City breaks to Washington DC are popular – and not just for those interested in politics or history. Read on to find out why you’ll love it…
The green swathe of the National Mall sweeps from the sheer white marble of the US Capitol to the dizzying Washington Monument (still Washington DC's tallest structure). Tree-lined boulevards house world-class museums alongside the Mall's edges while the Potomac River skirts round the west of the city. In quaint Georgetown you can admire the 18th century townhouses of senators and celebs before enjoying a warm welcome in an artisanal coffee shop.
Oh yes, there’s a lot more to the capital of the United States of America than politicians and statues. This vibrant metropolis stirs the imaginations of all who visit – from teeny toddlers to their great-grandparents. The memorials and monuments are huge but touching, while the museums are some of the best on the planet.
And while you can’t go far without seeing an iconic piece of Washington’s landscape, you’ll be equally delighted by everything that you weren’t expecting to experience in Washington DC.
On short breaks to Washington DC you’ve got a lot to pack in, so be sure to tick off the main attractions from your sightseeing list. Highlights include the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Reflecting Pool and the White House. The Smithsonian Museum complex should also be high up on that checklist – there’s a museum here for everyone.
International flights to Washington DC arrive into Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), though some indirect flights will see you land at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) or Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI).
Getting into Washington DC from Dulles Airport is easy. The Washington Flyer services include transfer by taxis, coaches, shuttle vans and metro bus. From Ronald Reagan airport, there are taxis and shuttle services as well as options on the Metrorail. From Baltimore Washington International Marshall Thurgood Airport Rail Station you can get into Washington DC's Union Station in less than half an hour on regular train services. Wherever you land, car hire is economical and allows you to get around at your leisure. Pick up at the airport and be on the road within minutes.
Getting around on weekend breaks in Washington DC is easy if you choose not to hire a car. The Metrorail and Metrobus systems will take you anywhere in Washington DC's metropolitan area but many visitor's choose to use open-top buses to get around.
To find the best-value city breaks in Washington DC simply use the price-comparison service on TravelSupermarket and then book your ideal trip.
Whatever the weather, short breaks in the capital of the USA can be filled with good times and sightseeing...
Summer and winter see the biggest tourist crowds in Washington DC. It’s hot and often wet in July and August, so consider a break in spring or autumn if you prefer mild temperatures and thinner packs of camera-wielding visitors. Though winters are cold, the festivities of the Yuletide period attract tourists.
Find out what’s on when in Washington DC. The city hosts a diverse range of annual events and it can get busy during these special times...
The National Cherry Blossom Festival; March-April: Be in Washington DC as spring dusts its magic on the cherry trees, taking the hard white edges off the monuments and sprinkling pastel-coloured prettiness everywhere you look. There are parades, concerts and other events during this annual festival.
National Memorial Day Parade; May: You should be aware of this event, even if you don’t plan to attend, as the city’s hotels will be extremely busy and prices are likely to rise. There’s a moving parade, concerts and a number of wreath-laying ceremonies around the capital.
Independence Day celebrations; July 4: Where else but the nation’s capital to see the sights and hear the sounds of these cracking celebrations? There are concerts in the National Mall before a display of fireworks paints the night sky as the crowds cheer. Book your break early to stake your place at this party.
There’s a holiday memory just waiting to be made in Washington DC. What will yours be?
Families: Dust off your trench coat and take the kids on a top secret mission around Washington DC with the International Spy Museum's Spy in the City – a GPS-guided adventure that takes you on to streets full of clues and mystery.
Active types: Tour Washington DC's monuments from a completely new angle on a kayak tour on the Potomac. Paddle past the enormous Kennedy Center on your way to the Jefferson Memorial and tree-lined Tidal Basin.
Shopping: Eastern Market on Capitol Hill is not only a National Historical Landmark but a thriving market where shoppers browse fresh produce and hard-to-find arts and crafts.
Romance: Take tea in the marble-clad grandeur of Peacock Alley in the magnificent and romantic Beaux-Arts Willard Hotel, just a stone's throw from the White House.
Free & cheap: Pop into Washington DC's Smithsonian Institute to admire dinosaur fossils in the Natural History Museum, masterpieces in the Freer and Sackler galleries or rare animals in the National Zoo, all for free!