Besides being the capital of the United States and the seat of political power in the country, Washington, D.C., is a gorgeous, storied town with a lot to offer the curious traveler. Whether you’re from the area, or you’re just popping by for a visit, the city is full of incredible sites, landmarks, and attractions that you won’t want to miss. From the buildings where the biggest decisions in the free world are made on a daily basis, to commemorative monuments that remind us of our history as a nation, everyone should make a point of getting to The District at least once in their life. If you’re only in town for a short while and you’re not sure where to start, don’t sweat — we’ve got you covered with this short list of the best Washington, D.C., tourist attractions. From ball games and a massive “mall” to gorgeous vistas, incredible museums, and much, much more, there’s something in the nation’s capital for everyone.
National Pastime in the Nation’s Capital
Washington DC has some of the most passionate sports fans in the country and catching a ball game at Nationals Stadium is a great way to spend a sunny day in town. Baseball games are perfect for the whole family since you don’t even have to be a fan to enjoy them! (We can practically smell the beer and hot dogs as we speak!) Pro Tip: After the game’s over — and hopefully the Nationals won! — pop across the way to Silver Diner for some delicious bites and drinks.
Washington, D.C., Sightseeing Tour
In the mood to see the city from a different perspective? Head out on the water on the Monuments Sightseeing Tour From Alexandria and Georgetown. While aboard the cruise, you’ll see the famous monuments of Washington, D.C., as you travel along the Potomac River, with stunning reflective views of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Washington Monument, the Arlington Memorial Bridge, and more. Plus, the whole trip is narrated by an expert, so you’ll learn a bit while you have fun, too!
Don’t worry: You won’t find any Macy’s or Sears at the National Mall! Instead, you’ll see breathtaking scenery, more National Landmarks than you can count, and plenty of food trucks, drink stands, and frozen treat vendors. While strolling the National Mall, you’ll see a number of American monuments and historic buildings, including the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the United States Capitol, the Jefferson Memorial, the Constitution Gardens, and more. Plus, if you make the trip during the early spring, you can even catch the world-famous cherry blossoms blooming near the Tidal Basin!
A Cruise to Mount Vernon
If you’re looking for a truly American experience, you can’t go wrong with a Mount Vernon from DC cruise. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, allowing folks to visit Mount Vernon is a 200-year-old tradition started by George Washington himself. As the only round-trip Mount Vernon cruise direct from Washington, D.C., the cruise includes admission to Mount Vernon with three hours to explore the estate and gardens. You’ll also enjoy a narrated riverfront tour as you pass both historic and modern landmarks, such as Alexandria, the Ronald Reagan Airport, and Fort Washington.
Top Washington, D.C., Museum
If you’re into history, aviation, or sweet spaceships (who isn’t?) you won’t want to miss out on the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. You and your guests will love checking out early plane models, artifacts that took humans to new heights (literally), and out-of-this-world space exhibits. And, if it’s a hot one, you can all enjoy the air conditioning as you walk through the fascinating galleries, take in the planetarium, and visit the museum store and in-house cafe. Plus, kids love it, so it’s fun for the whole family!
If you’re looking to cap off a day in Washington, D.C., with some drinks and delicious food, you can’t beat the Navy Yard. As one of the liveliest neighborhoods in town, you’ll be able to pop into a slew of riverfront bars and restaurants — and you’ll have earned it, since you’ll have likely worked up a sizable appetite strolling the National Mall! We recommend stopping by Chicken + Whiskey for some (you guessed it) delicious Peruvian rotisserie chicken and an incredible selection of spirits — or pop into the Side Door for some incredible pizza.