What To Do On Your First Trip To Washington, DC

What To Do On Your First Trip To Washington, DC

Washington, DC has evolved from a city best known for its museums and monuments to one of the most exciting and diverse urban centers in the country, home to the White House and the United States Capitol. The nation’s capital is now home to diverse communities, a constantly evolving calendar of cultural events, and a culinary scene that rivals any in the world. It might be overwhelming to plan a vacation to Washington, DC because there is so much to see and do and eat, but with these pointers, you’ll be able to make your first trip to Washington, DC one you’ll never forget. Read on to find out more. 

The White House, Washington DC

Image by Aaron Kittredge

You Can Use Public Transport 

In some big cities, it’s far safer to take a taxi or even hire a car to get around, but in Washington, DC using public transport is not only something you can do, but it’s something you should do. It’s so easy to use, and it will get you wherever you want to go, including some of the most famous tourist destinations, like the White House and the Lincoln Memorial. 

Both locals and tourists use the Metro and bus system to get around Washington, DC. The Metro has six lines with different colors: yellow, blue, silver, green, orange, and red. These lines connect at transfer stations and serve Washington, DC as well as the suburbs of Virginia and Maryland.

Or Take A Walking Tour 

There are a few different walking tours available in Washington, DC, but what they all have in common is that the local guides on these tours are among the most knowledgeable and entertaining you’ll find. 

Pick from options like the Historic Georgetown Walking Tour, Ghost Tours, and the Arlington Cemetery Walking Tour. You could visit the National Cathedral, find out about Lincoln’s assassination, and much more.

Visit In Spring

Even though a trip to Washington, DC is great any time of year, it is especially magical in the spring when the cherry blossoms flower in a burst of beautiful shades of pink that show off the beauty of the American capital. The time of peak bloom changes a lot from year to year, which makes it hard to plan a trip if you’re coming from far away. The peak bloom usually happens on April 4, but it has also happened as early as March 15 and as late as April 18. The National Park Service (NPS) can tell about ten days ahead of time when the peak bloom will be, and its website has the most up-to-date information. The NPS also gives you an annual Cherry Blossom Festival map and a calendar of cultural events, such as the National Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony and the Blossom Kite Festival, to help you plan your trip. 

As for the weather, the best times to visit are in the spring and fall, when temperatures are mild but not too hot, but be aware that these seasons also bring larger numbers of visitors and higher expenses. The weather is hot and sticky in the summer and warm to snowstorms in the winter (sometimes in the same week), however, hotels are cheaper during the winter. It’s best to look online for hotels so you can read Marriott Marquis Washington reviews to help you pick the ideal accommodation. 

Visit Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens 

There are many excellent and famous tourist attractions in Washington, DC, and we’ve mentioned some of them in this article. However, it’s also worth visiting some places that aren’t quite so well known, and the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens fit that bill perfectly. 

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, a National Park Service property hidden in the northeastern corner of the District of Columbia, along the boundary with Maryland, is often considered one of the city’s best-kept secrets. This gorgeous park is home to over 40 ponds that bloom with lotus and lily blooms during the warmer months of the year and is home to a historic water garden that has been preserved since its handover to the federal government in the 1930s. The park features half a mile (0.8 kilometers) of pathways and a boardwalk by the edge of a tidal freshwater marsh, and it is home to a wide variety of interesting flora and fauna. Moreover, it links up with the Anacostia River Trail, allowing you to enjoy magnificent strolls along the river in this urban area. A yearly celebration held in Washington, DC, when the lotus and lily plants are in full bloom, the Lotus and Lily Festival is a must-see for anybody in the area during the month of July.