Packing and What To Bring
There are several factors that will determine what you need to pack for your trip:
- Time of year/weather (See Weather below)
- Personal preference
- Your evening entertainment
A pair of comfortable shoes is your must-pack item. This is a walking town, and if you fail to pack for it, your feet will pay. D.C. isn't the most fashionable city in the country but people do look neat and presentable; business attire tends to be fairly conservative, and around college campuses and in hip neighborhoods like U Street Corridor or Adams Morgan, styles are more eclectic.
The most important element to consider, however, is the weather: D.C.'s temperatures can be extreme, and the right clothes are your best defense.
Winters are cold but sunny, with nighttime temperatures in the 20s and daytime highs in the 40s and 50s. Although the city doesn't normally get much snow, when it does, many streets won't be plowed for days, so if you're planning a visit for winter, bring a warm coat and hat and shoes that won't be ruined by snow and salt. Summers are muggy and very hot, with temperatures in the 80s and 90s and high humidity. Plan on cool, breathable fabrics, a hat for the sun, a sweater for overzealous air-conditioning, and an umbrella for daily thunderstorms. Fall and spring are less challenging, with temperatures in the 60s and occasional showers. Pants, lightweight sweaters, and light coats are appropriate.
D.C. has two delightful seasons: spring and autumn. In spring the city's ornamental fruit trees are blossoming, and its many gardens are in bloom. Summers can be uncomfortably hot and humid. By autumn most of the summer crowds have left and you can enjoy the sights in peace.
Winter weather is mild by East Coast standards, but a handful of modest snowstorms each year bring this southern city to a standstill.
Washington D.C. Weather
Washington D.C. is in the Easter time zone. It's 3 hours ahead of Los Angeles, 1 hour ahead of Chicago, 5 hours behind London, and 15 hours behind Sydney.