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Things to do in Washington, D.C.

America’s capital offers lots of affordable activities year-round. Of the 17 Smithsonian museums, all of which offer free admission, the National Air and Space Museum is a favorite (literally—it’s the world’s most visited museum) thanks to its vast collection of artifacts, which includes the 1903 Wright brothers flyer and the Apollo 11 space module. Meanwhile, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts stages fantastic music and theater performances each year (400 of which are free to the public). Awe-inspiring monuments such as the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial should appear on any itinerary of things to do in Washington, D.C. (perk: unlike the museums, there are no long lines). Another architectural wonder is Union Station, with its vaulted ceilings, three majestic arches, and massive columns. Of course, the city offers an array of in-depth historical tours, but one of our favorites is more whimsical: Paws for Spies, which reveals tales of espionage with as many as 17 highly-trained dogs in tow. For the best itinerary, plan two or three cultural activities during the day, then explore Washington, D.C.’s restaurant and nightlife scenes, and, finally, check into an uber-comfortable hotel to recharge.

  • America!

    Commemorate your trip to the nation’s capital with gifts and gags ranging from the partisan to the patriotic: caps with logos from Air Force One an... More
  • Anne Morgan Scully

    Known for “Travel experiences form a sort of wardrobe,” Scully says. And in this respect, her repeat-trip record with clients makes her their perso... More
  • Aroma

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  • Atlas Performing Arts Center

    Beyond the throwback façade and ticket window, visitors find a sophisticated lobby worthy of cocktail parties. The Atlas Theater was originally bui... More
  • Bar Pilar

    Located in the U Street neighborhood, this mid-city restaurant and bar serving New American cuisine inspired by local farms and seasonal produce. T... More
  • Bar Rouge

    This swanky watering hole with over-the-top décor is half hotel restaurant and half hopping DC nightspot. At home in Dupont Circle's bohemian Hotel... More
  • Bi-Partisan Tour Company

    The Bi-Partisan Tour Company offers a unique, environmentally-friendly way to tour the nation’s capitol. Visitors to the area can take an informati... More
  • Blue Gin

    Dance club with noted mixologist More
  • Bureau of Engraving and Printing

    Established in 1862, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP), a block-shaped structure of steel made with fireproof concrete, limestone, and gra... More
  • C&O Canal National Historical Park

    Now a historical site spanning 184.5 miles, the Chesapeake & Ohio canal was originally used to ferry goods like coal, lumber, and grain down the Po... More
  • Candida's World of Books

    Candida’s World of Books leaves bookstore travel sections far behind, and stocks cookbooks, coffee-table tomes, and fiction in 15 languages from 40... More
  • Carbon

    Located on Connecticut Avenue in Woodley Park, Carbon is known for its selection of stylish, eco-friendly shoes, clothing, and accessories. The sto... More
  • Carling Nichols

    Located in Georgetown, Carling Nichols is owned by three friends who share a passion for the Chinese aesthetic. The store sells carefully selected ... More
  • Chrysalis Vineyards

    Chrysalis Vineyards, located outside Washington, D.C. near Middleburg, Va., encompasses 71 acres on which 20 grape varieties are grown. Production ... More
  • Ciclismo Classico

Explore things to do in Washington, D.C. for more options.

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