Washington, DC

The heart of Capital Region USA, Washington, DC is compact but packs a big punch.

Washington, DC is a favourite of visitors sightseeing in the Capital Region. It’s known for being the capital of the USA, but that’s only the beginning: Attractions in DC include famous monuments, captivating museums (many of them free!) and the National Mall, a two-mile-long national park flanked by the US Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial.

The nation’s capital has a booming restaurant scene, diverse neighbourhoods home to people and cultures from around the world, festive annual events and vibrant nightlife. Oh, and a little presidential residence called the White House.

Getting Around

Get a feel for Washington, DC by viewing the map below, and visit here for a deeper dive into its neighbourhoods.

The best bet for getting around is aboard one of the six Metro lines; you can even reach Virginia and Maryland cities like Alexandria and Silver Spring using the subway system. And after a 50-year hiatus, streetcar service has returned to DC. The route starts behind Union Station and runs along the H Street NE corridor, a newly revitalised area.

Annual Events

Arguably the most popular spring festival in the region, visitors from around the world flock to the nation’s capital during the three-week-long National Cherry Blossom Festival. The festival celebrates the 1912 gift of Japanese cherry trees from Tokyo’s mayor with a parade and other festivities.

Throughout the month of May, Passport DC showcases the international diplomatic community via a series of programmes, including two embassy open houses: Around the World Embassy Tour and EU Open House.

June is one of the most popular months for festivals in the nation's capital.  Citywide events include the DC Jazz Festival which features more than 100 performances at venues across the city while the art festival By the People takes over Washington, DC with music and dance performances, as well as interactive art displays and installations at various venues. Experience traditions from around the world at the free Smithsonian Folklife Festival held on the National Mall or enjoy free tastings from pit masters from all 50 states during the Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle.

Held in Rock Creek Park, the Citi Open Tennis Tournament brings the world’s best men’s and women’s players to town in July/August for nine days of world-class tennis.

And thousands make their way to the H Street Festival, a massive block party featuring live music on multiple stages, art exhibits, local food trucks and more.

Twice a year, diners can take advantage of specially priced menus during Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week (August and January). More than 200 participating restaurants offer three-course lunch and dinner menus at a bargain.

Locals and visitors alike look forward to Adams Morgan Day — the longest-running neighbourhood festival in the District — each September. This free event buzzes with music, food vendors, artwork, and family-friendly activities.

What’s New in DC

The iconic Franklin School building has been transformed into the Planet Word Museum which opened its doors in autumn 2020 to readers of all ages and language levels. Immersive exhibits and opportunities for self-expression give visitors a new appreciation for how we joke, sing, speak, read and write.

The new Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial, a tribute to the 34th president of the United States that was designed by architect Frank Gehry, honours President Eisenhower’s leadership in the White House and as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe during WWII.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, opened in autumn 2020 after three years of renovations, features a ground-level café with a patio and a rooftop terrace.

In early 2022, the anticipated completion of the Metrorail Silver Line extension project will add six new railway stations around Washington Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia, providing direct transportation between the main international airport and the city centre.

To explore the rest of the Capital Region, visit our Maryland and Virginia pages, or view our Holiday Guide online.

map of CRUSA highlighting washington, D.C.

Guide Footer Popup