Your Guide to the Coolest Things to Do in Washington DC
Did you know that despite having a population of slightly more than 600,000, the US capital is visited by about 20 million people every year? To satisfy the entertainment needs of so many domestic and international visitors, as well as people moving there, the number of things to do in Washington DC is vast and wide-ranging. Every history and culture enthusiast can find a place to visit and bask in its beauty. You can check out the areas that will blow your mind if you are an adventure seeker or a mystery solver.
This city is a major political hub, but that is not the only thing you can see if you move to Washington DC. Put on your good shoes and take part in some of the many tours. Learn about the former presidents and the people who sacrificed their lives for the country. Take a photo or two with famous people down at Madame Tussauds’ or put on a thinking hat on and try to solve many mysteries in the Spy Museum. In DC, you can learn how to fly a plane or cook a tasty meal for yourself in a fun and innovative way.
If you are in the mood for music, there are festivals throughout the year; from heavy metal headbanging to Irish dancing, you will have fun in every season. But don’t worry, if you are on a tight budget, there are many places you can visit for free. With so many activities on sight, there’s no room to think about getting relocation depression.
Check out Monuments and Memorials
Living in the capital means being within driving or walking distance to some of the fascinating monuments dedicated to wars, individuals, service members, and presidents that have left a lasting mark on American history. If you ship your car here, you will be able to drive around the capital freely and check out many amazing places.
The culture and architecture here, mainly the Capitol Building, are strongly influenced by the US Federal Government. Also, the political effect can be seen in many memorials and monuments dedicated to presidents and political leaders.
Explore Every Memorial Dedicated to US Presidents
Most of the dozen memorials and monuments that are dedicated to leaders of the United States are covered by National Mall walking tours.
Just 1.2 miles from Capitol Building, you can find The Washington Monument, one of the most memorable monuments in DC. The Obelisk is 555′ tall, and no other building in the city is allowed to be taller than it, making it the tallest structure in the area. When you get to the top, you can enjoy the view that stretches for 30 miles. So get your camera ready; here you can take some breathtaking photos.
The Lincoln Monument is located on the western end of the National Mall. In it, you can find the statue of Abraham Lincoln, a mural celebrating the granting of freedom to slaves, and many paintings of the president.
The Jefferson Memorial was built in honor of Thomas Jefferson, who is best known for writing the American Declaration of Independence. This place covers 79,758 square feet, so be prepared for a long walk.
The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is the only one to include a First Lady – Elanor Roosevelt.
Take a Tour of Memorials Dedicated to Military Service Members
There are plenty of places dedicated to those who gave their lives for the United States of America. Don’t put your history books in storage; if you’re planning your moving budget for hiring professional Washington DC movers, tell them to transport those titles to your new home so that you can brush up on historical facts.
If you want to check out some places dedicated to war and the military, the first one on the list should be the WW2 Memorial. This seven-acre area is made of granite, and it symbolizes the triumphant era in history, as well as peace.
The Vietnam Memorial is a controversial place that got many mixed reviews when it opened in 1982, but it has since become one of the most visited and highly respected places. Here you can see panels with names of soldiers that took part in the war or died in it. The shortest panels hold fewer than ten names, while the tallest hold over 100.
The Iwo Jima Memorial is 78 feet tall, and it consists of six men raising a flag on top of Mount Suribachi. This monument is a symbol of the American World War II efforts in the Pacific Ocean.
Visit Memorials Dedicated to Individuals
Many people helped the nation become what it is today. If you are in the mood to take a trip down the memory lane, you should stop by some of the memorials dedicated to those exceptional individuals.
The MLK Memorial is one of the newest ones in the Mall, and it is dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Nature plays an essential part in the design of this place because cherry trees are positioned to bloom in specific spots, making it seem like Dr. King is looking upon them.
The 12ft tall monument of famous physicist Albert Einstein is located in front of the Academy of Sciences. At the bottom of the statue, you can see a star map embedded with over 2,700 metal knobs representing the precise position of the Sun, the planets, and a variety of celestial objects.
Visit a Museum or Two
Did you know that there are more museums in the US than there are McDonald’s and Starbucks restaurants combined? DC is in its own league when it comes to renowned museums.
Moving to DC will give you the chance to see, hear, and learn about many bits and pieces of the world’s past, art, and music. Here’s a tip: spend less on housing by moving into a smaller home, or save by having the cheapest way to move out of state, and you’ll have more to spend on various activities and enjoying life in general.
All history enthusiasts will enjoy visiting the Holocaust Memorial and its vast collections of documents related to this tragic historical event. The collections contain more than 12,700 artifacts, a list of registered survivors, archive footage, oral testimonials, and many library items.
