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Things to do in Washington, DC

The US capital offers up plenty of famed monuments and museums for your touring pleasure.

Our most recommended things to do in Washington, DC

Washington DC:Gourmet Brunch or Dinner Cruise on the Odyssey

1. Washington DC:Gourmet Brunch or Dinner Cruise on the Odyssey

Cruise on the Potomac River and see the sights of Washington DC from a luxury boat, The Odyssey. Get a keepsake photo taken by the ship's photographer, then embark on an elegant dining cruise along the Washington DC shoreline. After being seated at your private table, enjoy a brunch or 3-course dinner, with meals prepared fresh daily by your onboard executive chef. Menu items are subject to change. After your meal, relax on any of the 3 climate-controlled decks as you watch the monuments glide by. Sample Brunch MenuEarly Riser:Breakfast pastries Scottish smoked salmonScrambled eggsBreakfast meats Breakfast potatoes French toast Late Risers:Caesar salad Greek salad Sun-dried tomato pasta saladBaked orecchiette pastaBirria-style chicken Chesapeake Bay rockfish Hand-carved tri-tip steak Kid's station Dessert: Individual dessertsIn-season fruit Sample Dinner Menu Starters (choice of one): Caesar salad Lobster soup Main Course (choice of one): Jumbo forest mushroom ravioli Oven-roasted frenched chicken breast with rosemary and thyme Broiled salmon filet Braised beef short rib Pan-seared fresh Pacific cod Desserts (choice of one): New York-style cheesecake Triple chocolate mud pie Duo of sorbet Freshly cut fruit Odyssey signature warm butter cake

Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Nighttime Trolley Tour

2. Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Nighttime Trolley Tour

See the most popular monuments of the U. S. capital illuminated at night on a guided trolley tour. The route follows streets that have been traveled by presidents and makes three stops for you to get off the trolley and explore the memorials on your own and take photos. Enjoy entertaining commentary from a professional tour guide who will entertain you with stories about the Capitol’s colorful past. The three stops on the tour are: 1. The Martin Luther King Memorial & the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial 2. The Iwo Jima Memorial (aka US Marine Corps War Memorial) 3. The Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Korean War Veterans Memorial Besides stops at the major memorials, you will also get spectacular views of the Washington Memorial the White House, the National Mall, the Capitol Buildings, the Jefferson Memorial, the Smithsonian Museums and Castle, the FBI & Dept of Justice Buildings, and the World War II Memorial.

Washington, DC: ARTECHOUSE Immersive Art Experience Ticket

3. Washington, DC: ARTECHOUSE Immersive Art Experience Ticket

Explore ARTECHOUSE DC in Washington, DC with an entry ticket and discover multi-sensory digital art. Immerse yourself in the enchanting exhibits with large-scale installations and choose to indulge with a cocktail at the XR Bar. Make your way to ARTECHOUSE DC, located just off the National Mall and nearby Smithsonian museums. Enter the nation's first multi-sensory innovative art destination with exhibitions that intersect art, science, and technology. Admire large-scale installations and witness creative innovation without limits in unique art spaces designed for curiosity seekers of all ages. Take a break and talk about the art on display at the ARTECHOUSE Extended Reality Bar inside the exhibit space. Choose from a list of exclusive cocktails inspired by the art and brought to life by extended reality. Download the ARTECHOUSE XR App to enrich your experience while exploring the digital playgrounds. Staff is on-hand to explain the uses of the app during your visit. ASE: Intangible Forms by Shohei Fujimoto (January 14 – March 5, 2023): Powered by choreographed kinetic lasers, strobes, haze, and moving lights, this audio-visual exhibition features a collection of more than nine real-time, light-based installations that explore the universal connection between all living beings. Discover how the artist offers the opportunity to pause and exist outside of normal space and time. The exhibit is searching for and reveals the elaborate and invisible systems that underlie our reality.

