A Shortcut Guide to Washington DC

Travel Guide to Washington DC
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One of the first cities that anyone traveling to the United States should take is to Washington DC. Even if you’re lived in the U.S. your whole life and haven’t made it to the nation’s capital yet, you should put it at the top of your list of places to see.

The Smithsonian Museums give free entry, the National Mall is an extraordinary open space with its towering monuments, and the restaurant scene is alive and well in the city these days.

I dare you to run out of things to do in Washington DC. Even if you were to make it through the 50 activities on our to do list, we’ve got 10 more non-touristy things that you should add to the list.

There are many neighborhoods to wander around, as well. And then there’s the outlining cities of Alexandria and Arlington to explore!

Here is your one-stop travel guide to Washington DC: The best hotels, things to do, and places to eat and drink in Washington DC and the surrounding area.

What to Do in Washington DC

Don’t forget to get your Washington DC Explorer pass, which will gain you free entry to many popular attractions.

  • Customized Private Sightseeing Tour of DC – BOOK HERE
  • Viator VIP: Best of DC Including US Capitol and National Archives Reserved Access, the White House and Lincoln Memorial – BOOK HERE
  • Washington DC Supersaver: Mount Vernon and Arlington National Cemetery Tour –


Where to Stay in Washington DC

 Where you stay depends a lot on what you want to do and your budget. It can be expensive to stay right in the city. For budget travelers, it may be more economical to stay outside the city in Arlington or Alexandria and take the Metro in to the city.


If you haven’t tried Airbnb yet, there are some really great options from Superhosts that can offer a more comfortable, feel-at-home, experience than a hotel.

We recommend these places to stay in Arlington and Alexandria:

We recommend these places to stay in Washington DC:

Travel Guide to Washington DC

Travel Guide to Wasington DC
Travel Guide to Wasington DC

Before you go: Over 30% off on unforgettable Night Tours in Washington DC

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washington dc travel guide

A Shortcut Guide to Washington DC

2 thoughts on “A Shortcut Guide to Washington DC

  1. Dana Cook says:

    Any advice for a Friday and Saturday in the city with 3 kids (8-14)? We were thinking of renting bikes and seeing the sights this way. Does that seem reasonable? I’m not sure if DC is biking-friendly. And stay in Georgetown or DuPont Circle area? Thanks!!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Hi Dana, Cycling in DC is definitely reasonable. It’s especially easy to do around the mall and there are lots of bike stations there where you can rent bikes and park them again. The kids would enjoy the museums and monuments. The only thing I would caution against is if it’s a summer weekend there will be a lot of people and it’s difficult to ride around when there are so many people. Georgetown or Dupont Circle are good places to stay. Maybe also consider staying near the mall in L’Enfant Plaza area.

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