Do you find espionage and tradecraft interesting? If you do, the International Spy Museum will become your favorite place in DC. With more than 750 artifacts, you can see photos, videos, and take part in interactive exhibitions. Operation Spy is an exhibit where you can take up the role of a covert agent and participate in a movie-like simulation. You get to solve puzzles, tasks, and finish the mission.
If a picture paints a thousand words, imagine being surrounded by the whole collection of them. Feast your eyes on paintings, sculptures, decorative art, prints, and photographs that can be found in the Gallery of Art. Also, the Museum of Women in the Arts is located here, hosting the works of Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, and many other famous women.
Did you know that the Air and Space Museum exhibited Wonder Woman’s invisible jet for a day? If you pay attention to the announcements, there is a chance you can catch a gem like this in the future.
Finding something fun to see and exciting to learn in DC won’t be hard; there is a place for everybody that wants to experience something new.
Explore the Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution, with its 19 museums, is the richest source of American history in the country. Even with 30 million visitors in a year, the Smithsonian is only showcasing one percent of its exhibits and artifacts.
If you have kids, you should know that they will probably visit some museums, because Washington DC public schools organize tours and visits for their students.
The price of admission depends on the place you want to visit, and you can find all the information you need on the Smithsonian website.
Take a Pic With the President in Madame Tussauds Museum
Do you want to post a photo of yourself with some of the 45 US Presidents? Or maybe have a photoshoot with Beyoncé and Michael Jackson? Stop by Madame Tussauds and check out sculptures from the world of film, music, politics, sports, and television. Peek behind the scenes and see how wax figures are made. The price of tickets depends on the packet you get, and they go from $21 to $77.
Experience the World Around Us in the National Geographic Museum
Just like the world-famous magazines, the National Geographic Museum gives you the chance to see and experience the world around us. There are plenty of exhibits, permanent and temporary, that you can emerge yourself in. What makes it even cooler is the fact that you can see sculptures made out of garbage, but also frogs of every color in their natural habitats. Every person that likes to learn new things will find something fascinating here. The tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for kids.
Check out Music Festivals Around the City
DC has been home to many musicians from a variety of musical genres. That is why you can find all kinds of music festivals here. Whatever type of music you prefer, there is a place to keep you entertained.
From crowded summer festivals to fall music attractions, there are so many places to check out and many music genres to enjoy. The advantage of moving alone here is that you’ll probably meet new people and make friendships in no time.
Experience Jazz With a Hint of Classic
DC Jazz Festival takes place in June, and it hosts a diverse selection of national and international musicians who perform in every corner of the capital.
Union Market is one of DC’s coolest places, and it hosts one of the best festivals. All Things Go Fall Classic lasts for two days in October and features performances from a variety of artists. Here you can also enjoy some delicious local eats. You can book a table in some of the best restaurants in Washington DC and taste their famous dishes.
Check out Music Festivals That Celebrates a Healthy Lifestyle
Broccoli City Festival has a mission to raise ecological awareness and promote a healthy lifestyle. This is a spring festival that hosts many musicians and food vendors.
There is also Broccoli Con, which offers mentor meetings and interactive workshops and brings many guest speakers. The Con works towards creating more sustainable communities and businesses.
Spring and Summer Entertainment Is for Everybody
Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival is a yearly springtime event that is dedicated to bluegrass music, and it features local vendors. Here you can grab some food and drinks and have a good time with your friends.
Summer Spirit Festival is an R&B and hip-hop happening that lets musicians perform while visitors enjoy good vibes and open park spaces of Post Pavilion.
Irish Dancing, Headbanging, and Country Singing, All in DC
ShamrockFest is a major St. Paddy’s Day music festival. Here you get to drink plenty of beer and enjoy some Irish dancing moves and sounds of bagpipes.
If you prefer headbanging over dancing, M3 Rock Festival is for you. A line-up of metal bands that this festival offers every year will make every fan swoon.
WMZQ Fall Fest is a country-themed event that is hosted yearly, and it brings many country music stars to the scene.
Explore Some of the Best Entertainment Options in the Area
This is a vibrant and diverse place – people from various backgrounds relocate to this big city or visit it. With that in mind, you should know that there are many entertainment options that can cater to the needs of every taste. Don’t let the anxiety about moving out stop you from actually doing it. You will quickly adjust to the new state because there are many places where you can meet people and make some friends. If you have a job that requires relocation, know that there are plenty of popular places to visit or fun activities to take up with your new coworkers and make a great first impression.
Celebrate Culture at the National Cherry Blossom Festival
One of the greatest celebrations is the Cherry Blossom Festival. Here you can experience creative promotion of arts, culture, and the community spirit. The festival is four weeks long, and it welcomes more than 1.5 million people that are into contemporary and modern arts.
