Looking to make the most out of your trip to the nation’s capital? While there are countless Washington, DC, adventures awaiting you, it’s important to plan ahead so you don’t miss out on anything.
Washington, DC, offers much more than just museums, the White House, and the Capitol building. It’s also a rich cultural center exploding with events, food, and vibrant neighborhoods. Planning your trip in advance means you can pick and choose from a variety of unique experiences in DC without the stress of rushing from one place to the next.
Here are some expert travel planning tips for enjoying your time in DC…
Know your focus
What is it you would like to center your trip around? Perhaps you’re interested in arts and culture, entertainment, history and heritage, shopping, sports or outdoor recreation. Does your trip need to be family-friendly or geared toward adults? Knowing your overall interests will help while charting adventurous things to do in Washington, DC.
Think about what you want to see
It’s impossible to see everything in Washington, DC, during one vacation. There’s monuments, museums, memorials, Arlington National Cemetery, and more. Unless you’re planning to spend a month in town, prioritize what you want to see based on your personal interests first. If you’re going with a group, you can split up here and there to make sure everyone gets to visit their desired destinations. Also, be aware that some sites, like the White House and Museum of African American History, require advance planning.
Know how much time you can spend
How many days are you planning on visiting DC? The shorter the duration, the more you’ll have to narrow down your must-sees and optimize your time each day. Get a map of the National Mall and its surrounding area, and highlight the sites you want to see. Most likely, your interests will be spread out, so plan your days clustered around certain areas. You can also take nightly walks around the memorials if you don’t get a chance to see them during the day. If you’ll be spending about a week in town, you’ll be able to take trips outside of the city to visit small towns, mountains, and even beaches.
Decide how you plan on getting around
Washington, DC, offers water taxis, metro, cabs, and private car transportation services so you can get around easily, and many of the tours are walkable. We recommend leaving your car at home or at the hotel since driving in DC can be difficult at times with its one-way streets and traffic circles. You’ll save money and your sanity by taking the affordable metro, bus system, or your own two feet. Of course, there is always the luxury of a private car and driver at your disposal.
Choose an area to stay in
There are plenty of options of places to stay. If you prefer to be within walking distance from the major sites, focus your hotel search in the downtown area, with prices being a little lower just north of it. However, if you prefer to be close to shopping and dining options, along with gorgeous Georgian architecture, stay in Georgetown. If you would like a little more small neighborhood feel, stay across the Potomac in Old Town Alexandria.
Don’t be overwhelmed by all of the exciting things to do in DC. We know you want to see it all! However, you need to plan your trip wisely to avoid stress and regret. By following our tips, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying all of the Washington, DC, adventures you want and more.
If you’re ready to plan an unforgettable experience to Washington, DC, let our expert travel guides help you. Contact us today for more details!