What to Do in Washington, D.C.

What to Do in Washington, D.C.

Ask anyone what springs to mind first when they hear Washington D.C. and the answer almost every time, if not all the time, will be either White House or the Capitol Building. And maybe the cherry blossoms. Washington is the seat of the U.S. government, first and foremost, but you would be amazed by the plethora of attractions on offer in The Evergreen State. It is a picturesque city, D.C., and the beauty of it is that the major attractions are within walking distance of each other, and getting around is pretty easy. Just what a visitor needs!

The best things on what to do in Washington, D.C. mostly revolve around the stuff you will find on most guides of the city. And that’s simply because they are a big deal; must-visits. But there is a lot more to the District, as you will find out.

Visit a Memorial (or two)


Washington is a city steeped in history, with many must-see memorials and monuments:

  • The iconic Lincoln Memorial that honors the country’s 16th president with its never-ending steps.
  • The Thomas Jefferson Memorial built in Roman architecture with an awe-inspiring history.
  • The Vietnam Veterans Memorial that pays tribute to the U.S. soldiers who were killed during the Vietnam War.
  • The Korean War Veteran Memorial honoring soldiers who died during the Korean War through lifelike statues.
  • The WWII Memorial dedicated to 16 million people who served as part of the country’s armed forces during World War II.

Explore the Smithsonian Institute


Washington D.C. is famous for its museums (mostly free), with the Smithsonian Institution operating 17 different museums in the D.C. Metro area, each a different offering from the next, with many more scattered across the city and beyond. The Holocaust Museum especially is not to miss.

View Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument


Mount St. Helens is a sprawling volcano sitting in 110,000 acres of land set aside for research, educational and sightseeing purposes. The active volcano last in erupted in 1980, following two months of simmering volcanic activity. The eruption that year is considered one of the deadliest in the history of the United States.

Trek through Rock Creek Park


Located in Northwest D.C. and spanning over 2,000 acres, Rock Creek Park is the oldest urban park among the many operated by the National Park Service. It has everything from picnic grounds, to a planetarium, a nature center, hiking trails, biking paths, ranger-led programs, amphitheater with a summer concert series, tennis center and much more.

Explore the Eastern Market


The buzzing multi-cultural market nestled in the heart of Capitol Hill traces its roots as far back as 1873. It’s a great place for visitors to explore the city’s sights, smells and sounds, with plenty on offer in the farmers markets and local arts vendors.

Catch a Shakespearean Show


The famous playwright’s work has been on show each year since 1991, courtesy of the Shakespeare Theatre Company. The shows are free and you can watch classics such as Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing.

Go Down Dupont Underground


The subterranean station is a newly transformed public infrastructure project aimed at supporting contemporary arts, creative collaboration and a continuing conversation about the city.

Hang out at the Union Market


The bustling market is not just the culinary center of D.C., but it also features designers and artists with some of the most creative workspaces as well as pop-up shops.

Explore a Neighborhood


D.C. is known for its striking neighborhoods such as the quaint Georgetown which is older than Washington itself. The oldest standing structure in D.C., the Old Stone House, can be found here. There is also Adams Morgan, a funky and diverse neighborhood known for its nightlife and foreign eats ranging from Italian to Ethiopian.

Take a Ferry from Seattle to Bremerton


The ferry from Seattle to Bremerton has been plying this route since 1951. The history aside, what you will appreciate most about this hour-long journey is the scenic view laid bare, all accentuated by the sight of Mount Rainer in the backdrop.

Hike Granite Mountain


The top of Granite Mountain promises spectacular views of the Kaleetan Peak, Crystal Lake and Mount Rainer. It’s a steep climb up the summit, and it can be a little packed during the weekends so best climbed on a weekday.

Visit Diablo Lake


Diablo Lake is a reservoir created by Diablo Dam in the North Cascades National Park. What will strike you most about this lake is the turquoise hue, a phenomenon attributed to the fine powders that come from the surrounding glaciers. The lake boasts plenty of fish varieties, and kayaking and canoeing is also allowed.

See the White House


And of course, a visit to Washington D.C. is not complete without getting a glimpse of the most famous presidential building in the world!

Washington D.C. is a feast for the sightseer, with attractions that blend the historic with the new. A trip here will most likely change your perception of the city. For the better.

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