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Things To Do In Washington, D. C.

As one of the most visited cities in the country, Washington, DC offers a variety of experiences only found in the nation’s capital. This vibrant city offers food, art, cultural attractions, and monuments galore. With so many downtown museums and government buildings, there are plenty of ways to immerse yourself in American history.

One of the best ways to see Washington, DC is to take a nighttime stroll around the monuments and memorials. Nicknamed America’s front yard, start anywhere on the National Mall for museums, top attractions, family fun, and more.

The best things to do near Washington, DC include:

  • Seeing the history of American journalism featured at Newseum
  • Taking a guided tour of the White House, the iconic home of America’s president
  • Visiting the Lincoln Memorial, a monument to the 16th president
  • Touring the United States capitol building, the home of the U.S. legislature
  • Visiting the famous Smithsonian

Whether it’s exploring surrounding neighborhoods or finding admission-free entry to a museum, the nation’s capital offers something affordable for everyone. Watch your wallet though, these budget-friendly activities can add up quickly.

Cheap attractions near Washington, DC include:

  • Visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  • Experience Great Falls Park on admission-free days
  • Stopping by Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden
  • Seeing the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
  • If you’re under 30, you have free admission to The Phillips Collection, the country’s first museum of modern art

Between the monuments and government buildings, DC has plenty to keep visitors occupied. From historic performing arts theaters to modern art galleries, discover DC’s top attractions and things to do.

Popular activities near Washington, DC include:

  • Snap a photo with the Washington Monument
  • Taking a ride upon DC Ducks
  • Visiting the Wharf in Washington DC
  • Heading to Old Town Trolley Tours
  • Planning a day trip to Theodore Roosevelt Island

On your next Washington, DC trip, plan your itinerary with time to spare. Whether it’s events, museums, or trendy restaurants, there’s something new to try every day.

Exciting activities near Washington, DC today include:

  • Going on an adventure into Adams Morgan, a nearby neighborhood
  • Wining and dining at Elle, a hybrid cafe-bakery-restaurant that serves as an all-day eatery
  • Stopping by Perry’s a neighborhood staple in Adams Morgan
  • Hanging out at The Washington Harbour
  • Visiting the International Spy Museum

The night is young and the country’s capital is your oyster. Check out entertainment and nightlife hotspots in Washington, DC.

Nighttime attractions near Washington, DC include:

  • Watch the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial by moonlight
  • Attend a play at Shakespeare Theatre Company
  • Taste spring rolls and sushi at Zentan
  • Head to the Top of the Gate for a specialty cocktail atop Watergate Hotel
  • Grab margaritas at the turf-adorned El Techo, billed as an “adult treehouse”

Though there’s plenty of things to do in Washington, DC in two days, there’s a few places to prioritize for an upcoming weekend trip. For things to do in Washington DC this weekend, look no further.

Weekend activities near Washington, DC include:

  • Hosted by Golden Triangle BID, Farragut Fridays are held in Farragut Park every summer
  • Explore local food vendors at a farmers Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market
  • Cozy up against a bonfire at Farmers Fishers Bakers in Georgetown
  • Kick back with some jazz in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden
  • Sit poolside with a house-made cocktail atop The Embassy Row Hotel’s aptly-named Rooftop

If you’re looking for things to do with the kids in Washington, DC, you’re in luck. There are a number of splash zones, parks, and dessert places to keep the kids entertained.

Family-friendly attractions near Washington, DC include:

  • Let the kids play with the interactive fountains
  • Enjoy Petworth’s spray park
  • Splash around in Capitol Riverfront’s Yard Park
  • Try gourmet-style desserts at Baked by Yael’s
  • Teach the kids how to ice skate at The Wharf’s Transit Pier

Pair Instagram-worthy views with a cool drink and a hot date. Washington, DC has no shortage of romantic destinations for you and your date to try.

Date night ideas near Washington, DC include:

  • Confess your love at Union Market’s Heart Wall
  • Reserve a table in the John Carroll room at 1789 Restaurant
  • Dazzle your date on Odyssey Cruise
  • Dine at the Michelin-approved Plume
  • Take a romantic walk down Palmer Alley, where you can peruse high-end retailers

Whether you’re in town visiting family or you have a meeting to attend, there are plenty of group excursions to try when you and your group have some free time. Continue on for happy hours, escape rooms, and tasting tours of DC.

Things to do with your friends near Washington, DC include:

  • Escape Room Live DC
  • Plan a group happy hour to Dirty Habit in Chinatown
  • Share a wine flight at ENO Wine Bar
  • Taste the craft beer of downtown Washington, DC with City Brew Tours DC
  • Bring your friends to Chloe, which offers internationally inspired menu items

Balance out your vacation with indoor activities too. Continue reading for vacation breaks and places to eat in Washington, DC.

Things to do indoors near Washington, DC include:

  • Taking an afternoon cooldown in Kogod Courtyard, which has a unique roof that lets in natural light
  • Discovering the shops and restaurants at CityCenterDC
  • Savoring the atmosphere La Chaumière, a French country inn in the heart of Georgetown
  • Heading to Café du Parc for coffee and crepes
  • Seeing a performance at the Kennedy Center in Foggy Bottom

With so many green spaces and parks in Washington, DC, outdoor enthusiasts will have plenty to keep themselves fit and entertained. Take a break from the museums and get a little east coast sunshine with the below vacation ideas.

Outdoor activities in Washington, DC include:

  • Visiting the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, a paradise for nature lovers
  • Paddling the Potomac River with kayaks, canoes, and paddling lessons at Key Bridge Boathouse
  • Biking, hiking, or running next the Potomac River
  • Exploring Rock Creek Park, DC’s ultimate outdoor mecca
  • Showing up to November Project DC and turn DC’s urban landscape into an urban gym

Washington, DC has many hidden treasures if you know where to look. Here are a few off the beaten path attractions in Washington, DC.

Must-see places near Washington, DC include:

  • Enjoying the cozy neighborhood cafe called The Red Hen
  • Heading to Himitsu, a no reservations restaurant that serves “New Japanese”
  • Enjoying award-winning culinary creations at Little Pearl
  • Eating at Sababa, an Israeli restaurant in Upper Northwest
  • Heading to Momofuku CCDC, offering a lineup of dumplings and grilled Chinese flatbreads