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Washington DC Vacations

Washington DC

Your Washington, DC vacation

Constantly reinventing itself through centuries of presidents, senators and political hopefuls, Washington, DC prizes her refineries, not her extremes. Capture a slice of America from the White House and US Capitol to the Washington Monument and the Library of Congress. See the star-spangled streets during Fourth of July, and stroll through the Smithsonian's metropolis of museums. Walk along the National Mall where Martin Luther King Jr shared his dream, and kayak through Georgetown. Bring the kids to the Bald Eagle Refuge where they'll learn about the country's symbol.

Whatever you elect on your Washington, DC vacation, let Orbitz cast a ballot on your itinerary. Our DC insiders dish the best time to go and top 10 attractions, plus reveal a declassified dossier of to-dos.

Best time to take a vacation to Washington DC

  • In a vibrant city like Washington, D.C., vacations are ideal any time of year. The city is abuzz during Cherry Blossom Festival (spring), 4th of July, and when Congress is in session (mid-September through Thanksgiving, and mid-January to June).For fewer crowds and lower hotel rates, travel between late August and early September, or after Thanksgiving into mid-January.

    Weather-wise, winters can be erratic (flurries, ice storms), while falls are warm, crisp and colorful. Summers are hot and humid, but hotel rates are low from early July (after the 4th) through August. Spring showers are common, but come May D.C. comes alive with sunshine and greenery.

Insider tips for Washington DC travel

  • Capitol City Brewing Co.

    Drink seasonal beers and snack of pretzels with Capitol Hill staffers. The crowd is lively and the American dishes are delish.

  • Segway, bike or kayak the sites

    Put a little muscle into your sightseeing. Pedal past the monuments, rent tandem bikes, or a take a Segway tour. Kayak through Georgetown under bridges and around Roosevelt Island – better yet, book an evening paddle on the 4th of July.

  • Secondi

    The unassuming front door is easily missed, but this high-end consignment shop shouldn’t be. Climb the stairs to get to two rooms full of Manolo Blahnik, Prada, Chanel and more.

  • Dupont Circle Freshfarm Market

    Shop for farm-fresh goodies on Sundays, rain or shine. Farmers and producers sell everything from the usual suspects (fruit, veggies, breads, flowers) to fish, fruit pies, soaps and herbal products.

  • National Museum of Crime and Punishment

    Learn about the history of crime and what happens to the bad guys at this police station exhibit. Get fingerprinted, stand in a police lineup and try to pass the lie detector test. Participate in the simulated shooting range and high-speed police-chase.

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Washington DC Vacation Packages

Hotel only $102

1 Washington Court Hotel

4 stars
4.1 / 5 470 reviews

525 New Jersey Avenue NW Map

Business Advantage Flex - Same Day Cancel

A chic, conveniently located D.C. hotel with views of the U.S. Capitol.The glass entrance opens into a grand lobby filled with rich red and maroon hues, dark wood and natural light. The hotel is two blocks from Union Station's shopping, dining and transportation, three... More

Hotel only $126

2 Grand Hyatt Washington

4 stars
4.2 / 5 484 reviews

1000 H STREET NW Map

Save 10% on your stay

Upscale hotel for business or pleasure in the heart of DCLocated in DC's hip Penn quarter, the Grand Hyatt Washington is an elegant option for both business and leisure travelers. Five excellent restaurants and bars offer guests a host of dining options. A full-service... More

Hotel only $118

3 St. Gregory Luxury Hotel and Suites

4 stars
4.1 / 5 419 reviews

2033 M Street NW Map

Business Advantage Flex - Same Day Cancel

Luxury boutique hotel with many suites near Georgetown, Dupont Circle This trendy, elegant boutique hotel is three blocks from Georgetown and within walking distance to Dupont Circle, three Metro stations, the White House and the Kennedy Center. The location and high-end... More

Hotel only $143

4 Palomar Washington DC, a Kimpton Hotel

4 stars
4.4 / 5 250 reviews

2121 P Street NW Map

Save 10% on your stay

Dupont Circle boutique hotel with urban amenities and artistic touchesPalomar Washington DC, a Kimpton Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel in Dupont Circle that caters to guests from the moment they arrive in the modern lobby decorated with striking art. The d�cor is... More

Hotel only $139

5 Embassy Suites Washington D.C. - Convention Center

3 stars
4.3 / 5 169 reviews

900 10th Street NW Map

Free cooked-to-order breakfast, Evening Reception

Spacious suites in D.C.’s center with on-site upscale restaurant The all-suite Embassy Suites Washington D.C. gives guests room to spread out. Suites come with a private bedroom and living room. The hotel is about two blocks from the Walter E. Washington Convention... More

Hotel only $95

6 Beacon Hotel and Corporate Quarters

4 stars
3.7 / 5 426 reviews

1615 Rhode Island Ave. NW Map

Business Advantage Flex - Same Day Cancel

Spacious suites and a rooftop bar with city views near Dupont Circle The Beacon Hotel and Corporate Quarters is an urban hotel located near Dupont Circle and the Metro. The on-site rooftop Beacon Sky Bar offers panoramic view of the city and attracts both locals and... More

