Things Not to Miss in Washington, D.C.

Cherry blossom trees in beautiful bloom around the Tidal Basin region in Washington, D.C.
Washington Monument on the Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C. at dawn
The Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

If you plan on visiting Washington, D.C., you are in for a fantastic getaway. The historic city features a long list of exciting attractions – not all of which revolve around the White House (but you’ll want to check that out, too). Take your holiday somewhere between late March and late May to experience near-perfect weather, and be sure to visit as many of these points of interest as possible.

Enjoy Enchanting Views of the Cherry Blossoms

Cherry blossom trees in beautiful bloom around the Tidal Basin region in Washington, D.C.
Cherry blossom trees in beautiful bloom around the Tidal Basin region in Washington, D.C. – Photo Credit: National Cherry Blossom Festival

See the country’s greatest springtime celebration at the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Witnessing the pretty pink blooms are an annual tradition in D.C., a commemorative reminder of the 3,000 cherry trees bestowed upon the city by Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki in 1912. Alternatively, you can stroll through the stately grounds of the United States National Arboretum, established in 1927 and home to a variety of native trees and plants stretched across nearly 450 acres.

Pay Respect at Some City Memorials

Abraham Lincoln statue
Abraham Lincoln statue, Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.

A solemn march throughout the 2-acre Vietnam Veterans Memorial, an outdoor monument honoring service members of the U.S. armed forces who fought in the Vietnam War, is a must. The memorial, designed by the then-21-year-old Maya Lin, is considered one of the 20th century’s most influential examples of public architecture and design. And, of course, the Lincoln Memorial – one of the most recognizable structures in the country. Built in honor of the nation’s 16th president, the site is famous for its Doric architectural form and the iconic sculpture of a seated Abraham Lincoln.

Soak up Some Culture

Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress in the Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, D.C.
Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress in the Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, D.C.

Get a real sense of the country’s rich history by checking out the founding documents displayed at the National Archives Museum; or stroll the National Mall and duck into any one of the Smithsonian’s eleven museums and galleries – almost all of which are FREE. You can also tour the Library of CongressCapitol Hill, and pick up some souvenirs at the Bureau of Printing and Engraving. In terms of historical significance, D.C. offers a veritable smorgasbord of options.

Whet Your Appetite

Ben's Chili Bowl exterior
Ben’s Chili Bowl exterior in Washington, D.C

An ideal day in D.C. starts with off with breakfast at the iconic Jimmy T’s Place, a Capitol Hill favorite since 1969. Followed by a gentle saunter along the Potomac River with sumptuous baked goods and coffee from Baked & Wired in Georgetown. Turn in for lunch at the landmark Ben’s Chili Bowl or Shaw’s Tavern, or grab a Happy Hour punch at Round Robin before jumping in a quick cab ride to catch a FREE 6 pm show at the Kennedy Center every day.

Experience the Nightlife

ChurchKey interior in Washington, D.C.
ChurchKey interior in Washington, D.C.

After a full day of cultural and historical touring, you may want to unwind. And there’s no better place to do so than barhopping along trendy Logan Circle. Hip restaurants and watering holes line the bustling 14th Street stretch. Local favorite Kingfisher is an excellent option for classic cocktails; ChurchKey offers a wide selection of vintage brews in a rustic setting, while Vegas Lounge is a perfect spot for live blues every Friday and Saturday night.