The Washington DC Natural History Museum is one of the major attractions for families and friends on vacation in the capital of the United States.
WASHINGTON, D.C- As 2018 begins, travelers are already planning their vacations. In addition to saving up for their vacations, they are also scouting for destinations to spend quality time with friends and families in a year full of possibilities and adventures. One place that combines incredible history with fun is Washington, D.C. As the capital of the United States and named in honor of President George, Washington, DC has its roots in politics, but this city offers so much more. Located on the Potomac River, D.C has a metropolitan population of over 6 million and touts itself as one of the top entertainment and nightlife cities in the world. Fresh seafood, one-of-a-kind shopping, sporting events and cultural diversity make Washington D.C a place that’s sure to offer up fun for the whole family.
#1 By Land & By Sea – Washington, D.C is a beautiful city with some of the most stunning landmarks anywhere in the world. To fully enjoy the captivating allure of Washington, DC, it is better to travel by water and by sea aboard a District of Columbia Ducks Tour. Sitting atop a fully-restored duck vehicle, which was invented in 1942 following the attack on Pearl Harbor, provides an amazing opportunity to see the beautiful city from another perspective. As it journeys through the city vacationers get to see various malls, monuments, and museums before heading to the Potomac River. Potomac River, the sightseeing vehicle automatically transforms into a boat for a leisurely river cruise through various spots of interest including the popular Gravely Point. Tours aboard the DC Ducks last approximately 90 minutes and depart every 30 minutes from Union Station.
#2 Local Flavor – Another major Washington, DC attraction is The Municipal Fish Market. As the oldest continuously operating open-air fish market in the United States (it predates New York City’s Fulton Fish Market by 17 years), The Municipal Fish Market in DC’s District Wharf is considered a true local gem. Nestled between the Potomac River and the National Mall, the Market offers up iconic seafood barges like Jessie Taylor Seafood, The Virgo Fish House, Captain White’s Seafood City and more. Vacationers will get the opportunity to feast on everything from bushels of blue crab and shucked oysters to clams, shrimp, and freshly caught fish.
#3 Monuments By Moonlight Tour – It’s no secret, Washington, DC is home to a vast array of significant monuments and memorials detailing America’s storied past. The Old Town Trolley’s Monuments by Moonlight Tour is one of the best ways to see many of the city’s most famous sights including the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial as well as landmarks like the Capitol Building and the White House. This two-and-a-half-hour tour comes complete with knowledgeable conductors sharing amusing anecdotes and historical facts about the nation’s capital.
#4 Springtime Celebration – In 1912, Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gifted 3,000 cherry trees to the city of Washington, DC. Each year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is held to celebrate the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan. This year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival will be held March 20-April 15 with signature events including a Pink Tie Party, Opening Ceremony, Blossom Kite Festival, Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival and the famed National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on Saturday, April 14, 2018.
#5 The International Spy Museum – The International Spy Museum on F Street NW is another major attraction for families on vacation in Washington, DC to enjoy. This is the place to learn the stories of spies, intelligence operations and deceptions that changed the course of history. Established in 2002, the museum features the largest collection of international espionage artifacts ever placed on public display. At the museum, vacationers get the rare chance to examine thousands of spy gadgets, weapons, vehicles, state-of-the-art audio-visual programs and other hands-on exhibits that bring to life the strategies and techniques of the men and women behind some of the most secret missions in world history.
#6 Sightseeing Tours – With so much to see and do in Washington, DC, a hop-on, hop-off Old Town Trolley Sightseeing Tour is a great way to take in hundreds of sights for the entire family. This fun, fully narrated tour takes vacationers and tourists to the Capital Building, Supreme Court, several Smithsonian Museums, Lincoln Memorial, National Archives, Union Station and dozens of other points of interest. It is also the only tour that takes you into Arlington National Cemetery.
#7 Celebrate Diversity – A month-long journey around the world highlighting DC’s thriving international diplomatic community and its lively and varied culture, Passport DC will be held from May 1-31, 2018. This annual event offers 31 days of programming by 70 embassies and more than 30 of the city’s best cultural institutions including embassy open houses, street festivals, performances, exhibitions, workshops and more. It is a great way for area residents and visitors to experience a global journey without even leaving the city. The Around the World Embassy Tour on Saturday, May 5, 2018, and Embassy Chef Challenge on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, are worth checking for families on vacation in Washington, DC.
#8 Historic Lodging – Vacationers in Washington, DC who are interested in food delight do not have to travel far. The place to be is the Willard InterContinental. For more than 200 years, the Willard InterContinental has played host to the world’s social and political elite including presidents, foreign dignitaries, and celebrities. An iconic hotel located two blocks from the White House, Willard InterContinental offers 335 spacious and elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites that blend historic charm with modern amenities. Guests interested in having a full experience of this beautiful space must leave plenty of time for exploring the hotel’s many culinary options. They include Café du Parc, Afternoon Tea at Peacock Alley and a classic cocktail at Round Robin Bar, located on the lobby level.
#9 Arlington National Cemetery – It has been more than 150 years since the first military funeral took place at Arlington National Cemetery. Since then, more than 400,000 military service men, women and their families have been laid to rest in the country’s most prominent burial ground. The Old Town Trolley’s Arlington National Cemetery Tour provides one of the best chances to see the cemetery. The for 45-minute tour takes people on a through the cemetery while stopping at important points of interest like the Tomb of Unknown Soldier, the Arlington House, The Civil War Unknowns Monument and memorials to the Space Shuttles Challenger and Columbia.
#10 Tennis Rock – For sports-loving people on vacation Washington, DC, the DC’s Rock Creek Park Tennis Center is a place of great excitement. Each year, Washington, DC’s Rock Creek Park Tennis Center hosts the Citi Open, one of the sport’s premier tournaments welcoming around 70,000 people over the course of a week. This year, the tournament will be held July 28 through August 5, 2018, in beautiful Rock Creek Park, a division of the National Park Service, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF).
#11 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts – Located on the Potomac River, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (commonly referred to as the Kennedy Center) is a multi-dimensional cultural center that hosts a wide array of performances from ballet and orchestral to pop music and jazz. Opened in September of 1971 as a memorial to John F. Kennedy, the venue holds around 2,000 performances annually including partnerships with the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), Washington National Opera and The Suzanne Farrell Ballet. If you can’t make it for a performance, the Center offers free, guided tours.
#12 Neighborhood Shopping – Vacation provides an amazing opportunity to those who love shopping to buy things for friends and families. DC is home to an abundance of quaint neighborhood shopping with one-of-a-kind boutiques and high-end, national retailers. Georgetown is an important example of a place where those on vacation can get almost everything they need. A charming area of the city with Federal-style architecture is also home to upmarket restaurants and design shops. There is also City Center DC, a residential and retail development featuring everything from Burberry and Bvlgari to David Yurman and Dior. If you are looking for smaller shops for unique items, U Street and 14th Street (dubbed “hip hunter’s paradise”) is filled with brand name shops that will delight all shoppers.
#13 The Brewmaster’s Castle – A grand mansion on Dupont Circle, Heurich House Museum is better known as The Brewmaster’s Castle and was built from 1892 to 1894 by German immigrants, brewer, and philanthropist Christian Heurich. Today, the mansion, which is notable for its fireproof construction, original interiors, and family collections, serves as host to regular beer events and a monthly beer tasting as well as private and group tours. A donation of $10 to $15 is suggested for tours.