Hotel only $99

7 One Washington Circle Hotel

4 stars
4.2 / 5 224 reviews

One Washington Circle NW Map

Save 5%

All-suite luxury hotel between Georgetown and the White House Cool colors and modern furniture give an air of sophistication to this hotel. This all-suite hotel is between Georgetown and the White House. The location near major D.C. attractions and businesses is... More

Hotel only $109

8 Liaison Capitol Hill DC

4 stars
4.0 / 5 280 reviews

415 New Jersey Avenue NW Map

Rate includes up to 15% off

Newly Redesigned Chic decor and Southern comfort at Capitol Hill hotel with rooftop poolThis trendy, chic hotel on Capitol Hill was redesigned in February 2012, is close to Union Station shops and restaurants, and is within walking distance of the National Mall. A... More

Hotel only $152

9 The Dupont Circle Hotel

4 stars
4.2 / 5 304 reviews

1500 New Hampshire Avenue, NW Map

Includes Daily Full American Breakfast for 2

Dupont Circle hotel offers chic spaces and approachable bistro fareDowntown style permeates The Dupont Circle Hotel, where a multi-million dollar renovation transformed the hotel from top to bottom. Fresh, vibrant and cosmopolitan, The Dupont Circle Hotel caters to guests... More

Hotel only $120

10 Donovan House, a Kimpton Hotel

4 stars
4.1 / 5 68 reviews

1155 14th St NW Map

Save 40% on your stay

Hip boutique hotel with rooftop pool and bar in downtown D.C.The Donovan House a Kimpton Hotel is a hip, modern hotel with edgy decor that appeals to leisure and business travelers.  The hotel is located in downtown D.C., not far from the White House. The... More

Washington DC highlights

  • Natural History Museum

    Learn about bugs, bones, blue whales, jewels and more. Ogle the bling in the Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals, home of the 45.5-carat Hope diamond. The freeze-action dioramas in the renovated Behring Family Hall of Mammals depict how animals adapt and evolve. African Voices uses personal accounts, proverbs, folk tales and hundreds of objects to convey African culture. Top off your visit at the O. Orkin Insect Zoo where your kids can feed the tarantula her meal of crickets.

  • National Archives

    View the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Search for documents recounting the Titanic and Challenger disasters, even the Watergate burglary. Read angry letters from college students protesting the Vietnam War, view declassified war plans, and create your own Oval Office seal.

  • Arlington National Cemetery

    This massive shrine honors US heroes and veterans, buried on green hills overlooking the capital. Witness a 24-hour honor guard watch over the Tomb of the Unknowns. Walk uphill to the Arlington House, built by George Washington's grandson, near the gravesites of John F. Kennedy and Pierre Charles L'Enfant.

  • National Air and Space Museum

    Experience the evolution of flight, chronicled through exhibits and interactive displays. See the original 1903 Wright Flyer, and let space suits, lunar vehicles and the 1,650-pound back-up mirror to the Hubble Space telescope explain the challenges and triumphs of technology. Don't miss the moon rock or the IMAX films, including "To Fly" where you'll feel like you're cruising over the planet.

  • The Capitol

    Learn about the leaders that shaped the Congress, the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress. View hundreds of artworks and sculptures inside the Rotunda and National Statuary Hall. Visit the Crypt, or the Senate and House Galleries when either body is in session.

  • The White House

    Queue up for a public tour to see the where the president entertains (Gold-and-White East Room), Jefferson's dining room (the Green Room), the setting of the White House Christmas tree (the Blue Room), the State Dining Room and more. Contact your Congressperson one to six months in advance for a special group tour.

  • American History Museum

    A menagerie of cultural icons, you'll see the flag memorialized in "The Star-Spangled Banner," a Model-T Ford, Dorothy's ruby red slippers from the Wizard of Oz, Dizzy Gillespie's trumpet and a baseball autographed by Babe Ruth. Allow time for the Hands-On Science Center, where families perform their own experiments.
     

  • The International Spy Museum

    Real life whodunits are the subject of this espionage museum. Learn about fictional cloak-and-dagger characters and unlikely American spy heroes like cooks who parlayed fame into fact-finding for the government. Test your mettle by discovering audio bugs as discreet as a strand of hair. Check the schedule for KidSpy Overnights, suited for kids 9 to 15 accompanied by an adult.

  • American Indian Museum

    Discover Native American culture from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego. Nations tell their stories through dazzling gold shields, feathered regalia and pottery. Cultural interpreters present discovery carts with arrowheads, moccasins and more. Free tickets are available for timed entry -- a great way to avoid the long lines.

  • Supreme Court

    Take photos of the Court's East or West Pediment, or check out the media frenzy on the plaza's southwest corner. Want to go inside? You can attend high court debates from April to October, or bench sittings from mid-May to June.