a Traveler's best guide in his pocket with a single click.

The Final DC Bucket Listing – 101 Issues to Do in Washington DC

0

This post contains affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on sales of the products that are linked at no additional cost to you. All opinions are always our own. Read our full disclosure for more info. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Local Adventurer possible.

Washington, D.C. has the distinct honor of being the nation’s capital. There is evidence of power and politics all over the city. Look no further than the White House, the Capitol Building, and the Supreme Court, all of which are located here. If you want to see government in action, you’ve come to the right place. Many government buildings offer tours. But it’s not all business. D.C has a really lively art, music, and food scene.

There are tons of museums and memorials for you to explore and many of them are free. You could spend days exploring the Smithsonian museums alone. As if that wasn’t enough, there are many different venues where you can see a live show. Below is a list of our favorite things to do in DC.

101 Things to Do in DC - The Ultimate Washington DC Bucket List // localadventurer.com

101 THINGS TO DO IN WASHINGTON DC BUCKET LIST

WHAT WE COVER [ CLICK LINKS TO SKIP AHEAD ]

  • Tourist Attractions (1-18)
  • Monuments + Memorials + Historic Sites (19-47)
  • Museums (48-73)
  • The Outdoors + Urban Parks (74-86)
  • Shows + Venues (87-93)
  • Shopping + Food (94-101)
  • Seasonal
  • Map of the Area
  • Best Time to Visit
  • Transportation + Parking

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

  1. Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
  2. Bureau of Engraving and Printing
  3. The Capital Wheel at National Harbor
  4. Carousel at National Harbor
  5. Chinatown Arch
  6. Dumbarton Oaks, Georgetown
  7. Embassy Row
  8. “The Exorcist” Steps, Georgetown
  9. Federal Bureau of Investigation Tour, Penn Quarter
  10. Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America, Brookland
  11. Library of Congress, Capitol Hill – has great views of DC
  12. Riverboat Tour or Dinner Cruise on the Potomac River
  13. Smithsonian Institution Building (aka the Castle) + Enid A. Haupt Garden
  14. The Pentagon Tour (must make reservations at least 14 days in advance)
  15. Tudor Place
  16. Union Station
  17. The Washington Harbour
  18. Washington National Cathedral / The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington – Woodrow Wilson’s Marble Tomb and Helen Keller’s Ashes

Washington DC Attractions + 101 Things to Do in DC // localadventurer.com

MONUMENTS + MEMORIALS + HISTORIC SITES

  1. Arlington Memorial Bridge
  2. Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington
  3. Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument (NPS)
  4. Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site (NPS)
  5. Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C & O Canal) NPS Unit
  6. Congressional Cemetery
  7. Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site (NPS)
  8. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial (NPS)
  9. Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (NPS)
  10. Korean War Veterans Memorial (NPS)
  11. Lincoln Memorial + Reflecting Pool (NPS)
  12. Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac (NPS)
  13. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial (NPS)
  14. Mary McLeod Bethune Council House (NPS)
  15. National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial
  16. National Mall (NPS)
  17. National World War II Memorial (NPS)
  18. Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site (NPS)
  19. President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldier’s Home
  20. President Woodrow Wilson House
  21. Senate and House Office Buildings
  22. Supreme Court
  23. Thomas Jefferson Memorial (NPS)
  24. The U.S. Capitol Visitors Center / Capitol Tour
  25. Vietnam Veterans Memorial (NPS)
  26. Washington Monument (NPS)
  27. World War I Memorial (NPS)
  28. World War II Memorial (NPS)
  29. White House + President’s Park (NPS) / White House Visitors Center

