Your plane tickets are booked, you've got a great hotel lined up, and you're on your way to the nation's capital. But what will you be seeing?
Between museums and foodie spots, D.C. has something for everyone in the family. Here's a list of cool attractions and some insider tips on how to make the most of your vacation time.
Try to save at least two days to see as many of the 19 Smithsonian museums, gardens and galleries as you can. The majority of them are centrally located around the National Mall, and they even have their own Metro stop. The best place for lunch on a museum day is the row of food trucks in front of the Washington Monument.
Admission to the museums is free, though private guided tours may require tickets. Visit the Smithsonian Institution's website to browse all of your options.
Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution
Courtesy of the Jefferson Memorial Foundation
The National Zoo
Take a trip to the Smithsonian National Zoo and see all sorts of amazing animals. The mischievous lemurs will steal your heart! Admission is free, and the zoo has its own Metro stop so it's easy to find.
Courtesy of Smithsonian National Zoo
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
The Kennedy Center is an elegant venue for ballet, musicals, concerts, and more. Every week, there are free shows at the Millennium Stage, and the view is incomparable from the rooftop terrace. Splurge for the famous elaborate Sunday Kitchen Brunch – you won't regret it!
Courtesy of National Symphony Orchestra
The D.C. Wharf
This D.C. neighborhood along Maine Avenue is a foodie's paradise. Stop at the open-air fish market and have a quick meal of steamed seafood, chowder, or local oysters. Head up the newly developed retail waterfront for more food, drinks, and shopping.
Courtesy of Jessie Taylor Seafood
Take in a baseball game while you're in town! You can get tickets for Nationals home games for under $20 apiece. That saves you plenty of money for ballpark snacks! Try the classic hot dogs and beer, or get something a little more exotic like a pupusa or a spicy half-smoke.
Courtesy of the Washington Nationals
Stop by Eastern Market for delicious local food and their weekend flea market stalls. You'll find great keepsakes like handmade jewelry, vintage records, and local art. Don't forget to try a half-smoke and some of the enormous pastries in the food hall! For more information, visit the Eastern Market website.
Courtesy of Eastern Market
These are just some of the dozens of must-see tourist attractions in Washington, D.C. If you're not feeling up to long days of walking, try local tour bus companies or the Water Taxi to get a different type of view. Visit the vibrant neighborhoods like Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle, Georgetown, and H Street. Do some shopping, have some great meals, and experience all the city has to offer!
What do you think about this list of must-see D.C. sights – did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know in the comments!