Put Your Thinking Hat on and Go to an Escape Room
Making friends in a new place can be hard, but if you start by inviting your coworkers to grab a drink or have a fun experience in an escape room, the process might be smoother.
The concept of the room, which is located in Georgetown, is simple: players need to use teamwork and deduction skills to crack codes and solve puzzles to escape the room. There are themes such as “Ghostbusters,” “Titanic,” and “The Curse of the Mummy.”
Attend Cookology Culinary School Classes
Are you concerned about the cost of living in Washington DC, and thinking about ways to save up? Well, cooking your meals is one way to do it. For a decade, Cookology has been teaching people how to take charge of their kitchens. Here you can enroll in many classes, such as advanced baking. If you are moving with kids, consider going to mommy and me cupcake classes and many others.
Learn How to Fly with Dream Aero
Visiting Dream Aero Flight Simulator is a dream come true for every adventure seeker. This is one of the most realistic Boeing 737 flight simulators. Here you can get training from real commercial pilots. The accurate and highly detailed system will make sure you experience a real flight environment.
Check out the National Inventors Hall of Fame
If you want to hear stories about inventions, this is the place you should visit. The Hall holds nearly 600 inventions. If you’re going to bring your kids here and go on a tour together, know that there are fun activities that the young ones can participate in.
Hop on a Roller Coaster and Have Some Fun
Check out the first wooden roller coaster that is Viking-themed. At Busch Gardens Williamsburg/Water Country USA, you get to experience adrenaline high by riding a roller coaster that has a 74-foot drop and nine airtime hills. If you are moving with your family and looking for fun, know that this is a very friendly place, so you can take your kids with you while you are chasing adventures.
Six Flags America is a 15 minutes’ drive from DC, and the park has more than 100 rides and water attractions. Batwing and Superman are 200-foot-tall hyper coasters that can leave any thrill-seeker speechless. This is also a family-friendly place, so you don’t have to look for a babysitter for your kids while you are having fun.
Connect With People by Playing Ping Pong
Are you a fan of ping pong? Tasty food and drinks? Stop by Spin DC with your friends and spend some time having fun. The main mission of this place is to help people relax and connect by playing ping pong. If you are moving for a relationship, this could be a perfect spot for a fun date.
Broadway Is Not Only for New Yorkers
If you are moving from New York, know that the Big Apple is not the only place you can enjoy Broadway vibes. Toby’s Dinner Theatre gives its visitors a live orchestra, but also an opportunity to make your own ice cream and have some healthy salads.
Immerse Yourself in VR Tech and Have a Beer
Every fan of games will love the Augment VR Arcade bar that features high tech virtual reality. Stop by and experience virtual worlds of sport, music, action, and more. When you are done playing, check out the bar that offers a variety of drinks and a chill atmosphere.
Listen to Stories About the Bible
Being of the newest attractions in DC. This 430,000 square-foot building gives you a chance to learn about the history, narrative, and impact of the Bible. There are hundreds of documents and translations. Here you can walk through the street-like hallways and listen to the stories of the Hebrew Bible.
Things to Do in Washington DC for Free
If you are working with a tight budget, knowing where every cent goes is a priority. But don’t worry, there are plenty of activities in DC that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Living in the capital means you get to experience many things for free – start with just walking around the metropolis.
Washington DC neighborhoods like Georgetown are brimming with historical buildings. Take a walk down the street and take photos of buildings or stop by the parks where you can sit and enjoy the day. Green spaces are perfect if you are moving with your dog and looking for a place for them to run around freely.
Best places to live in Washington DC are those that can offer you a variety of entertainment options, especially the cheap ones. Downtown is perfect for everybody that likes to be in the business district but also in a place with many fun things to do. Stop by CityCenterDC and walk around Palmer Alley, enjoying various decorations that change depending on the season.
There are 175 embassies in DC, and if you want to visit some of them, know that every spring, there is a weekend when you can do that. Many embassies open their doors to visitors so that they can enjoy performances, art exhibitions, and cultural presentations.
Having Fun in the City Shaped by Politics
Did you know that there are more than four million square feet of meeting, exhibiting, and event venues in the DC area? With that kind of space, you will surely find something to visit, see, and take a photo of. Don’t let the political vibe of the city fool you; there might be many places that are shaped by politics, but the city has developed way beyond that influence. Now you can find vibrant spots that play all kinds of music, or just stop by many innovative museums.
With 250,000 acres of green areas, you can even spend a day away from the busy urban life. Call some friends, pick up a ball or a picnic basket, and spend the day outside. DC is not only about politics and business meetings. It is a home, a place where you can have fun and be happy if you really want to.