The United States Capitol Tour + 101 Things to Do in DC // localadventurer.com

MUSEUMS

  1. Arts and Industries Building – Smithsonian
  2. DEA Museum and Visitors Center, Arlington – go see their bong collection
  3. Folger Shakespeare Library, Capitol Hill
  4. Freer Gallery of Art / Freer and Sackler Galleries – part of the National Museum of Asian Art. Don’t forget to check out the Peacock Room.
  5. The Fridge DC – Art gallery specializing in street art – murals are in the alley behind the oyster shop on 8th St SE
  6. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens
  7. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden – Smithsonian
  8. International Spy Museum
  9. The Mansion on O Street (book tickets online to save $5)
  10. National Archives Building
  11. National Building Museum
  12. National Gallery of Art + Sculpture Garden
  13. National Geographic Society-Grosvenor Auditorium / Museum
  14. National Museum of African American History and Culture – Smithsonian Museum
  15. National Museum of African Art – Smithsonian
  16. National Museum of American History
  17. National Museum of the American Indian
  18. National Museum of Women in the Arts
  19. National Portrait Gallery
  20. National Postal Museum
  21. Newseum
  22. Smithsonian American Art Museum + Renwick Gallery (also part of American Art Museum but at a different location)
  23. NASM / Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum (2 locations) one in DC + Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center aka Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA
  24. National Museum of Natural History – Smithsonian
  25. Smithsonian National Zoological Park
  26. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden + 101 Places to Visit in Washington DC - Your DC Bucket List // localadventurer.com

THE OUTDOORS + URBAN PARKS

  1. Anacostia River – Kayaking
  2. Constitution Gardens (NPS)
  3. Georgetown Waterfront Park
  4. Gravelly Point – great place to see planes take off
  5. Great Falls Park (NPS)
  6. Lafayette Square, Downtown
  7. Meridian Hill Park
  8. Rock Creek Park Nature Center and Planetarium (NPS)
  9. Tidal Basin – paddle boating
  10. Theodore Roosevelt Island (NPS)
  11. United States National Arboretum – more locals go here and bigger than the Botanic Garden – free for visitors
  12. United States Botanic Garden
  13. The Yards Park, Navy Yard

SHOWS + VENUES

  1. 9:30 Club
  2. Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater
  3. Capital One Arena (The Wizards and Capitals both play here)
  4. Madams Organ
  5. John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Foggy Bottom
  6. Warner Theatre
  7. Nationals Park – Washington Nationals Baseball Game

SHOPPING + FOOD

  1. Brewery Tours at Port City Brewery (tour is $12 and includes a flight of 6 6 oz tasting pours), DC Brau Brewing Company (free brewery tours on Sat), Atlas Brew Works (free brewery tours on Saturdays, 100% solar powered), Bluejacket Brewery (tasting tours $29 a person on Saturdays at 3pm, includes 5 tasting pours), Capital City Brewing / Cap City (give tours upon request, or you can do a brewery tours through a third party)
  2. The Bullpen at Half Street Fairgrounds
  3. Capitol Hill Books, Capitol Hill – used bookstore
  4. Eastern Market
  5. The Fish Market – oldest continuously operating open-air fish market in the US. Southeast Fish Market / Maine Avenue Fish Market
  6. Georgetown Flea Market
  7. M Street, Georgetown
  8. Union Market – one of the best food halls in America by Bon Appetit

SEASONAL

  • Capital Fringe Fest
  • Filmfest DC
  • H Street Festival
  • Ice Skating at the National Gallery of Art (Winter)
  • Jazz in the Garden – Every Friday at the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art 5:30-8:30
  • National Cherry Blossom Festival
  • First Friday Dupont Galleries

MAP TO HELP YOU GET AROUND

Coming soon!

TIPS FOR FIRST TIME VISITORS

The Best Time to Visit DC

Visiting DC in the spring is great because the weather is really pleasant. Daytime temperatures range from the mid-fifties to the mid-seventies. I’ve always loved going there in the fall when the temperatures are milder as are the number of tourists. If you can’t get away then though and want to travel in the summer, be prepared for the heat – it ranges in the mid to high 80’s but has been known to creep even higher on occasion.

The city was once a swamp and though it looks a lot different than it used to, if you come in the summer, be prepared for the humidity! The winters can be unpredictable and brutal (ice, snow, sleet) but hotels tend to be a little cheaper in the winter because this is the off-season.