National Harbor: Capital Wheel Entry Ticket

4. National Harbor: Capital Wheel Entry Ticket

The Capital Wheel is located just minutes from downtown Washington DC, at the National Harbor. Relax inside a fully enclosed, climate-controlled gondola with family and friends as you soar 180-feet above the Potomac River. With each gradual rotation, experience a bird’s eye view of the Washington Monument, Capitol Rotunda, Masonic Temple of Alexandria, and much more. Every spin offers a unique way to take in the sights. Admire a breathtaking sunset or capture a photo in front of the dancing light show that illuminates The Capital Wheel every evening. The National Harbor is the perfect one-stop destination offering great restaurants, shops, hotels, and outdoor fun. You can enjoy a drink from the Flight Deck located directly under The Capital Wheel while you unwind by the water’s edge.

Washington DC: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

5. Washington DC: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

Visit iconic and historic landmarks in Washington, DC, and enjoy sweeping views from open-top buses. Take advantage of the freedom to explore and hop on and hop off at any stop on two routes around the city. First, ride the city loop, which stops at historic sites, monuments, and landmarks including the White House, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, US Capitol, Jefferson Memorial, National Cathedral, and Arlington Cemetery. Then, enjoy unlimited access to the hop-on, hop-off bus tour, and a bike rental offer. Upgrade to the 48-hour Premium or the 72-hour Deluxe ticket for more flexibility to explore at your leisure. Finally, hop off the bus and try biking around the sites for a more intimate look at Washington. Take advantage of 1 hour of free rental with the purchase of an hour, giving you the time to cycle at your own pace before heading home.

From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

6. From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

Learn about American history on a tour of Washington DC and Philadelphia, both of which played important roles in the development of democracy in the USA. Visit the Lincoln Memorial, the National Mall, Independence Hall, and more on a guided day trip with roundtrip transfers from NYC. Your day will begin with an early morning departure from Times Square in Manhattan, where you’ll be greeted by your bilingual tour guide for the day. After 4-5 hours, your first destination will be the nation's current capital, Washington, DC. Once there, visit the Iwo Jima Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. During the tour, stop for a classic outside view of the White House, home and office of the U.S. President, and the Capitol Building, home of the U.S. Congress. Your visit to Washington concludes with free time for lunch on your own. Your next destination, after a 3-hour journey, will be the first-ever U.S. capital, Philadelphia, PA. Visit its historic Old City neighborhood and the Independence National Historical Park where your guide will lead you on a brief walking tour. Then, ascend to the top of the Rocky Steps before returning to Times Square in Manhattan.

New York City: Full-Day Washington DC City Highlights Tour

7. New York City: Full-Day Washington DC City Highlights Tour

Discover the political center of the world on a full-day trip to the Capital City of Washington DC. See the iconic buildings of Capitol Hill and visit the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Depart from central New York and head south to Washington in comfortable air-conditioned buses or minivans. Pass through New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland before arriving in the nation's capital. Visit the Arlington National Cemetery and stand at the Kennedy family gravesite. Continue to Capitol Hill, and see the Capitol, Senate, and White House. Learn about the buildings and their functions in the US government. Arrive at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, before visiting the Lincoln, Korea, and Vietnam Memorials. In the late afternoon, embark on a panoramic city tour before your departure back to New York.

Washington, DC: Big Bus Panoramic Night Tour

8. Washington, DC: Big Bus Panoramic Night Tour

Experience the beauty of DC by night from the unique vantage point of an open-top double-decker tour. Discover the grandeur and significance of the nation's monuments and memorials dramatically illuminated by the city lights. As the official National Park Services tour partner, Big Bus gets you closest to the best DC has to offer: •National Mall •The White House •Lincoln Memorial •Martin Luther King Memorial •Jefferson Memorial •The Capitol Building •WWII Memorial Sit back, relax, and take photos as you learn the history and hidden stories of the Nation's Capital from the entertaining and expert digital commentary (earbuds provided).

