Visit the Museums
The Smithsonian Institution is the largest museum collection in the world. With 19 museums and galleries spread across the vast National Mall, you could fill a whole holiday just exploring the spectacular museum zone.
The National Air and Space Museum is a key favourite where you can see the Spirit of St Louis – the aircraft that took Charles Linbergh on the first non-stop transatlantic flight from New York to Paris in 1927. Or marvel at Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 command module and other fascinating machines from our air and space history. With an African American History museum also scheduled to open in 2016, Washington, DC is a museum-lover’s dream.
Go on a Food & Drink Tour
Washington, DC has a fantastic food and drink scene, so why not experience the city through your taste buds? Explore how the multicultural population has affected its foodie offerings, by visiting Little Ethiopia and China Town. Or understand the city’s past by taking a food tour around historic Georgetown. Visit restaurants from pre-prohibition era, taste Maryland crabcakes and visit a bakery that used to be a printing house. Washington has a fantastic craft beer scene too, so why not enjoy a tour that combines artisan food with the best craft breweries?
Get a Bird’s Eye View from The Washington Monument
The Washington Monument is one of the best places to start if you are touring the city’s many monuments. Fifty flags surround this obelisk structure, each representing an American state. If you start queuing early, you can take a lift 555 feet up to the top and enjoy some impressive city views.
Explore the Monuments & Memorials of The National Mall
As the USA’s power city, Washington, DC has an impressive range of monuments that honour the soldiers and political figures of America’s past. From the Lincoln Memorial that offers glorious views across the Reflecting Pool, to the 56 granite columns and dancing fountains of the National World War II Memorial, each and every one is set to inspire.
Other fascinating memorials you can visit here include The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial and Vietnam Women’s Memorial. So pick the ones you’d most like to see and get exploring.
Visit the Jefferson Memorial
Explore the dome-shaped Jefferson Memorial and see the 19-foot statue of Thomas Jefferson and extracts from the Declaration of Independence upon the walls. While you’re in this area, check out the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial. Both structures sit on the shore of the Tidal Basin so it’s a fantastic place to enjoy reservoir views.
Explore the Waterways
Washington, DC is located on the Potomac River and Chesapeake & Ohio Canal so it’s a great place to hit the Big Outdoors. Find ‘Bike and Boat’ tours that take you along a section of the 184.5-mile canal towpath.
For paddleboats, kayaks and rowing boats, head to The Georgetown waterfront. If you’re feeling brave you can try out Stand Up Paddle boarding. And for the really adventurous, the fast-moving Shenandoah River is great for whitewater tubing and rafting.
Visit Old Town Alexandria
Take a day trip across the Potomac to visit the cobbled streets of old town Alexandria, the former home of George Washington. Alexandria goes back 13,000 years to when Native Americans settled here and has a slave trading history. See the landmark George Washington Masonic Memorial, and visit the stately antebellum Woodlawn Plantation, part of George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate.
Do a Skydive
If seeing the great sights of Washington, DC on level ground just isn’t enough, get the ultimate adrenaline rush by booking a tandem skydive at DC Skydiving Center. With widescreen views of northern Virginia and the Capitol included with every freefall, you can guarantee a unique view of the city!
Get some Retail Therapy
Beyond all the glittering white marble and neoclassical architecture, Washington, DC offers some fantastic shopping. Head to M Street in the historic Georgetown for high-end stores and fashion brands, or shop ‘til you drop in the many indie and speciality boutiques of Dupont Circle. Thankfully it’s filled with plenty of coffee shops and cafes, so you can stop and refuel.
Explore the Music Scene
Marvin Gaye and the Supremes and Ella Fitzgerald are just some of the music legends to have come out of Washington, DC. So visit the musical landmarks where these stars began their careers.
The Howard Theatre on U Street is great for jazz and the Rock & Roll hotel on H Street is the go-to place for DJs and a great rooftop bar. The Verizon Center in the revitalized Penn Quarter hosts some of the biggest concerts the city has ever held so make sure you book ahead. Adams Morgan is a lively nightspots where you’re bound to stumble upon a place to party.