- Choice of accommodations
- Hotel taxes and per room occupancy tax
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should go?
The Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, the White House, and more are a sight to behold.
Your family can learn our nation’s history with tours and visits to the many museums covering subjects such as American history, natural history, the Holocaust, the U.S. Mint, and more.
What's the climate like?
How do I get around town?
Washington, D.C. is serviced by three major airports; Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, located across the Potomac River from the National Mall; Washington Dulles International Airport, 25 miles west of Washington; and Baltimore/Washington International Airport, 30 miles northeast of Washington.
Transfers are not included with vacation packages to Washington, D.C. but are offered as an optional add-on. Transfers are from Baltimore Airport (BWI), Washington Dulles Airport (IAD), or Washington Reagan National (DCA) and operate via SuperShuttle.
Take advantage of the Washington, D.C. subway system, or Metrorail, as they call it. It has convenient stops at the airport and to many of the most popular tourist sights. Look for the tall brown column with the large "M." It identifies the Metro station by name. The color stripes show each Metrorail line that serves the station — blue, green, orange, red, and yellow. Maps can be found in the stations near the farecard machines and inside the trains to help you find your way.
Bus stops have red, white, and blue signs or flags. Unless you have a pass, you'll need exact change because Metrobus drivers do not carry cash. Pay as you board the bus, inserting your fare into the coin box next to the driver.
An abundance of taxis make them a good way to get around town. Tip around 10-15%. If you think you're being charged too much, either let the driver know or get a receipt and note the license number.
Tour Buses & Trollies
These are often the best way to see the tourist sights of the city in a short amount of time. You can ride all day and get on and off the narrated tour as often as you like.
If you plan on visiting areas outside of the metro area such as Mt. Vernon, the home of George Washington, a rental car is a great option.
Another great way to get around the city and to all the tourist sites. Four routes — red, white, black, and yellow — connect downtown Washington, D.C. with Georgetown, the Convention Center, and the southwest waterfront. Tickets cost just $1 and riders can pay with either cash (exact change only), a Metro SmarTrip card, or pre-purchase tickets. In addition, day passes are available. The circulator runs daily with stops every 5-10 minutes between 7am and 9pm.
What kinds of dining and nightlife are available?
With so many international residents and Americans who have traveled the world, you’ll find dishes from all the far stretches of the globe: French, Indian, Italian, Ethiopian, Mexican, Asian, German, just to name a few; and American, for the many international visitors who want to sample traditional American fare. Also note that some restaurants which are very popular for lunchtime business meetings are less crowded for dinner. Here are some suggested restaurants:
- Butterfield 9
Enjoy excellent contemporary American cuisine in a stylish decor. Downtown.
- Café Promenade
An award-winning restaurant featuring Mediterranean cuisine with a variety of dishes from Spain, Greece, and Italy. Downtown.
- Kaz Sushi Bistro
Combining a relaxed atmosphere with Japanese influences. Enjoy sushi and other authentic Japanese cuisine with a Western twist. Downtown.
- Michel Richard Citronelle
Recognized as "one of the world's most exciting restaurants," by Condé Nast Traveler magazine, here you'll enjoy sumptuous, lighter foods in a stylish yet casual atmosphere. Georgetown.
- Nick's Riverside Grille
A family-owned restaurant serving all your American favorites. Enjoy succulent steaks, pasta, seafood, and spectacular views of the Potomac River. Georgetown.
- Tuscana West
Watch your dinner being prepared with the open kitchen. This Italian eatery is perfect for a romantic evening. Downtown.
Ford's Theatre continues to stage performances, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts features live concert, opera, drama, and cinema halls. For late night party action, be sure to check out the 9:30 Club, Madam's Organ Blues Bar, Club Zei, or Kilimanjaro.
Where should I go shopping?
Although it's a bit of a trek, some of the best shopping is found on the outskirts of the city in Maryland and Virginia. Most malls are close to a Metro station, though a few are best reached by car.
There are close to 30 art galleries in the Dupont Circle area. On the first Friday of each month, the streets are filled with wine-and-cheese-loving gallery hoppers. On the second Saturday of each month, several galleries present Gallery Talk, guided discussions of various art topics.
For those with champagne tastes without the high-end budget, street vendors in the Connecticut Avenue area offer knock-off handbags.
When are the local events?
Cherry Blossom Festival
Begins the first week of April. Washington, D.C.'s annual National Cherry Blossom Festival is a celebration of the coming of spring and commemorates the gift of 3,000 cherry trees given to the U.S. by Japan in 1912.
White House Easter Egg Roll
Easter. This annual tradition dates back to 1878 and President Rutherford B. Hayes. Children ages 3 to 6 can frolic on the South Lawn searching for over 24,000 wooden eggs that have been hidden throughout the grounds.
National Capital Barbecue Battle
June. The Barbecue Battle features serious competition between top BBQ competitors, cooking demonstrations, free food samples, interactive cooking displays, and children's activities. Tens of thousands of people witness barbecue teams and restaurants from around the country compete to win over $15,000 in cash and prizes and a chance to represent the Mid-Atlantic United States at the Barbecue World Championship.
July 4. Don't miss the parade, with more then 100 marching units stepping out at noon along Constitution Avenue. When that's over, popular music groups entertain from mid-afternoon until the fireworks.
Taste of D.C.
Early October. Taste of D.C. is the largest outdoor food and music festival on the Eastern seaboard. The festival is one of Washington's most highly anticipated annual events and is plenty of fun for the family.
What are my golf and recreation options?
Rolling hills and majestic trees fill the area, and picturesque golf courses are wound within. It’s no wonder why golf is a favorite game of so many of our nation’s presidents. Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton have all enjoyed this pastime.
Washington, D.C. is not only the nation's capital, it's a sports capital — home to the Washington Wizards, Washington Redskins, Washington Capitals, and the Washington Nationals.
Washington, D.C. is home to the usual running and walking trails that you’ll find in other large metropolitan areas. The National Mall provides an open area amongst the awe-inspiring sights of our capital where softball, frisbee, kite flying, and other activities are commonplace.
If you're planning a trip to Washington, D.C., write to your senator or representative in advance. They can send you free maps, brochures, tickets to attend sessions of Congress, and even discounted tour tickets. Also, you can pre-purchase entry to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by calling (800) 400-9373 or to gain entrance to the Washington Monument by calling (800) 967-2283.
Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
Many people are aware of the Smithsonian Air and Space museum on the National Mall, but there's another one at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles International Airport. See the Space Shuttle Enterprise, an SR-71 Blackbird, the B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay, and a Concorde just to name a few. A shuttle bus offers roundtrip transportation between the museum on the National Mall and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
Washington, D.C. is one of the most accessible cities in the world for physically challenged visitors. Don’t miss a thing with www.disabilityguide.org, which describes accessible entrances to the attractions and other resources that make visiting Washington, D.C. inclusive for everyone.
Good to Know:
|Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI)
|April, May, September – November
|December – February and June – August
|Eastern Standard Time, one hour ahead of Central Standard Time
|None needed for U.S. residents
|15%-20% at restaurants, $1-$2 bellman (per bag) $2-$3 valet (per use) $2-$3 maid (per day).
|Comfortable, casual dress is the norm for the museums and monuments, but you might want to dress up for a night on the town.