Washington DC is full of history, monuments, and museums. There are so many things to see and do in the city that it can be overwhelming. To help make sure you get the most out of your trip, consider these 10 tours DC and excursions:
Take a DC ghost tour
Ghost tours are a fun way to learn about your new home. They’re trendy among tourists eager to discover the city’s hidden history and haunted places. The city has many different tour companies offering ghost tours, so you should have no trouble finding one that appeals to you.
The tours are educational and scary you’ll learn about some of the most famous ghosts in DC history while walking through their old stomping grounds (and maybe even running into them). But don’t worry: most of these ghosts don’t want to hurt anyone or anything; they want someone to listen when they try and tell their story!
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, these tours are worth checking out if you’re looking for something different than just another typical sightseeing trip around DC.
Go on a bicycle tour
- Go on a bicycle tour.
- There are several bicycle tour companies in DC, and they’re all great.
- They’re also all different some focus on the monuments, some on the city’s history and architecture. Some on its neighborhoods and people, some on food or shopping. So you’ll have to decide for yourself which sounds good to you!
Take a walking tour
Washington DC is a great place to explore on foot, and plenty of walking tours are available. So whether you’re interested in learning about American history or seeing the city like a local, there’s sure to be one that meets your needs.
- You can choose from various topics: The Smithsonian Institution offers guided tours through each of its museums (including the National Air and Space Museum). You can also take a walking tour led by an expert guide who will explain how Washington DC became what it is today.
- Or you can choose from any tour companies: Tour companies such as Gray Line offer self-guided and guided tours. These include tickets for attractions like Arlington National Cemetery or the White House (which typically have long lines during peak tourist seasons).
- And if you’re looking for something longer than just two hours, consider overnight booking accommodations. Many hotels offer bed & breakfast rooms overlooking famous landmarks like The White House or Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool or even private balconies overlooking them!
Take a Segway tour
Segway tours are a fun way to see the city and its sights. They’re also quite popular with families and people with mobility issues, as they can be easier on your joints than walking. Plus, if you’ve ever wanted to go on a Segway tour but have been worried about getting up there in the first place, they’re great because they make it easy!
Take a food tour
Food tours are a great way to learn about the city, try new foods, and get recommendations for restaurants and bars.
- The DC Food Truck Tour takes you through the city, searching for some of DC’s best food trucks. This tour will take you to eight locations as you munch on tempting dishes such as Filipino-style chicken wings, Korean barbeque, pulled pork tacos, and traditional Greek gyros.
- On the DC Slices Pizza Tour, you’ll visit four popular pizza joints to sample their pies at each stop. Your guide will explain how pizza evolved in America (and worldwide), then lead you through each restaurant so that everyone has enough time to eat before going to their next stop. You’ll learn about various pizzerias’ specialties while enjoying slices so hot they’re still bubbling when they hit your mouth!
Hit the museums for free on certain days of the week.
- The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museums of Art, History, Natural History, and Science are free every day.
- The National Gallery of Art is free on Fridays from 5 pm to 8 pm.
- The National Museum of American History does not charge an entrance fee on the first Saturday of each month (except December). Admission for children under 18 years old is always free.
The following museums offer free admission on the second Tuesday of each month:
- Smithsonian American Art Museum
- National Portrait Gallery
- Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
See the monuments at night.
As you’re walking around the monuments in the daytime, you may see some workers doing repairs and cleaning. These are not just old workers. They are part of the National Park Service. The NPS is responsible for maintaining our national parks, including those with monuments like Washington DC’s top 10.
The NPS provides guides who will walk you through these monuments so that you can learn about their history and significance, but if you’d instead explore them on your own (or take some incredible photos), don’t worry! There are also plenty of volunteers stationed at each monument to help direct traffic and answer questions from visitors (although these volunteers don’t have any official authority).
Head to the National Archives and see the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and Constitution.
You can visit the National Archives and see the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and Constitution. The National Archives is located in Washington DC, and is open to the public for free on certain days of the week.
Visit the Library of Congress.
If you’re interested in seeing the Library of Congress, which is located two blocks off the National Mall at 101 Independence Ave., NE, you’ll want to know what to expect when you get there.
The library has three main attractions: Thomas Jefferson Building, John Adams Building, and James Madison Memorial Building. You can get a free library map from the information desk and explore on your own or take one of their daily tours.
The Thomas Jefferson Building houses America’s first public library and its most extensive collection of books (more than 160 million!). It also contains a variety of exhibits, including maps and manuscripts that span more than 400 years. The John Adams building features galleries filled with books on religion, military history, and presidential papers. Outside both buildings are statues honoring past presidents who were instrumental in creating America’s libraries throughout history including George Washington!
Find out what’s going on at The Kennedy Center.
The Kennedy Center is a performing arts center located in Washington DC. It’s home to many events throughout the year, including performances from famous artists and orchestras.
The Kennedy Center offers free tours, open to everyone who wishes to attend. The tour takes visitors through the front lobby and backstage areas of the theater before ending back in front where you can grab lunch in their cafe or grab a cocktail at their bar/lounge area called J&G Steakhouse (which also serves delicious food).
The Kennedy Center also hosts free performances on certain days of the week – check out their website for more details! If you’re interested in attending one of these performances, I recommend getting there early because they fill up fast! You might even see some members of Congress if you’re lucky 🙂
There are lots of things to do in Washington DC
Washington DC is full of things to do, including:
- Tours and excursions of the city take you through some of its most iconic locations.
- Museums and monuments include The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and Washington Monument.
- See what’s going on at The Kennedy Center or Library of Congress.
You can also see what’s happening at various cultural institutions in the area, including:
- The National Archives – Located just down the street from The White House, this building holds historical documents dating back to 1789, when George Washington took office as America’s first President. You can view these documents during your visit here and watch films about important historical moments (e.g., World War II).
- Library Of Congress – This library was built between 1897-1907 by architect John Lyle with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie (who also founded Carnegie Steel Company). It contains millions worth of books along with periodicals available for reading inside their gorgeous Beaux Arts building designed by Charles Follen McKim (who also designed the Boston Public Library).
Washington DC is a great place to visit, and we hope you’ll find something piques your interest. This was just a small selection of the many tours, activities, and destinations available in our nation’s capital. If you want more information on what else to see and do in Washington DC, then check out our website or contact us directly!