Washington DC: Monuments and Memorials Bike Tour

9. Washington DC: Monuments and Memorials Bike Tour

Explore the hottest sights in Washington DC in an eco-friendly way on this guided bike tour through the National Mall and along the Potomac Tidal Basin. Learn about the war and presidential memorials that you stop to see up close along the route.  Meet your guide at the Wharf DC and get set up with your high-quality bike and helmet. Set off on your family-friendly route to the Washington Monument, Vietnam Memorial, World War II Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. Engage with history as your guide tells you the store behind sights like the Jefferson Memorial. Get the chance to walk around and explore the each of the memorials. Return to the Wharf DC at the end of your biking experience.

Washington, DC: Old Town Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley City Tour

10. Washington, DC: Old Town Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley City Tour

Named "Washington's Best Tour" by the Washingtonian Magazine and one of the top 10 hop-on hop-off tours in the world by Forbes, the Old Town Trolley offers the most comprehensive tour of the nation's capital. Relax while expert tour guides help you discover the beauty and majesty of Washington, D.C. This popular tour covers Washington's major attractions such as the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, and Vietnam Veteran's Memorial. Expert guides share colorful anecdotes, humorous stories and well-researched historical information. Upgrade to include a trolley tour of Arlington National Cemetery, an enduring tribute to those who’ve dedicated their lives to defending the nation. You’ll be transported to some of the most notable graves and memorials. DC City Tour Trolley stops: 1. 1001 E. St. NW: Washington Welcome Center/Ford's Theatre/Peterson House 2. 1401 Pennsylvania Ave: The White House/The White House Visitor Center/WWI Memorial 3. 701 Constitution Ave NW: National Archives (West/East Gallery of the NGA, Navy Memorial) 4. 400 New Jersey Ave NW: Japanese American Memorial/Hyatt Regency 5. 50 Massachusetts Ave NE: Union Station and the Smithsonian Postal Museum 6. 1st St. NE: US Capitol (Botanic Gardens, Supreme Court and Library of Congress) 7. 600 Independence Ave SW: Air/Space Museum, Museum of the American Indian/Eisenhower Memorial 8. Maine Ave SW at 9th St. SW: The Wharf 9. 700 L'Enfant Plaza SW: International Spy Museum 10. 1398 Independence Ave SW: Washington Monument, Smithsonian Museums and Castle, Holocaust Memorial Museum 11. 16 E Basin Dr SW: Jefferson Memorial/George Mason Memorial 12. 1964 Independence Ave SW: Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial/Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial 13. 2 Lincoln Memorial Cir. NW: Lincoln Memorial/Vietnam Veterans Memorial/Korean War Veterans Memorial/World War II Memorial 14. 1400 Constitution Ave NW: National Museum of American History/National Museum of African American History & Culture/National Museum of Natural History 15. 800 F St. NW: National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum (temp closed for Holiday Market) Arlington Cemetery Trolley stops: • Arlington National Cemetery • President John F. Kennedy Gravesite • US Coast Guard Memorial • John J. Pershing • The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier • Arlington House • US Marine Corps War Memorial Iwo Jima • Arlington Niche Wall Columbarium Courts

Available activities

  • Museums & exhibits in DC
  • The capital at night
  • US democracy & more
  • Hidden gems
  • Potomac River cruises
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What people are saying about Washington, DC

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 7,442 reviews

The tour is worth it. 100% recommended. You can see the most important places in Washington with enough time in each one. Alberto, our guide was excellent. Super talkative, nice and knew perfectly the history of each place as well as important details. The bus is super comfortable.

Our guide Nick was awesome! The entire trip was informative, funny, and full of interesting facts supporting the visuals. Would very highly recommend as it’s worth every dollar!

Loved the audience participation. Unique magic tricks in a close up environment makes the experience more impactful because we can observe up close. Well done.

Everything about the tour was excellent, just wished I didn’t leave my wallet on the bus since I didn’t have money to buy my lunch

thoroughly enjoyed the experience , Washington was amazing . would highly reccomend