington

The diverse list of things to do in Washington, D.C. is ever growing, while historic mainstays are not going anywhere. You can fill your time in more active pursuits walking through the National Zoo and the Smithsonian Museum. You might also want to spend an afternoon exploring the foliage in Rock Creek Park. The city sponsors a program called the Capital Bikeshare, which has hundreds of bike rental stations in the city and makes it easy to get around. Washington, D.C. bus tours help you see many of the most significant attractions in one day.

Things to Do in Washington with Kids

There's fun for all the family wherever you wander in Washington. Here are a few family friendly experiences you can enjoy together that will make your getaway a blast:


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Frequently asked questions

What to do in Washington on a sunny day?
If you want some fun in the sun, you’ll be interested in these outdoor adventures: