Washington, DC, is the capital of the United States and is home to monuments and museums showcasing our nation’s history. Experience the city with Metrobus, the Metro rail system, the Circulator, or other transportation rentals which offer multiple ways and connections to see the best of our Capitol City.
Washington, DC is a great place to visit! The city is full of restaurants, museums, monuments, events, and things to do. We provide the best recommendations for local accommodations and activities.
The Washington Monument
The Washington Monument is one of the most popular tourist attractions in DC, and it’s no wonder why. This impressive structure stands 555 feet high, making it the tallest structure in DC (the fourth-tallest monument in the world). The monument commemorates George Washington and his role as Commander-in-Chief during America’s Revolutionary War.
The monument was built between 1848 and 1884 using marble from Vermont and New Hampshire; however, work stopped due to a lack of funding before completing its original design by Robert Mills (who also designed other famous monuments such as the Jefferson Memorial). It wasn’t until 1888 that Congress finally allocated funds to complete this project.
The Washington Monument is open 365 days a year (including holidays). However, it’s closed on Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
The Washington Monument is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (the last tour time is 4:30). National Mall and Memorial Parks’ other sites are open 24 hours daily. The early evening and morning hours are beautiful and tranquil times to visit.
Parking in DC
As a tourist, you may have the idea that parking is free. However, this is not always true. Most of the time, it’s free, but there are days when you will have to pay for parking if you wish to drive into DC and park your car on public streets.
The good news is that several metered parking options and some street-side parking spots are available for tourists who don’t want to pay for valet service or self-parking facilities. Remember to download the ParkMobile app before you go!
Visit a Smithsonian Museum – They Are Free!
Next, check museum hours. Most museums are open by 10 a.m., so you might want to think about starting your day there. We recommend visiting the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, The National Archives, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, conveniently near the Washington Monument.
However, if you’re interested in going to other museums in DC for a different experience than what we’ve highlighted here, we’re sure you’ll have a fantastic time no matter which ones you choose!
Getting Around DC
- The Red Circulator is an excellent option for getting around DC. It’s free and stops at most major sites around the city.
- Ride shares are also available in DC if you’re willing to pay extra money.
- Bike rentals are available at several locations throughout the city. If you don’t feel like hiring a bike yourself, someone will often rent it out in front of many popular tourist spots, hotels, restaurants, and bike shops (typically charge less than $10 per hour).
- Scooters like Lime are another popular way to get around Washington. Still, they aren’t legal on public streets yet due to safety concerns with having so many people driving them at once while being distracted by their phones! However, if you can find one that isn’t being used by someone else yet, go ahead!
- Get used to the Metro – the subway system. This is probably the best way to get around.
- Download the apps before you arrive – Google Maps, Metro, Capital Bike Share, and others.
Mount Vernon is the Convention Center Neighborhood – Not George Washington’s Home
When I first moved here, I was confused too. The convention center is in Mount Vernon, a neighborhood in the middle of the city. But there is also Mount Vernon – George Washington’s home – located just south of Washington, DC. George Washington’s home is a great tour, but it’s a little out of the way of your Washington, DC, visit. But, if time allows, please visit – they have a great museum, tour, restaurant, and gift shop. You can get there via a drive – parking is free or go to Huntington Metro Station and hop on the Fairfax Connector.
Cherry Blossom Festival 2023
The busiest time to visit is during the Cherry Blossom Festival, which will take place from March 20 through April 16, 2023. World-famous Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual event that attracts thousands of visitors from all over the country. The Cherry Blossom Festival is a cultural event that consists of performances, exhibitions, and parties. The festival is held each year between March 20th and mid-April, and peak time (yet to be determined) depends on the weather conditions.
The monuments and museums you see will help you understand our unique constitutional federal republic, and using the various way to get around can take you wherever you need to go.
So, now that you know all about what DC has to offer, we hope you’ll be able to make your next visit enjoyable! It’s easy to get here by public transportation or ride-share service: Start planning your trip today!