Visiting Washington, DC? Check out this great post of things to do in Washington, DC, with restaurant, hotel, and activity recommendations.
If you’re wondering when to visit, we suggest spring break. Find out our Fun & Frugal Spring Break Destinations via that link.
We went to Washington, DC recently for a very quick trip. We arrived right before dinner on a Saturday and were out before lunch on Monday.
There was so much packed into our trip though. Enough to inspire me to put together a 24 Hours In Washington, DC post for our new series (if you remember, I put together a 24 Hours In Wilmington, NC post recently).
There are so many things to do in Washington, DC, it’s hard to narrow it down. This post will definitely help you do that.
24 Hours In Washington, DC
We’re starting our 24 hours off at 5pm because that’s when we arrived and continuing until the next day. Of course, you can adjust your day.
Check into your Kimpton Hotel.
We stayed in the Kimpton Glover Park Hotel (2505 Wisconsin Avenue NW), but there are actually ten Kimpton hotels in Washington, DC so you have a bunch to choose from.
I suggest a Kimpton because from 5pm to 6pm, it’s wine hour. You can drink complementary red and white wine in the lobby. Sounds like the perfect way to pre-game, save money, and unwind from your drive.
After dinner, we just walked around Wisconsin Avenue. If you do, check out Book Hill Park (Wisconsin Ave NW & Reservoir Road Northwest).
You walk up to the park, and the view from up there, it’s stunning. You can see the entire beauty of the city. It’s worth the hike up the stone steps.
The Next Day
Grab a cup of complimentary coffee in the lobby. Don’t skip this. The hotel serves Vigilante Coffee, which is a really, really good cup of coffee. Sip it, enjoy it, refill your cup.
Walk to the National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW). That was another perk of this hotel. I was able to walk to the National Cathedral for Palm Sunday Mass, which was nothing short of beautiful.
Mass at the National Cathedral, if you’re in Washington, DC on a Sunday. If not, you can take a tour of the Cathedral at 10:15am.
Take the subway (which is so easy to figure out) to The White House (1600 Pennsylvania Avenue), then walk towards Tidal Basin (701 E Basin Drive SW).
All around here are all the landmarks you could want to see: the Washington Monument, the National WWII Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. You can see them all in a loop around the Tidal Basin.
Pick a museum.
There are so many in the area, but there are long lines to get into any of them. So pick one and really enjoy it.
We did the National Air and Space Museum (600 Independence Avenue SW) because Pete really loves space.
Many of the museums are free, thanks to our tax dollars, so it’s nice to be able to walk around and view them without having to open your wallet.
I’m gonna suggest you get to Chaplins Restaurant and Bar (1501 9th Street NW) just in time for happy hour (5pm to 7pm). You can get half off craft cocktails, wine by the glass, and draft beer.
Even better, though, you can get fried pork gyoza that I’ve thought about every day for the last month. That was the best bite of food I’ve had in the last year. The ramen there is spectacular as well.
*If you’re planning a trip, be sure to click each location’s name to be brought to their website. You can find operating hours and more that way.
What things to do in Washington, DC would you add to the list?
Planning a trip to Washington, DC?
If you’re planning on visiting Washington, DC, we have a few posts below that can help.
Sunday 14th of May 2017
I've been to D.C. once (I grew up and still live on West Coast). My husband was born on the East Coast and has gone on the National Cathedral tour. When we were in D.C. in 2002, we arrived late and had a few short hours. This is on my list for our next trip. Great photos and I want to go back to D.C. now. :-) ~Adrienne
Thursday 11th of May 2017
I would love to visit Washington, DC again. It's been years. Your post has me thinking how to make this possible. I would love to tour the National Cathedral. Is the tour every day?
drugstore diva lisa
Thursday 11th of May 2017
Yes! The National Cathedral has different tours every day and different masses as well. You can find the entire schedule on the Cathedral's website, plus approximate times of each even too.