Welcome to Washington D.C. It’s not just the seat of power and politics. It’s also an awesome tourist destination! No matter what time of year your travels bring you to Washington DC. there is sure to be plenty to see and do. From the world renown National Cherry Blossom Festival in the spring, to a plethora of summer festivals spread across the city, to the brisk and less crowded winter holiday season, there just isn’t a bad time to explore this iconic city.
No matter what time of year your family chooses to visit Washington D.C., it’s sure to be chock full of experiences. The one downside? How to experience all that DC has to offer within your travel window! Here are several of our family’s favorite moments as well as 10 must-see sights for any visitor to Washington DC to help you plan your own adventures and experiences here.
5 Favorite Family Moments in Washington D.C.
Washington DC should be on every family’s vacation bucket list, whether for a long weekend, or a weeklong exploration. There’s just so much to see and do, so much history, so much culture, all rolled up in one destination. Museums, monuments, nightlife, food, it’s all here! From easy walking adventures within city limits to short day trips that could include a president’s home, an 18th century port city, or a massive shopping mall, there is something for everyone to enjoy and experience in Washington D.C.
Explore the history of a nation, from George Washington’s Mount Vernon home 30 minutes away, to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History just down the street. Spend an afternoon people watching along the National Mall, soaking it all in. Stand in the shadow of the National Monument in search of the perfect photo opp, perhaps taking this long standing classic photo of “holding” the National Monument between one’s fingers!
Stand in awe before the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Learn about his legacy and the monumental struggle for equality and justice. Walk the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as he once did. Step to the edge, staring out across the National Mall, to Capital Hill just beyond. Imagine Martin Luther King Jr. standing at this same spot, gazing out upon the same venue as he presents his historic I Have A Dream speech.
Stroll through the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial a short distance away, experiencing yet another monumental turning point in American history. Explore his four terms as president through quotes, carved stones, and intricate bronzed statues. Ponder his iconic words, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” while exploring this leafy corner of DC.
Pay homage to those who have served to help keep this country free at the Korean War and Vietnam War Memorials. Contemplate the saying, “Freedom is not free” while experiencing these visually powerful memorials. Stand in honor of veterans lost as families and friends trace their names along the Vietnam Memorial Wall. Powerful beyond words. Don’t be surprised if a tear or two springs forth. This is a moment not soon forgotten.
One could spend days exploring DC’s enormous, world renown Smithsonian Museums. And admission is free! With 19 museums and galleries exploring everything from Ancient History to Native American History to Natural History, there’s sure to be something to intrigue and entertain the entire family. Don’t miss the National Zoological Park a short subway ride away. It too is part of the Smithsonian Museum network, and has those adorable panda bears!
End an evening in the shadows of Capital Hill, perhaps signing on for an evening Ghost Tour of Washington D.C. Hang out with the haunts of Capital Hill or stroll with the ghosts of LaFayette Park. Imagine the nation’s capital under cover of darkness as snippets of its rich history are told from a more spirited and most certainly different perspective!
10 Must See Sights in Washington D.C.
No matter how much time you plan for a Washington D.C. vacation, it just doesn’t ever seem to be enough. One could spend a week simply exploring the vast network of museums! Prioritize and plan your time accordingly, choosing sights that most interest your family. In addition to our family favorites, here are 10 worthy considerations for anyone’s travels to D.C. Wear comfortable shoes, because the best way to see this city is by walking!
Infographic via Visualistan.
Have You Been to Washington DC?
Yes indeed, there is so much more to Washington DC than politics! Our family has spent several long weekends exploring the city, and each time, we experience something new in addition to revisiting favorite sights. And we have yet to hit all 19 Smithsonian museums, the Kennedy Center, nor Arlington Cemetary! Never a dull moment here!
How about you? Have you been to Washington DC? What were your favorite moments? Did you have enough time to see all that you wanted to see? Did you day trip to Mount Vernon? Or did you too come up short on time? Do share!
Images by C. Biederman. Infographic via Visualistan.