The Metro

In DC, the locals call the train the Metro. If you say Subway, people will think you’re looking for the fast-food restaurant. Oh, and when you’re on the Metro, stay to the right and let people pass on your left. Otherwise, you may be in for some aggravated locals.

Lines are referred to by color: Red, Orange, Silver, Blue, Yellow, and Green. Look for tall brown columns with a large “M” identifying the station entrances. Colored stripes around the column show which lines serve the station. Train service is from 5 am on Weekdays to 12 am and 7 am on Weekends to 12 am. The city is in the midst of upgrading the system and we rode on several brand new railcars while we were in town.

To use the train, purchase a SmarTrip® card. It’s $2.00 to purchase a card and is rechargeable so don’t throw it away after you use it; keep on reloading it. You can use it for the bus (most of which are $1.75 per ride) and the Metro will help you plan the most efficient route and also tell you exactly how much it will cost.

Parking

If you can avoid having to drive into do DC, do just that. We recommend using public transportation (WMATA) whenever possible. Most locals use a combination of the bus, train, walking or a bike. It can be really busy in the morning and evenings when people are going to work but using public transportation can save you time and a headache because you won’t have to hunt for parking. There are 91 stations located in Virginia, Maryland and DC.

Are we missing anything? What would be at the top of your Washington DC Bucket List?

MORE RESOURCES

  • Lonely Planet Washington DC
  • StreetSmart Washing DC Pocket Map
  • Official Guide to the Smithsonian

DID YOU ENJOY THE POST? PIN IT FOR LATER

What to Do in Washington DC - The Ultimate DC Bucket List // localadventurer.com101 Things to Do in Washington DC - The Ultimate DC Bucket List // localadventurer.com101 Things to Do in DC - The Ultimate Washington DC Bucket List // localadventurer.com

101 Things to Do in DC - The Ultimate Washington DC Bucket List // localadventurer.com101 Things to Do in DC - The Ultimate Washington DC Bucket List // localadventurer.comWhat to Do in Washington DC - The Ultimate DC Bucket List // localadventurer.com
101 Things to Do in Washington DC - The Ultimate Washington DC Bucket List // localadventurer.comHirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden + 101 Places to Visit in Washington DC - Your DC Bucket List // localadventurer.com
Washington DC Attractions + 101 Things to Do in DC // localadventurer.comThe United States Capitol Tour + 101 Things to Do in DC // localadventurer.com

SEE MORE CITY BUCKET LISTS

⟡⟡⟡⟡⟡

101 THINGS TO DO IN ORLANDO FL

THE ULTIMATE ATLANTA BUCKET LIST

101 THINGS TO DO IN NYC

THE ULTIMATE PORTLAND OREGON BUCKET LIST

101 THINGS TO DO IN AUSTIN TX

THE ULTIMATE NEW ORLEANS BUCKET LIST

“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust

Caroline + Erin

CAROLINE + ERIN

They are freelance web designers and photographers who love finding adventure, both big and small. The two make a daily practice of sharing vulnerabilities, truth telling, and side splitting laughter. They’ve honed the art of traveling fast and doing all of the things that an adventurer can do in a day or two. The couple lives in Asheville, North Carolina and spend as much time as possible in the mountains.

Read Next // localadventurer.com

You Might Also Love:

  • Ultimate New York City Bucket List (101 Things to Do in NYC)Ultimate New York City Bucket List (101 Things to Do in NYC)
  • Your Complete Guide to Free Things to Do in NYCYour Complete Guide to Free Things to Do in NYC
  • 101 Things to Do in Charleston SC Bucket List101 Things to Do in Charleston SC Bucket List
  • 11 Amazing Museums in Seattle You Can’t Miss11 Amazing Museums in Seattle You Can’t Miss

The post The Ultimate DC Bucket List – 101 Things to Do in Washington DC appeared first on Local Adventurer » Travel Adventures in Portland + World Wide